Posts Tagged ‘tv

Piccie post

Posted on: 31/12/2011

I must confess to being inspired by another blog for my piccie posts. And you should be warned, my piccies are of especially poor artistry.

Here’s one I prepared earlier, when we were still with the in-laws…happy new year!

Smallest one calls from her cot persistently one evening.

We can’t be doing with having our TV pleasure disturbed.


We watched episode seven of Torchwood: Miracle Day last night (yes, on catch-up because we are hopeless at scheduled TV), and it struck me – no, actually, it slapped me round the face with a large kipper – that the new series has more sex than ever.

If that were all, I probably wouldn’t have a problem.  The thing is, the only sex we see on Torchwood tends to be gratuitous; it doesn’t help the plot along. It is increasingly graphic. And it is also gay sex.  I don’t recall seeing more than a snog of the heterosexual variety.

Let me deal the graphic and gratuitous aspects,first.  Gratuitous sex of any kind makes me consider turning off the TV. As regards graphic, I never want to see anyone’s pubic hair on TV. Ever. I particularly don’t want to see any measure of a penis.  I like a little left to the imagination.  When Rome hit our screens I had a little trouble digesting that, and even there at least the camera angles allowed for some discretion.  The Tudors – more graphic still – I also struggled with. I didn’t need to know.  Like a good romance novel, I prefer no intimate knowledge of what it was like.  If their kissing is passionate, that’s enough for me, and tells me that the sex will be good. Gloss over the act, please.

Now we come to the gay part.  I am treading on dangerous territory here, I know. After all, I feel strongly that gay rights should be on an equivalent level to any heterosexual equivalent, and I would hope that the bulk of my readers feel the same.  I have friends who have loved and supported me over the years, where the word ‘gay’ is totally irrelevant.  Our love lives have had their ups and downs, and we’ve talked openly about such things, and not once has it felt uncomfortable. People are people, after all.

However, there is one major difference between gay sex on TV and the heterosexual type.  I have not been conditioned to it.  I don’t see men holding hands down the street.  I don’t see men snogging in public places.  Till Torchwood came along, I had also only ever seen men snogging once on TV, and that (a) helped the plot and (b) was comedic (yes, it was on Will and Grace).  So I didn’t appreciate the full-on naked man on top of naked man action.  That doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t be able to hold hands in public, or kiss in public if they want. I know that such actions are currently an invitation to be beaten to a pulp, and the situation there needs to change.  But that doesn’t mean that TV programmes need to show me the most graphic footage possible to try and rectify this.

Annoyingly, I really like John Barrowman.  He’s nice, he’s good-looking, I like that he’s married, and I adore his singing voice; all in all, he is the perfect recipe for a teenage crush if I were still that young.  I also totally understand the reasons for pushing the gay agenda and fighting for equivalency on the TV screen.

The only thing is, I’m just not used to it, and I wouldn’t like it much even if I were, just as I don’t like it in Rome or The Tudors, and why I don’t buy romance novels sold for their more intimate scenes.  It doesn’t work for me.

If you want to please me, go gently.  Gloss over the act itself.  And make it relevant to the plot.  Just like with any other romantic liaison on any other programme.

Maybe it works for you, though. Perhaps I am in the minority.  Let me know your thoughts.

And in the meantime, you are welcome to call me a prude.

BBC iPlayer is accessible on my TV at home.  It’s a little sporadic because the media provider we subscribe to is rather unreliable, but more often than not, we can choose what we want to watch, and when we want to watch it, without having to resort to digging out a DVD.

Suat Eman /

Now we’re here, we have all the channels we have at home, but out of the country, we have no iPlayer.  Which means that when you sit down after ten o’clock to watch something, you can’t just pause it when you’re ready for bed and watch the remainder of your murder mystery the next day.

No, you have to stay up late and watch it through to the end if you don’t want to be writhing in bed wondering who the murderer was.

As with all technology, we are so sure we can do without it, but we really don’t want to.

Especially when we’ve been stuck into a really good whodunit.

Imagine – if you need to – that you are child free.  Whether this is because you are pre-children, sans children or an empty nester, that’s up to you.

Imagine going to work in the daytime.  Again, this may not need to be imaginary.

Imagine someone saying to you at 4.59pm, ‘Hey! Let’s go to the pub* after work!’

Imagine being able to say, ‘Yeah! Why not?’, and flinging on your coat.  Perhaps calling a loved one to say you’ll be late home tonight.  You go.  You have a relaxed time. You might get a little tiddly.  It doesn’t matter, because you have no dependents.  You feel like life is great.

And to be honest, it is great.

Now imagine the same scenario but you have children at home.   How easy is it to say, ‘Yeah! Why not?’ and just do it?

I just can’t picture it.

Spontaneity is a very rare word in a family household…  Even if one of you could willingly ‘babysit’ (yes, babysit your own children, but I have difficulty finding a better term), you have to take it in turns, and you have to plan. And should you be getting more than your fair share of evenings out, you will feel the guilt fairy hop nimbly onto your shoulder and gnaw away at your conscience while your loved one is either shining their increasingly bright halo at home or becoming increasingly resentful at the number of evenings you are spending away, and the children begin to wonder what you look like.

So the tendency is to do nothing.  Besides, going out is expensive and chances are you are either paying for daily childcare or you are down to one salary for the whole household.  Spontaneous nights out can zap your month’s ‘fun stuff’ budget in a couple of hours flat.

razvan ionut /

Now, this is starting to sound like a have/have not moan.  It’s absolutely not meant to be.  Yes, when you first become a parent, it is easy to resent not being able to go out spontaneously like you used to.  But then slowly you adapt to a new routine.  You look forward to coming home and getting a good dose of family life.  You’re exhausted anyway, since you’ve done a morning’s work getting the kids ready before you start any paid work.  You kiss your kids goodnight, and you flop on the sofa, preferably with loved one next to you, watching TV for the entirety of the evening.

That is your life, most days, for however long it is till your children are old enough to take care of themselves.

But it’s not so bad.  Didn’t you dream of this before kids?  Where you and your loved one snuggle up on the sofa, evening in, evening out?  Watching TV, a little chitchat, perhaps a bit of a doze in their arms?

Really, being a couch potato is a great way to spend an evening.

And just as well, since it’s going to be some considerable time before that spontaneous night out is a possibility.


*insert appropriate after-work activity as suits you

Salvatore Vuono /

So.  Here I am, trying to make essay notes.

Smallest one is sitting happily on her mat (yes, at 9 months she has conquered sitting up), with her toys around her, enjoying a bit of all-too-rare baby TV.  One thing I’ll say for cBeebies, they have the perfect mix of educational and fun.  She loves it.

I’m sitting on the sofa.  Not making essay notes.

I’m being sucked into baby TV.

Even though most of the programmes are mind-numbingly boring to an adult.  I can’t help it.  Boring TV or even more boring essay reading?  It’s the TV every time.

I could leave the room, but I know that if I do that, I’ll ignore smallest one completely.  And though she’s not yet crawling, she is still more than capable of getting herself into trouble.  Last time I tried to do that she rolled right under the dining table and banged her head on the crossbar.  And I didn’t realise for several minutes as I was ‘in the zone’ and not listening out for her.

What I should have done was take the opportunity to study when she was in childcare.  But I was in the mood to blog … and ended up blogging all morning.

Oh, procrastination, you outwit me every time.

TV coma

Posted on: 28/12/2010


Thanks to Merry's Mirror for the great pic

Hang on a second, let me think a moment…

Two, four, five, five and a half, oh, and the end of total wipeout with the kids this morning makes roughly six.

Yes, In time-honoured tradition at this time of year, I’ve watched about six hours of TV today.   All those family films that the children are just old enough to appreciate (ET, the Grinch), plus the long-awaited (no thanks to Virgin Media) Doctor Who Christmas special on catch-up.

It adds up.  And I haven’t had a chance to watch the new Upstairs Downstairs yet either.  I don’t know quite how I’m going to find the time!

So I have backache from slouching on the sofa too long, and my brain has gone so mushy it baffles me how I’m capable of forming coherent sentences.   Yes, it’s what everyone does at Christmas – somehow it’s part of what Christmastime is about. You know snuggling up on the sofa, full of food, in front of a roaring fire, a pet on your lap and a beloved relative’s arm round your shoulder.  Nevertheless, excessive TV-watching is just coma-inducing.

But I did rather enjoy it.  It’s been over twenty years since I saw ET, and what better way to catch up on a family favourite than with your children?  We have a little tradition – once the movie is over you have to call compare notes on each other’s favourite bits.  How delighted was I when they both said, ‘the bit where their bikes fly up into the air’…?

TV coma?  TV magic.