Phil: Since I don’t have a small child to get ready for school in the morning, if I’m so minded, I can take my time and linger a bit over my bowl of breakfast cereal. It’s a great time to catch up on some magazine reading, and since I prefer to work later, I don’t see any panic to be sat in front of a computer terribly early.
In the past, this would be accompanied by BBC Breakfast News. I suppose it’s useful to catch up on the various happenings in the world, but if I’m honest, knowing the weather forecast is probably more practical.
But, with Brexit, all this stopped. Yes, I might catch the weather and local news, but the rest of the time the airwaves were filled with people shouting at each other. And just as Brexit leaves the stage, along comes Covid, and the news editors decided our mornings should start with a blast of ratings-gathering doom and gloom.Even as this recedes in interest, we’re treated to more disaster with (currently) empty shelves, price rises, lack of power etc.
For a very long while, there has been no TV. Telly snobs will say this is a good thing, but I grew up with the magic box and get just as annoyed with those who boast about not watching it, as I do with those who devote their entire lives, and a complete wall in their lounge, to the screen.
Idly flicking through the channels on a very relaxed morning, I found that I could watch the 1980s American sitcom Cheers with my cereal.
Set in a Boston bar, the show features a pretty static line-up of characters, very few of whom can be described as high-flyers (OK, Fraiser, but the rest). It’s warm. It’s cosy. As the theme song goes:
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name
And they are right. We all want to find our little community, where we fit in and the rest are pleased to see us.
Of course, the other reason I enjoy watching the show over breakfast is it seems so deliciously naughty to do so. Grown-ups are supposed to want to know what is in the news, even if there is nothing we can do about it. Cheers, and other shows are for the evening.
Side-stepping the expected norm feels a bit like bunking off school, or deliberately taking a longer lunch at work when you know you’ll probably get away with it. Naughty, but in a safe way.
Best of all, the warm and fuzzy accompaniment to y Fruit’n’fibre probably puts me in a better frame of mind to face the day. Or reminds me that I might be happier sat on a bar stool, drinking beer, and watching the world go by.
As the theme goes, “Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot“.