The Alternative Lifestyle
The USA television show season is upon us again (I love Septembers!) but as much as I’m looking forward to flexing my remote control hand and working out my trusty Sky+ schedule to avoid any catastrophic show clashes, it has been pointed out to me (on more than one occasion I might add) that I am wasting too many of my youthful years sitting in front of a telly, staring at the flashing lights and wondering why Damon hasn’t figured out a way to steal Elena away from the much less interesting Stephan.
I have to admit that every now and then, the number of shows on my schedule becomes a little bit overwhelming and I find myself wondering why the hell I’m still trying to follow the ridiculous story lines (Prison Break anyone?) but then the screenwriters do something completely unexpected and I’m sucked right back in (ok, maybe not in the case of Prison Break, that died a sad death somewhere in season 2 but I stubbornly stuck with it till the axe fell).
Anyway the comments got me thinking, what are these alternative activities everyone keeps asking me to indulge in to draw me away from the evil clutches of HBO and The CW? I ran through some options in my head this morning and voila, a healthy list emerged. Ok, maybe I didn’t come up with that many options but you’ll have to forgive me, my brains cells have been slowly leeching over the years and this is what I’ve been left with.
– Read more books: NO. Between the reading group and writing group I attend, if I read any more books, I might morph into a human encyclopaedia, no one wants that! I am annoying enough as it is.
– Sign up to a painting or drawing class: Eh NO! I had a lot of fun when my office signed us up for still life and life drawing sessions (one of our models was an actor in Casino Royale) but I’m no Picasso and I already draw enough sketches in my profession to not find this activity that much fun.
– Old school needlework: Hmmm, YES please but only in winter and snuggled up under a blanket in front of the telly…defeats the aim, doesn’t it?
– Go out and socialise in public places: MAYBE, but only if the cost involved is worth the hassle and let’s face it, even buying an ice cream in a park in London is a lesson in extortion. The prices at my local bowling alleys and cinemas have shot up higher than inflation rate. Don’t get me started on the cost of a glass of wine these days.
– Socialise in others abodes: YES but as much as I love travelling across the boroughs of London to spend just an hour or two with friends in their flats/houses before having to dash back to Mr. HD LCD, I prefer going to house parties and people only seems to have these on birthdays and housewarmings. Sadly I don’t know enough people to keep these activities coming at a steady flow (how many people is enough people?). Hmm, maybe I should socialise in more public places and make new friends to sustain my needs…
– Hiking/camping: In cold, wet, windy England? I won’t even address this one.
– Other outdoors/nature activities: I am a city girl, give me smog and I breathe easy. Fresh air scares my lungs into shock. So, NO.
– Attend street fayres and markets: YES, but again these are so much better in summer when people don’t have to huddle close to each other to keep from freezing. I do not welcome the idea of going to a winter fayre and hibernating somewhere between the mince pies and mulled wine stalls.
– Take a long drive to nowhere: Ah, but the environmentalists might have my head, plus petrol burns a hole in my pocket anytime I stop to fill my tank.
– Visit museums and galleries: Resounding YES, but sadly when the really good exhibitions come to town, they make you pay – gasp!!!!! How dare they try to charge me to see things in real life when I can go home and watch a documentary on said items and only pay my regular digital TV subscription fee?
– The West End: YES, but if you’ve seen everything you really want to see at the moment in the theatre, it is difficult to justify paying over fifty quid to go see a show you don’t really want to see, just because you want to have a life and not watch telly.
– Learn a new language: Tempting, but can I be bothered? NO! I tried learning French once on my own but gave up after a few weeks (I bought a book and all but that’s collecting dust on my shelf at the moment).
– Be a member of the audience on a TV show: Isn’t this cheating? But YES, I’ve done this a few times now and it’s highly recommended.
– Play a sport: I choose to put this in the category of hiking and camping. Scroll up and re-read my comments. Oh just in case you were wondering, the answer is NO!
– Learn a musical instrument: Ditto, learn a new language.
And this was where I got stuck. I think maybe it is time for me to start asking all these well meaning friends to suggest something not on the list for me to include. And by include, I mean include and quickly dismiss if I don’t like it, hee hee. How else will I be able to get back to dominating the well worn buttons on my remote control?
NB – I didn’t include fun activities like lying on a beach in Miami and wondering why the rest of the world is in such a hurry because that is officially a holiday activity and the list is supposed to reflect things I can do on a normal working week or weekend.