Sunday, 17 July 2011

Day 16: The Gain, and then Loss, of a Television

At exactly midnight last night, my television switched itself off.

Now, this television is not mine.  It comes with the accommodation, and is a very nice little flatscreen television indeed.  I have been thoroughly enjoying it for the last few days.  It is a lovely thing to come home from work, make oneself a cabbage-themed supper, put up one's feet and watch an episode of CSI. (The first and original, of course, and not one of the appalling offshoots.)

However, until I moved into this flat, I have lived without a television for four years.  This is a statement which often brings an incredulous response - What?? - as if I have somehow put myself beyond the pale of civilised society.  But while I was doing my doctorate, I truly didn't have the time to watch it.  Besides, what with iPlayer these days, I can usually catch up with anything I am desperate to see, albeit a day or so late.

But even just for a couple of weeks, it has been nice to have one.  It would be nice to keep one.  It would be very nice indeed.  But television has to be the luxury of luxuries, the entertainment equivalent of empty calories: I don't need it, and therefore can't afford it.  Besides, a TV licence is now £145.50 a year, and there is no way I can justify that sort of money. 

The licence for the flat is paid up until 7th August, and I was bracing myself for the big switch-off on that date.  But now the television has switched itself off.  I suspect that my predecessors had cancelled their cable when they left, and it has now come into effect.  Of course, there must be some way I can access the normal channels, but I am dashed if I can work it out. 

So the end has come sooner than expected.  I am trying not to be sorry.  I am formulating a plan to check out the local library for DVDs, and to rediscover the joys (so lost during a PhD) of reading for pleasure.  But I shall miss CSI.  And The Killing.  And Have I got News for You.  And QI.  And Help, My House is Falling Down.  And The Dog Whisperer.  And Judge Judy.  And Bargain Hunt.


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