FOWC with Fandango: Television

Even cats like to watch their favourite programmes, which usually deals with bird life. At least our Nera was a keen bird fan.

Otherwise television is good to have, but if I do not have it I can still survive.

I began with the BBC, the british television. It was black and white and a very small screen, but that was how it all begun. With time the television sets got bigger, wider, and we had another TV programme, so there were two.

And then I moved to Switzerland. It was just at the time when colour television was beginning. For my first two years I had no television, but then I met Mr. Swiss, we got married had a home and of course a television. So now it was Swiss television, three stations for the three languages. One in German, one in Italian and one in french. The German programme was basically soijen so-called high German, but a lot of programmes were being broadcast in Swiss German. I suppose that was the reason why I learned this strange language.

And then we got satellite TV and were receiving programmes from all over mainland Europe.

Today we have a television with at lease 100 channels from many countries to choose from. I was mainly watching the German speaking TV leaving the choice up to Mr. Swiss as I had other hobbies than watching a square box every evening.

However with the years, age changes things. Now Mr. Swiss no longer bothers with his Swiss programmes and gradually the British TV has moved in. I have 5 channels to choose from and have gradually got back to the British way of life. I even understand British politics again.

Television is not so bad really, you just have to choose the right programmes.

FOWC with Fandango: Television

Good Morning

World of Information 25.05.2016 Exhibition 10010ENTER0101 (18)

Some time ago I visited a new museum in our local town of Solothurn showing old electrical stuff, from computers to radios and also televisions.  Those televisions were really memories from the past, before the days of the megascreen.

I think we had our first television when I was about 8-9 years old. It was something like the one on the left. Dad must have got it on a deal somewhere because we never had the money for something special. It was an Echo television. Memory tells me that there were only two products available in our neck of the woods, an Echo or a Ferguson, at least that was what dad told us.

It seems strange to believe that we had such a small screen. Programmes only began at around 5.00 p.m. with children’s hour. I would be glued to the TV screen already a quarter of an hour before the official programme, watching the same old start-up film before the actual programme began. At around 6.00 p.m. the programme was finished and it was peace until 8.00 p.m. when the evening programmes began. I don’t remember the details, but every film and programme was something special. The old black and white cowboy films with people like Hopalong Cassidy and  the Cisco Kid who were the first. I remember Cisco’s partner was Pancho placed by a guy called Leo Carillo. They all had partners, no cowboy rode alone. The guy that played Cassidy was William Boyd, and mum remembered him from the films when she was young. I just had a quick look in Internet and found he was born in 1895, so the first TV film heroes were not exactly young and lovely.

Who was the Cisco Kid? It was Duncan Renaldo and it seems he was actually born in Romania in 1904, although it seems he was not actually sure when and where he was born. In any case he formed part of my childhood thanks to TV.

At the beginning we only had one programme in GB, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). As the years passed on television screens grew. I remember my uncle had a mega magnifying glass that he hung over his screen to make the picture bigger, which he did, but you had to sit in front of the TV. If you had a side view of the screen the picture was distorted.

When commercial TV arrived, it was a second channel and you had to have an adaptor. Dad bought one cheap “down the Lane”, Brick Lane in the East End of London where  you did not ask questions about the origin of the goods. It was a small box with two aerials sticking out of the top, one on the right and one on the left. You plugged it into the tv and you had your second channel, known as ITV. Unfortunately it was not so easy. It seemed the TV signals were something mystical floating in the air and you had to move these antenna things until you had the perfect reception. It was also necessary to take a walk with the adaptor to get the strongest signal which it seemed was when holding the box in up in the middle of the room with nothing to rest it on and dad did not want to stand in the middle of the room when the television was on.

I think I saw my first coloured tv when I arrived in Switerland, must have been around 1966 when they were in the shops.

Nera watching her favourite programme

Even our felines watch the TV today, as long as the programme suits their taste. Personally I do not watch a lot of TV, just a couple of programmes. I prefer to read a book and in the warmer months I am outside on the porch until it is too dark to read anything. TV no longer rules my life, thank goodness. They were for me good old days in the past, but everything has its season and TV no longer does it for me.

And now I have to transform myself into the housewife fairy, waving her magic vacuum cleaner through the home and turning it into a palace. Afterwards my fairy coach will be waiting to transport me to the magical shopping emporium. Must be careful not to lose my walking stick on the way – on the other hand it might be found by the golden oldie Prince of the year who will be knocking at my door this evening to see if it fits.

Have fun, it is the beginning of a new week with untold opportunities and if you find life boring you can always watch the TV. In Europe we now have the football European cup games from Paris accompanied with street wars amongst the various supporters of the different countrys, a real international get together and it keeps the medical staff busy.

Daily Prompt: Easy Fix – they day the analogue world died

Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”

We were warned. We knew it was going to happen, but we saw no danger for us. Life could carry on as always until ….. last week, on Tuesday evening the truth became reality. Mr. Swiss was comfortable watching the news on the television. It was a particularly important news, as the results of the Swiss government no longer supporting the € currency in Europe were becoming known. Good for a trip over the border, everything was cheaper for the Swiss. Bad for small businesses in Switzerland as no-one would be interested in buying expensive Swiss goods, no matter how super and exquisite our products are, money speaks all languages. I was comfortable in a chair reading a book, or was I in a suspenseful moment of playing Candy Twist on my iPad. Peace reigned in the world of Mr. Swiss and Mrs. Angloswiss until No. 1 son appeared in the living room. He is usually engrossed in his own television in his room watching whatever he watches.

”My television is not working, there is a message on the screen that no signals can be received.”

My first thought was “oh” and Mr. Swiss decided No. 1 son must wait, due to events in the Swiss financial situation. However son No. 1 was concerned. He no longer understood his TV world. I would mention he is autistic and if things do not fit with his world picture then something is wrong.

Mr. Swiss decided that the Swiss political situation could wait, and so he switched the TV set to “record” to ensure that he would miss nothing whilst dealing with No. 1 son’s TV problem. I decided to keep out of the situation as I no longer understand the televisions of today. Mr. Swiss had a look at son No. 1 TV and discovered the problem immediately. His set was bought a few years go and it was analogue (huh?). Today sets are digital and so first aid had to be offered to this TV. A card could be inserted in the television and then it might work. After uttering a few profanities, not finding where we put the spare cards. Mr. Swiss found a card and did the necessary but nothing happend.

It was then it occurred to Mr. Swiss that there was a d-day in Switzerland for the death of analogue televisions. I heard something about this, but as we have had a new, super digital TV for the past couple of years, I decided it was none of my business. My son was without a television for a complete evening until tomorrow when the Swiss family mum and dad would buy a new TV in the local supermarket. In the meanwhile Mr. Swiss gave No. 1 son his big iPad which had a television app, so that solved the TV problem for the evening.

Armed with the bank card from No. 1 son, we arrived at the local supermarket and visited the electronic department. We noticed a few other customers were also buying televisions. No. 1 son only needs a smaller television and not a super hang it on the wall and receive a few thousand television programmes. He is happy when he has a few commercial stations so that he can watch perhaps a music concert, some James Bond films, and even Bruce Willis. A salesman was suddenly without a customer and asked

“Can I help you?”

“We need a new television, but a smaller one.”

“Ah yes, no problem, but we do not stock the smaller televisions. You can buy them online.”

Mr. Swiss knowing that No. 1 son needed a television within five minutes and not five days, we said thank you and Mr. Swiss decided he would go to another shop on the outskirts of our town in the afternoon where they had a sort of mall selling everything – see picture.

Interdiscount, Birchizenter, Zuchwil

As I have “me time” in the afternoon, writing bloggy stuff ,Mr. Swiss ventured out to the paradise of electronic shops on his own, knowing that they would definitely have something available. After almost two hours he returned. In the meanwhile I was pondering whether to alarm the local police seeing newspaper headlines “Swiss citizen missing, the television mafia strike again”. However he returned with a small box. The mission was a success.

Yes Monday was d-day in Switzerland for analogue televisions and the electronic paradise was full of disappointed Swiss citizens whose television was not longer working. Mr. Swiss said there were so many disappointed television addicts he had to queue and wait for at least thirty minutes, only to find that there were no more smaller televisions available. Disappointed Swiss television addicts were buying televisions like their daily bread, it was a scene of fighting for the last television set, no matter who got killed in the process. Undaunted he left the sales paradise of lost televisions and visited the local town where we have a large department store. Cutting a longer story short, after a discussion with the salesman, the salesman remembered a lonely forgotten new smaller television sitting in the stock room. It was perfect, a good price and the forgotten television now had a new home. After making the long journey from South Korea it had now found its place in a Swiss home.

No. 1 son was happy, Mr. Swiss was happy and I could continue writing my blog undisturbed. A small problem occurred when giving the new television, the breath of life, until someone realised that he had inserted the aerial plug in the wrong place. After a small excitement, more profanities, it was alive and working and all was right in the (television) world.

Daily Prompt: Easy Fix – the day the analogue world died

Birthday Party

Here we are at the graveyard filming the great occasion. We are a little early viewers, as we know that zombies prefer to appear only when the sun has completely disappeared and the moon is high in the sky. Thanks to advanced technology we are now able to film occasions in the so-called underworld.

Today we are celebrating a birthday, not just a birthday, but that of the most well known zombie living here, if we may use the term. He is not the oldest, but he has been active for so long that he is the idol of the cemetery. Yes, Rasputin just did not want to lie down and die as we all know. After many attempts by poison he still came back for more. After overcoming death and becoming one of the first recognised zombies, he decided to leave his home country as he just did not feel wanted, and after long travels eventually found his home in our little graveyard which is said to have originated from the days of the Great Plague.

As the camera sways over the grass and stones, we can see a phosphorescence surrounding some of the graves. These are those belonging to the “grufties” the colleagues and fellow zombies in the Rasputin group. As the sun has slowly disappeared from view and the fiery appearance of the sky has now turned dismal, we can hear the creaking and rattling of bones. The moon is now ascending and I believe that I can see the first zombie appearing out of his gruft. Yes it is Deadly Earnest, the spokesman for the group.”

“Good evening, may I ask you a few questions on this honourable occasion.”

“You may, but I might be a bit short on answers. You look very tasty, can you come nearer. Is that a camera, am I being filmed?”

“Yes, thousands of people are watching you through the country at this very moment. Am I near enough? Please stop gnawing at my hand, I need it to hold the microphone.”

“Tasty, tasty, I just love a gnaw on a finger bone. Ok, I get the message, I can wait, Ha…Ha…Ha, zombie joke.”

Taking a few steps away from Deadly Earnest, I will continue. “Does Rasputin know that his birthday is being celebrated this evening?”

“Of course, he does, he gave out orders that we should not spare any expense. My friend the chef will be able to give details. He is very good at preparing specialities and is at this moment arising from his grave. In his time he was a well known person, serving last meals to the victims ready to be hanged; Mort come here and introduce yourself. This nice tasty gentleman is making a television film about Rasputin’s birthday party.”

“Good evening, I am pleased to meet you.”

“Your name is Mortimer?”

“Yes, but they all call me Mort, suits the situation much better, don’t you think Ha…Ha…Ha.”

“Ok Mort, what are you planning to cook for Rasputin on his birthday?”

“Cook, cook??? Are you out of your mind? We will not cook for Rasputin, the food just has to be prepared. Just pep it up a bit. You know what they say, food must be a feast for the eyes. First of all as a starter I will be preparing a blood sausage. An original recipe gathered from one of my fellow zombies, used to be one of the best butchers in town in the days before he arrived here. As a main course it will be fresh cut steak, one of my colleagues is at the moment shopping for the steak. No need to get the food too early, it has to be fresh, a nice healthy red colour.”

“And will Rasputin have a birthday cake?”

“Of course, but that is not my department. The ladies will be arranging that little surprise. Here comes Lucretia, I am sure she can give you more details.”

Cameraman, your camera in this direction please. Then just kick them away, I told you to wear a long sleeved shirt and not a t-shirt. They seem to be developing quite an appetite for arms at the moment.”

“Hello, I am Lucretia, you can forget the Borgia bit, that was my name in the olden days. Today one name is enough. Yes, my girl friends and I had to do a lot of thinking about a cake. Good old Raspy does not have such a sweet tooth, but we finally found the solution. We decided on a sandwich cake containing a raw liver paté and decorated with a wonderful sticky sauce made from the fruit of deadly nightshade.

Do I notice a cut on your finger Mr. Interviewer. Oh dear. Can I lick it clean for you.”

“No, no thank you it will be ok, I will just cover it with a plaster.”

“Oh, what a shame, you should let it dry out in the air.”

“Thank you Lucretia, no problem and here comes the man himself. Good evening sir, Mr. Rasputin and may I wish you a happy birthday from our viewers all over the country. This is indeed a great occasion, how many years is it?”

“Good evening, fellow zombies stop sniffing around this television man and his crew, they are here to make a programme about me. Unfortunately we must let them go home afterwards in one piece.

You were asking how many years? You know after a while years just do not count any more. As long as there are always little delicacies walking around to spice up death, then the years are not so important. So if you will excuse me, my fellow zombies are calling. The table is laid; Lucretia what a wonderful cake. I can smell it from here; just beautiful and filled with raw liver. You see Mr. Interviewer, even in death the ladies worship my presence and spoil me. So if you will excuse me, I would now partake of my birthday food.”

“Then I will leave you to your party, and thank you for the interview: just one further question. Are their other festivities planned this evening?”

“Of course, my friends and I will take a walk into town, it might be that we develop hunger early in the morning.”