Thursday 17 July 2008

Should we make TV a bit more rubbish in the UK?

I found some super-dooper shops yesterday, with some properly tasteful items for gifting. Here's a sneak preview of someone's birthday present.

I think last night's supper had lots of MSG in it - something of a hazard here. As a result, I had lots of surreal dreams, including one about the roof leaking at Old Stores, just outside Oliver's bedroom...

The Fan fans started early this morning, there's a daily practice session on Southorn Playground, which is just outside the flat.
Southorn Playground was opened in the 20's by Lady Southorn, the wife of the then-Colonial Secretary. She wanted it to be forever protected as an open space where children could enjoy themselves in the sun. Sadly, part of it was lost when the Wan Chai MTR station was built. However, it is used a huge amount - I think the only time it's quiet is about 3-4am. And even then there are people walking across it! It's interesting after a huge rainstorm to see people arrive in the morning with huge squeegee-brooms to sweep the courts dry.

I dearly hope that the fan twirlers are in rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Olympics, but sadly I think I will have to admit that although they show admirable dedication to the cause, they're just not up to scratch. I think the youngest participant is about 103 years old. However, it is quite rousing to wake to the strident tones of Chinese classical music.

So, a propos this playground, it occurred to me that perhaps it's always busy because TV here is so lamentably poor. Well, of course I can't speak for the Chinese channels, but there is simply nothing on except BBC World, and once you've watched that for ten minutes, you need not switch it on again for at least 48 hours. I did watch one news update, which is how I know that the pesky Belgians are causing a serious threat to European harmony (the irony! what with the parliament being in Brussels and all) Sort it out, Isa! Anyway, I digress. The point is that people do not seem to spend much time at home here. I guess there are a number of reasons - the weather is a bit more bearable in the evening, there's nothing on TV, everyone lives in shoe boxes, restaurants are cheap and plentiful, and lots of shops are open till 10.30 in the evening.

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