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...