30 November 2015

Raining

It rained all day yesterday and it's raining today. There's a thick blanket of cloud blotting out the sun and there are puddles everywhere. Because we live on a hill, there's a veritable river of rain water draining down the road towards Endcliffe Park. On days like this, it really is "grim up north". I am trapped indoors. No walking. No garden work. Will it ever end? It's half past three in the afternoon but it feels as if night-time has already arrived.

The weather forecast for the week promises that sunshine will reappear on Friday so all being well that will be  a day for rambling, getting the blood pumping and communing with the great outdoors. However, I wouldn't put money on blue skies bursting forth as those mischievous meteorologists have a habit of altering their forecasts as they go along. They are like wanton gods - just  toying with us.

For a little while, I have meant to write about "Gogglebox" - a Channel 4 programme that often has me in stitches. This programme focuses upon selected TV viewers and their reactions to a range of programmes. We see the same people each week - sitting in their living rooms, glued to the box - but never passive. They react to what they see - pass judgements, laugh, cry or spurn. It was ever thus but it took the clever producers of "Gogglebox" to turn the camera around to see what happens on the other side of the screen.

I notice the active engagement of these random viewers,  their compassion, their willingness to be entertained and their highly tuned ability to detect falseness. They are sentient beings, not empty vessels into which TV companies pour their programming. They represent us all.

"Gogglebox" fans have their own favourites. Shirley and I love retired couple June and Leon in Liverpool though we sincerely hope we are not turning into them! And I am very fond of twenty five year old Scarlett Moffat in County Durham who sits watching with her parents but seems as if she is the real parent figure in their house. She comes out with some hilarious remarks that reveal her zest for life and her sharp wit. I also like The Reverend Kate Bottley who for a time was the R.E, teacher in my old school. Like other stars of "Gogglebox" she is finding new paths opening up for her and I have for example seen her being interviewed by the BBC News on religious matters.

Although "Gogglebox" is certainly an acquired taste, here's a sample - not I must stress one of the funnier sequences...

16 comments:

  1. I've heard about this programme and think there is a similar one (or was planned?) on Germany telly, but have never watched it myself.
    The sample I've watched less than half way through, couldn't bear it any longer. It shows how empathic the average human being is - we cry when someone else cries, we are distressed hearing other people scream in shock, but we also laugh along when others laugh, and can be as easily infected by a cheerful mood as by sombreness or fear.

    A light drizzle every now and then today was all the rain we've had. I hope the weather forecast for Yorkshire is right and you'll be able to go out on Friday - or even before that.

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    1. I am sure you are right that reactions to things are often fuelled by social energy.

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  2. We have "Gogglebox" here, too...it finished up for the "season" last week or the week before, I think. I've never watched it...the cringe-worthy trailers are more than enough for me!!! I did try...and I repeat "try" to watch the show one night...I think I lasted about 5 minutes, at most. Nope...it's not my cup of TV.

    I'll take some of that rain, though. We've been experiencing very hot and humid weather here these past few days, which is very draining.

    Some places have been hit by damaging storms bringing with them very strong winds and large hail. Touch wood...those devastating storms have gone around us here where I live. We've not gotten much rain from what has passed by. I wouldn't mind a couple of rainy days and nights, if only to cool everything down.

    Our poor farmers out in the western areas of the state need rain badly, and some areas in South Australia are experiencing terrifying bushfires, as have areas in southern Western Australia. There's always something going on, causing heartache and loss. How lovely it would be to strike a happy medium. :)

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    1. I would like to see you on "Gogglebox" Lee! I suspect they'd need to use one of those bleep machines quite frequently! As for rain, I have arranged to send over a couple of mammoth tankers filled with some of our spare Sheffield rain. Enjoy!

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  3. I adore miss moffett and the Sidiki brothers, wspecially umar who has a delightfully sharp talent for one liners.
    My father in law lives in sandwich and knows the supposidly posh drunk couple. Apparantly the hubby has been banned from several of he town's public houses

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    1. I am a little surprised John. I thought that your favourite would be the hairdresser - Chris!

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    2. Nope hes just a big queen

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  4. At this time of year it doesn't have to be raining to be dismal. It's just dull.

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    1. Surely it is never dull in Canada Red!!!!

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  5. It's not raining here.

    You're right, "Gogglebox" is an acquired taste, one not likely to be acquired by me.

    Ms Soup

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    1. I bet if you were one of the viewers that the programme focussed upon, the level of entertainment would be turned up a few notches Alphie!

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  6. We have more wind than rain, fortunately, but it's not great weather here either.

    We LOVE Gogglebox. I like Scarlett a lot -- she's much smarter than one would initially believe -- and I love the posh couple in Sandwich who are always drinking martinis. They kill me.

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    1. Dave and I keep saying they need an American couple, so the English viewers can laugh at Americans being completely flummoxed by various cultural references. Don't you think? Should we volunteer?

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    2. Yes why not Steve? We only live once... Oh and I didn't know that Dave was also a Yankee Doodle Dandy. I thought he was an English chap. You live and learn.

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  7. I can believe the rain. We've had the wettest summer and, I'm sure, autumn on record and I cannot remember when we last had a complete day without rain at some time. But you are a Gogglebox fan?I Really? I was 'persuaded' at gunpoint to watch an episode. I was assured that I wouldn't be able to stop laughing until my ribs cracked. Never, ever again! And I mean never! Possibly the most mindless of the reality programmes that I have seen. But then the last Big Brother I saw (does it still exist?) was the very first one decades ago and then, of course, the programme recorded on Taransay just down the road in Harris.

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    1. As I said Graham - "Gogglebox" is an acquired taste but I find it reassuringly human and often very funny. There are some reality shows that I would never sink so low as to watch such as "I'm a Celebrity" and "Big Brother" but I think that there is a lot of emotional intelligence in the construction of episodes of "Gogglebox" and I am happy to say that I have grown to like it.

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