Monday, 1 June 2009

My Pet Hate

We all have pet hates; things that for us are intolerable. It could be a food item, it could be a type of clothing, it could be a television programme, it might be a person who we don't really know but for whom we develop a strong dislike. In my case it is an accent.

Yes, that's right, an accent; the way in which people from a particular part of the country speak. And the accent is ...


Anyone who has known me for many years will see the irony of this pet hate. You see, my husband of more than 20 years was born at Wallsend, and lived the first 18 years of his life in the area of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. And always north of the Tyne, for that is where real Geordies come from (that's what he always used to tell me) not these southerners from Durham and South Shields who call themselves Geordies.

The Geordie accent can be very difficult to understand for those who do not come from the area. Understanding it has never been a problem for me so I can't give that as the reason for disliking it, but dislike it I do. Perhaps it is the sing-song quality to the accent that I don't like, but it is a fact that I will often turn off the television or radio if the person talking is a Geordie.

Just in case you are wondering why I have suddenly decided to tell you about my pet hate, it is tied in with something that I have been watching on BBC television over recent weeks and my annoyance about the way that programmes are shown, or perhaps it would be better to say the way they are repeated.

I have found that Sunday evenings have been packed with excellent programmes on BBC1 and BBc2 for the last four weeks, and I have been very grateful for BBC iPlayer which gives me the ability to watch these programmes again and to watch programmes that I couldn't watch when they were broadcast because of time clashes. The programmes in question have been South Pacific and The Incredible Human Journey on BBC2 and Inspector George Gently on BBC1.

I watch the BBC2 programmes when they are broadcast and then resort to BBC iPlayer for Inspector Gently. It is set in the north-east of England in the 1960s, and while most of the stories seem to relate to the Durham area or South Shields, the locals are referred to as Geordies. And while I will usually turn off the television or radio, as I have already said, at the merest hint of the accent, I have really enjoyed watching this series. Perhaps it was because it was tempered with Inspector Gently's London accent. I didn't see the first series of Inspector Gently (I'm not sure why, perhaps I just wasn't aware of it being on) but I have enjoyed watching the second series although I would have liked to have seen the first series because it would perhaps have explained a few things that I didn't understand about the two main characters. So I was very pleased to see that the programme that was going to be shown last night was from the first series, unfortunately it wasn't the first episode, but the second one.

Why on earth would the BBC put on the second episode of something without showing the first one, especially for something such as this series when it is likely that the first episode provided an introduction to the main characters? The answer is simple. There must be something big on next Sunday and they only wanted a filler programme for this week. And that is what it looks like for I see that the final for this year's 'Apprentice' is being shown next Sunday.

So I have had a taster of what had gone before, but only a taster, so I will have to add it to the items that I will be buying later from Amazon. I have to say that I have checked Amazon a couple of times just recently; originally in the hope of being able to buy some of the Inspector Gently books written by Alan Hunter, and latterly looking for the DVD. While I appreciate that these books will be somewhat dated now, I would have liked the opportunity to read at least some of the books, but few are available and then only in used copies. While I am not averse to buying used copies, the prices being charged for some were totally ridiculous.

So there you have it. A rambling post that started out with me talking about my pet hate, an accent, and finishes with me talking about an enjoyable television series that had most of the characters talking with that accent. Isn't life strange?

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