Oxfordshire's in the middle of the television digital switch-over, which seemed to be designed to make a generation of sets redundant, and create a whole new market for freeview boxes and digital TVs. Anyway it began this week. Being disabled I was eligible for the government scheme for help to make the transfer including a digibox. However I declined, as we already have one, and, so they said, it was just a matter of retuning the box.
All I can say is it's a good thing the rugby World Cup's on ITV, as the BBC reception here has been rubbish with all the channels duplicating themselves and cutting out to a blank screen within seconds. But fortunately ITV got the rights and my viewing hasn't been subject to that awful frustration - except yesterday when Pam Ayres appeared on the One Show. She of course was born and bred in Stanford in the Vale, and has just produced the memoir of that time, The Necessary Aptitude. According to the publishers:
"Pam Ayres' early childhood in Stanford in the Vale was idyllic in many ways, and typical of that experienced by a great swathe of children born in rural areas in the immediate post-war years. Though her parents' generation was harrowed by war, better times were coming. Everything the family needed was within walking distance in the village, and life with four older brothers and a sister in their crowded council house was exceedingly lively.
"In her late teens, Pam grew dissatisfied with her life as a Civil Service clerk with only the local 'hop' for scintillating excitement. Having seen three of her brothers called up for National Service and sent off to exciting destinations, Pam felt desperate for travel and adventure. She joined the WRAF and soon found herself in the Far East. There she began to write in earnest, and develop the unique talent that would make her one of Britain's favourite comics...
"Written with Pam's much-loved combination of humour and poignancy, The Necessary Aptitude is a beautifully written memoir of her early years."
Fortunately, I've since been able to listen to the programme on iPlayer. She is genuinely nice and unspoiled by success.
Eventually, having googled duplicating channels in digital switch-over, I discovered that I was one among many having problems. It wasn't as simple as we've been told - things never are. I think I may have solved it now - but I'm not counting my chickens.