1,000 channels and nothing on

{For the uninitiated – the green writing within the blog is also a hyperlink which will link to another page (usually a YouTube clip) and may help you understand exactly what I’m going on about}

This is the second week running I’ve not been to the quiz. This week it was because I was in London. Now, I don’t mind London (probably because I don’t have to live there) and I’ve spent many a night out in pubs dotted around the capital, all going back to the days when I worked for companies based in and around the city itself. And I seem to remember a decent music quiz at The Ten Bells in Whitechapel – a memorable pub for a number of reasons, if not only for the Latin ‘no pissing up the wall’ sign on the church opposite.

I would have to say that my favourite city for a midweek night out is Glasgow. However, don’t ask a taxi driver what the best pub is, because they’ll probably say The Horseshoe. This is Glasgow’s famous karaoke bar and the place that launched Michelle McManus to her Pop Idol “success”. Not the sort of place you want to get up and have a go after a few pints of heavy, especially if like me you can’t carry a tune in a bucket. My over-riding experience of The Horseshoe was two blokes at the bar with rather large knives in their socks (they were genuinely wearing kilts which made the knives visible) and looking across at the men’s toilets (the door was missing) to see someone bent over the sinks trying to staunch the bleeding from his face. Admittedly, I may have gone on a bad night. I always preferred a pub halfway up Blythswood Hill or some place on the way back from Pancho Villa’s (a great Mexican restaurant) – the names of which I can’t remember, it’s been a few years since I was last up there. And the story about a night out in the Jury’s Inn, just off Argyle Street, with Cpt. America* is one for another blog.

The train journey back from London did give me a chance to catch up on some reading – I’ve just started Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books, having seen the film a few weeks back. Tom Cruise was not a good choice for that role. The books describe Reacher as a very large man. Tom must be playing him very far away.

Anyhow, I gets back on Tuesday night too late to get fed, sorted and down to the quiz and instead have the dubious pleasure of Tuesday night TV. For Mrs Grumps, this is usually CSI, but as Miami has already fallen by the wayside, and New York died a slow and painful death last week (watch the last 10 minutes of the final episode and you’ll know what I mean), this meant some other viewing pleasure had to be found. After a cursory glance through the listings, Mrs G declared that we have 1,000 channels and there’s nothing on. What this actually means that there’s nothing on she wants to watch. When faced with a choice of Channel 5 ‘documentaries’ with titles such as “The Woman Who’s Leg Fell Off” or “The Man With The Ten Ton Testicles” [that last one is genuine by the way – he used to wear a hoodie as trousers and keep them in the hood], or even worse, US ‘documentaries’ like Storage Wars or Ice Road Truckers, I can see that she has a point. Then there’s all of the +1 channels – allowing you to not want to watch the stuff you didn’t want to watch an hour ago. (Saying that, the best channel name has to be the +1 for Dave – Dave ja vu ).

However, there’s a lot of good stuff on TV at the moment, and I’m a big fan of Sky Atlantic, even though some of the shows may not be to everyone’s taste, and of BBC4. There’s some really strange stuff on BBC4. Recently I’ve watched programmes on Australia’s first global superstar and the the object that shaped the modern world. I’d also recommend the recent series about the 1970s. A bit sad I know, but good stuff when you write quizzes.

[I feel that this blog is going a bit Ronnie Corbett – I’ll be talking about my editor next!]

So, back to Tuesday night’s TV – we ended up watching The Escape Artist, with David Tennant as a barrister who gets a psycho killer off a murder charge. Part way through, said psycho murderer makes a complaint about him to both the Bar Standards Board and the Legal Ombudsman. You don’t get to be as grumpy as I am without knowing how to complain and even I know you need to complain to your barrister first before the BSB and the Legal Ombudsman will get involved. So I tweeted this fact. And it was picked up and retweeted by the BBC (good). And it apparently made the Legal Ombudsman’s internal communications bulletin (not so good). As I subsequently found out, if you tweet the words ‘Legal Ombudsman’, for whatever reason, they pick up on it. Not that I would recommend doing this just for the hell of it.

[still in Ronnie Corbett mode – the punchline is coming, and it’s probably not funny]

This has got me thinking. Is blogging about a tweet some form of modern irony. Not proper irony obviously, that strange alternative Alanis Morissette irony. It’s true that the only ironic thing about that song is that it’s written by someone who doesn’t understand irony. So it must be true that the American’s have no concept of irony. And she’s Canadian. (Isn’t that ironic?)

What’s that Skip? … go to the quiz next week so you might have something more interesting to blog about?

Footnote: London is the smallest city in England (it is – really). The City of London is roughly a square mile and has a permanent population of less that 10,000. What most people think of as London is actually the City of London, the much bigger City of Westminster and the vast suburban sprawl that links and surrounds both of these. The Ten Bells was last decorated in the late 1880s and still retains the original tiling on the walls. At the same time, a famous (still unknown, regardless of what channel 5 documentaries would have you believe) serial killer used to drink in there, pick up prostitutes and then perform impromptu surgical procedures in back alleys. For this reason the pub is usually full of American tourists. Liza Goddard of 1980s TV fame had her first big break in Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and they used more than one kangaroo because they kept hopping off into the bush. I know people who work at the Legal Ombudsman, that’s how I know about the internal communication thingy. Finally, I was thinking this week that the word midden is underused, and would encourage everyone to drop it into conversation at least once over the coming 7 days – if only when describing this weeks blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s