Telliviewing (was Re: Potter sequels?

minnow at minnow at
Thu Jul 10 08:10:29 EDT 2003

Philip wrote:

>> and without reference to a television interview in which JKR is rumoured to
>> have hinted to that effect, because she didn't know about the TV thing (we
>> don't have the fishtank, and she wasn't aware it was happening).
>You have kids and no telly?  I'm impressed!

This is not strictly true any more, because I *think* one can get a telly
signal on the video machine we have at the moment.  We got that in because
the Man With The Broken Leg has had to spend long hours lying around on his
back with his leg elevated (if anyone ever has to keep a limb elevated, the
bean-bag-beds they sell for large dogs are jolly good for the purpose) and
after a bit holding books up makes one's arms ache...  but after being
without a telly for their whole lives, the fourteen- and eighteen-year-old
don't think of it automatically, and anyhow they'd have to argue the case
for what they wanted to watch with a father who'd got other plans for the
machine.  :-)

>I have no telly, but I think that if I ever do have kids I shall get one (a
>telly, I mean).  After doing some sort of survey of what programmes out there
>actually do have educational value, of course...

what, both of them?  :-)

Quite seriously, we have found that not having one had two main effects.
First, there was more time for doing everything else (like grubbing in the
garden, and prep, and playing piano/violin/flute/trumpet/you name it, and
riding bicycles, and reading, and making interesting constructions in the
stairwell intended to be cranes but actually and obviously Parent Traps, to
name but a few) and second, wanting to see a particular programme was a
really good ice-breaker for the social life ("my beastly parents won't have
a telly so please may I come round and watch the Simpsons with you?")
because it was an excuse to visit people rather than just sitting in front
of the thing at home.

Intense and anxious questioning at intervals (every so often Bad Parent
worries set in about whether they feel Deprived and Ill-Done-By about it)
seems to show that they actually don't mind not having one, because mostly
they find what they *do* see at other people's houses to be not really as
interesting as it sounds when people talk about it.  And if there is
something they really want to see, apparently they ask someone to tape it
for them anyway.

The other benefit is that for the dreadful bored-and-quarrelsome week
(extending to a fortnight these days) of Christmas we hire a video machine
and borrow films from all our friends, and the novelty-value is wonderful.
That wouldn't work if we had it available all year round!


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