Monday, 15 April 2013


Free to air TV is not as interesting as it once was for us.  We checked the program at dinner time and marked our favorites so we wouldn't forget to watch the good shows and we often had to choose or take turns. Looking forward to two or three hours of relaxation and entertainment at the end of a busy day was like a reward. Big R often fell asleep on the couch, and I must admit I did too, occasionally, but usually at least one of us enjoyed the chosen programs. I tend to be a night owl so I get to watch more TV - while I'm washing up I can see the reflection of the TV screen in the window, and I can usually follow the story while ironing, cleaning out the fridge or sewing so it was rarely just sitting and watching. 

We are both such home bodies, we never go out these days - movies? we eventually see them on DVD, - eat out? more and more we like to know what is in the food we eat, - visiting friends? we are often too tired to socialise at night and just want to flop in our jammies, so friends have become a daytime activity.

Sadly, if I didn't have Call the Midwife, Modern Family, The Middle and reruns of The Closer to look at there would be no weekly viewing.  It is possible to catch a good episode of Global Village or someone interesting on Big Ideas or a great documentary on art history or nature, but they have to be discovered on the day and when you are in the right mood.  Interesting shows like Grand Designs and Megabridges are into their third or fourth rerun and you just get a little tired of that.

Of course we have other things to keep us busy. After 8 years of house building we are still not finished and still spend hours making drawings, looking at ideas and products on line, and just discussing what we might do here or there. We design as we go. Much of the house interior was plastered and painted at night, Big R was up in the ceiling for weeks and weeks, with a light on a lead, pushing and shoving the Dacron insulation bats into place.  He even built himself a trolley up there, mounted on old skateboard wheels that run on steel rails, to move the bats and tools around.  It's fun to show visitors. I've worked on mosaic tiling and sewing curtains at night as well as my volunteer jobs and all of my hobbies.  Big R might be up the ladder putting cornice in place while I'm covering a bottle with papier mache to make a doll.  I know his activity is useful and important but I like to think I am learning something too.

This year we've given ourselves a break from working on the house. The last room and the finishing touches can wait a while. A lot of earth moving and planting and some concreting has happened outside and it's amazing how much better we feel now that the place doesn't look like a building site or a gypsy camp.  Even the little concrete mixer and the pile of sand is out of sight.  The huge space under the house, which was intended as a workshop but became storage for everyone has been tidied, sorted and re-arranged.

And we are learning to get rid of things that we never use.  We are both very good at hanging onto potentially useful stuff - Big R likes to stockpile bits of steel, timber - even really old timbers, building leftovers, screws and other fixings as well as broken things that will make spare parts for some other broken thing. I collect any and all pieces of fabric and scraps for patchwork, lace, braid, ribbon, buttons - I have a great button collection, as well as paper and cardboard, brown paper, old phone books and anything else for papier mache. Also interesting pictures for collage and book making and anything for paper craft. I make rag dolls and toys and dabble in fabric sculpture. I have boxes of broken tiles to finish the mosaics that just need a little bit more work, cartons and cartons of photos, every birthday card I've ever been given and I save boxes and cardboard rolls for kids in Prep.  We both collect books and magazines so you can imagine how difficult it is to get anything into the rubbish bin. It usually goes out half empty. Sometimes I  manage to throw something in and it might stay there for a few hours before Big R takes it out again. Grrrrr

But this blog post is called The YouTube scene, because that is what we have discovered since TV stopped entertaining us. This is what happens to people when the kids have all grown up and away.  We both have a desk in our living area, mine is for my PC and the printer and Big R has his laptop with the extra large monitor. I can watch patchwork and quilting demonstrations (I enjoy the Missouri Star Quilt Company clips because Jenny is such a darling) while he is checking out Detroit diesel trucks or tractor drags - and he wears headphones.

I've found clips on growing herbs and making herbal remedies, training dogs and training kids, drawing cartoons and creating art works.  Big R loves lectures on science and solving mathematical problems. He's also into classic rock clips and movie trivia - especially James Bond and after watching Skyfall recently he visited several James Bond forums and watched the clips of all the James Bond movie themes. He could probably talk on Skyfall for an hour, if he wanted to.  We are both interested in history and language and many web sites we visit or blogs we follow have links back to YouTube.

Our latest discovery is cover bands such as the Beatnix singing a Beatles sounding version of Stairway to Heaven. I noticed a link to The Doors singing Stairway in their style while Big R found a clip of someone singing the words of the Gilligan's Island theme, to the tune of Stairway to Heaven. It's great fun!  And we learnt that in the opening sequence of the first series of Gilligan's Island, you can see a flag flying at half mast, in the background,  because it was filmed less than 30 days after the death of President Kennedy. Big R reads ALL the comments under the clips and often reads them out loud to me! 

We email the links to each other and various family members, so we can chat about them later. Our chairs are less than two metres apart but the technology is fun. We don't often watch people doing stupid things on YouTube but there are some that make you laugh and I love clips of kids doing funny things and dogs having fun or being cute (not being teased though).

The only problem with YouTube is that no-one falls asleep on the couch anymore, except the dog.  The washing up doesn't get done because the sink is too far from the monitor and I certainly can't sew or clean. The computer screen is much more stimulating than the TV screen and as it's interactive we both stay up later and later. Time flies without adds or program changes. 

So I say, bring back good TV shows so we can get our work done, enjoy our veg-out time and get more sleep.

And speaking of JB - I really like the song ....

Let the sky fall, when it crumbles 
We will stand tall 
Or face it all together 

Let the sky fall, when it crumbles
We will stand tall 
Or face it all together 
At skyfall 

Let the sky fall 
We will stand tall 
At skyfall  


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  1. I wonder if anyone will notice that this is not the cast of Gilligan's Island.

  2. Hi Janine,

    I noticed it wasn't the original Gilligans Island cast, that was one of my very favourite shows! I wanted to say thank you for leaving a great comment on my blog - Blue Mountain Daisy. You tube has so many wonderful things. Sometimes I watch sewing tutorials to keep me company while I'm hand sewing.

  3. Yay - someone (who also knows how to comment on the blog) realised it was a cover team in the photo. Well done Rachaeldaisy of everyone pop over there for a look.
    I love the Blue Mountains and would miss them if I wasn't so happy here on the Sunshine Coast, as we lived at Wentworth Falls for 12 years. I even miss the dripping mist and grey skies ... just a little bit.
    And thanks to those who emailed me about the photo ... just checking to see if you are paying attention. :)

  4. I agree about the free TV and I hope it will improve when winter comes as that is a traditional tv watching time. I did notice the picture too, the girls gave it away. R-r


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