Saturday, February 11, 2006

Every man's worst nightmare

Come in number six...

No, not a giant jellyfish (more of that later) - but a disrupted Saturday routine. The traditional Saturday afternoon of sport on the telly, that great British tradition, ruined by the very worst...a broken television. The coupons had been placed, the tea freshly brewed, the papers on the table. It was all going so well. For the past few weeks the TV has been making odd squeaking noises, and suddenly turning itself off without warning. We thought this was just a defence mechanism whenever Celebrity Big Brother came on, but recently it's been getting far worse. Yesterday I spent the last of my pools winnings on a new Xbox game, only to be stymied by the TV turning itself off nine times in twenty minutes.

This afternoon the telly finally gave up the ghost, turning off seconds after it was turned on. Every time we pushed the button it would instantly shut down like a tetchy child not wanting to play. And all this was just as Sky Soccer Saturday was coming on - you can't get worse timing. The programme where a panel of football experts watch the live games and describe what's happening (to get round the rules preventing showing of live games at 3pm on a Saturday). As my Mum describes it - "Men watching men watching football". The wrecked television prompted us to sink to increased levels of bizarre desperation - as we plugged the digital receiver into the hi-fi, and became 'Men listening to men watching football'.

What with Match of the Day on later, not to mention the Winter Olympics (or the Olympic Winter Games as they seem to have re-branded it) - desperate measures were called for. When you stand a chance of missing the biathlon, I think you'll agree you've got no choice. So we went into the city to buy a telly. Sadly, the major retailers don't stock TV's anymore - they have display models. You choose the one you want, and it gets delivered within 28 days. "28 days?", I squawked at the bloke in Dixons. "But it's the women's moguls on in an hour!!". He looked at me like he didn't care whether I lived or died, and informed me that their warehouse is expecting a delivery in two weeks.

So we trudged home in what had become pouring rain, and took the TV apart to fiddle with the dusty wiring. After putting it back together, nothing was happening, and I was just about to reach for a book and read (on a weekend!!) when astonishingly the telly spluttered into life and stayed on for more than thirty seconds. That was four hours ago, and we're too scared to turn it off. We even managed to watch the women's moguls (what does that do to the knees?) - so crisis averted. I put down the hammer, and the book stayed in the glass case.

So next week I'm off travelling again. Yes, this erstwhile travel blog will move away from talk of trainers and flags and get back to why it was started. Although if I eat any good pies, you'll be the first to know Michele. I'm going to Paris for a week to catch up with my old friend Erika - I've not been there for a couple of years, so am really looking forward to getting back. In total, 7 of us are going over, so it should be a great week. Until then - au revoir, and salut maintenant...

Oh, the jellyfish. I just liked the picture. Giant Jellyfish invade Japan