Z is not herself

I don’t miss listening to The Archers in the least, and I really, really don’t want to start again.  The memory of the lives of all those people whom I don’t care about, some of whom are quite annoying, makes me wonder why I retained the listening habit for so long – except, that it’s something to do while I’m getting dinner ready.  And listening to voices on the radio while I cook is something I like.  Music isn’t the same, and a spoken book isn’t the same.  And I liked Front Row, which followed it, and now I don’t think to switch that on.  Digital reception is poor in this house, and I have to keep the digital radio on a windowsill to use it at all, and I’m not going to keep unplugging it and taking it back and forth.  It’s not worth buying a second when I hardly ever use it, because of the bad reception and because I still often can’t find a spoken programme I want to listen to other than Radio 4.

This evening, I had a break while waiting for the food to finish cooking, and saw that The Culture Show was halfway through on BBC2 and came in and switched it on.  First there was a photographer, who mostly seemed to be detaching his emotions for his job as a photographic journalist who saw and recorded terrible things.  Then there was a bloke with a thing about whales.  The importance of whales in art, history and literature was rather wildly overstated (Genesis, where a whale isn’t actually mentioned, Moby Dick and some scrimshaw haven’t really made them the iconic subject over the centuries he and his interviewer tried to paint them) and then pictures of whaling ships came on.  I never quite got what the interviewee had done to be interviewed about, but by this point I didn’t care. The television was switched off and won’t be turned on again tonight.  Agreed, I’m a bad tempered old bat, but I don’t think some entertainment at 7.30 is an unreasonable hope.  Of course, the rest of the programme might have been splendid, but it wasn’t entertaining.

I mislaid the tv remote control a few weeks ago, so I have to turn it on and off by the buttons at the back.  It’s rather good really, it means that you only bother to turn it on for something you really want to watch (apart from this evening, and I soon was reminded of my mistake).  Next month I will buy a tv licence, and in the summer I shall send it back again for a refund – unless the free licence concession for over 75s has been revoked without my noticing.  If it weren’t for that, I seriously doubt whether I’d bother having a television at all.  I don’t suppose the quality has suddenly got markedly worse, I think it’s me.  I’ve seen enough and I’ve read enough.  By broadening my musical taste considerably, I’m still engaged with listening to it, and I also like listening to voices (not ones inside my head, darlings, do bear with me) but I that’s about it.  And now I’ve gone off alcohol, it seems to be the last straw.  I’m no longer the person I used to be.

19 comments on “Z is not herself

  1. Rog

    I download the Front Row podcast onto my iPhone every week, along with Start the Week, Midweek and the Friday Night Comedy podcast, plus Guardian Science, Tech and Media podcasts. That’s plenty of digital quality spoken word!

  2. Z

    Crumbs, you’re organised, Rog. What a good idea.

    It happened quite abruptly at the weekend, Alienne. I am still having a glass of wine at night, but my heart’s not in it. I used half a bottle of wine in cooking on Sunday and I only finished it off last night. And I’m neither pregnant nor menopausal, as have been suggested.

    I am fine really – it’s true, I want spring to arrive. And I’m going to celebrate it by buying an iPad, not more deferred gratification for me. Well, once the new one is in the shops and I get around to it…

    Thank you, Chris. Please send it by express delivery.

  3. Yoga Gal

    I got XM radio for my mother two Christmas ago because she loves to listen to talk radio, they have get radio program and a wide choice of music, it’s great fun. You’re so right when you lose your remote your world changes!

  4. Mike and Ann

    Dear Z. We haven’t had a television set for about 15 years, and (free licence or not at 75) I can’t imagine us ever having one again. A couple of years ago we stayed at a B.& B. farmhouse (in your area come to think of it, run by Bobby Watchorn)for a long weekend, and during our five evenings there we watched one- old- film. Q.E.D. On the other hand we do have four wirelesses about the house,in fairly constant use.

  5. Z

    Dear Yoga Gal, it’s good to have to back in the land of the blogging. In the days when my husband was out at work and I was home on my own, I listened to the radio all day, normally to Radio 4 which is the BBC talk station.

    Bobbie is one of my best friends, Mike.

    I tried knitting and it was too difficult for me, Dave.

  6. Mike and Ann

    Not in the least surprised to hear that, Z. Please give her our love. We’ve stayed there many times, and it’s the best run farmhouse B.& B. we’ve ever used.
    What is surprising (as you said a while ago, and considering that we seem to know many of the same people) is that we’ve never ‘actually’ met.

    Kind regards, Ann and Mike.

  7. Scarlet Blue

    It’s not you, Z, I think the quality of programmes has gone down considerably since the recession – even the BBC seasonal trailers are rubbish now and they used to be rather good.

  8. Z

    I’ve been finding that ever since we got all the extra free channels, there’s rarely anything I want to see on any of them – with the result that I forget to turn on for things I don’t want to miss.

  9. Sarah

    *slaps Dave VERY hard*

    Bruce Parry? he is worth dribbling over. Human planet..that was good. New series on Sunday about the universe with that gorjus bloke of ov (that’s essex speak) D-Ream….Michael Portillo sitting on a train?…and….. well actualy that’s probably about it.

    I misread your first para….thought you said ‘while dressing for dinner’ Lorks I thunk..I’m not the only one then…

  10. Roses

    Sarah, everyone dresses for dinner. Sploshing tomato sause down a naked chest is bound to be painful.

    Z, are you implying you will be 75 in the summer? At which point, just so you know, it’s an offence to defraud HM Government. I want to see proof.

  11. Z

    I’m dressed all day, Roses, so as not to disconcert the neighbours. I used to dress for dinner come to that, but I rarely do now. If the Sage put on his dinner jacket, I’d certainly dress the part though.

    It’s not that there’s nothing, but so much disappoints. Like overrated modern fiction. I miss the good because I presume it’ll be like the rest.

    No, Roses, not I. The Sage, whilst as young as the woman he feels, is getting on in years according to the calendar.


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