Saturday, 21 November 2009


We had a request from a friend for a PA system for Friday night. I said that we should do it, because the person had helped Chris on the video shoot earlier this year. Chris plays drums in an Iggy Pop tribute band and they needed to shoot a showreel for the promoters, and Millsy works as lighting technician at the venue they used. Anyway, Chris drove overnight to his pickup point (he had to take a load from Runcorn in Cheshire down to near London Airport and then on to Bristol).

I kept in contact with him during the morning and then decided to draw up a list of all the components that he'd need. This was almost the first work I'd done in weeks. later, when he came home we used my list to select all the leads and cables that were needed. No, I didn't load the van.

After that it was Strictly followed by Children in Need, slouched in front of the TV.

Sue came in early from work and we had a cuppa while the TV played in the corner. There's a show on ITV called Golden Balls. I seldom watch it but I know that its host is onetime folk singer turned observational comedian called Jasper Carrott.

Back in the early 1970s I joined a traditional folk group, playing guitar, learning mandolin, and enjoying the craic. When we ventured outside of London to a Festival, we'd invariably set up a session in the beer tent, and I recall seeing Jasper sing his version of "12 days of Christmas" and "bastity chelt" at the Cambridge Folk festival of 1972. A few months later our band, now named "Captain Swing" played support to Jasper somewhere in deepest Enfield. I like Jasper. Like Billy Connolly, he started as a singer/musician, and like the Big Yin, he found that the audiences preferred the introductions to his songs, so that the songs grew fewer, and the comedy took over.

Anyway, back to Golden Balls. It's tosh, and, like Deal or No Deal, the contestants don't have to answer any questions in order to win. All they have to do is bluff to the other players about the values of the balls they hold. No problems so far, except when the contest is whittled down to the final two, they each try to convince the other of their honesty, and that they should share the prize pot. They then reveal their hands, either "share" or "steal". If they've both chosen to share, they share the prize. If they both choose to steal, they get nothing. If one says he is willing to share but reveals the "steal" ball. He wins the lot, and the honest one get nothing.

Call me old-fashioned, but I couldn't live with myself if I "won" a fortune by lying. I like quiz shows where the contestants have to display knowledge of some sort.

From politicians who milk the system to their advantage to pop stars who don't sing on their own records to tea time quiz shows that reward dishonesty, we live in strange times.

OK rant over. It's time for breakfast. Today I will be mostly watching TV.

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