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Wednesday, April 17, 2013


In the last couple of weeks or so, the baby has become much more aware of the television.  Previously I might have it on in the background, half-watching repeats of ER or the news.  Not repeats of the news.  That would be pointless.  You know what I mean.  But recently, the baby has definitely been noticing and responding more to the television.  Which means, during the 30 minutes each day I'm clearing the kitchen or putting laundry on, I do occasionally plonk her in front of CBeebies.

And, my, haven't things changed since my day?  I'm not even going to write about In The Night Garden, her favourite, at the moment, as it's so intense, I think it will take at least one whole post.  There are all sorts of CGI programmes, including a really disturbing thing called dirtgirlworld which I think is to do with caterpillars or some shit.  Basically nine out of 10 children's programmes are to do with ecology, gardening, farming, that sort of thing.  The sort of stuff that's really useful growing up in the suburbs of London.

So I was delighted to see a relic from my childhood has still made it to television.  Good old Postman Pat is still going strong.  And he's even got a new series called Postman Pat - Special Delivery Service.  As far as I can tell, this is exactly the same as regular Postman Pat, except a quite good looking guy called Ben (is it wrong to fancy a stop-motion model?) phones Pat on his mobile (I know!), tells him it's special delivery, and Pat puts on a badge.

But whilst I may remember Pat fondly from my youth, there have been some significant changes in his life, and not just the acquisition of a mobile phone.

Firstly, Pat is married!  The line in the song, "Pat thinks he's a really happy man" always bothered me.  It was the "thinks", I reckon.  As if he wasn't a really happy man, but he's convinced himself he is.  Still, now he has a wife, and a child, so has clearly got some.  Which might go some way to increase his happiness.  He also still has Jess the cat.  This seems somewhat unlikely as his child is at least 10 and even if Jess was a kitten in 1981, she'd be 32 by now.  Which is middle-aged in human years.  I suspect there may have been more than one "Jess", after the first Jess "went to live on a farm".  Or indeed, as the rhyme from my childhood went, "Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat ran over his cat".

Secondly, Pat only flies a fucking HELICOPTER.  In addition to his Range Rover, regular van, forklift truck and motorbike.  Pat must have spent the last thirty years taking tests and applying for licences.  More worrying is that Jess sits at the front of the helicopter wearing goggles.  I don't think this is safe.

Thirdly, Greendale remains the centre for localised natural disasters.  As far as I can tell, it's the only place in the world that regularly suffers from hurricanes, flooding, severe snow storms and OH MY GOD, Mrs Goggins is still alive.

Fourthly, I'm not sure Pat is using his new responsibilities correctly.  Case in point; the church needed a new bell delivering.  The Hindu family in Greendale seemed disproportionately politically-correctly excited about this.  A tree blew down (hurricane) and blocked Pat's special delivery from getting there.  Good old Ted used his farm vehicle to help Pat out (why Pat didn't take the aforementioned Range Rover in the first place, I don't know).

So the bell gets to the church safely and on time (no thanks to Pat and his piss-poor planning), but - SHOCK - the crane can't get there because of the tree that's blocking the road.  Did the vicar really think it would be a good idea to actually install the bell at the opening ceremony?  Surely that could have been taken care of ahead of time.  Who wants to watch a bell being installed?  No-one.  Not even the politically-correct Hindus.

Anyway, Pat to the rescue again, and Ted takes him back to HQ where he picks up the helicopter (yes the HELICOPTER) and uses it to fit the church bell.  Firstly, is Pat trained in campanology (it wouldn't surprise me with all the other shit he's been up to recently)?  But more importantly, a helicopter, Pat?  Really?  Ignoring the fact that you're not getting paid for this little excursion and each helicopter flight costs a few hundred pounds (who's going to pay for that, Pat?  The taxpayer?), the main reason the crane couldn't get there was the hurricane.  Do you remember the hurricane, Pat?  It happened three minutes ago.  And now you're flying a helicopter dangerously close to a building.  This could be Greendale's 9/11.

Theme tune's still catchy though.  Om pom pom, Om pom pom etc. etc.

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