Square-eyed

That’s what my dad used to call us when we watched too much television. What a joke! We only had two channels at the time and we loved it. 5 o’clock would be time to rush into the house so we could watch Dr Who or whatever else might be on “Children’s Hour”. In those days you had to put an aerial up on the roof (or in the attic) and then connect that to the tv. My dad would be up there fiddling with the aerial, moving it this way and that, while Mom and us kids yelled “no, its all blurry”, “gone all together” or “YES, that’s it!” My dad would come down from the attic as if he had just landed on the moon. Mission accomplished.

On school holidays we would make the long drive up to Birmingham to visit my nan. I can remember arriving in the middle of an episode of Emergency Ward 10. Nanny rushed to the door to let us in and then ran back to her chair so she wouldn’t miss what was happening. Remember there was no “pause” then – there wasn’t even a remote control. It was very important for her to see every episode because – no matter what the complaint – she had had it herself. One scene in particular made us kids laugh. The doctor is doing his rounds and tells the patient they have diagnosed him with problems of the prostate. Right on cue my Nan pipes up “Oh yes, I’ve had that too – very painful”. Dad says “Mom, for God’s sake. You don’t even have a prostate. Only a man has a prostate.” Of course by this time my sister and I are asking “What’s a prostate Dad?” “Dad?” “Where are you going dad?” ……(I think he went to the pub).

Then we moved to South Africa and were shocked to learn that even though TV had been available in the UK since 1936 there was no television available for South Africans. What the hell were we supposed to do? Play outside???? We didn’t even get to see man land on the moon because TV was considered evil.

Fast forward to 2020 – Mr Covid arrives and we are in lockdown. Can’t go out, can’t go on holiday but we can watch TV and watch it we have done nonstop until – yes – our eyes are square. And it has been a godsend. Pure escapism – and we really need that right now. Back in the days before Netflix you had to wait A WHOLE WEEK for the next episode. It’s totally different now. You can watch an entire season in a weekend if you want. You will need the essential binge ingredients to make this a success. You know, the usual chips, dip, Cokes. You need to keep up your energy – don’t want to faint with hunger in the middle of Game of Thrones.

As much as I have enjoyed some of the tv series I have binged on I would swap it all in a flash for a chance to pack a bag, get on a plane and go somewhere. Anywhere. I wouldn’t be fussy. Really anywhere would be fine…..

Well …. I might be just a little bit fussy.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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