I take it all you Gruts Gangers have been watching Happy Valley out of morbid curiosity as to what life is really like in Upper Calderdale. Good, isn't it? The show I mean. As, indeed, is living in Upper Calderdale.
But you shouldn't believe everything you see on telly. Five episodes in, and how many hippies, lesbians, or fat blokes with beards have they shown prowling the streets of Hebden Bridge? Zilch, that's how many. How realistic isn't that? Meanwhile, if Happy Valley is to be believed, we can't move for drug addicts, psychopaths, kidnappers, rapists, cop-killers, and (I'm not making this up) ghosts.
I didn't realise, until I saw the scene where Sarah Lancashire and her grandson come out of Oasis, having bought a bag of sweets, that I actually saw them filming the series. (For the record, Oasis doesn't sell bags of sweets.)
But the real howler came right at the end of episode 5. The seriously injured psychopathic triple murderer and kidnapper climbs on the 595 bus at Tuel Lane and heads off to Hebden Bridge for, we all presume, a final showdown with an unsuspecting Sarah Lancashire.
But here's the catch… The 595 bus doesn't go anywhere near Tuel Lane in Sowerby Bridge. It runs from Hebden Bridge station, down Commercial Street, up Birchcliffe, around Dodd Naze, up Wadsworth Lane, past our house, then takes a sharp left down Nook Lane through Old Town and Pecket Well to the Crimsworth turning circle, then all the way back along the same route in reverse to Hebden Bridge station.
I do wish the BBC would check their facts before airing misleading nonsense about local bus routes.
Last night, I dreamt that I caught the end of a piece on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, in which some feminist was spouting bollocks about Charles Darwin. As opposed to spouting bollocks about men in general, I mean. I decided to write a letter to put them straight. But then I woke up.
Letters to Radio 4… Even in my dreams, I am hopelessly middle-class.
Did you watch BBC Children in Need on Friday night? No, me neither. I avoid it on medical grounds: I have a very low hilarity threshold. Seeing some bunch of no-mark celebrities I have never heard of put on drag to perform some famous pop song that I have also never heard of might just be the side-split which tips me over the edge. It's the same with those people who dress up in bear costumes and accost you in shopping precincts: I might just have to attack the next one I see, purely in self-defence.
It seems to me that what BBC Children in Need lacks is gravitas. Gravitas and dignity. Gravitas and dignity, as exemplified by Archduke Stephen, Palatine of Hungary (1817–1867):
You wouldn't catch Archduke Stephen dressing up like Freddie Mercury—uncanny resemblance notwithstanding—to make a dreadful spoof video of the Queen classic Lady O'Gaga. You wouldn't catch the Palatine of Hungary wearing a pirate costume and demanding money with menace and a bucket outside Aldi—no matter how worthy the cause. No. Archduke Stephen would have had none of that nonsense: he was far too busy governing Bohemia.
If you want my opinion, I think it's way beyond time that the BBC put that yellow bear out to stud and went up-market. Up the Auntie, so to speak. It seems to me that they could do far worse than adopt Archduke Stephen as a role model. It's time the British public rediscovered dignitas. Dignitas and gravity.
The above BBC headline is completely correct: it is a myth that antibiotics can cure most coughs and colds, and that myth is rife.
But can you imagine the BBC publishing the following headline?
Myth of homeopathic efficacy still rife
No, me neither. The second headline is equally correct, but the BBC seems scared to say so. Instead, they remain neutral, saying stuff like:
- Supporters believe homeopathy helps relieve a range of minor ailments from bruising to insomnia
- But critics say it is no better than sugar pills and people only get better because they believe the treatment will work - the so-called placebo effect
There are scientifically valid ways of testing medical efficacy. Antibiotics fail these tests for most coughs and colds. Homeopathy fails these tests for all medical conditions. But the BBC, bizarrely and irresponsibly, seems only prepared to report quite categorically the former.
… the BBC has used one of my photos on its internet blog.