SITTING around all day convalescing isn’t much fun, really.
So what’s so different, I hear the sceptics among you cry? Bearing in mind that, in the past, I have confessed that I am pretty good at sitting around all day.
The difference is choice and, when you are confined to inactivity day in and day out, it soon gets exhausted. I’ve tried daytime TV and I’ve test driven a Kindle and now I’m bored.
If a drama is screened during the day then I surmise it must be fit viewing for a maiden aunt but, as I am not a maiden aunt, I avoid it. I prefer dramas that are screened after the 9pm watershed. What else is there on daytime TV, apart from chat shows with loose women and rather sad men and audiences who cheer at the slightest provocation?
And there is only so much Fools and Horses you can watch in one lifetime.
Which had me drifting on to confrontational TV which left me as brain dead as the people who appear on it.
This used to be vaguely amusing when it came from Jerry Springer who presented inter-married hillbilly families fighting over the custody of the one tooth they owned between them. Well, it was America.
But then along came Jeremy Kyle to show we have the equivalent in the UK. Good grief. This isn’t suitable for daytime living rooms. If it is screened at all, it should be on Extreme Sports along with bear-baiting, cock fighting and Chelsea FC.
Just once, I’d like to see Mr Kyle left alone without studio bodyguards to face some of the people he denigrates. They might deserve it, but he shouldn’t do it on national TV.
See how bored I am? I’m ranting about programmes I don’t even watch.
TV has not risen to the task of entertaining me and the pile of books I usually have ready to read had sadly diminished in the weeks before I became ill. I can’t get to the shop and even Amazon takes two or three days to send books by post. It seemed a perfect time to test drive my Kindle.
My daughters gave me this for Christmas. The Kindle is a neat electronic device into which you download books. You then read a novel as if holding a slim paperback. You turn the page at the press of a button.
The trouble is, I like books and if I had 3,000 volumes on my Kindle my shelves would be extremely bare.
I had a list of half a dozen favourite historical novelists and checked them out on the Amazon site. Unfortunately, not one of the books I wanted was available on Kindle. Problems already. Then I found one that was – Heartstone, the latest by C J Sansom, a chap who writes huge chunky books of great quality about the investigations of 16th century lawyer Matthew Shardlake.
The hardback edition of more than 600 pages was available by post for £6.65. I downloaded the Kindle edition to my computer for £5.98.
Because I was mainly immobile, I was able to devote much time to reading, a pastime I found easiest undertaken while sprawled in bed. This did not please my self-imposed carer Kev, who would have preferred me to get up more – perhaps dig the garden or take a 10 mile run – just to encourage the healing process.
I said, "Yes, Kev’’ and, after he’d gone, went back to bed.
Handling such a large book while semi infirm would have been difficult but the Kindle made it easy. There is a drawback, however. Most people reading a work on the grand scale such as Heartstone will dip into the book over a few weeks. To keep abreast of characters and plot, they will need to browse back over the pages they have read, something which is difficult with an electronic device.
It was great for a full speed read – I did it in three days – and I was transported to the intrigues of the Tudor court and the sinking of the Mary Rose, but there would have been frustrations over a longer period. Besides, I now have a space on my shelves where Heartstone should be alongside the first four novels in the series.
Sorry Kindle. I still prefer books.
As for the irrelevance of daytime TV, there was never any contest. Books are best by far. Mind you. I’m still bored.