There was a bit of a first yesterday – an entire day at home without watching any television. You’d have thought the easy entertainment of TV would be the go-to, particularly when you’re semi-retired in lockdown.
Under my old routine I used to watch some breakfast TV most mornings, then Politics Live at lunchtime and most evenings, just out of habit, we’d often end watching some kind of drama – usually crime-related – to fall asleep to for an hour or so before bed.
Now the news is so unremittingly grim I just can’t bear to watch it most of the time. In the UK we’ve made such a mess of much of the pandemic but I get no pleasure out of seeing the likes of Piers Morgan bully some junior minister into a ‘gotcha’ moment. I can’t even bring myself to watch Question Time or the Andrew Marr Show.
Admittedly there are some good things left on TV – we’re working our way through the excellent Normal People and even better Harry’s Heroes right now – but watching them when we want via catch-up. Used to view a bit of reality TV but one of the better ones left Britain’s Got Talent is starting to prove just the opposite. There’s also no live sport which is leaving a big hole in my life.
So instead I’m taking joy in more simple pleasures. The warm Spring weather and long evenings is certainly helping with this. Last night after Mrs Jones came home from work we went out for a drive – with no destination as after all there is nowhere to go! – just to get out into the local villages. Only problem was everybody else seemed to want to get faster, must be me getting old.
After dinner we made use of all the entertainment options in the garden including a high energy game of table tennis, a competitive hour – it’s just so hard getting the doubles! – of darts on the newly erected board on the garden shed followed by a relaxing soak in our hot-tub.
After all that I was too exhausted to delve into the recently started 1,000 piece jigsaw of Van Gogh’s Starry Night which we began over the weekend. There’s also a puzzle book out and a move a day game of chess on the go. It feels like we’re in the midst of a never ending decathlon.
The days of ‘What’s on tonight?’ are truly over as are, I believe, the years of reality TV. Nowadays it’s all about sourcing your own curated content through catch up or via Netflix and Amazon Prime.
With so much visual content available and so much else to do maybe TV will play a much smaller role in many people’s lives and when it does you watch just the very best of what’s out there.