Tuesday, May 12, 2009


You’ve eaten your way through a couple of biscuits in a packet. Then, a few minutes later, you have another two or so, and then another, and a little while later, another. You look at the packet and you’ve done some serious damage to it. Not many left.

So you have another one, and something clicks in your mind. Sod it, there’s only three or so left. What’s the point of leaving three biscuits in a packet?

Soon there are no biscuits, a feeling of slight self loathing, and a crumpled up packet in the waste bin.

It’s the same occasionally with the tub of Ice Cream, especially the Chocolate Fudge Brownie one, not the crappy Yoghurty one, but the full fat calorie laden one. The one that tastes like Ice Cream. The only problem I have with the Ice cream version of this is that the pivotal point where the decision to finish it all off starts when there’s a bit more left – usually a tiny bit after halfway.

I don’t know what the word for it all is – the exact point where you tip over the edge from “That’s enough”, and put the packet back for another day, to “Oh, sod it”. Douglas Adams probably had a little village or town listed n “The Meaning of Liff” which defined it exactly, but my copy is at home, so I can’t check. So I’ll call it a “Morston”, after a village a few miles from where I’m writing this.

Morston - Noun – the precise moment when the desire to leave something for another day is overwhelmed by an immediate, uncontrolled desire to finish it all off.

I used to get the feeling on holidays, when around day 10 of a two weeker, the clouds of the final day started to gather almost imperceptibly on the horizon, and the unalloyed pleasure in the last few days started to fade. You’d spent about a week and a half in blissful animation, and suddenly the return to work, the daily toil and the lists of things to do started to nip and corrode at your mind. It’s raining in my heart, and all that.

In my more introspective (I do have them!) moments, I’ve even thought this happens with life. You spend 50 years or so thinking it’s all immortal, that the summers are never going to end, and then something happens. You start to count the cycles of the earth. Each spring the thought goes through your mind that that’s one less I will see. I still enjoy them immensely, as I am doing in 2009. But now, you count. It’s finite, and the clock never stops.

I know that sounds really rather pretentious, but unfortunately it’s true.

Why am I thinking like that now? It’s just gone midnight. I’m on my own in our little house on the Norfolk coast, and I’ve just watched two episodes of the best TV series it has been my privilege to see. Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent 58 hours glued to my TV watching all but the last couple of episodes of “The Wire”. And I am in full and complete withdrawal mode. One evening left, two if I ration myself to an episode a night. But I know that I won’t. So really it’s one evening left. Not tomorrow, because I’m travelling home, but maybe I’ll start out early so I can get home and watch them before bed. This from a grown man. Pathetic really, but there you are.


It’s almost impossible to force someone else to watch something you like on TV, or to read a book or listen to a CD, or watch a film that’s captivated and entranced you. You want to give people something that you’ve had, hoping it affects them the way it’s affected you. But we’re all different, so why should they like what you like?

But this series has really got to me. The epic scale of the events, the long, lingering character development, the subtle balance of right and wrong, the utter reality of the storylines, the grown up nature of the treatment, the stunning acting, the incredible photography, the brilliant cutting, and the utter magnetic hold that a series of plastic DVD disc has managed to entwine me with, does not happen often.

The occasional book, the infrequent film, a few TV series, half a dozen CDs and Long Players in the whole of my life have done it, and here, out of the blue, is another one. I suppose it’s a good sign that, at the age of 63, I can still find myself utterly enthralled by something like this. So maybe there’s hope here.

But I still have this disappointment nibbling at me that in a couple of days, it will be all over, and I’ll never be able to experience the anticipation of watching the next instalment of what, to me, is a great, great piece of drama which stands comparison with any film or book I’ve ever experienced.

Things like this don’t come along every day of the week. I just wonder what, and when, the next one will be. Let it roll.

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