Christmas TV (2019)

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We’ve all got different ‘triggers’ for when ‘Christmas’ officially begins β€” for many, the first reminder is when the Supermarkets start displaying their Christmas lines! But that’s obscenely early, so how about…
…your first Christmas lunch?
…maybe it’s when the John Lewis Christmas Ad appears?
…or receiving your first Christmas Card?
For TV lovers, it’s probably when the BBC Christmas ident is seen for the very first time, and they start promoting their festive offerings!

For me though, it’s when the Christmas double-issue Radio Times and TV Times first go on sale. Normally it’s around the second week in December, although in recent years, that’s varied a bit. This year, normality returned, and I picked ours up right on cue at the local Tesco’s on the 8th! 😁

I think my love of these two fine magazines is a throwback to my childhood, when Dad used to bring them home after finishing work for Christmas. As a family, we loved Christmas TV (first, in black & white, then colour, just three channels, then four, then five – then hundreds!) Initially, there was no remote control, so Dad’s choice normally ‘won’. To add to the fun, in those days, there was frequent positioning and re-positioning of the aerial to ensure the best pic! πŸ”§

With the magazines taking pride of place in the lounge, our first job back then was to frantically search through the schedules, taking it in turns to circle our favourite programmes.

It’s much the same now β€” except we use a highlighter pen or just go online… or just check our phones!!! What progress ehh!? πŸ€”… or maybe not! πŸ˜‰

The ‘Double Issue’ Covers 2019

292 pages/Β£4.95 (Same page count, +5p price increase compared to 2018)
196 pages/Β£4.00 (Same page count, +25p increase compared to 2018)

These days, both publications are massive (page count wise) mainly because they both list (more-or-less) the same information. Why’s that? Well, for younger readers here, back in the stone-age (up until 1990?) RT listed only the BBC stuff (including the radio) whilst TVT covered the commercial channels. Fast forward to the satellite age that we live in today, and you have both publications running into hundreds of pages. 😍

So, just like back-in-the-day, all that’s left to do now is to plough through them both, highlighter pen at the ready, and our Christmas TV preparations are sorted!

Merry Christmas! πŸŽ…

Previous Publications…


Oliver – Live in Concert

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We drove down to Roger, Jane and Oliver’s this afternoon. The weather was horrendous, but it was well worth it as we were going to see Oliver playing flute in the East Herts Concert Band at their Christmas Concert.

St Mary’s Church, Standon

The venue was the delightful St Mary’s Church in the village of Standon, a Grade 1 listed place of worship near Puckeridge.

But before the entertainment, we needed to eat, and Roger had helpfully booked us in at The Star Pub. Even more helpfully, it was exactly opposite! Parking though, was challenging to say the least. We could have used the Pub car-park but due to some excessive faffing around by another motorist, we had to drive past the pub and eventually left Robert, with two wheels on the pavement in the street just up the road. Standon is only a tiny village, and the Concert tonight was therefore going to test everyone’s parking skills!

The Pub’s food turned out to be excellent, and they coped really well with the increase in trade generated by those heading for the same destination as us!

At 7pm, we retrieved the cushions that Roger had helpfully packed in readiness for the pews, and we headed inside the Church.

Unusually, the ticket price was based on ‘what you thought of it’ AFTER the event. I’ve not experienced this arrangement before!

By 7.30, the Band was assembled, but wait a mo’, there was no sign of Oliver! ‘The Devil’s in the Detail’ as they say, and a closer inspection of the programme’s cover explained it all! There were actually TWO groups of musicians β€” The Youth Orchestra and Concert Band β€” the former were on first and Oliver was performing later.

All-in-all, it looked like a great selection of Christmassy tunes β€” and at least the carols were ones that everyone knew!

Oliver was soon on stage! He played with confidence and the overall sound from the Band was impressive!

The final piece β€” Sleighride β€” was where both groups of musicians joined forces. It didn’t disappoint (given there were only about 40 players) and they produced an impressive full orchestra sound β€” it was the perfect way to end the performance.

The Concert finished just after 9.15, and we were soon on our way back to our premium B & B for the night! 😁. After breakfast tomorrow, we’re heading home to finish preparing the garden for the Winter!