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Tag Archives: Randomness

To License or Not To License…

I’ve been following the ‘debate’ on Twitter about the possible scraping of the BBC License Fee and making the BBC a subscription service. It’s been quite interesting weeding through the ignorant crap to find the intelligent comment. I have always felt that many people (myself included) don’t really know how far and where all the tendrils extend but I have also felt that like with any non-commercial cantered organisation, it is likely over staffed and mildly inefficient and archaic in its ways – and I think this is so with the BBC.

How people access their media entertainment has vastly changed, the style, genre and quality of media has dramatically changed – not all for the better. Statistics and research shows that the under 30’s are not sitting watching tv in general, or the BBC in particular, live as it airs but tending to pick and choose via the iPlayer on their smart tv’s and mobile devices. But they are still accessing BBC tv, however it is all the other branches of the organisation that are getting overlooked when people are questioned about it.

It stands to reason that people will only comment on the area of the corporation they access, that’s the only bit they know. So what of the BBC do I regularly access.

  • BBC tv, admittedly I don’t watch as much as I used to, but I do watch numerous dramas series whether it’s weekly ones like Holly City, serial dramas like Peaky Blinders, or one off dramas like the Christine Keeler story; several quiz shows fun ones like Richard Osman’s House Of Card and impossible ones like Only Connect; a lot of the tennis especially Wimbledon; and films. I watch things live as well as via the iPlayer.
  • BBC radio. I listen to The Archers each week, and often listen to panel games, comedies and dramas on BBC Sounds. I used to listen to BBC2 daily when I spent mornings at my desk but it’s a habit that has been broken. As a child it was the local BBC station we had on for news, weather, traffic, to hear if my school was closed on snow days, etc.
  • BBCNews. Generally I tend to avoid the news but I do tend to watch my local BBC programme most nights, and tend to catch the BBC headlines. I find the delivery (if not the content) less sensationalised. I will often peruse the website for info, but find the content dated compared to some news sites.

Making the BBC a commercially motivated business will have an impact on the quantity, quality and variety of out put. It was interesting to read via some tweets areas that didn’t immediately spring to mind, such as The Proms and national and local orchestra funding, children’s tv, the nature and history out put, local news and magazine interest reports both local tv and radio, the publications available, these kinds of areas that cannot stand alone as viable businesses but can collectively support each other.

What I didn’t realise until today was that about half of my license fee covers salaries and pensions – that is staggering.

What worries me is how any change would affect what’s freely available, how much content would be lost, how it will significantly narrow what is produced being lead by what cheap to make and easy to mass sell.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2020 in General, In The News

 

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Crushed Crushes

Scrolling through FaceBook I happened across a link to a podcast about Kirstin’s thoughts on teen crunches and her endeavour to re-purchase the vinyl of her youth. It was such an interesting story and I found her insights into the rites of passage of tweenie, teen, crushes on idols and how they have a place in shaping our future feelings. I heartily recommend the listen.

The podcast can be found at Records And “Celebrity Crush” Stories

I missed the whole posters on the wall crush thing of youth for a number of reasons. My exposure to pop music was incredibly limited by today’s standards. Although the radio was on in the kitchen every morning, it was the local BBC station and more to do with news, weather and traffic reports. The radio was not on in the car on any journey, whether into town or off to holiday at relatives hours away. I didn’t have a radio or Hi-Fi of my own, in my room until I was thirteen, and I was rarely in my room.

Top Of The Pops was on every Thursday for half an hour and sometimes artists would chat and perform on tv shows like Des O’Connor, Wogan, Val Doonican, etc. I didn’t get to browse record shops or devour every printed pixel of magazines. Living in a rural village, a few miles from anyone near my age (or school) so I didn’t have the interaction with others to discuss, swap, swoon and so forth over pop groups and singers.

Sometimes when visiting an Aunt and Uncle my cousin would have a few lp’s he was happy to pass on to me (I’m sure I still have some). These were treasured items, revered and prized, because he was so cool, so modern and with it, being so much older than me.

Listening to Kristin was interesting, hearing her describe this electrifying tingle of something towards a face they’d never likely get to see in person, let alone get to know properly. Yet somehow this crush seems to be a method of mentally experiencing a fresh emotion, a dry run of recognising and learning the beginnings of attraction when seeking a potential life mate. As we get older, the crush item of our tween years becomes ‘uncool’ or ‘child-like’, as we progress to edgier, cooler, icon. Discarding such follies as we go and grow before looking back nostalgically and reminiscing about those feelings.

What is also interesting, as I scroll about particular Facebook groups and pages, there are some 50+, 60+ year olds still behaving all squealy girly over an image of their teenage crush, as if they were both still in their mid-teens.

Music seems to be the only art form that sparks such reaction. Few have the same swoon like devotion to an artist, sculptor, actor, writer etc. Maybe because music is something that involves the whole of the brain and roots into our psyche in so many ways.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2020 in Life

 

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Death and his paperwork

Alright, so you’ve made your will, had the conversation about whether to be cremated, buried, frozen, shot into space or stuffed and mounted, you think you’re done, prepared, sorted – you are so very very wrong.

The bureaucracy following the death of BigSis highlighted how things have changed since the death of our parents. As things move more online, there are many changes and additional consequences to systems, procedures and ownerships. Back in the days of pen and paper, even slate and chalk, a bank would use common sense when trying to access or move funds and things could happen within a couple of days, nowadays accounts are frozen, details need to be verified, confirmed and copied for the deceased, as well as the recipient. Don’t expect it to happen in anything less than two to three weeks.

It’s time for me to get my affairs in order, make sure that access and answers are at hand. My brain is racing away, with detached sentimentality, desperate to go through cupboards, draws and boxes to get rid of all my accumulated bits and bobs, to get stuff sold via the relevant specialist, online sites or charity shops, there are even pangs of guilt about the items destined for the trash, those items that are unsellable, unrecyclable, just junk. But the body has neither the strength or mobility to do it.

The old noggin is even wondering whether it is possible to bequest my Amazon purchases, like you can physical purchases. If your partner is the named Amazon account, when they depart, so will the access to everything they have digitally bought/subscribe. Accessing their account is technically fraudulent, even if you know the details and have permission, after they’ve died. More and more our utility bills, credit cards and banking is done online, and unless details are written down and kept somewhere safe, your executor will have zero clue where to find your funds, the same with utility bills and income sources. So much was more straightforward when you had a statement or bill through the post to act as reference, with its account numbers and names all there.

Fortunately I don’t drive, again online access means that now once a driving license is cancelled, so is the road tax and ownership papers attached to that persons details, so if you share a car with your partner, that’ll be an urgent call to the DVLA needed.

As a super single there will be bills and the need for funds before probate and such is all sorted, so I am considering opening a separate account with another named party so access to urgent funds can be managed.

Maybe it is morbid but it is a necessary conversation. After all, your nearest and dearest deserve to have things run as smooth as possible, rather than add to the stress and distress.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2020 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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Bah Humbug and I’m okay with that

Christmas is not a spectator sport. It takes thought, planning, work, effort and getting actively involved to get stooped in the jolly spirit. Well this year it’s just not happening for me and I am perfectly okay about that.

For the past two or three years it has been harder and harder to get into the festive goings on. I witness the females around me getting ever more anxious and stressed as they try and pull together all their plans, find gifts, get them wrapped and delivered, there’s the festooning and bedecking of trees and rooms, the cards and letters, the grocery list and fretting over culinary creations. Increasingly as my physical health weakened I was unable to actively help and felt like I was adding to the to-do’ list.

TV and films portray this idyllic notion of gathering families, all smiles, full of good cheer, games are played, perfect nibbles appear, and everything is rosy and wonderful. The extended table laden with delicious delights, succulent roasts and colourful veg drizzled with shining gravy. This glamourised vision sets an impossible bench mark that many desperately try to reach or exceed.

It’s incredibly difficult to explain, because to many it seems unnatural to not get involved with the seasons traditions, but as I said, I’m okay with it. There are reports about visiting someone on their own, or those alone at Christmas, but I do not, in any way, feel like I am missing out.

On Boxing Day I will spend several hours with my very nearest and dearest, the kiddies will have loads to tell and show me and I will love hearing all about it, Neph & Niece will have delicious delights to nibble and I will enjoy the treats I never get to indulge in. And that will be more than enough.

Not everybody on their own is lonely, not everybody alone feels like they are missing out.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2019 in Life

 

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Typically British Debate

Whilst cogitating the meaning of life in bed this chilled morning as I awaited my modern day Florence Nightingale to arrive, a thought drifted across my mind, settled down and grew. The nightmare pitfalls of an English Cream Tea.

There are numerous areas that are likely, in some circles, to instigate some rather heated debates.

  • Which tea? Breakfast, Earl or Lady Grey, LapSang
  • Is it milk first or tea first
  • Is it a cream tea or afternoon tea (there is a difference, apparently)
  • Is it pronounced scone (sk-own rhymes with cone) or scone (sk-on rhymes with gone)
  • And the biggee, jam or cream first

Wars have started over less.

I think I’ll stick with my black coffee and sausage roll, that cannot court controversy …. hang on …… bugger.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2019 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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To-Done List

Ta-Da! I’ve only gone and, you know, made a list, checked it thrice and gone and ticked em orf when I’ve actually proper like finished the job! I know!! Who’d a thunk it.

It began on Sunday. This will make you chuckle if you know me well. Now I’ve the carers coming in four times a day it means Sunday is no different, so instead of getting up after noon of the clock, now it’s around 10am-10.30am. I ensconced myself at the desk to listen to the Archers Omnibus (because it’s middle Sunday so no Wimbledon) and began by sorting and organising the clutter strewn about, setting up a new folder filing system for care paperwork etc, getting head and desk jobs working together. I created some graphics for a Facebook Page, and set about making a to-do list of other bigger jobs.

Today was the day to tackle those. Slowly working through a transaction list of a years worth of income and expenses, producing a financial statement, generally cross checking and rechecking the Agents figures (a few inevitable anomalies). Then emailing the Agents to chivvy them up with things yet to be completed on the estate.

After that, I set about my own finances, reconciling the bank statement, checking the credit card statement, doing a bit of bean counting now I will have a carers invoice coming in (ouch!).

Add a spot of computer housework and backing up vital stuff.

Boom ….. stuff got not just done but done done.

Okay so maybe there are a couple of things I’m dragging my heels on, the crochet is behind schedule, I’ve yet to tackle the self-referral to another hospital unit who should be able to help with a power chair situation because I’ve lost all trust in my local “wheelchair services”. But if I didn’t leave something to do tomorrow what would I do 🤪

Must remember to charge the kindle, add that to the new list. Start grocery order, stock take freeze meals, get bedding changed, I’ll add those to the list. Bugger, thought I was nearly done there for a few brief moments.

As you were

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2019 in General, Grumble, Projects

 

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Thinking Mode

Things may be getting just a tinsy-wincy tad brighter, the clouded noggin is potentially clearing, the odd element of sarcasm returning, one is ‘almost‘ thinking of things to do and complete and blog about … 😱. I know! I’ve actually done some crochet and tapped away at the keys of the computer, I’ve ordered some new trousers and thunked a job or two. I even thought about starting to read a new book.

Still a ways to go, the disjointed bureaucracy to deal with and stuff.

Watch this space ….. more to come ….. ‘soon‘ …. maybe after Wimbledon

🤣

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2019 in Life

 

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You Could Have Told Me …..



It was going to be one of ‘those’ days!

—Not only did I put my undies on back to front but also inside out

—Error was not discovered until after I had put my trousers on and I had stood up (a struggle)

—While making scrambled eggs the egg shell fell to the floor, as I moved to kick it out the way (I cannot bend down to pick anything up) crushed it into my big toe resulting in shell pushed under toe nail and squishy gunk on the skin.

—Fancied toast but when I opened the cupboard I discovered an onion shooting towards the stars, plus ‘someone’ tidied the contents and I cannot feel where it is (or bend down to see where it is)

—Tried making toast under the grill.  Oh well, a bit of charcoal is good for the digestive system, right?

Did someone move the thirteenth to today?

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2018 in Grumble

 

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One’s At The BBC!

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“How would you like to be in the One Show studio on Friday with me” was how it started, I took my Sister’s excited high squeal as a yes, lol.  It began with one of those ‘well I’ll just try’ things, a modicum of hope invested but a healthy dollop of disappointment prepared. When the email arrived confirming attendance it was a mad frenzied series of phone calls and web searches to secure the one and only wheelchair seat on the four trains, and to reserve wheelchair accessible hotel room.  All was set for Fridat 30th September, what a way to end the month!

Arriving at BBC Broadcasting House with comfortable time to spare we sat with a drink and panini looking down into the news room, the news studio is underneath the media cafe. Before too long we were booked in, given our yellow wrist bands and grouped together ready to go across to the studio. The lovely audience greeters instructed us that we should have fun, keep watch on the floor manager, watch out for cables and moving cameras etc, and finally could we give a hearty laugh.  We must have passed the audition as we were lead across the piazza through the barriered area and into the studio.

Martin the floor manager introduced himself and shook my hand, placing me and my sister comfortably. He addressed us all, reminding us to be careful of cables, to watch for his signals, to laugh if there is something amusing, clap enthusiastically, and have fun. Seated not more than ten feet on the iconic green sofa were Alex Jones and guest presenter Shane Richie, familiarising themselves with a section of auto-cue. They both turned and greeted every one, I passed my congratulations onto Alex, as it has recently been announced she is expecting her first baby. My first impressions of the studio were how small it was, how calm it was (we were less than five minutes to air).  There are three cameras, the sound guy, props man Dave, the hair stylist and make up lady, as well as other assistants. The monitors showed that we were in the final minute to air when a voice announced “Ladies and Gentlemen Barry Gibb is in the studio” huge applause and cheers from the dozen or so fans there, he waved and as he turned towards the sofa the same voice announced “Ladies and Gentlemen Stephen Gibb is in the studio” more applause and cheers. I was directly opposite the door they came in through, his face was a picture of surprise and glee as he spotted me, pointed and came straight over to hug and kiss me as he was then escorted out to the performance area.

We were on air! In my direct eye line, over Shane’s shoulder was Barry, and to my right peripheral vision was the auto-cue with monitor beneath. Everything felt so calm considering how time conscious live broadcasting must be. Martin had his hand signals to an art, palms up as ‘get ready’, silent clapping to ‘clap enthusiastic’, palms down to signal stop and double thumbs-up as good job done. As the vt’s are run cameras and cables are moved, we are shown our marks for when we could move forward and when we returned to ‘first positions’.  We listened intently to those on the sofas.

It is an eclectic magazine programme, there was a segment about notable cars from the 1970’s being reclassified as ‘classic’ and included a section where Barry and impressionist Jon Culshaw trying to guess the first names of a family who had named their five children after classic cars. Another vt was about singing falsetto. Barry discussed his new album and recounted the tale of running around the house in search of a mini recorder as he had the hook to “You Win Again” in his head and if he went back to sleep he’d forget it.

Barry was to perform the title track from his latest album “In The Now” to close the programme, Stephen is a member of the band. As the last tv was run (about clam fishing is Scotland) we were ushered out the studio and around the piazza to the performance area.  Stephen shouted to me as we massed together, laughing together as we \m/ each other.  The closing piece was broadcast and the performance began, due to issues with sound it was lip synced from a recording taken earlier. Once we were off air Stephen came across to give me another hug and kiss, express his surprise and we exchanged a few words. I introduced him to my big Sister. He gave me his plectrum (in the header photo). Barry met each of us in turn, which was a nice gesture. Stephen had to start packing his kit (they would be going to Elstree Studios for Strictly Come Dancing) and the assistants were waving for us to leave, in order to hand back our wrist bands and have a group shot taken.

After having seen numerous online videos of the various band members, it was exciting to be just a couple of feet away from the familiar faces of Tim Cansfield, Dan Warner, Julio Hernandez, Beth Cohen, Leesa Richards, Charlotte MCKinnon, watching Lee Levin, Doug Emery and Richard Bravo along with Barry and Stephen.

Back at our hotel, I connected to the Internet to watch the programme, which is when we received messages and texts on our phone saying we had been seen! We watched the broadcast with exclamations of “Oh that’s me!” And “There are my feet” and “Doesn’t it look different on the telly” and “Look my feet are in the closing shot”.

Quite the experience. We got rained on getting back to the train station the next morning and our train was delayed because of an incident requiring police and medics at Ilford, we missed our connection, but got home safely, if a little chilled and shattered.

Sometimes investing hope can pay off, but boy it is a rarity.

 

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2016 in In The News, Life, people

 

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Seeking Sponsors (just a £1 will do)

MattEAAA

That remarkably handsome chap standing there is my nephew (proud Aunty being unashamedly biased) …. he is doing something rather remarkable (and possibly slightly crazy) …. he has signed up to take part in the “Only The Brave” event (think commando style assault course, but muddier and sort of fives miles long) …. it is happening in March (that is a British March, could be snow, could be a heat wave or both).

He has never tried anything like this before and has been diligently training to raise his stamina since Christmas in all weathers, sometimes after a full days work outside up on roofs, whether he felt like it or not, because he is committed to a promise he made. Besides which he knows how mildly mad some of the pilots and crews are, you have to be to do battle everyday to save lives and stay sane.

Could you sponsor him, please? A £1 makes all the difference, and I am sure that much is down the back of the sofa, or on the bedside table, or sitting in the well of your car – and it would be incredibly appreciated to show your support to him.

Thank you

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in Life, people, Projects

 

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