Being confined to home because of COVID not only gives me, and a lot of others more time to write, it also enables us to explore a few more leisure options to fill in the time.
After all, we can hardly just keep writing endlessly.
Well, perhaps some of us could.
At first I decided I would do some virtual travelling, you know, go to places I would never go in person, like South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, South America, you know the sort of places I mean, the ones where you can’t get travel insurance cover, or not without mortgaging your home.
That lasted about a day. Seeing the pyramids online was not the same as being there, getting the sand blown in your face, or the tour bus being hijacked, and you spend the next three months in a dark, hot, hell hole while the kidnappers negotiate with governments that refuse to negotiate with terrorists.
So far, I’m not filling in my time very well.
There are weeds to be pulled, lawns to be cut, shrubs and trees to be pruned, painting to be done, you know, all of those chores that you put off until tomorrow, knowing tomorrow will never come.
Don’t ask me to explain that.
So, we’re left with television.
Firstly there was a series called Yellowstone, a western in a modern setting, three series worth. Yes, we watched all of them, no, didn’t like the swearing, or Beth Dutton, Rip was channelling the Duke, and Kevin Kostner, well, his stint in Dances with Wolves stood him in good stead.
Geez though, how much trouble can one ranch attract? Indians, speculators, developers, and an international airport? To be honest, at times it spiralled out of control, but for sheer entertainment value, it was slightly better than I thought it might be. As for Jamie, how could one person be so complicated?
Then there was another series, Away. OK, this was about as far fetched as a premise could get, and the characters, as diverse, and sometimes as obtuse as any I’ve seen thrown together for over eight months. Thank god we didn’t have to suffer eight months of it.
It was good, I guess, with people being the way they are, and I’d expected in the confines of that small space for so long, they might have killed each other off one at a time, like in Lord of the Flies, but no such luck.
My favourite? The Russian. He might have been blind but he was interesting. Just would have liked a few subtitles for us non-Ghana, Chinese, Russian, Indian people.
As for White House Farm, I’m still trying to work out who killed them all, because it definitely wasn’t the daughter. It had to be the indifferent son, or at his behest. Full marks to the dogged detective, who, the last time I saw him, he was a rather improbable Hercules. Funny how your impression of a performance goes back to one you’ve seen him before.
Which is another of our viewing interests, watching a show and trying to work out where we’ve seen the actors before. Some are familiar and seem to be in everything, others rarely seen, or remembered. I hope this is not a sign of their acting talent, or more to the point, lack of it.
At the moment we are in the middle of Young Wallender. Those who may have seen Branagh in the Wallender series would remember this as being the most stultifying of series, filmed bleakly in a bleak country with bleak characters, and bleak crimes.
Fortunately, the Young Wallender series is not as bleak, but it has dark undertones. Some might call this gritty. There are four more to go so it can only get better.
Like jumping off a ten storey building, it’s so far so good…