Category Archives: TV

Murder She Wrote

Way back in June my blogging friend Chris at bridgesburning wrote about Jessica Fletcher the writer/protagonist in the series “Murder She Wrote”.  Chris has apparently always wanted to be like Jessica and very kindly named me as being like the redoubtable Mrs Fletcher.  Note – all those years ago she was Mrs not Ms.

Jessica Fletcher aka Angela Lansbury

We have a TV channel here that shows repeats of old series and guess what, “Murder She Wrote” has recently turned up on it.  But it just isn’t the same as when I used to watch it with the children.  Guess it’s like going back to a great place where you once holidayed only to find it is not as you remember it.

There is of course a whole slew of new programmes (well new to us anyway) and of course, as we are going into the doldrums, silly season summer, the powers that make the decisions will decide to fill our screens and lives with more reruns.

So we will watch reruns of Waking the Dead and Spooks and reasonably new episodes of series from the US, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Castle, NCIS etc and hope that the sun shines and we can spend most evenings sitting outside without the TV.  But I must admit that some of those programmes are habit forming, and I have them recorded and set to record for future episodes so that I can always blob out on a wet afternoon catching up on the antics of the Criminal Minds BAU team.

Abby - NCIS

Abby in NCIS

I particularly love the quirky females in some of these programmes.

Penelope Garcia

Garcia in Criminal Minds

“A woman is like a tea bag:
you cannot tell how strong she is
until you put her in hot water. ”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Oxford, City of Learning and mistakes

I never make stupid mistakes.  Only very, very clever ones.  John Peel, British writer.

College in Oxford

I think this is Brasenose College but it was several years ago.

I read this post from Hallysan at Photographic Memories today and it brought back vivid memories of my last time in Oxford.

It was several years after my husband’s death.  I had been away the year before for some months and spent time with an elderly widow as her companion.

The second time I went back to be with her, the United Kingdom had introduced many new rules for companions and caring to fit in with the requirements of the European Union which they had just joined.  So we had to have some training.  The organization through which I worked was based in Oxford and insisted that we go to Oxford for 2 days for this training.  Very basic food handling, people handling etc.

On the phone from Oxford, the woman at the office told me that most people stayed at the Y.  My thoughts on this, although never having stayed at a Y, were not good so I decided to source accommodation elsewhere.

Bed and Breakfast

I thought I had found a treasure and so booked for a couple of nights.  But horrors, what I found when I arrived very late in the afternoon was a far cry from what had been depicted in the advertising.

It was really late in the day, and as it was mid-summer in Oxford (July) all the accommodation was taken.  So after trudging around the city, I decided that I would stay for the night and hopefully find somewhere better for the next night.

Obviously, I didn’t stay for breakfast.  One look at the dining room and through to the kitchen convinced me that this was not a place to eat.

The next day when I arrived at the office I told the people of my disappointment.  Apparently, it was well-known that the place I had chosen was a disaster and it had been the subject of many complaints and had even featured in a documentary about bad places to stay.

To add insult to injury, one of the other women had stayed at the Y and loudly sang its praises.  What do they say – Pride comes before a fall.  I should have listened to Mother.

If you are English (and as old as me) you may remember a series called Rising Damp.  This ran from 1974-1978 and was set in a terrible house with a ghastly landlord.  My guy was Reggie Perrin incarnate.

They did manage to find me another place for the second night which was more what I had expected and they insisted that I make a complaint about the standard of the first place.  When I said that I wouldn’t be staying and told the proprietor why he became very agitated saying nobody had ever complained before.  As I had already paid in advance for the two nights I had to forfeit the second night’s cost, but it was well worth it to get away from that place.

That was the first time that I booked anything via the internet on the other side of the world.  And I learned a lesson.

“Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”
So said The Queen in Alice in Wonderland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday at Lake Woebegon

“If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable – each segment distinct. ”
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
, American writer and journalist. 1939 –

Wednesday is the day I spend time with my eldest grandson.  This time is very special to me, as I have said before.

Children at piano

James 18 months old playing piano

James is now 16 and no longer plays the piano.  But he has ‘dabbled’  and had lessons in clarinet, guitar and saxophone.  The dabbling came to nothing.  He now plays his iPod.

After spending time with James and having dinner we settle down as a family to watch a series of TV programs, most of which I would never have watched on my own.  We start with Two and a Half Men.  This is becoming dreary now that we know that  Charlie Sheen has been shown up for the ass he really is and know how he will be written out of the series.  Wonder what the future of the series is.

Then The Big Bang Theory.   My question each week is where did they find these goofy people to act in this sitcom.  The fashion police aka James always has comments to make on their clothes.

William Shatner stars in another sitcom – $#*! My Dad Says.  I understand this originated as a blog, so perhaps there is room for a sitcom from your blog!

Then Cougar Town and Drop Dead Diva.  I usually leave before the final one starts as I have an hour’s drive home (and it is currently winter).

But there is another reason I leave.  At 9pm on a Wednesday Night on Radio New Zealand (our public radio), we have Garrison Keillor and a Prairie Home Companion.  This show certainly keeps me entertained on the drive home.

We are told “the show originates from the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota, although it is frequently taken on the road. A Prairie Home Companion is known for its musical guests, especially folk and traditional musicians, tongue-in-cheek radio drama, and Keillor’s storytelling segment, “News from Lake Wobegon”.

I wonder how the people of Minnesota (Minnesotians?) react to his very dry humour and constant picking on them and their habits.

One of my favourite parts is Guy Noir, Private Eye.  A down-on-his-luck detective, who ends up taking odd jobs to get by, such as finding missing poodles.  And often comments on current events weaving them into his story.

With this fabulous cast of characters, the drive home passes with laughter, lively music and enjoyment.

And quite recently when I took James to have some stitches removed following an operation, the surgeon and I spent a happy 15 or so minutes discussing Keillor and Lake Woebegon.  I don’t remember how we got onto the subject but interesting to see that we both shared the same sense of humour.  His parting words to James were “Look after your Granma. She’s rare”.  Was it my sense of humour, the love he could see I share with James or something quite different?

I am often amazed at the things that bring people together.  I know they are far more powerful than those things that pull them apart.  Laughter is, of course, one of the most powerful things that bring us together.


In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.  ~
Albert Schweitzer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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