Sunday, November 18, 2007

Winter is here

I don't envy anyone in the UK who went for a ride today. It was 'well bleak' out there. Six degrees and raining/sleeting for most of the day. I took the soft option and stayed indoors, and am better off for it. Tea and chocolate stocks have diminished, however.

I'm getting into the TV season here, partly because I want to get value for money out of my TV licence. Everyone with a telly in the UK has to pay 135 quid a year to the BBC, which gives them a massive budget to make things like wildlife documentaries and Top Gear. Compare that to how much is given the ABC in Australia (three fifths of bugger all) and you see why you can't stay indoors and watch ABC TV on a Sunday because it is poor fare. Luckily it doesn't rain as much in Oz.

What else is good? The next series of The Mighty Boosh has just started, and I've been watching this online via the BBC's media player. This is another advantage of the BBC having no commercial ties: they can provide TV on demand because everyone has a compulsory subscription.

There's also Top Gear, which is being shown a lot on a new TV channel called Dave. Stupid name for a TV channel, but it shows pretty much everything I want to see so I'll give it the thumbs up. For those not familar, Top Gear is a car show but it's very entertaining thanks to its presenters. And Richard Hammond and James May ride bikes.

Red Dwarf is always good for a laugh, and they're screening a lot of episodes on Dave at the moment. Never Mind the Buzzcocks has started a new series, and I'm looking forward to it on Thursdays. There's also another celebrity quiz show called QI, hosted by Stephen Fry, which I've just started watching and it's very amusing.

It's enough to make you want to stay indoors, which is good because the weather is turning to shite again.

Next week is the long awaited trip to Belgium. I've been gearing up for it for a while now and am craving some decent beer. I should get my wish over the next seven days. Then it's back for less than two weeks of work before heading to the land down under for three weeks.

No wonder I'm broke after all this high living - travel, rent, TV licences, and, er, a new bike. But I have a credit card that will see me through until next payday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A TV column on your blog - this is what you are reduced to?

You could at least cultivate the stereotypes we love out here, of families of Brits huddling under a blanket with a dismal single bar electric heater in the corner, wet clothes draped over some chairs, and watching Eastenders and Coronation Street (where the "characters" do much the same thing as just described). And Bread or Heartbeat, after the kids are in bed...

Or give us word pictures of les pommes queueing for buses that don't come in rain that doesn't stop?!

And (which even High Court judges begin sentences with, so there), Top Gear is all about cars you can't drive (seriously, do you need seventh gear for a lowlands goat track?) using petrol that no one can afford (3 bucks a litre?). For this reason it appeals to the same escapist sentiment as Neighbours - anything, anything, but my banal, meaningless, dismal existence... That's two dismals... Shall I change one?

All right, all right, I admit it, I'm just jealous, Aus TV is crap. SBS shows some particular tripe - one time I saw coverage of some bike ride in honour of Johnny Warren (bit of a non sequitur that one - why not 2 halves of the sport formerly known as soccer?), and they interviewed some sweating, emaciated clowns when they got there ("there" being some pie shop not a million miles away from the bottom of Macquarie Pass). Who ate all the pies, indeed? You'd be hungry too...

Is this really what people want to watch? (Don't answer that - it's a politicians question, although these things used to be known as rhetorical questions).

Speaking of which, how does one vote in Bath? Is there a consulate (is that the right word? maybe a "Lesser Commission"?) in Bristol?

(And what will I do if my PC runs out of brackets?)

The verification word is pvrufxvp, which I assume means something in Welsh Gaelic. I understand that any combination of random letters will do...

Phew. I need my own blog.

See you soon.

Josh (the one in Sydney, not the other one)