My Week in Media

I’ve been tagged! I’ve been tagged! (Sorry, I’m just not cool enough to be blase about any kind of recognition). And by a proper, grown-up, does it for real journalist in Africa too, South of West (as opposed to wife, mother of three, pretending-to-be-journalist so she has something interesting to say at parties even though recent geography means there aren’t any to go to: hangups linger long). Thank you Mr Crilly.

And because of that I am obliged to tell you what I’ve read, watched, listened to and surfed in the past few days. Which really will go to show I’m not a proper journalist because my reading, viewing, listening and surfing aren’t nearly lofty enough to qualify for that. I only pretend to read the Spectator to impress people, in the hope they will be seduced into believing I’m alot cleverer than I am. When all I do in actuality, apart from tossing it nonchalantly onto the coffee table so that it’s seen, is alternate between salivating and giggling at Deborah Ross’s restaurant reviews.

So. To what I’ve read:

Deborah Ross. The Week (when I can find it). Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (and I had a job finding that last night too, so deeply buried was it beneath unread copies of the Spectator), ”what the bloody hell are you doing?” asked husband crossly. ”Trying to find my book” I replied just as crossly. ”Why don’t you leave it on your bedside table like normal people do?” I didn’t have an answer for that so continued to dig and finally unearthed it along with several dusty cuttings from the Sunday Times which have been lingering for months and which I still haven’t got round to reading. If I hadn’t found Salmon Fishing … I’d have picked up where I left off with Robert Guest in The Shackled Continent. ”Why do you have so many books beside your bloody bed, anway” asks irritated husband. Because, I tell him, in pompous voice I use when addressing him as the journalist I sometimes pretend I am, ”some are for relaxation, some are for research; Guest is research, for when I write my own bestseller on Africa”.

”And what’s the Spectator for then?”

”So that I know which restaurants to avoid. In the unlikely event I ever get near any of them”.

What I’ve Watched

Hannah Montana. Alot. Hat likes it and so if I find myself anywhere in the vicinity of her and the telly early evening, it’s Hannah she watches whilst I pretend not to. Because I’m too busy writing.

But it’s fine darling, you can still watch, it won’t distract me.

Are you sure Mum

Quite sure.

Then why can’t I hear you typing.

I also watch Sky, BBC World and, like South of West, BBC Food; Hat and I watch that together. And drool. Why can’t we make things like that to eat, Mum, she says, we ought to cook more. Being desperately hopeless housewife and failed DG I remind her (with sigh of relief as I count lucky stars, not something I do often on account of where I live) that Kaidi’s local duka does not sell mozarella or mascarpone or flaked almonds or pecan nuts. If it’s packet creme caramel you’re after, that’s great. If not, tough.

Last night I watched dire Romantic Comedy (I ought to know better: when is romance ever comical? really?) starring Richard Gere (who was once apparently famous for his association with a gerbil and more recently with Shilpa Shetty). Why do I do it? Waste 120 minutes in front of mindless drivel? Because, I suspect, I can’t decide what to read?

 If it’s Sunday, I watch Carte Blanche which usually reminds me what a desperate place Africa often is.

OK – what I’ve listened to:

BBC World Service, if I can get to the controls on the satellite radio beside husband’s bed first. TalkSport it not.

My ipod. Very loudly. Skipping the ghastly stuff eldest daughter uploaded onto it and replaying endlessly the stuff I did. It helps me to concentrate whilst writing. Mainly because it helps to distract me from Hannah Montana if I happen to be pretending to write in same room as Hat whilst she’s watching telly …

And finally what I’ve surfed

The Times, most days, and the Daily Mail. The Times because I aspire to be serious journalist. The Daily Mail because there is something deeply satisfying in knowing celebs don’t sport the looks they do because of luck or genes or macrobiotic diets.

This week surfing has been dictated by three commissions (no really, I’m not just saying that) – one on tobacco growing in Africa (big serious grown up piece), one on eating disorders (sadly on the up, a backlash to the antiobesity message?) and the third a contentious investigation into whether or not dads ought be encouraged into the delivery room or not.

I’ve also spent alot of time on the BBC’s learning sites in an effort to make Hat’s science lessons more interesting for her and less overwhelming for me. Never a scientist anyway, I am defeated by circuits, simple machines and that whole solid, liquid, gas thing. And whilst so doing I have stumbled across the BBC’s ingenious GCSE Bitesize revision pages . I told my son who sits his exams in four months about my find. He didn’t sound as thrilled as I’d hoped he might.

I also spend time every day checking out the depression stories delivered to my inbox by Google alerts. Sometimes I read encouraging stories: about new and realistic treatments that are being developed. Sometimes I read impossibly ridiculous ones: doctors who think Botox will cure depression – if a person cannot look depressed (because they cannot frown, say, or look sad),  they will not feel it. There’s educated reason for you. Sometimes, and at the moment in particular, my depression stories are about collapsing markets and global slumps. Which I suppose isn’t so different?

I’m going to tag Potty Mummy, Iota and Primal Sneeze if they can bear it because I think between them they’ll give us a good geographical spread on media: UK, the States and Ireland.

K. Bye now. Off to read the Speccie …

13 Responses to “My Week in Media”

  1. My Week in Media · Hannah Montana Says:

    […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptHannah Montana. Alot. Hat likes it and so if I find myself anywhere in the vicinity of her and the telly early evening, it’s Hannah she watches whilst I pretend not to. Because I’m too busy writing. but it’s fine darling, you can still … […]

  2. robcrilly Says:

    Blimey, that was quick. Keep up the good work

  3. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Thanks Rob – and for the heads up. Easy to be quick to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – when you live in splendid isolation. remarkably little distraction. if you discount hannah montana. I read your piece in The Times today – shattering. Poor, poor Kenya. Londiani was where my paternal grandparents settled.

  4. nuttycow Says:

    Hello. Found you through Mr Crilly. Bookmarked.

    I know (scarily) what you mean about Hannah Montana though. I find myself doing it when I’ve got a day off and there’s nothing else on. Rubbish children’s programmes and then I pretend to read/surf the internet/do something constructive but actually I’m just waiting to see whether Billy (the cute high school jock) asks out Mary (the “pretty on the inside” girl).

    I think I need to get out more!

  5. Potty Mummy Says:

    Thanks RM – I think. However, have just realised I am about to be revealed in full philistine splendour… Must just pop to the loo to find my husband’s copy of the Economist…

  6. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thanks for dropping by nuttycow: you think you need to get out?! you want to see what I need to get out of. but glad normal people with real lives find themselves caught up in the intricacies of HM’s life.

    PM. Sorry. The Economist? That’s a bit high brow. The Telegraph would have done? Or the Evening Standard?

  7. Louise Says:

    Sorry – I am a blog virgin. What is being tagged? Sounds fascinating, but my first thoughts were something along a criminal line – electronic tag round ankle to stop you wandering off. I am obviously way off the mark and long for enlightenment.

  8. Primal Sneeze Says:

    Mem’, I hate to do this but I have to say no. I don’t do memes, tags, etc. of any kind.

    Don’t hate me. Hell, I even refused one from Grannymar recently and we all know it’s wrong to disobey a granny.

    It would be boring anyway.

    Sorry, Mem’. Let someone else have a go.

  9. nuttycow Says:

    RM – am trying to get through your archives but despite your lack of electricity, there’s a lot to get through 😉

  10. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Louise …. hi there, ummmmmmmm. I think it’s kind of like passing the buck? a sort of ”k now, i’ve revealed everything about myself on that particular subject – media in this case – now your turn”. but i agree: sounds like some electronic gadget to stop one wandering off. which given where i live might be useful: it’s hugely tempting to wander off at times!

    Primal. I shall hate you forever! Course I won’t. I like tags because they prompt me with an idea for something to blah about. inspriation can be thin on the ground here.

    oh no nuttycow; i do have electricity now. lots and lots of it. but that’s about all there’s lots of. which is why i write too much. thanks for being kind enough to wade through the waffle.

  11. Mzungu Chick Says:

    I am so impressed Mem to read that you have been watching ‘Hannah Montana’ on the sly!! – I’m so sad to admit this and if you let on I’ll deny everything, but ME TOO! …
    must be the failed grown up in me, and I so like the .. “Best of both worlds” ! He He !

  12. ann Says:

    I read Salmon Fishing in the Yemen to my husband at night to help him leep. It’s a great book. And to think that you read it too in the middle of Africe. Small world.

  13. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Yup Ann, it’s tiny wee: even though it seems overwhelmingly large at times. On the one hand one can’t wait to finish a book, to get to the end and have the mysteries revealed. On the other I dread it, what to read next? along with Sainsbury, I’d quite like a waterstones or ottakers next door? that’s be nice.

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