Tag Archives: TV

Day 156

I’ve just put the pizzas in the oven. Nothing special, just two veggie pizzas on ready-made bases. We will have leftover supermarket coleslaw (Julia insists on buying it rather than making it) and a basic green salad with it. Very basic. The urge to cook has deserted me today.

This might have something to do with me being force to watch the Jubilee Parade today. Well, not exactly forced, but  after preparing lunch and flopping in front of the TV I was unable to resist.

We had soldiers and military bands, followed by members of the Commonwealth, and then the flood gates opened and the detritus flowed.

I have no objection to community groups in costumes, or with massive puppets, as they have all joined together and done a tremendous amount of work to get there. Some of the work was impressive, some less so. Some of it was relevant to the Jubilee, some, quite honestly wasn’t. To the best of my knowledge Brazil hasn’t joined the Commonwealth yet, so I was perplexed by the Brazilian theme of many of the dancers. It was, let’s face it, a case of having some carnival costumes and a desire to use them. Even that was better than what came next . . .

I do have an objection to the same tired mob of B List Celebrities being trotted out and throwing themselves in front of TV cameras with false grins. There were several bus loads of them on the parade – one bus for every decade. I know it’s a fine line between a national treasure and a washed up has-been (or even a washed up never-was) but I could have done without most of them.

And that was how my Jubilee Bank Holiday ended. Four days of relaxing, ending with me in my normal Sunday night mood – back to work tomorrow in an imperfect world after an overdose of poor quality TV. I really need to alter my habits or one day my head is going to explode in mid-tirade.

 

Day 65

Target: 250 words

Subject: General twaddle

Objective: Get it done then get on with cooking

Menu: Sausages, cauliflower cheese, onion sauce, potato wedges

Confession: The carbs thing was going well until I got to the end

Got up, pottered round, ate a bacon sandwich provided by Julia, wasted time on computer, watched Sense and Sensibility on TV, lunch (vegetable soup, incorporating the remains of last night’s vegetable stew), wrote by hand (carefully – I want to be able to read it later), two episodes of Criminal Minds on Prime, cruised eBay and am now writing today’s blog post whilst working on tonight’s menu.

The objective is to keep it easy (one roasting tray) and use leftover cauliflower. I was going to use it for soup but we still have plenty of veg soup after liquidising the stew and after that we have  a bag of peas for pea soup.

Menu planning has been something that has suffered recently. I can’t blame it on long covid, or even old age, I’m just fed up with menu planning, having fallen into the trap of ordering much the same food each week and cooking the same things. I happen to like vegetable stew with dumplings, so that’s OK. I also like vegetable stew without dumplings. And I like it liquidised and served as soup. That’s three meals taken care of. Something with roast veg. Pizza (or quesadillas). That’s two or three more. Corned beef hash. That’s nearly an entire week and I haven’t had to think. I really should do better. We have pasta, we have prawns, we have other veg.

Watch this space. I’m going to set myself a target of cooking something new every week. This week it’s pea soup, so that’s easy enough. Next week, who knows?

I’m also going to start eating salad for lunch. maybe just one day a week, but it’s a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Or, more appropriate in my case – a supertanker takes 20 minutes to come  to a halt.

Time passing . . .

Boxing Day

Christmas day passed quickly. It’s now the early hours of Boxing Day. Several meals, presents, chocolates, Bailey’s, Strictly, Love Actually and several naps filled the day in a most satisfactory manner. We also had phone calls from the kids and I spoke to my sister so all the family stuff is done too. I am, as I have said before, a man of simple needs and it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

The Ancient Santa card is on the left, the other is only about 25 years old.

On the writing front, I allowed another deadline to slip by without submitting anything and reminded myself that there are two more to look at before the end of the month, which isn’t far away. I’ll get round to doing something in the next few days I suppose, but if I decide to sit with Julia and watch TV instead, it won’t be  a tragedy. I quite like sitting and watching TV  with Julia.

Boxing Day sees my favourite meal of the holidays – turkey sandwiches with cranberry jelly and stuffing. I usually add mayonnaise to, but I’m planning on heating  some part-baked baguettes for tomorrow and I’m not convinced that hot bread and mayonnaise will go together that well. The day after Boxing Day usually features turkey sandwiches too, but they aren’t such a novelty by then.

Santa and Snowman figures

The pictures show our Christmas decorations by candle light. The Santa card is 33 years old. Julia always brings him out for Christmas and I have gradually phased out buying other cards, so it proved a wise investment. The Santa and Snowman figures are part of Christmas tradition too. I tried several different settings to allow for the colour temperature and managed to produce a number of odd effects. None of them quite captured the magic of candle light.

That’s about it. Another ordinary day in a dull life.

 

Shopping and The Saint

We’ve just been to pick up the shopping order from TESCO. There were a couple of things that weren’t available and one substitution.

This was bagged rocket (or arugula if you speak American). Yes, I shouldn’t be buying it, for a number of reasons, including expense and ecology, but I try to eat a variety of things and at least you can taste rocket. Well, not this week, because they substituted it fro lamb’s lettuce. They could have substituted organic rocket (though it may have made their price guarantee squeak a little), or watercress (another salad you can taste) or even the “peppery” salad, but no, they substituted it with the lamb’s lettuce. It will do, but it doesn’t look like the obvious substitution to me.

They don’t leave it to the discretion of the packers to do the substitution, they use an algorithm. Heaven help us if the robots ever take over – I cannot even begin to imagine what life will look like once we fall int6om the hands of the algorithm-wielding little metal menaces. That’s another good argument for not living to be a thousand.

The strange thing is that when I check rocket on the website, it is available, and lamb’s lettuce isn’t. Probably because they’ve been fobbing all the rocket customers off with lamb’s lettuce.

Easy answer is to give salad a miss until we can start growing our own again.

I watched The Saint at lunchtime. At the age of 8 I thought this was the best TV show ever made. Today, 55 years later, the tale of a mad scientists breeding giant ants in a Welsh cave system, though dated and not great literature, didn’t impress me quite so much. However, to be fair, it was far from the worst thing I’ve seen on TV recently.

The clock picture is to mark the occasion of me getting round to altering the clock in the car, after the clocks went back at the weekend. I kept meaning to do it but never got round to it. The story of my life.

 

Snow, TV and Haibun

It snowed today. First it was slow, soft flakes, then ice clicking on the  windows and, after the wind fell, icy particles falling quickly. I’ve never really looked at snow so closely before. Perhaps it’s true that you watch nature more closely when you write haiku. Or maybe, in the absence of Murder She Wrote, merely means I have time to stare out of the window. It’s a rare day when Jessica Fletcher is absent from our screens, but today seems to be such a day. I had to watch Father Dowling instead.

I use snow in the English sense. It fell a couple of hours ago, gave us a light dusting and has now almost gone. This is, to be fair, early for English snow as it often doesn’t appear until January or February, and some years we have none at all. It may be thicker on the uplands and in Scotland, but compared to many places we don’t really have snow in the UK. We do have disruption caused by snow, but that’s because most of us have no equipment to cope with it.

Big news of the day is that Issue Six of Drifting Sands Haibun is now out and thy have shown exquisite taste in selecting one of mine. I could link directly to mine but will, instead, be more modest and just link to the magazine. Scroll down to Wilson for mine, but read some of the others on the way. From the ones I’ve read so far, I have to say that this is one of my favourite issues.

It’s now time to have lunch and complete the online grocery order. Whatever I die from, I doubt that it’s going to be stress. I’m feeling quite serene at the moment, in the absence of work, modern life and the need to wear shoes. There’s something very relaxing about life in slipper socks.

I’m currently working on a post about the RNLI, but, as usual, gathering the information takes me longer than writing a quick note on daily life, which is why slipper socks and snow rose to the top of the pile.

A Simple Day for a Simple Man

I’ve just spent a happy morning in front of the fire chatting, eating chocolate and watching compilations of Christmas songs on TV. I am a simple man and this is all I need. This expanded to a happy afternoon doing the same.

I just spent five minutes trying to delete a surplus full stop from that sentence. One of my resolutions for next year is to keep my computer screen cleaner, as it turned out to be a small mark on the screen that lined up perfectly. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, but it always fools me.

As I said, I am a simple man.

I have my wife by my side, my firstborn nearby and the spare child checked in by some mysterious process which allowed his face to appear on a computer screen and tell me I was looking older. He is looking uglier and tubbier than last time I saw him. It is good to have all this modern technology to hurl abuse at family members who are thousands of miles away, though I’m not sure that when I first came across a “video phone” in a science fiction story that I would ever use one for this purpose.

After that I rang my sister using 19th century technology and delayed her until she had to go, because her oven was emitting smoke. Her cooker has either elected a new pope or burned her Christmas dinner. I fear it is the latter.

I’m now going to stalk a few of my regular blogging companions and see how their day is going. After that it is turkey and more TV. I also intend drinking some of the tea I have been sent as presents and rounding the day off with biscuits.

1995 Robin stamp

 

New Day Dawning

Julia has a sixth sense for when I’m enjoying myself.

I left her asleep, and breathing rhythmically (as in pigs grunt, men snore, ladies breathe rhythmically), and crept quietly downstairs for some quiet time with WordPress. Next thing I know, she’s up and zipping everywhere in high energy mode whilst asking what I’m making for breakfast. I had said I’d make breakfast last night, but I was thinking it would be a while. I don’t know how people manage to move from asleep to manic in such a short time. I woke up an hour ago and I’m only just making the transition from lethargic to sluggish. At this rate ‘awake’ will cut in around lunchtime and snooze around 3pm. That’s my sort of day.

And, as I say, sensing that I’m just starting to relax with my keyboard, she is here, buzzing with energy and deflecting me from my plans.

We had a Chinese takeaway last night. It was our first since March. It might actually have been out first since 2019, as we haven’t been having much Chinese. I’d been looking forward to it for a good three months. It was a complete disappointment. Too salty, badly presented and surrounded by guilt. The guilt is mine, as I should be economising and not eating such rubbish. The saltiness and poor presentation is down to the restaurant. It’s good news for my health and diet that I won’t be having another one in the near future (apart from lunchtime, when the leftovers come into play). Strange how you can look forward to something so much and then find it is so disappointing. There is nothing good I can say about the experience, apart from the fact it was first class aversion therapy. In terms of diet and spending, the lockdown has been good for me.

Julia is now making breakfast, as I’m too slow. I’d better go now, and at least make some attempt at being a half-useful husband…

I have been asked to point out that this is a work of fiction and that none of it, apart from the Chinese meal, represents, an accurate version of the truth. And even if it did, I have no room to talk as I was snoring so badly last night that she had to wake me up so that she could hear the TV. I know that bit is true, because I was snoring so loud I even woke myself up at one time.

Do you remember the days when TV was so exciting that it was impossible to fall asleep?

 

 

The List (2)

I meant to post this yesterday, but I forgot to add that to the list, so it didn’t get done.

14. Warm up yesterday’s soup and eat with the remains of the sourdough bread from Lidl

15. Ruminate on the question of why a budget supermarket has the best bakery

16. Freecell

17. Look at list of jobs.

18. Look again. Are you sure it doesn’t mention Freecell?

19. Look again. Nineteen points in and only two of them are actually on the list.

20. Magazine article. It’s nearly done. An hour later it was still nearly done. Ditto for thirty minutes after that.

21. Let the article mature and go back to it tomorrow.

22. Alarm rings. Is it that time already? Time to pick Julia up.

23. Lose the plot and watch TV.

My performance was patchy in some areas but I think I really nailed Number 23. I’m going to try another list next week and see if I have similar success.

VW Daisy Wheel

Watching TV

I’m watching TV and typing again, as I did last night. It means I can talk to Julia, watch TV, blog and save money on heating. And they say men can’t multi-task…

We were busy in the shop today with a combination of eBay and retail customers. We also loaded quite a lot of medallions onto eBay. However, though busy, it wasn’t the sort of day that provided much in the way of interest or insight.

Watching TV all evening has had a similar result, passing before my eyes and leaving no mark. I’ve laughed a few times, but learnt nothing and not been provoked into any thought other than “TV is really rubbish tonight.” I would like to report something more profound, but that’s as good as it gets.

Julia outdid herself tonight, producing a roast dinner as I slept in front of the fire with a quiz on TV. This is not really how I imagine the home life of a poet. I can’t imagine Byron or Wordsworth, or even Larkin or Carol Ann Duffy, snoozing in front of the TV. Well, maybe Larkin…

I might have to change my artistic ambitions away from poetry and move towards art. That way I can tell people that I’m installation art, and the snoring is meant ironically. The gravy on my shirt will also be incorporated into the work, as will a regular supply of tea, which will then become tax-deductible. If I’m going to be able to claim for tea I can probably pay a butler to serve it. It seems to have worked for Jack Vettriano.

 

Study Number 1 - The Idiot

Soup and Quizzes

We had the standard soup using the bag of ready chopped veg and followed it up with a ham sandwich made using rye and sprouted grains. It was healthy and filling, though I will be adding a few stewed apples later just to top up.

I’m now blogging and watching Mastermind. I’m a bit slow tonight. I’ve often thought of applying for a TV quiz but never get round to it. This is partly because I’m lazy, but mainly because I doubt that my armchair brilliance would be repeated once I got to the studio.

It has now changed to Only Connect, as I am doing all sorts of things, apart from writing (in case you were thinking I was being slow. I’m not a great fan of the show as I don’t generally do well. However, it’s good mental exercise.

And even as I write that it ends and University Challenge starts. It’s a real quizzing fest tonight and I’m only getting away with it because Julia is distracted. Normally she puts her foot down and won’t let me watch three quizzes in a row. It’s a good night if I answer more than two or three questions. I’ve already answered three out of four, which is one more than the students. Could be a good night – sometimes I can watch a whole episode without even understanding a question. I’m now on six from eight. Things are looking up…

They are on chemistry questions now. I don’t even know what they are talking about.

Anyway, you don’t want a running commentary on me watching TV.

I just answered a chemistry question and am now doing badly at poetry. Just goes to show you never can tell.

I’m not honestly sure I have much to add. I went into two supermarkets today as I needed some specific things before we go into lockdown.  In TESCO there were three staff without masks and the spotty teenager working as a greeter kept pulling down his mask to talk to people. At Sainsbury’s the greeter didn’t even have a mask. Two staff on the tills had no mask, a manager was working with her mask pulled down under her chin and the four teenagers at the Argos counter were clustered together chatting with no masks.

No wonder we are having trouble.