On the Box

I cannot tell you how difficult it’s been to set up this post. It’s taken hours to successfully interpret the instructions for a work-around on adding photos to a post. Will it continue to work? I’ve no idea, and until I press ‘publish’ I’ve no idea whether the post will appear ‘normal’ or not. Confusion continues to reign. No longer am I able to add photos where I want them – they just show up where WordPress dictates – or so it seems to me. And the picture quality is awful.

There’s not been a lot that’s interested me lately on TV. As we approach Autumn there are usually a few good dramas to look forward to but I suspect this year that there will be far fewer than normal as little (if anything) has been made. My brother works periodically in television as a lighting technician and he says that he knows of no-one who has been woking. He knows people who I’ve only ever seen on TV and I’ve tried to persuade him to write a guest post as he always has lots of stories to tell. So far, he’s declined – perhaps he’s afraid of getting sued!

Hands up…who loves Strike?  If this means nothing to you then I’d better enlighten you: the fourth series of JK Rowling’s ex war veteran Cormoran Strike, who is now a private detective returned to BBC1 last Sunday night. Written under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, Rowling’s superb knack of creating characters comes to the fore in the excellent Strike books, (the fifth has just been released with the promise of more to come), which translate wonderfully to the small screen. The relationship between Strike and his assistant, Robyn, makies for one of the best drama partnerships on TV.  If you’ve not watched and think you’d like to try it, do watch it from the start; the first series is called The Cuckoo’s Calling. 

Apart from Strike and a couple of the house programmes (Location, Location, Location and Escape to the Country, I’ve found little to watch. Husband enjoys The Repair Shop (I can take it or leave it) and particularly likes documentaries – wildlife, sea-life, travel and other cultures – and recently we found ourselves watching one about Japan. The narrator was Michelle Dockery but great though she is as Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, we found her singularly unimpressive in her documentary delivery style which was without inflexion or enthusiasm. She was Lady Mary reading a script.

We’re not greatly into films but did watch an excellent one a few weeks ago- Fisherman’s Friends. The archetypal feel-good film, it’s based on the true story of a record producer who discovers a local fishermen’s choir. If you liked Hampstead, (also loosely based on real-life events and also excellent), this is one for you.

Talking of television…my younger son wears contact lenses or glasses and has done so for over twenty years. . My daughter-in-law told me recently that he’d said that he didn’t tell me that his eyesight was so poor for ages because I’d always said that if he kept sitting close to the television it would damage his eyesight. He was too scared to say anything! What a terrible mum I felt on hearing that!


  1. Apologies for taking so long to comment. If you could see me, you would notice that my hand is up! I love Strike – both the books and the TV series and I think the casting director chose well in the main leads. I enjoyed both Hampstead and Fisherman’s Friends. I think both films are very appropriate in these dark times as I’m not really in the mood for anything too heavy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No surprise there, June. We’ve already discovered a liking for similar books, so the fact that we love Strike and enjoy those same films is not unexpected! I’m in absolute agreement about dark times and mood; my reading has been very much more of the ‘uplifting, easy reading’ kind lately. In fact, look out for a post shortly about a fab new (to me) literary discovery!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, we enjoyed the snooker from the Crucible, too!
    We have just watched last night’s Strike on catch-up but my goodness, I wish they wouldn’t shoot everything in what looked like dusk or darkness! And without the subtitles I’d not have known what they were saying. I’m sure it’s not our TV screen, as other programmes are perfectly OK, but Strike might as well be a radio play for what we can see! And it’s not that they speak quickly, they just don’t speak up. And i’m not deaf, I can hear people chatting down the road, or when we were out in ilsham Valley I could hear a conversation yards and yards away, it’s mumblers I can’t stand! The programme has been totally spoiled for us with the darkness and the mumbling. But we loved Gone Fishing, with Bob and Paul – and yes, Bob caught the pike that he’s always wanted to catch!
    Margaret P

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  3. I saw Fisherman’s Friends, and loved it. You Brits do the best movies and tv, especially comedy and crime. I’m currently trawling through youtube watching any episodes of Vera that I can find. I’ve watched so many others especially Morse and Lewis. Fantastic. I’ve even gone back to the Agatha Christie series which were made quite some time ago. We do make some really great New Zealand series. However, much of it is local humour which of course is not understood by so many others. If One Lane Bridge comes your way: it’s so different, and is centred around Queenstown in the South Island, so much beautifully scenery. And it’s a mystical crime story. And I’m pretty much over watching anything where people have “had work done” – I like real people and again, the British have nailed this prefectly.

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  4. Working out how to do things such as WordPress is one of life’s challenges, is it not? Or life’s annoyances! But that aside, yes, we enjoy Strike although I prefer such dramas as Lewis and LIne of Duty (that’s our supreme favourite). Strike is always so dark (physically, I mean, or is it our TV screen?) And we have to have subtitles on for most of these programmes now as the mumbling continues, or the whispering to try and make speech appear more dramatic.
    But there are some half-decent programmes at the moment: Michael Portillo’s current railway journeys in Europe (Austria last time, I think); and there’s the delightful Gone Fishing (BBC2 this evening) with Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer – best programme of the week, and it’s not just about fishing, either, but about friendship. Then there’s George Clarke’s National Trust Unlocked, which is actually streamed so that we’ve seen four of the six programmes already and virtually visited some wonderful NT properties including Kingston Lacy, Snowshill Manor, Hidcote Manor Garden, Killerton House (for the garden) and Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire, all of which we have actually visited. And we mustn’t forget the new All Creatures Great and Small on Tuesday evenings, so there’s a few programmes there for our licence fee which we’ve just shelled out for now that the over-75s have to pay, currently £157.50 a year. And we’ve just been watching the most exciting T20 cricket match between England and Australia, Not that I’m a huge sports’ fan but I do love a good cricket match (better than tennis any day). And for lovely property programmes, as you say, Escape to the Country and Location, Location, Location.
    Margaret P

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely, long response, Margaret…like having a conversation. I dip in and out Michael Portillo’s Railway journeys. Like many programmes, I used to be more interested in it but I’m feeling rather fed up with TV in general of late. Perhaps it is symptomatic of how I feel with regard to the Covid situation. I am used to a busier, out-and-about existence and my wings have been clipped. I’m not liking it. I’m also feeling sluggish (no gym). Husband watches a great deal more television than I do; much of the time it’s on but I’m concentrating on something else. I did enjoy the snooker Masters recently, especially as Ronnie O’Sullivan won!


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