Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Soap operas

It’s “Neighbours”.

For many years, it was “Crossroads”. We lived in Birmingham, and the ITV studios weren’t far away. We often saw the actors in our local shops. It involved a real effort of will not to smile at them. It was one of Thomas-the-Elder’s very first words. Rachel was giving him a bath one day when he started pushing her away and trying to say something. She realised he meant, it’s time for Crossroads.

When it went down, we struggled to find a replacement. At last! “El Dorado”. That one was good. It only lasted a year – Alan Yentob killed it, and has never been forgiven. I should have written my letter to them, which was to suggest they change the name. It sounded like foreign muck to half the population, and like something you didn’t really want to watch, to the rest. It was set in a British expatriate community in Spain, a brilliant idea. I read somewhere once that Marks and Spencer doubled the sale of a certain soup when they stopped calling it “vichyssoise” and re-labelled it “leek and potato”.

Now we’ve got Neighbours. We tried “Home and Away” the last two days. I found it unbearable.

My cold is no better. I spent yesterday afternoon in bed. Like my husband’s cold which preceded, it remains confined to the head. It means we can’t go to lunch with my sister-in-law tomorrow for the annual exchange of Christmas presents – she has suffered a series of chest infections in the last 18 months, and has been in and out of hospital. Currently she’s on steroids and bouncing about like a spring lamb, but I still don’t want to go near her carrying an active respiratory virus.

What are steroids? The Wikipedia entry seemed completely irrelevant to my sister-in-law’s problems.

So Christmas chores are being pared down where possible. Fortunately knitting doesn’t involve much expenditure of energy. I’ve finished the first ASJ sleeve and picked up the stitches for the second. Both that and the hat should be ready for Loch Fyne – a week today.


  1. I do hope your cold is better - or rather that you feel better and your cold disappears. When I have a cold I don't even feel like knitting, horrors. Just snuggle up with a good book.

    As to soaps, my current favourite is Ros Na Run, an Irish language one which has been running for almost 15 years.

    Midsomer Murders is not a soap but it's a programme my husband and I look forward to every day even though we've seen them all before. That's my knitting time.

  2. Anonymous9:34 AM

    El Dorado - gosh that brings back memories - I don't think I've ever met anyone else who ever admitted to watching it, I was furious when it was cancelled

  3. I would assume that your sister-in-law is most likely on glucocorticoids to modulate an overly exuberant or improperly-directed immune response. That Wikipedia entry will likely be of more use. Because they suppress immune function, you are correct in thinking that it wouldn't be a good idea to visit while you're potentially infectious. Hopefully you won't be in that state for long, though.

  4. Ah Jean, memories flooding back of Bunny, Fizz and Marcus on Eldorado. My uncle had a very silent dog which used to "sing" through the whole theme tune. It was the only time he sang.
    Have not watched neighbours since the glory days of Kylie and Jason. All the other soaps are on when I am putting children to bed and have got out of the habit of watching them. I used to enjoy Brookside but it went a bit mad towards the end.
    I like the idea of having a set programme every day to knit to, I wonder what others watch?

  5. Gerri2:26 PM

    I hope you are feeling much better very quickly! Sad to miss time with family and a present exchange but you are doing the right thing.

  6. With infections come inflammation. Glucocorticoid steroids dampen the immune response, lessening inflammation and also prevent allergic reactions.

    You're very thoughtful to stay away. Too many people fail to put others first. This touched a nerve this morning because the IT guy is sitting at my desk, coughing his lungs out and touching my keyboard and mouse. I'm immune-suppressed because of current chemotherapy and he knows it. WHY is he touching my stuff????

  7. Anonymous3:08 PM

    Take care of yourself, Jean. Does one starve a cold and feed a fever or the other way around. It is like a saying they have here in Mexico. For a cold you should take one part tequila and ten parts lime juice. And if that doesn't work, reverse it. Hope you are well soon.

  8. You're very wise to stay home if not for your SOL but also for yourself. Rest, rest, knit a little, sleep a little.

  9. Oh dear. I hope your cold gets better soon, Jean. Stay warm, lots of soup, lots of knitting. That should do the trick!

  10. =Tamar2:20 AM

    What would you have called El Dorado?
    The best I've come up with is Paved With Gold, to combine the dream of the perfect place with some hint of the original title.