When you have grown up with the BBC as your staple provider of entertainment and news, you realise when you go elsewhere in the world how good the BBC seems by comparison. Impartial (in the main), balanced, no adverts etc etc.
In NZ, there are the usual smattering of news providers on different channels but to be frank, in a country of 4.5 million people there isn’t a lot of news to report. In some ways this is great! It is great that a car crash with one fatality still makes it on to the news (especially if a foreign driver is involved), it is great that a murder still outrages people, it is great that someone holding up a petrol station, while wearing a onesie, to obtain cigarettes is newsworthy…but let us also be honest, in this desensitised age, it is not very exciting either.
To fill up the allotted news time, we end up with what appear to be sponsored stories about new products, new movies etc. I also feel at times like it is painful to see who can qualify as a reporter with their dubious command of the English language.
Which brings me to my final bit of info, channel Three here in NZ has started doing an entertainment show based around the news each weeknight with a studio audience. It is called The Project (if anyone wants to look it up online) and is based on an Australian format from what I have read. When I first heard about it I remember thinking that things must’ve really got desperate on already quite poor NZ TV, but I actually think it is really good! They somehow deliver the main stories and balance having a good laugh about them where they can with the serious messages and debate/opinion. Why shouldn’t the news be entertaining instead of depressing?
At the end of the day, some serious stories take some believing sometimes anyway so why not laugh about it all…has Donald Trump REALLY been elected President? Has the UK REALLY opted to leave the European Union?
In New Zealand, there is a real culture of Do-It-Yourself. From building homes to renovating homes, the isolation of the country and a lack of nearby tradesmen in many places has probably facilitated this culture of people being more self-sufficient.
This translates onto the TV also, because after thinking about food TV last time out, it then occurred to me how many DIY shows are on TV. There are shows from NZ, Australia, Canada, USA and the UK all about this same thing. I can actually understand this a little more here in NZ because of the culture and I suppose these shows give people ideas on how they might change their abode but how many is too many?
But then I wondered something else, on one Australian show where it is as plain as day that they are shopping in Bunnings (a DIY store which I believe has just arrived in the UK), are shows like this really just a blatant sponsored attempt to get you to spend money in those places?
While watching a cookery show of some description on TV recently I was wondering why on earth we, as people, are so obsessed with watching shows wherein a large part of it is people stuffing their faces and telling us how good it tastes (some of whom have cooked it first)?
Does this seem strange to anyone else?
If I sat you right next to someone and asked you to watch them eat, complete with the sound effects, you would probably think it was disgusting, so why do we have so many TV shows about it? Most of the time you won’t be trying to cook it yourself anyway. It doesn’t really make sense.
Living in New Zealand, and particularly in Auckland where you are surrounded by lovely beaches on two very different coasts, you almost feel compelled to get out there on the reasonably temperate ocean. The Pacific Ocean (east coast) is pretty calm, the Tasman Sea (west coast) is pretty rough and this dictates to a degree what you might do on either coast.
A Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) is like a broader, more stable surf board which enables you to stand up and paddle on the ocean. You can buy solid or inflatable boards in a variety of sizes. It certainly gives your core a good bit of exercise. I get a real sense of peace when out there with nothing but the sound of the waves gently lapping on the board and a gentle breeze blowing. It is as close as any of us will get to walking on water!
That’s me below with Rangitoto Island in the background.