Monday 3 October 2011

Pineapples and Simon Cowell

Cuddled up with Freddie under a blanket, the fire lit, Ruby watching XFactor USA, Lisa reading some sad story in a magazine which is making her wince. Perfect night so far in the household cept maybe for XFactor USA.. I'm not against the XFactor just wish I didn't have to watch it. The problem with these programs is as soon as its on I'll start watching despite myself. Before I know it I'm following the gossip on Spin South West about who Louis' got in his bootcamp. If it wasn't on when I was in the room I couldn't care less. Those of you old enough to remember Opportunity Knocks will know  that there was a talent show and a half. Hughie Green with his clapometer, Make Your Mind-Up Time and last weeks winner kept the Verling houshold going through many a Winter. There's a lot said against the one-channel land I grew up in and its monopoly on our viewing but  I can still name weekly winners from thirty years ago! Ralph MacTell, Pam Ayers, the guy who sang about his pickled gerkin, I can name off the top of my head, who among us can name the XFactor winner from two years ago?

It was a quiet day in Dingle today. A big contrast to the hectic days of the Summer season not that long gone but could have been last year at this stage. Still a few Americans coming in "Probelms with my Cell-Phone, the guy at Verizon told me it would work in Ireland." That guy in Verizon must have a lot of black marks on his tongue by now as I've had so many Americans in with the same problem and the same promise. Not a problem another hitch-hiker I picked up in August would have had. On my way
down to CUH to collect Lisa and Freddie I spotted a guy on the Killarney bypass as I approached the turn off.  Coming closer I noticed he had one of those old style army knapsacks over his shoulder with a pineapple sticking out the top. With his scraggly grey hair, beard and loose fitting clothes he looked the type who'd seen a thing or two. He was so appreciative that I'd stopped. Apparently not many people stop for him. Turned out he was only going to the next roundabout, only five minutes down the road. He'd collected his pension at his local post office and hitched in to Lidl cos they do good pineapples and aubergines. Now he was heading into the health food shop in Killarney for some tea he couldn't get anywhere else. Who said life can't be simple anymore? He asked me what I did for a living. "Oh" he said "I've never owned one of those,probably never had the need I suppose." As he got out of the car he said in his gentle voice "If I'm ever in Dingle I'll come visit you."  I hope he does.

Whats on our TV: Outside of XFactor and America's Next Top Model Lisa and I have been watching The Hour. I'm no fan of Murdoch but without SkyPlus we would have missed a lot over these last couple of months and now we're catching up. The Hour is a BBC six part series set in the 1950's. Starring Ben Wilshaw, Dominic West, Romola Gerai in a very strong cast it covers the development of a weekly one hour political commentary  television show. Set against the backdrop of the Suez Crisis and how the BBC operated in a time of state intervention and censorship its a very stylish well written show. At the time any program put out on the BBC couldn't report on anything debated in the Commons til two weeks had passed. Known as the fourteen day rule the government could keep things from the public by just mentioning it in deabtes. A government man also had direct access to program makers making sure no anti-government bits slipped in. No wonder the british public was kept in the dark about so much for so long. If you can catch it again its well worth watching with affairs, upper class twits and M16 spys it won't let you fail to keep your attention.

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