Monday, 10 August 2015

The more things change, the more you go "Oh no, not this rubbish again"

So, welcome to the first official posting in this blog's new guise as The View from Pudding Island and already with this post's title I realise I seem to have got off to a slightly grumpy start.

The thing is I thought that having lived in Greece for the last three-and-a-bit years with only occasional visits to England it would be a good opportunity to highlight what changes I noticed had taken place in "the old country".

Unfortunately I haven't been out and about as much as I would have liked so when not reading or sleeping - and lately I've found myself doing an awful lot of those - I've been watching TV. That has been my window on the world.

In Greece we had no TV. We had the capability to watch DVDs and we could watch TV in cafés, but watching the tube just never featured in our lives and I didn't miss it one little bit. I should point out Mrs C didn't always agree with me on that point.

Having shunned TV in Greece I have embraced it here in the UK. It's my new best friend, but like all best friends sometimes it does go on a bit. Leaving aside general programming, some good, some bad and more of which maybe another time, my view of my native land and the wider world is formed generally from news programmes.

Oh lord, it's depressing. It's generally people doing horrible things to each other, or wanting to do horrible things to each other, and a bunch of gurning tossers who have been around for ever all going on about what they would do to stop horrible things. So that's the news which is occasionally interspersed with cute stories about ageing pandas which resolutely refuse to reproduce.

The other snapshot I get of Britain is through TV advertising. If the news is what people think you ought to know then advertising is what people want you to know, but only so you'll part with large sums of money. Gambling, money lending and ambulance-chasing solicitors are some of the mainstays of TV advertising these days, plus occasional ads for people with either diarrhoea or constipation. In advertising circles this is probably regarded as an each-way bet.

I realise I have got off to a slightly dyspeptic start with a title for the post which could be applied to the blog itself, but bear with me, I'll try to lighten up as I go.

For those who missed it last time, I thought I'd explain one more time why the blog has changed from The View from the Olive Grove to The View from Pudding Island. Quite simply, I changed locations - Greece to the UK - and Pudding Island was writer Laurence Durrell's rather disparaging title for Britain. While it may be a bit snippy, it's still quite funny and I do love a good pudding. So there, I will almost certainly never seek to explain this again, but just to help clarify matters below there is a picture of Pudding Island and also one of jelly, I love jelly.

I didn't want to leave you without a bit of music so here's Changes by David Bowie. It seems quite fitting as there are a lot changes going on in my life at the moment.

  • "Satellite image of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in April 2002" by Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC - Cropped from: Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - 
  • "Rainbow-Jello-Cut-2004-Jul-30". Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons -


  1. Hi Mark - I know returning from abroad ... allows us to saturate our lives in tv and radio - and then realise .. it's the same old stuff a generation on. It is depressing - and some things are good ... some definitely dreadful ... good luck with settling back in - seems like a wet day ahead for us ... especially you in Devon. Take care - I'm fond of jelly.. and pudding island is a good name. Cheers Hilary

  2. Welcome to the grumpy old man club, Mark!

  3. Hey Mark! Welcome back to the fold! So glad to see you are well and happy in your new /old land. So glad that changing the title of your blog didn't interfere with your subscribers getting email notices of your new blog posts! TV can indeed be addicting. And it understand how unsettling it can be. I used to watch Sunday morning politics all the time but I had to stop that: I found that within a few minutes I was usually fuming mad about something that someone had said and instead of my Sundays being laid back, they were starting off with me bitching about something. None of that! That had to stop! But there are some really good programs out there and they can certainly be a time-thief.
    Welcome back. Nice to see you back in action!
    Michele at Angels Bark

  4. Welcome back, from 'One rock in the Aegean, to another in the NE Atlantic' ...

  5. Also very glad to have you back. (I tried to leave good luck posts before you left Greece but they didn't show up) I've thought about you and Mrs C and all your changes quite often - stressful times and I hope the health issues clear up soon.

    I love jelly! Especially a raspberry jelly made with a tin of strawberries thrown in. I'm that classy!


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