Pat! Pat!

Mike Reid, RIP.

Of course, those of us of a certain age remember Mike Reid much more for this than for EastEnders. Did anyone ever actually understand the rules of Runaround?


I’ve become a bit fed up with television in recent years. It seemed to be on a steep downward path with crap drama, crap "reality" programmes and indifferent current affairs coverage. Increasingly, unless something can be "dramatized", be it crime, history or buying a house, it seems to be of little interest to programme makers. Consequently, these days I watch very little telly and, when I do, I’m frequently disappointed.

Just occasionally, though, something comes along to restore my faith. This week that has happened twice. The first instance was the documentary Absolute Zero on the subject of cold and based on the book by Tom Shachtman, who is clearly barking mad, particularly when trying to recreate very dangerous historical scientific experiments. The second instance was tonight’s programme Atom, which took the potentially mind-numbing subject of quantum physics and turned it into a gripping story filled with amazing personalities, which is exactly what it is. Both of these programmes show that you don’t need to dramatize something in order to make gripping and exciting television. (Remember that horrendous Supervolcano programme? Why did that need fictional characters and drama, including an aircraft saved by a hero geologist? Surely the Yellowstone park erupting and causing global winter is dramatic enough!)

Thank goodness for BBC Four.

links for 2007-07-23

Raging torrent (small scale)

When we moved into our home, we noticed a small ditch at the end of the garden (which is actually above the level of our house). Our neighbours have partly infilled it to extend their garden, putting in a good-sized culvert as they did so.

A couple of weeks ago, for the first time since we have lived here, I noticed a trickle of water running through it. Even in mid-winter, I hadn’t seen water in it before.

Last night and this morning we had continuous and very heavy rain. We don’t have a gauge, so I’ve no idea how much has fallen, but I’d guess an inch-and-a-half at least, maybe two inches. In a lull in the rain, I went outside to assess the damage (smashed plants, mud down the drive) and could plainly hear rushing water. A glimpse into the hedge revealed a raging torrent (albeit on a small scale) rushing down the ditch, enough to draw our neighbours out to investigate. In true BBC-stylee “here’s-a-picture-of-my-dog’s-bottom-in-a-puddle-to-illustrate-the-dramatic-weather” citizen journalism, here is a dramatic grainy cameraphone photo of said torrent:

dramatic grainy image

Impressed? Today, Ruralville and grayblog, tomorrow fame and fortune and a photo on the Beeb.