I'm at that age / station in life / financial situation where going out regularly - pubs, meals, cinema, cultural venues, etc - is nigh on an impossibility. They are special treats that must be saved up for and savoured. I don't have a problem with this. This is how life is at the moment and others have it far worse.
But for me a perfect way of unwinding after a hard day at work is simply time curled up on the sofa with my good lady wife watching some choice telly. Staying in and watching telly is undervalued and mis-sold in the modern media representation of our dynamic, thrusting, young techno-adept society.
But I'll bet I'm not alone in holding various TV show up as the highpoint of my week and viewing them as some kind of personal reward for another day at work got through / another ordeal endured.
Be it Doctor Who, The Musketeers, Dragon's Den, the forthcoming re-adaption of Poldark - whatever your poison - these humble little treats afforded us by a wonderfully creative UK television and movie industry (that is largely unsupported by the UK government) are what keep most of us going during the mundane, day-to-day drag of our everyday existence.
So it pisses me off - admittedly disproportionately to the crime - when the programming schedulers suddenly interrupt a series run to put something else on instead. Sport usually or some yaw-yawing political debate.
The current run of The Musketeers has been, to my memory, interrupted no less than 3 times. Now I recognise, with consummate bad timing for this post, that the current hiatus is because of Comic Relief next week and that's fine. That's understandable, acceptable and palatable. But the first two occasions were because of sporting fixtures.
Now I will also admit that I am not a sport fan. I am in fact the diametric opposite. I loathe televised sport. Watching other people perform sport is like watching other people play computer games without participating yourself or watching joggers run round the park. What is the point?
But by the by.
If I were the writer / producer / actor in any of these shows whose transmission run is broken for the sake of a football match I would be spitting feathers. A good drama series has a flow to it. An over-arc in addition to the arc of each individual episode. That flow is part of the creative drive of the show. And though some might argue that with the advent of catch-up TV scheduling no longer matters, historically the general public has an expectation that if a TV drama series is broadcast at some pre-specified and henceforth established time on a week evening then that is the slot which it will hold for all perpetuity - or at least until the series terminates. England expects. And I'm sure Scotland, Wales and Ireland do too.
To have all that time and creative energy, that carefully crafted flow cast aside for a rugby match is infuriating and insulting. I'm not knocking sport, really I'm not. If that's your bag good for you. Be welcome to it. But given the sheer amount of TV channels these days - and many solely devoted to sport - why should a sporting fixture be allowed to shoehorn its way into another schedule to attract probably less viewers than have been driven away by the banishment of the original show? Shove it onto a sports channel where the jogger-watchers can drink their beer, eat their pies and vicariously enjoy the healthier lifestyle of other people without incurring the wrath of the more tasteful majority!
Like I said, it's a small gripe. And I will accept all accusations that I am a stick-in-the-mud, dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist but, Goddamnit, Friday night is "Musketeers night" and that's all there is to it!