So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog

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Too much TV………..

Picture of a Moggy as I haven’t one of Mr Forcher!

One thing we missed when we came here was some aspects on UK television.  Being huge fans of Time Team, and that not usually available on DVD meant we missed Phil and his trowel. Austrian TV is full of American stuff, dubbed so quickly   its impossible to understand.  Some programmes we love, such as  Musikantenstadl, an Austrian version of Saturday night at the Palladium.  Klingendes Oesterriech.  Presented by Father Christmas Lookalike Sepp Forcher who presents random music groups singing and playing on the alms (we’ve never found any, so don’t know how he does!). There’s also a Home buying programme, where mostly gay folks and wannabe actors/singers pretend they want to buy a flat which usually has white walls and light laminate floors, I’m so glad to be able to watch gems such as Homes Under the Hammer again… was programmes such as a Place in the Sun which possibly triggered our move!

We resorted to DVD buying and when we go back to the UK, even enjoying the adverts.  Sad!  But the evenings are long here in the winter.  Then we suddenly found we had English channels, all of them on the satellite.  Somewhere must have switched off analog so the signal is now stronger. Admittedly when it snows or rains they flicker like mad, but we’ve ordered a signal booster.  We’ve now got about five years of repeats of our favourite programmes to catch up on.

I’ve moaned at Dave for  ages for watching Shy News, saying we don’t live there any more, put the local Tv on.  Then I caught myself watching the early evening news on BBC South.  Sally Taylor, still the same as when we left.  News that had little or no relevance to us.  I freaked out.  Where was I? Back in the UK, should I be there? Was Austria losing its hold on us?  This juxtaposition of the two worlds, being here and watching my old home felt so wrong.  I can’t explain it.  I had that awful tightening in my stomach of homesickness.  I kept telling myself, you are going back, at Easter and in May for the wedding.  Even so, I wont watch it again.

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Dr Who Christmas Special!

Spurious flower shot!

We saw this as  usual belatedly after it came out on DVD.  I really don’t understand why there’s all this fuss over Copyright by the English channels, surely if I was prepared to pay for an internet/satellite channel for BBC/ITV etc so I can watch English TV, then copyright is paid for?  I won’t illegally download because I believe artists have a right to be paid for their work.

So this year, it was the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe that got the Who treatment.  Obvious parallel with a family in War time going to stay in a mysterious house.  I found the heroines acceptance of the Doctor stuck in the space suit didn’t match with her strong leadership of her family, surely such a woman would be the first to call the Cops if she found a Spaceman?

The cupboard is some sort of Spaceportal which was an obvious idea. The space ship getting ready to harvest the planet as a comedic interlude was good, though I was waiting for Arabelle Weir to ask if her bum was big in the suit!

 Actually I liked this  episode but for me, it fell down on one huge point.  When the rescued plane landed in the garden, the family was miraculously reunited for Christmas, but there was no sign of the rest of the crew. It was already stressed they would need an ambulance, and the plane would have to be repaired and returned to base.  Shame the story fell down here, as this was a nice story with no subtext for me to dislike!

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Dr Who and TV and God

Sigur, Aravakur, Lucca, our Icelandic therapists to be!

I’ve just watched the Christmas special from last year and it had the old grey cells ticking.  My favourite course with the Open University was  on film criticism and  this programme  had the analysing bits of the brain going.

When we were in the UK for Christmas we enjoyed the English tv, oh so different from Austrian. George laughed at us being interested in the adverts!  In Austria there are a lot of ‘Crimmis’ in other word detective dramas – Midsommer Murders is Inspector Barnaby here. Sickly sweet, kitsch homely dramas, and romances such as Rosamund Pilcher (made in German in GB).  Nature documentaries, mostly about cute animals bouncing around mountains, a few soaps, but hardly ever a good sit-com, nothing like Time team and very rarely science Fiction.  Endless Mr Bean and old films. Lots of beer adverts and ski gear can’t think why! There is far less graphic violence, but there seems no watershed, we’ve seen people doing nookie at about four o’clock in afternoon- most shocking.  Maybe our watershed shows England’s Victorian roots too, another instance – most family catalogues in Austria  similar to Universal have a sections for sex aids and porn dvds!

There are none of the credit adverts here, but a lot  the big home furnishing shops like XXXlutz and of course the supermarkets – no BOGOFs here, more like buy two get two free and so on.  I digress.

The Dr Who Christmas special was advertised as being like Christmas Carol.  The world depicted was a Dickensian yet modern world, with dirty smokey streets,street urchins and poor housing.  All ruled over by a tyrant.  But they were nevertheless going to celebrate Christmas and Carols were being played over a tannoy.  In one scene, a traditional Christmas meal was eaten. The tyrant had a Christmas tree in the past in his house although it was also in a Dickensian gloom. Like Scrooge, the villain was faced with his past, but not with Ghosts but with the Doctor intervening and changing his past. The result was  he relented and let the doomed spaceship land, and went off with his dying love.  The main excitement was that it snowed.

What struck me was that the world shown was pretty near England today, as depicted in the media – both tv and press.  A Godless land where Christmas has no meaning beyond a family celebration, where Carols were sung but with no reference to the meaning.  Yet celebrated. The world of no hope – caused by a tyrant who is released from his Scrooge – like self  by the Doctor, no Ghosts of past and present. There was no hope there, as in the original Scrooge becoming a benefactor of the poor, just more of the same old, same old.

I worry that the Doctor is being made a messianic figure , the past series have put him behind so many world events such as Pompei, meeting Churchill in the Second world war and so on.   But is this what happens when a land has its God removed by Political correctness, a weak church and a Bill of human rights that makes a travesty of life?  Where the faith of the country is lesser than the rights of other faiths and homosexuality? The world in the Christmas special seemed a metaphor for England today, with the only hope being a fictional spaceman, not God.  I’m so glad I live in a country where the coming of Jesus is fully and openly celebrated, where the meaning has not been lost.