Cold Feet

cold-feet-reunionOne of the first casualties of parenthood for me has been the ability to commit – really commit – to watching an entire TV series.

I start off with the best intentions, but after episode 2 or 3, my ‘live’ viewing pretty soon switches to ‘catch up’ and not long after that to the deleted bin as I realise that other time pressures have left me with too much to catch up on and not enough time to catch up in.

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The Independent

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One of the things I missed most whilst living in Australia was being able to read British newspapers on a daily basis.

Sure they have some good newspapers in Australia, but for me, nothing quite matches the extraordinary diversity, vibrancy and sheer inventiveness of the British press.

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Cleo

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Despite the fact I have been back in the UK for nearly 4 years now, I still keep in regular touch with all manner of news from down under: general news, sporting news, celebrity news, popular culture news….

But every so often a piece of Aussie news finds its way onto my radar which strikes a particular chord and reminds me vividly of some aspect of the time I spent there.

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Stamp collecting

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During the long school holidays of my youth, long before the days of gaming, cable TV and tablets, time could drag a little, especially if it was raining. Which was often.

Parents in those days tended not to drop everything to ensure every moment was scheduled for their little darlings, instead resorting to the mantra of the day “you need to make your own entertainment”.

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Doctor Who?

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When I was growing up, most of the Kids’ TV shows I was allowed to watch were pretty harmless – Blue Peter, Magpie, John Craven’s Newsround, Crackerjack – not much there to set the pulse racing, to be fair.

But there was one notable exception that stood out like a scary colossus in the generally bland landscape of British kids’ TV shows. And that show was Doctor Who.

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Creepy Crawlies

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Yet another mindless TV reality show reached its predictable conclusion last week, with this particular variant having strong Anglo/Australian connections.

I refer of course to “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here!” – filmed in the jungles of Australia, and watched in the lounge rooms of the UK.

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Brands I’ve missed: #10 The Archers

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The Archers is a British institution. To the uninitiated, it is now the world’s longest running soap opera, having racked up over 16,000 episodes on BBC Radio 4.

Billed as ‘an everyday story of country folk’, The Archers has been entertaining UK radio listeners since 1951 – I know of many people who swear by it and have done so for many years. In fact, over 5 million Brits count themselves as regular listeners.

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Brands I’ve missed: #7 Test Match Special

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During the long summer holidays of my youth, I could quite happily while away whole days watching test match cricket.

I would be eagerly sat in front of the TV as the clock reached 11.25am (late starts in those days), waiting for the familiar calypso music to begin, heralding in all probablility a view of the covers sitting defiantly over the pitch as groundsmen in sou’westers looked on somewhat forelornly.

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Brands I’ve missed: #4 Match of the Day

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Da da da daa da-da da da-da (…is that enough da’s?)

Numerous Saturday nights during my childhood were spent staying up late (past 10 o’clock, I’ll have you know) to watch Match of the Day.

All these years later, I’m pleased to see that despite the new footage/retro footage mash-up during the opening credits, the oh-so familiar music remains untainted.

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Brands I’ve missed: #2 The Guardian

The Guardian

I should start by stating that my affection for the Guardian has nothing to do with any lefty leanings on my part. Rather it is that I find the wide variety of content and the sheer quality of (most of) the writing that keeps me stimulated for hours.

I’m hoping it is possible to maintain this view without being tagged a “Guardian reader”, which is seldom used in a complimentary way.