22 August 2004
Well, I nearly did it. Shopped town for televisions, I did, and found - of course! this is my gift - the bargain of the city, a Sony Wega much reduced, display model but still with a full guarantee. Nearly bought it on the spot, but the young man was so startled by my cavalier attitude that I decided he was right, I probably should see it working. So I got him to plug it in and link it up - and then I didn't buy it, because I wasn't impressed by the picture quality. He was distinctly disgruntled, but it was his own fault; all he needed to do was tell me that it looked a little rough because the signal was being split between half a dozen sets and they didn't have a booster. Look, I can even blind myself with science; I'd have believed him in a moment. It's a Sony, damn it, they make good TVs. I was so ready to be persuaded, but he didn't even try.
Might go back on Monday, mind, see if it's still there. Meantime, there are advantages to being without. This evening, I listened to a three-hour special on Kenneth Horne, which I just wouldn't have committed myself to if there had been rival attractions. First and last episodes of 'Beyond our Ken' and 'Round the Horne', with surviving-cast interviews and original memos read out between. Fascinating, it was, as well as deeply funny. And it ended with a fistfight between Eric Merriman's son and Barry Took's widow, over whether RtH was just a rip-off of BoK. They were both being terribly sweet and mutually supportive about it, but oh, there was some needle underneath. I'm with the Merriman camp, relunctantly; same voices with different names, same humour with different jokes, this is not my definition of original. But both shows are still utterly joyous.
© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.