Tag Archives: tv

what is all this about bake off

15 Sep

london 7.19am 19.4C sunny thursday 2016

i wonder if i am the only one not interested in the bake off show. there is a lot of angst now about it being bought by channel 4, and the bbc losing it to that channel.

here is a article about the C4 boss saying why she bought it, to prevent the show , produced by love productions which is 70% owned by sky, from going off terrestial tv.

C4 is owned by the british govt but funded by advertising. so u might be asking what is this govt owned channel bidding against itself as it were, pushing up the price fighting against another arm of govt, the bbc… it is not meant to operate this way. unless it really is… that any show that gets too expensive for the bbc, can go to c4, where it can be self funded via adverts. after all, it was only when talks broke down over money with the bbc that c4 offered to buy it. 

so the bbc is like a nursery , nuture and cultivate talent and once the show gets too big and successful, hive it off to C4. it might be a good strategy actually. though as far as i am concerned, i dont care haha. i am not going to watch it at its new home. people making a competition out of bread and cake making will never swing my boat.

and what with 800mg bread being sold at 15p nowadays (like yesterday , so many warburtons loaves sold at reduced price)what is the point of making it yourself? i know, i  know… you can say but nothing tastes so good as bread you made yourself. not if i make it it is not. haha. i dont seem to have that knack of making it full of air so that it is light and airy. and bread i make gets mouldy real quick. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

another tv adaptation of durrell’s my family and other animals

3 Apr

london 2.47pm 17.5C cloudy sunday 2016

there has been a few articles about today’s new 6part itv adaptation of durrell’s my family and other animals. i love the book and none of the film adaptations come close to conveying the magic of his descriptions.

this new adaptation concentrates on the family and embellishes it a bit. might be good to see, as it does not pretend to follow the book. 

in fact, i felt i want to read the book again, and found this ebook for it. i know it wont be the same reading it now, when i am an old man. this book should be read when u are 10yrs old. 

added. 9.11pm 13.9C rain. I saw the first episode. its quite interesting. shows the family a lot more than the animals. maybe because it is quite difficult to work with animals. and the dialogue with the family members is quite acidic, and unlike the book where they might quarrel and be bickering but it is quite witty…unlike the dialogue in this episode.

it is more realistic, i suppose, showing the mother addicted to gin, and letting her have more of a say… voicing her  frustration at her children, etc unlike in the book, where the mother hardly says anything, or rather, gerry never gives her any conversation. i am not sure it rings true, that the mother is frustrated at her brood. from the book, i get the impression she is perfectly easy with letting them do what they fancy without much nagging. but here the dialogue did bring in a bit of a nag from her. i had the impression from the book that she is really used to the different eccentricities of each of her children, and indulges them and not get too agitated by them. maybe it is not true, because i heard some of the things he wrote in the books are fictional. but i must say i prefer his version. haha, whether fictional or not, because it is quite funny in places. i remember giggling away by myself while reading the book and trying to suppress it because i was getting looks from the other members of my family wondering what was going on with that book. 

i think if you take this as a soap opera, of an expat family in corfu in the 1930s, showing what it was like to live there and the characters they meet along the way, and the bickering amongst themselves, it will be enjoyable.  it might spark off another tourist invasion of corfu this summer. haha. but certainly nice to see all that sunshine and flowers.

 

life in the extreme

14 Mar

london 11am 7.8C sunny monday 2016

i am looking at the tv guide for today and see one called life in the extreme, presented by davina mccall, who used to present big brother. she puts herself in supposedly extreme situations, but what she did is nothing like extreme.

you want extreme,  u should see this program i saw yesterday.  it reminded me of one  that really makes my skin crawl, when i see it. it is steve backstall’s, two programs called extreme mountain challenge,about climbing a venezuelan tepui. it was on yesterday and i can say categorically i dont want to climb any mountain nor go crawling in caves ever… haha. though i have to also acknowledge that what he did is extreme so is not typical of a climbing or caving expedition.

 when i was a school kid, one of our science teachers took us to batu caves where we had a lovely time caving, it was safe and i never felt claustrophobic, and i enjoyed it, though that experience did not give me a liking to do it again. haha. so it can be fun, but it still wont persuade me to do it. haha.

well, now that i am retired i do ask myself what to do. and i can see on tv lots of people doing all kinds of things, none of which i like. and i read the news of others doing more things, like spending their retirement on board a ship, (it seems they can stand it for an average of  about 6yrs, or they get carried off in a coffin) permanently sailing and living off it. not for me either.

makes me realise i like what i am doing now. but i admit the tv programs like steve backstall does give me the vicarious thrills without the hardship. he showed himself crawling over sharp rocks under low roofs that can collapse on them if they touch it, we see only a minute, maybe even less  of shootage time on tv, but he mention they were at it for hours… and even so it was very painful to watch. for me anyway. the final part when they abseiled down the cliff next to the angel falls, was lovely, and i bet they enjoyed that much more for doing nothing than let themselves do a controlled falling. 

our tv signal is back 100%

2 Mar

london 8.31pm 7C rain. wednesday 2016

we had the problem with our tv aeriel sorted out now.

it might well have been corrected long ago, but we were not told, and it was only tonight when i thought of checking the signal and found that it is 100%  that i realise it has been sorted out.

so i retuned the tv and we have now all the channels, the HD ones included and we are all go now.

can’t say i missed it, we last tuned on 10 feb, according to the history. the picture was still quite good without the HD, though now that i am seeing it in HD, i can see the difference. before, the subtitles was slightly blurred, which i attributed to my eyesight …. but now i can see it is very clear so it is not my eyesight after all. haha. that is rather nice to know. there is this news about the bbc iplayer . they are going to make people pay to view it, whereas now anyone can see it free , that is, they dont have to prove they are paying the license fee. how are they going to police it i wonder? long ago we went on holiday to torrevieja, alicante, to stay with a british friend who have bought a flat and lived there. he can see bbc, without paying. i wonder if it is still possible to see the bbc tv if u live in europe for free. 

after writing that i suddenly remembered that they have not sent me a annual tv license. so i went to look at the last time they sent me one, and saw this.

‘your new tv license’, it said, ‘as you may know, the tv licence fee is fixed at £145.50 a year until 2016. that means your direct debit payment plan wont change until then. it would be wasteful to send you a new licence and the same payment plan every year. so instead the tv licence and payment plan below will cover you until 2016’.

well, i did not read that when it came in 2012, haha. or if i did,i have forgotten about it.  ah well, it is now 2016, and that license was dated 6 feb.  so i wonder what is happening now. so far i got nothing in the post about this year’s license fee.

having wrote that i thought i better check my bank statement and i did, and  i saw they have taken the money from my account on 1.3.16 . rather naughty of them not to write to let me know. it is just as well that i got a £250 credit on my currant account, so i can get into the red up to that amount before they charge me a penalty fee.

i re read the licence fee letter and there it says the direct debit is on 1st march every year. so i guess they will say we did write it there. they are trying to save money on postage i think.

i always thought that the law says  u must warn households of a direct debit payment to give fair notice, but it seems that law must have been changed so that u dont need to do it anymore. i am sure other people might get a bit of a shock when the bank start charging them a penalty fee for going into the red on their currant account. added. it is quite possible that the 4 yr fixed rate applies to 2016. so this year may be the last year when that fixed rate applies. they will have to negotiate a new rate for 2017. will it get abolished and the bbc accept advertising? 

 

bbc3 is off the tv from today

16 Feb

london 8.26am 2.6C sunny tuesday 2016

it is official then, though when i read this article in the guardian,i took another look at my tv guide for this week, and noticed they have removed the bbc3 timetable from it. starting from saturday… so they have kind of jumped the gun as it were. haha.

i dont think i will miss not having bbc3 on tv.( added. i re read this later, and find it is the most convoluted sentence i have written. in plain english, i wont miss it). i dont go into it much. well, it is supposed to be targetted at the young, so that might explain why i dont go in there. in fact, it just shows how little i go into it, i did not notice the bbc3 timetable had gone from my tvguide till now. 

i see bbc4 quite a lot actually, so maybe that is why bbc4 is still on tv. yesterday i saw a new series , its a really good one ‘renaissance unchained’, on bbc4.

the papers do not tell you how u can access bbc3 , so i am glad my tvguide has a section to tell me how. i only read it just now, having missed seeing it. it says one program that i watch occasionally , cuckoo, the new series is on tonight. (and it seems we can see it online from this morning.)

the thought has occurred to me how are we to find out what is being shown if it is not featured in our tvguide anymore? my guide says it will do so in their on demand section, but it is only half a page and it will feature other channels as well. i have a feeling bbc3 will end up in a backwater.

 

 

 

what will it take to tempt me?

21 Jan

london 5.56pm 7.9C thursday 2016

looking at a property tv program, a couple wanting to buy in orlando, and near a golf course. such large houses and quite cheap too relatively speaking , compared to what we can get in london.

people are so varied. i would find it boring to have a golf course next to my house. but it seems golfers are mad and will pay lots of money to join a golf club and pay again for every time they play. so that annual membership of thousands of dollars only gives u entry into that club. what is it about golf that can make someone so addicted to it? what is it about life sometimes, that seem to attract huge amounts of money and have a long waiting list of people wanting to join. and then there are other things which are quite worthy but no waiting list and no one wanting to pay a lot . 

it is the same when i see a restaurant full to the gills with diners, and even a long waiting line outside , and another next door with no one.

i see a advert from malaysian berhad, the former Malaysian airlines, with £499 rtn to kuala lumpur from london this morning . all in price. valid for travel from now till dec 2016. quite a good price. last time they offered £450 rtn but only for travel between oct and 9th dec last year. this one extends for the whole of 2016. and the ringgit -£ exchange rate is still very favourable for the £. =RM6.17, drop from Rm6.50. i keep seeing these bargain fares to malaysia and they dont tempt me. and yet my friend who wants to go there he tells me he cannot find such bargains. he wanted to go for the chinese new year , which is 8feb this year. but he has allready bought his ticket.

if he had waited, he could have got this offer, but he cannot be certain they will give this offer so in the end he had to buy the ticket at higher price.  its a fact of life that when it is something u really want to do, u dont get any cheap offers , but when u are not interested u see people offering u incentives to go by dropping their prices. that is life, isn’t it? it pays to not mind if u go or not, so that when the price drops enough u can take it up.

chinese new year is early this year. it would be cold if you are in hongkong or north china. though malaysia and singapore wont notice any temperature difference. and i guess no one follows it for planting crops nowadays. i wonder how your  wheat seedlings will survive if u are in northern country say if u are a farmer near beijing; it will be frost bitten and all your crops will die, if u have followed tradition and planted when this new year day comes. 

 

 

just chatting

19 Jan

london 3.8C 9.59pm tuesday 2016

so here i am sitting in my living room , didnt feel the need to have the heating on, quite comfortable, because i am dressed warmly. my indoor thermometer reads 15C. it’s forecast to be -2C later on, in the early hours of the morning.

but i have noticed these forecasts do not apply to central london where i am. last night was supposed to go as low as -2C , but it was only 0C in actuality. so i suspect it will be the same for tonight. i think the suburbs might be colder. i see someone using a drone to show the view high above to show the sprinkling of snow in crystal palace. but no snow where i am.

i am seeing a tv program about bargain brits in the sun; living in benidorm, in spain. quite a sad program in a way, showing a elderly couple from bournemouth who winters there. and walking a mile and half to get to an exchange currency bureau that will give them 1.32 euros or so for their £s.

i think they must have got the reasoning for being there wrong. the logic is not correct. why not stay on in uk? after all, the only thing going for benidorm is the weather, and allready i hear him say it is getting too  hot and he is glad to be going back to uk… at the end of his sojourn there.

they are staying at a caravan park, and i was thinking their place in uk is allready paid for , they are still paying rent on it whilst they are in spain, and here in spain they are bearing the burden of paying rent for the caravan. maybe the caravan  is cheap but still, it is money that is avoidable, if they just stay in bournemouth. i personally dont think the hot weather is enough compensation for the increased costs. in the past, when the euro was weaker, it makes sense for people to winter in benidorm, the monthly rental for a hotel room can be cheaper than the heating bills back home, even when u include the flights as they were so cheap then. not any more now.

now, if u tell me, that  they dont have to pay rent in uk whilst they are in spain, then it makes sense to go to benidorm and winter there. but that is not the case. they only save on the heating costs. it certainly cannot be as much as the air fare, the caravan rental , transport in spain.. (in bournemouth they will be able to travel on the buses for free on their freedom pass).

added. perhaps it is the change of scene, that may be the one big benefit they get , like migrating birds flying south for the winter. and seeing how cheap they can stay in spain is part of the fun of going there. i can relate to that actually. haha.

then there are the other expats featured… all trying to make a living whilst not knowing the lingo, so they try to set up a bar, thinking they like to drink, so running a bar must be a doddle… to find that they have to stop building work because it is august and it is not allowed … and then to find the council wants them to get a architect to draw up plans for the renovation… so that is another delay.

there was another chap, saying he had to find work,as he got a wife and his daughter with  him; because they cannot claim benefits or anything… when in uk they willbe able to get benefits, and housing, and god knows what else all on the dole. to exchange it all for a bit of sun??? its silly really.

somehow i dont think that is my idea of enjoying life … the hot weather is just not enough to compensate for all these petty troubles. 

( a lot of the eastern europeans know that if they work in low paying jobs in uk, they become eligible for work tax credits, and it could double their salary at a stroke). that was meant to help the low paid uk citizen, but of course the eu wont allow discrimination against eu citizens either, so they get the benefit too. so that means that tax credit is now in danger of being abolished or reduced. another reason why the poor uk citizen is paying for the huge influx of people coming into uk from the eu. if i were poor in uk,and need the benefits to help with income, i would vote to get out of the EU.

then there is the tv program about tricks in the restaurant trade. how they reuse left overs from yesterday and create a dish and call it the daily special. haha. there is nothing wrong with that of course, i do it all the time at home, but it costs nothing extra when i do it at home, so i benefit. when i go out to pay good money to eat in a restaurant, i dont want to have that done to me… haha. and they were showing how the restaurants buy ready made foods and selling it at a mark up. desserts especially.

they showed the presenter who is a chef hand- make a cake, and in the time he made one, the men using machines were able to make 18. i dont blame the restaurants for these short cuts, but i dont want it done to me when i eat out, so that is why i dont eat out much nowadays.

i guess u should pick what u eat, sushi, would be hard to buy in , though the supermarkets do them and sell them cheap at the end of the day… and they taste quite good still. and if u want sashimi, it is easy to just buy fresh tuna, or salmon, and cut it up and eat it at home with some wasabi and soya sauce. (they say u need years of training to be a sushi or sashimi chef, but i cut up the salmon anyway i like, and it tastes just as good. haha)its delicious and taste the same as in any fancy japanese restaurant…

or how about u go to a malaysian restaurant where they stir fry… a char kuey teow dish have to be freshly prepared … but then it is quite easy to do it myself.

ah well, i suppose go to a restaurant to feel the experience of being served and have the ego boosted by respectful waiters… and not have to do the washing up. haha.

sigh, looking at all these things, it makes me feel very world weary and jaded doesn’t it?, like saying , done it all, and bought the t shirt, so what’s new? and not want to repeat it .