Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Drowning not waving, the lighter side of family life
THE BBC is definitely missing a trick when it comes to its coverage of the news.
Sure, you’ve rolling, 24/7 news on Channel 80, and bulletins every half hour or so on Radio 4 in the morning, but there’s a gaping hole. And that’s good news night.
It’s ten past ten at night, and my husband and I are slumped on the sofa, watching the BBC’s version of the western world’s imminent demise through falling stock markets, Greek taxi strikes and inclement weather.
We’ve both worked late and are trying to feign interest in a curry that I forgot to take out of the freezer this morning and stay awake, all at the same time.
Watching the news allows us to ignore the ice crystals trapped around the cardam-om pods and to avoid discussing how our days have gone.
We’re both too shattered to read a bit of the paper, and want our daily catch-up to be easy and painless. If you could administer a précis of the day’s global events by intravenous drip, that would probably be our preferred option. If you could consume the curry in the same way, that would be a bonus.
News item after news item rolls on in front of us, illustrated by petrified stock exchange staff or cross tourists. Any minute now, I think, they’ll pull something funny or uplifting out of the bag. I know we’re possibly heading for economic Armageddon.
What I want is to hear that someone has achieved something unusual or incredible, or survived against all the odds.
I want to feel there’s hope, that things can only get better, that politicians… oh, maybe not.
Even the lovely Brian Cox gave up on the D:Ream years ago and began gazing at stars instead.
So, how was your day, my husband asks me, putting the half-eaten bowl of curry down on the coffee table.
My day was pretty much the same as yesterday, a sort of slow blur punctuated by minor irritations like parcels delivered when I was out, and another section of the car’s exhaust having a bit of a strop and falling out with its neighbours.
You’ll need to get that mended tomorrow, then, says my husband, who never agrees with me that if you wind down the windows of a car with a dodgy exhaust and open the sun-roof you can simply pretend you own a Formula 1 car instead.
My husband’s day was very similar, he admits, except his travel challenge came, as always, in the shape of trains that arrive late or not at all or can’t close their doors properly or are afraid of the dark or something, so they stop dead before Box tunnel and refuse to go on.
The news seems to be drawing to its depressing end, and we could turn over and watch people quarrelling on Newsnight or just take the easy way out and open an artery or two.
I posit my idea about good news night.
Just half an hour of things that make you smile. “Like what?” asks my husband.
Well, there was that story in the paper the other day about the young man who’s tried to split atoms in his kitchen, I say. That was quite amazing. Though obviously it’s good that he didn’t manage it.
My husband looks at me as if I am unhinged. Then he picks up his bowl, and toys with the curry a bit.
“What sort of curry is this?” he asks.
I tell him I froze it such a long time ago that I can’t really remember.
Maybe I should write to the commissioning people at the BBC and sell them my idea of the good news night, I go on. Astonishing ideas. Sur-vival against the odds.
He sighs, and gets up to go to bed.
As he scrapes the bowl into the bin, I hear him mutter something.
I can’t be sure, but I think he says they could start with a bit about his curry.