Monday, 9 March 2009

Irish Mental Health Hotline

I don't know about you but I hate telephone answering systems. No matter who you ring these days it's rare to hear a live voice and have a real human to pick up the phone. If you do manage to find an option to speak to a real person, you're lucky if they're even in the same country these days.

It drives me mad as the answering system rattles off the options to you, trying to pick the relevant one and remembering the number they told you to press.

Now if I thought th
e ones I ring are bad, this is the answering system from Hell! I love it!

Frank Kelly alias Father Jack strikes again!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

My Third Guilty Pleasure

Watching Daytime Telly


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Now why should I feel guilty about it? My husband never does, he can watch telly all day, however I do get the guilt pangs.

Maybe it’s because there was no daytime TV when I was young other than children’s TV. Ah the memories come flooding back, Muffin the Mule, Andy Pandy, Bill & Ben the Flowerpot men.

So what is the charm of daytime telly for me? Well I still haven’t got used to getting up and not going to work. So I watch telly programmes when I think I should be at work. It feels a bit like skiving off. Wonder when I'll get used to this. Strange how you're conditioned to going to work.

The telly is usually on as my husband switches it on the minute he gets up, that's anytme after 5.30am. He seems to be addicted to watching the BBC morning news. I wouldn't care I've seen it and they repeat the same things afer about an hour.

He then goes off to work and I make my latte and sit down to watch a little telly.

What do I watch? Well not the BBC news, I don't want to be depressed watching stories about the economy.

Inspector Morse is one of my favourites. I do like a good detective programme and this is probably the best. Funnily enough I didn’t like it at first but it grew on me. It has just about everything to recommend it a few murders but no gratuitous violence and bad language. It has an amazing cast of characters in every programme, a virtual who’s who of British actors. The one with John Gielgud is one of my favourites. There’s humour, fabulous scenery, wonderful scripts and although opera music isn’t my favourite genre, it does add a touch of class to the programmes.

This is one telly series that actually improves on the books. I’ve read a couple of Colin Dexter’s Morse books and they’re OK but the programmes are better. Colin Dexter himself admitted this on a programme about the making of the telly series.

Pie in the Sky is another wonderful TV detective series. I love Richard Griffiths, he has such a dry way of dealing with situations and nothing like the dreaded Uncle Dursley character he plays in the Harry Potter films. If you haven't seen it, forget Starsky and Hutch, Kojak and CSI; this series is a million miles away! There’s not always a dead body, no bad language (a pet hate of mine) wonderful actors, lovely gentle humour and a recurring food theme with his restaurant which provides the title for the series.

Wanted Down Under is something I’m almost addicted to. I absolutely love watching a UK family being transported to Australia or New Zealand to see how they would adapt to living there. Apparently 40% of UK families who emigrate there return in less than 2 years, so this programme gives them an opportunity to check out the place, the work situation, housing and lifestyle in a place of their choice. It’s great seeing the different places and the people’s reactions. The hardest is watching the videos from friends and families. I have to say I would have loved to live in New Zealand but I know I could never have left my family behind.

Jeeves and Wooster is a series I didn’t see first time around for some reason. The antics of those wonderful upper class twits is a joy to behold, the ridiculous situations they get into really makes me laugh. There’s lovely scenery and again there’s a wonderful cast, the pairing of Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry is a just class.

I also watch a lot of children's telly once I pick Lauren up from nursery. I don’t like much of it but have to say I fell in love with In the Night Garden and I don't feel at all guilty watching it because I'm keeping Lauren company!

I could listen to the introduction over and over again, well I do most days! I love the poem and the music, Derek Jacobi provides the perfect rendering of the poem. If you haven’t heard it, here’s a clip.



Those characters with the silly names are great, there's Upsy Daisy, Igglepiggle, Tombliboos, Makka Pakka, the Pontipines, Wallanders, Haahoos, the Ninky Nonk and the Pinky Ponk, well you get the picture! How sad is that knowing all their names? I need to get a life!

Along with most other young children, my granddaughter has all the characters, books, toys, jigsaws, DVDs, dressing up outfit, pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers. Wish I had shares in that programme.

Upsy Daisy and Igglepiggle

They have a good section on the CBeebies website that Lauren loves to play on. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/inthenightgarden/

Want to play in the Night Garden? Just click on one of the stars.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/inthenightgarden/flash/index.shtml

If you have a webcam you can have your/child/grandchild’s face appear in parts of the picture and only you can see it. The instructions are here http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/inthenightgarden/info.shtml

Yes, sad old git that I am, I’m hooked, I’ll admit it.

Anyway, it’ll be OK when my husband retires because he's a definite telly addict, it'll be on all day. I'll have no guilt at all, well he certainly doesn't. We can watch it together, as long as it’s not flippin’ sport! I heard the good news today that F1 is returning to the BBC. They've even got a new section on the BBC website for it. He'll be over the moon as he's complained non stop about it being on ITV and "constantly" interrupted by adverts. Good old advertising free BBC! Well that's if you don't count all the trailers for their programmes.

I have one story about telly I never let him forget. When I was at the polytechnic many moons ago, I had to go on a field trip for twelve days to Yugoslavia, as it was called then. I felt really guilty about leaving the children (nine and eleven so not that young) for so long. You see my guilt complex! My husband said not to worry, it would be a doddle! He would take a couple of weeks off from work, look after the kiddiwinks and decorate the living room and dining room.

I came back home and guess what? No decorating done. Why? Well it was late June and the 1982 World Cup was being played in Spain. I suppose he must have watched every match televised even though England didn't win. Again!

What's a Gansey?

                                                Photograph courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums It's a seaman's kni...