TV has to be one of those best and worst inventions of the 20th century. It really does. It has brought us information that we may not have otherwise been able to access and it has wasted more hours than can be fathomed. It opens up news and information to those who can’t read, brings us together in times of tragedies, both here and around the world (Beaconsfield Mine, Threadbo disaster, Christchurch Earthquake and the Pike River mine disaster, the Haitian Earthquake, the Twin Towers and so many more besides) but it has also brought us news of wonderful events. TV in Australia was brought online in time for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, we then got to watch the first footsteps on the moon, the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana, then of Prince William to Kate Middleton, Nelson Mandela being released from prison, the reuniting of East and West Germany and the Wall coming down, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and Australia winning the America’s Cup.
But TV has wasted more hours of time than can be believed or understood. Think about it, how much of what you watch is something that you could not have lived after if you had not seen it? Would the world end if you missed seeing that episode of Sex and the City? Or Neighbours? Or even the News? How much of the news these days is just doom and gloom?
I’m not saying these shows are necessarily bad, or that they shouldn’t be watched but I do question myself and the tv I watch. And that includes films etc. My current addiction is to watch the British TV series Hustle. There is nothing educational in it but it’s a great switch off from the real world. Both Martin and I have had a great time watching The Gourmet Farmer which is the story of Matthew Evans, a prominent (and as he says, Sydney’s most feared) food critic and his move to country Tasmania and trying to live a life of self-sufficiency, raising his own meat and vegetables. I’ve been known to laugh, cry and expostulate at the screen many times. His interest in gourmet food cookery doesn’t always appeal but there are so many things I would love to do too. If nothing else, he’s pretty funny at times.
We’re also fans of Escape to the Country, another British program that takes couples through 4 houses to help them find a home they would like to purchase in order to move from suburbia to country living. I can take or leave the program, but it is the same journey in some ways as we are making which can make it interesting viewing.
Another favourite can sometimes be Grand Designs, although most of the time I end up shaking my head in disgust at the extravagance and sheer wastefulness of the housing designs. The only episode I have watched where I sat there silent and glued to the screen was the Brittany house, built by an owner builder couple Darren and Adie in Brittany, France which is based on Earthship design. You can watch it here with Part 1 and Part 2.
Another show we watch on occasion is Super Nanny. I don’t always approve of how she does things but there have been some great ideas I’ve picked up from watching the show. It’s one of those, if it’s on we might watch it shows, although we rarely actively seek to watch it. Same goes for Embarrassing Bodies. Yes, we watch some eclectic programs. 🙂
I used to be a huge fan of One Born Every Minute, yet another British series of a Southampton hospital documenting the journeys of mothers birthing their children. However, as a homebirthing mumma (Orik was a planned home birth baby) I found much of the medical approach to birth would have me hurling disbelief and commentary at the TV Loudly. NOT conducive to keeping aforementioned homebirthed baby asleep.
Gardening Australia is another program we enjoy, although we usually watch it on iView these days. Gotta love TV programs available on the internet. Sure beats the days of programming the video recorder hey.
Most of the time now though I read blogs. I was always a books over tv person as a kid, although I definitely had programs I loved to watch. I’ve a great list of blogs, many along the same principles I hope to follow once we move or already follow as well as others outside the box somewhat. I’ve listed some of them to the left of the screen.
When we move we don’t plan to attach an aerial or connect the TV to fee to air or cable and we will see how we go with streaming what we do want to watch. We can always add it later but somehow, I think we will move away from the TV and not go back.
Well, time for me to get off the other time-vacuum of my computer and get out and do some gardening. Time to re-pot some broccoli seedlings I reckon. 🙂