Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Blogs and tweets are well known for the minutiae they can contain about the author's life. Today I'm going to go one lower. Here are twelve trivial things that I didn't even do this Christmas Day.

1. Eat breakfast.

There - I've just blogged what I didn't eat for breakfast. D'you get where I'm going with this?

2. Watch the made-for-TV spin-off special Shrek The Halls.

Made by DreamWorks and featuring the cast of the original movies, this is set following Shrek The Third, but was cleverly aired by BBC1 roughly 22 hours in advance of it. Still determined to watch this spin-off in sequence, I duly taped it, but then managed to miss its prequel the following day. D'oh! Well at least I know what to ask for next year...

3. Take The Day Off Work.

Being a double-negative, this wasn't really a fail. Spent three hours moderating the web-page for NewstalkZB's Christmas Day afternoon show. This is the first time I have ever worked on December 25th! What a lovely atmosphere.

4. Go To Church.

Had to skip midnight mass in order to research and prepare material for the above site's feed. Then I slept through the morning service.

5. Watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Still with the watching episodes in order deal, I've still got four episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures to go before I can see this. The fact that it started late made the DVD timer fail to fit the ending onto the disc anyway.

6. Watch the film Edward Scissorhands.

Billed to start on Channel 4 at 7pm, straight after Doctor Who was scheduled to finish over on BBC1. Well, like I said above, the haphazard Time Lord ran late, so the DVD cut off the ending, so the parallel VHS backup had to be left running, so it was impossible to record the first four minutes of Edward Scissorhands, so I decided to abandon it.

('scuse me, just pausing for a humbug...)

7. Give/receive gifts.

They're not even wrapped yet. Current ETA is December 27th. (UPDATE: failed then too) Christmas Day never happens on Christmas Day in my house. I know, I live in a glass house, and this Christmas have asked Santa for a stone-throwing kit.

8. See Friends.

Herschel bought me a gift for thanksgiving several weeks back, however we haven't caught-up for a while, so it has now become a Christmas gift. However, since it is a Frijj flavoured milk drink, it has now passed its expiry date. He keeps asking me if he can pour it away, but I am determined to enjoy it one day, no matter what. That might sound to you like I have some sort of a mild addiction going on, but what I choose to do in my own private spare time is none of anyone else's business, and anyway, I'm allowed to choose to borrow all this money to fund my habit. Uh, hobby.

('scuse me, just taking another swig of... uh, humbugs)

9. Send Cards.

In fact, I had posted 6 to 8 Christmas cards about a week earlier, but they had all been to friends who are not on Facebook. I mean in recent years Facebook has pretty well replaced Christmas cards as a means of maintaining contact with people. Hence, the early hours of Boxing Day found me typing away over 100 personalised messages to RL friends all over the globe, some of whom were even in places where it was still Christmas Day. This took me most of the night, but was still quicker and cheaper than the time it would have taken me to write and address a similar number of cards, and also still required me to make the individual effort over each acquaintance.

10. Watch the late-night mid-eighties comedy film starring John Cleese that I've never seen before entitled A Fish Called Wanda at 12:25am on BBC1.

Given how long I've been waiting to enjoy this, it was only after significant deliberation that I decided to miss it in favour of the film that it was on against - that other classic John Cleese movie that I've never seen Clockwise, which was to start an hour later.

11. Watch the late-night mid-eighties comedy film starring John Cleese that I've never seen before entitled Clockwise at 1:40am on ITV1.

I turned on the telly six minutes early at 1:34 to find it apparently already in progress. There was Cleese, actually berating another character for his poor timekeeping. Missing the irony, I turned it off again, and went back to Facebook.

In fact, before we get to 12, here are a few more shows that I won't be watching this yuletide season:

The Goodies: Scoutragious which was replaced by another episode, neither of which, like the other episodes in this long-awaited late-night series of family-friendly reruns, are available to catch-up on from the much-vaunted BBC iplayer.

The new Wallace And Gromit film. Now I like the claymation version of One Man And His Dog as much as anyone, but featuring them on the cover of the Christmas Radio Times when no such new programme is even on this year is patently misleading. The usual reruns of old editions in the wrong order Gromit yes, but that's hardly cover material. For this they actually bumped the Doctor Who Christmas Special cover forward to a week when that show wasn't airing either!

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, showing four days before its prequel Raiders Of The Lost Ark, both on BBC1.

Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, which despite being explicitly set in the same shared universe, are scheduled against each other on January 2nd. (17:00-19:00 on ITV1 and 17:40-20:00 on Channel 4 respectively)

Three Men And A Baby and Three Men And A Little Lady, which despite currently constituting the entire series, are scheduled against each other on January 3rd. (13:00-15:00 on Channel 4 and 14:30-16:10 on BBC1)

So, the number 12 thing that I didn't do this Christmas Day was...

12. Watch the new series of K-9, airing all this week on Channel 5.

I've decided to wait for the DVD to come out.

With respect, Channel 5 have now had more than ten years in which to broadcast at least one series of anything without a logo obscuring the corner, the end-credits squeezed into a box, a caption over the action to trail what's coming up next and a timeslot that they're interested in actually sticking to. I hardly think they're likely to start respecting the material with the first episode of this, let alone cope with maintaining it for the subsequent 25 episodes. (It's presently billed for 10:00, 11:10, 9:45, 9:35, 9:35, 9:35 and 10:00)

Therefore, after careful consideration, I've decided to go with the DVD menu screens that will probably merely keep giving away clips of each upcoming plot instead. Sheesh, how hard can it be to just show a programme? Finger. Play button. Press. Then leave alone and just DO NOTHING.

(chokes on last humbug)

Remember, TV executives, a special is not just for Christmas. Each year hundreds of films and programmes are billed for December 25th, but a few days later show up aimlessly floating around the schedules, unwatched, unloved and often uncredited. Christmas TV schedules are not just for Christmas Day, but also for watching later off of timer as well. If Radio Times doesn't know when it's on, then neither can anyone else.

Next year, will it be your children missing a programme that they had been looking forward to?

Well, enough bah-ing. I'm off to eat another humbug. (if it's still there)


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