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Published: September 19th 2018
British television deserves some “ink.” Yes, we get wonderful British programs in America, but believe me, there is some puerile stuff on the airwaves here, just as at home.
One frustration is that many channels seem to carry a mix of shows, as opposed to having a “brand” (sit-coms, sports, news, food, etc.) So, a channel showing the news or a (stale American) movie can then proceed to host an hour of teleshopping, followed by a cooking/quiz/real estate show, then Brooklyn 99 (or King of Queens). Also, the same series (but not the same episode) can be airing on several different channels simultaneously.
Add to all this the fact that one can’t see a menu or guide for more than an hour or two ahead, AND that often a show starts when the commericials are done (such as at 8, 22, or 37 minutes past the hour), finding something to watch in the evening is a crap shoot.
Particularly striking are the inordinate number of paranormal programs sprinkled through the schedule. So - if I’m not quick enough with the remote - I can go straight from the weather forecast into ”Britain’s Haunted Plumbing,” or “Aliens in My
Garden.“ I try diligently to avoid such fare, because it usually simmers in my subconscious then re-emerges as a shrieking nightmare.
I thought I was pretty safe last night watching a BBC history show, entitled “A Very British Murder,” ostensibly about the creation and use of detectives in both English society and literature. It was a “posh production,” narrated by known actors like Simon Callow, so I was OK even with the requisite Jeckyl/Hyde and Jack the Ripper coverage. After the show ended, I read a few New Yorker
articles, then went to bed. (You sense where this is going, right?)
Now, this is a VERY quiet house. Barring the cat’s snoring and occasional headlights of a passing car, my bedroom is (very) dark and quiet. And then it happened. Just as I was drifting off, the headboard began to creak and thrum. I went instantly from cushy somnolence to hyper-alert, scanning the room around me, trying to pierce the dark.
OK, well maybe it was just the mattress or pillows settling. I turned over and readjusted for sleep. After, all, if there were a presence in this cottage, why would it take three weeks
Norwich Plantation Gardens
The gardens were on three (steep) levels.
to manifest? Right?
Headlights flashed like lightning at a high school production of “The Tempest,” but eventually my heart rate subsided and I dozed.
I opened my eyes so fast and wide, I think I sprained my eyeballs. On went the bedside lamp, and....
Nothing. The cat‘s snoring, regular, undisturbed, sawed under the door. Abandoning thoughts of sleep, I rearranged the pillows to read.
And, after a few minutes, a huge (HUGE) moth crawled up the bedpost and hopped onto the lamp. Whap.
No, I didn’t kill it; I just opened the window. But since I have no photographs to support my narrative, you’ll have to make do with some random local fare...
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