I love television. Let's make that clear from the start. I'm not one of these who will just switch on and watch anything, nor do I put it on for a bit of company, noise and movement in the background of an otherwise empty house for part of the week. I think television represents good value for money when it comes to entertaining me. It provides me with knowledge, information, entertainment, laughter, tears, anger, pleasure - and that's without the 'advantage' of a satellite dish! I won't have Sky or anything like that, I hate the blot on the landscape that is the satellite dish - aerials I just about tolerate and have had to, since where I live there has been the necessity to have an external aerial to ensure a decent signal. I have no need of hundreds of different channels, the ones I have, including Freeview, are sufficient for my needs.
There have been some really good programmes recently... The Great British Year was an absolute must for anyone who loves nature, the countryside, the changing seasons (which is one of the things I love most about living here), photography. 'Doc Martin' comes to an end tonight, and whilst I will be sad to see the end I do think it has run its course, it's hard to see where the series could go next. And Bake Off comes to an end this week too. I wonder if you watch, who your money's on? It's been another great series: I love Mel and Sue, Mary Berry is wonderful, especially at balancing out the sometimes harsh comments of Paul Hollywood. My own feeling is that if you can't take criticism, you shouldn't enter anything like that at all. What has been annoying have been the creeping rumours about favouritism, that 'Paul fancies Ruby'. Mind you, he did himself no favours if he was trying to quash any such rumours in this week's Radio Times, when he said he thought Kimberley was the prettier and Ruby wasn't his type. Oh really? Me thinks he might just protest too much. Wouldn't it have been far better not to mention it in the first place, and if asked about it, just buttoned it and said nothing?
I used to watch 'Masterchef' in the early days, when it seemed more about fun than it does now. It is taken so seriously, as is GBBO by it's contestants for the most part, and maybe you have to take it seriously if you enter. But why is it important to be considered the best baker/chef/seamstress.... whatever? What's wrong with just doing things you love for the sheer fun of it, why bring competition into it? You can tell, can't you, I am not a competitive soul at all. Never got picked for teams in school sports day, I always had to be forced on someone. Because to me winning wasn't important, and who wants that kind of player on their team? Winning is the goal and if you don't even want to play.....
I enjoy a whole range of programmes from Emmerdale - which I've watched since the days when it was life on the farm - to the BBC news channel. I watch what's going on in Parliament, 'Mastermind' and 'Gardener's World'; love 'Only Connect' which is following the lead of GBBO and moving up a channel when the 2015 series is aired on BBC 2, GBBO of course moving to BBC1, I think next year. I really enjoy social documentaries like the one on Channel Five about living on benefits, which I know is a kind of reality show, but I don't watch those shows which are labelled as such, like Big Brother, TOWIE and so on. Never watched Strictly or The X Factor and don't want to. Thoroughly enjoyed Mary Portas, and anything to do with architecture, house design, house building and interior design, so Kevin McCloud is a real favourite along with George Clarke. I cherry-pick which cookery programmes I watch, so for instance never missed Nigella, and never miss Nigel Slater or Lorraine Pascale, but dip in and out of River Cottage and others. I never miss 'Countryfile', and enjoyed 'Coast' very much when it was on. And I had a lovely time accompanying Mr Portillo on his railway journeys.
I like a good detective story too, so always watched Lewis, 'Broadchurch', 'New Tricks' amongst other such series, and thanks to DVDs can watch any time I like, Morse, as well as 'Kingdom' and 'Monarch of the Glen'. Reruns of old 90s series are being enjoyed currently such 'Born and Bred' and 'Down to Earth'.
I watch more than the national average, but as I spend half the time at least when I am watching in doing something productive in crafts, it's not time wasted to my mind. It's time spent being entertained or informed, in learning something new, discovering an interest I didn't know about or didn't think I was particularly that interested in, making something at the same time adds to the pleasure and the relaxation.
I love television. Did I mention that?
The next day..... having seen the 'last' episode of Doc Martin, I do wonder where it can go from here, if anywhere. If he is to become a 'better husband' then he will need to change character completely it seems, which would then destroy the whole premise of the grumpy doc wouldn't it? Similarly, if he were to remain the same, then how can his marriage survive? I am just as interested in the other characters storylines, and think it a shame we may never know if Joe and Morwenna get together, if the daft pharmacist gets dafter, if PC Plod of Portwenn gets his big break and solves a crime of some importance, and I really liked Ruth.