Buns – so named because he can be bribed for a cup of tea and something munchy sweet to eat –

has moved to a house in its own ground in Mayo, Eire.  The consideration of this took years (literally) and  as it is not near anybody else, he can sing as well as clean and paint.   And I rang last night.  He does. 

So we spoke of the weather, his book and my book, and his meeting a Frenchman who came and spoke to him in the library because he overheard him use a Gaelic term.  And then he told me that he had caught up with an old broadcasting acquaintance, 14 years in the BBC, who now has to reapply for her job –  fill out a form,  make a tape, in other words act as if the intervening years never  took place. 

  What a waste of time and how utterly cynical because whoever is in charge knows full well how many jobs must be cut.   Wouldn’t it be more honest to lengthen the time of notice, call in those whose names are on the “out” list, apologise, be straight and let them get on with rearranging their lives ?  You can’t make it “nice” so why try to ?

Several years ago, I watched the review of the year at New Year on the BBC News Channel (now also threatened with amalgamation and tosserdom) and was so impressed that I waited and took the name of the producer to whom I sent an email saying how much I had enjoyed it, cherry topped by the Aretha Franklin song at the end ? 

Not only did she reply  but she sent me the  uncut item, writing “I think you might enjoy this !”   So we are in touch once a year.  

Christmas 2022, after 18 years with the corporation, she told me she is going through the same nonsense and she won’t play.  She’s on her way, heaven knows to whom or what.

While the endless evocation of the BBC iPlayer leads me to assume that soon, that’s how BBC tv will run.    Last week, I saw a short item which gave a date after which you wouldn’t see local news unless you had updated your television.

And there is nobody to speak to about this.  Ours not to reason why …  Whoever the head honcho will make an appeal about economies and the television license, changing patterns and expectations of viewers, et cetera.  And I will thank heaven I read. There are things on the BBC that drive me mad, things that are wonderful and the latter gets harder and harder to find. “Well, if you want the news” said a woman on the bus “you watch Al Jazeera.”

Meanwhile afternoon independent television, in between endlessly touting insurance or funerals, has reached a new low with an ad showing (purportedly) menstrual blood on a marvellously absorbent sanitary towel and a mock Regency dressed group round a table bemoaning cramps, flow  and so on – who are offered as dessert a brand new pack of wonderful tampons as the answer to everything. Except possibly taste.   And an ad for a durably popular laxative now shows a simplified form of the interior organs with appropriately coloured material moving through. 


Out of the several reviews I have read for a new series of Unforgotten – a police procedural about  cold cases – which may not be your thing and I respect that – all namecheck the new female lead alongside the old one but not one mentions the different style of writing or making or a remarkably ungooey and realistic friendship.  And friendship is unbeatable.

 There are days  I never thought would come, when I do not turn the box on.   I understand the repeats but not on a loop.   I am far from alone in being borne down by endless bad news.  I can only handle it when I can handle it.  I am fascinated by the bad voices and heavy accents which do not lend themselves to communication, even if I can see the faces. It’s a box all right, but not the one they thought.     

One response to “box

  1. Larry Hansen

    Yes, Anna, and why do so many productions drown out delicate interesting dialogue with overly loud background music – and I notice it even when I have my hearing aids in??

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