Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

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Addictive personalities

Posted by Oli on Thursday 14th December, 2006

In the last two days I’ve come to a shocking personal conclusion: I’m an addict.  Twice over.  I’m now – 100% officially – addicted to Sky+.  And I’m now – 100% officially – addicted to Borders.


I don’t watch much TV – hardly any at all when I’m not around K.  She’s a terrible influence on me because she’ll watch any old rubbish and claim it’s interesting, happily squidged on a sofa all day long.  Ironically, I can’t get her to share my passion for films because she doesn’t have the attention-span for them.  Hmmm…. there may be something in this “MTV generation” theory after all… but that’s beside the point.

Anyway, I don’t watch much TV – maybe an hour a day, possibly two and it’s usually specific programs that I want to watch.  I’ve never been much of a sofa-surfing channel-hopper.  Well, OK, I was once upon a time, until my brother began to tease me about my being able to win Telly Addicts on my own and I started having nightmares of Noel Edmonds in family-knitted garish Christmas jumpers.

So it used to really bug me when I’d look at the night’s listings and discover that the only two things I really wanted to watch were on at the same time.  Or, more particularly annoying, given it’s infrequent occurence, when I had something planned which clashed with something important.

Since moving back to Mum and Dad’s, however, I’ve been blessed with the genius that is Sky+.  The best thing in the world about Sky+ is it means I don’t ever, EVER have to watch daytime TV.  Even if I do have those days when I really can do nothing but sit on my butt on the sofa and veg out, I can record a whole evening’s worth of vaguely-entertaining fayre, without having to resort to the daytime schedules of not-even-close-to-entertaining pap.  Or Neighbours (which is another category altogether).

Most of all, what I love about it is being able to watch things whenever I want to.  For example, I’ve developed a new routine whereby I keep myself busy for most of the day, but permit myself a “lunch hour” in the middle of the day to grab lunch and sit and do nothing.  Which means I can record things from the night before and catch up with them today.

All of which is a really long way of going about saying that I watched a really interesting programme today.  But actually, I’ve been prattling on so long about the genius of Sky+ it seems pointless to go into my new-fangled theories on positive thinking and instead I’ll save it for another day and come back to it fresher and less Sky+’d up.

Back to my addictions, though.  Borders: the wonderful world of literature and other stuff that’s descended from on high (read: opened a store in MK as opposed to the nearest one being in Oxford) and plonked itself slap-bang in the middle of my everyday life.

I’ve been there 4 times now, 3 times in the last week and for a combined total of around 4 hours and I still don’t feel like I’ve managed to have a really good look around.  I maintain, in fact, that I still won’t until I’ve settled myself into a comfy Starbucks chair and flicked through an un-bought book for half an hour, finished my coffee, put the book back and come home.

The great thing about Borders, and what really stands out when you walk in, especially for someone like me who loves books, is that it’s just so wonderfully full of books.  I mean, they’re everywhere.  And not just in a regular book-shop kind of way. 

I mean they’re EVERYWHERE and “everywhere” goes on for absolutely AGES.  It’s the biggest biggest biggest book-holding space in the whole widest world of Milton Keynes and is so spectacularly amazing it makes me positively dribble with excitement.  I can almost smell the print.

So now I can’t keep myself away.  I have to have my Borders fix.  Twice in two nights I’ve been there for an hour between 8pm and 9pm, just to wander around when it’s not full of silly people doing silly things like trying to shop for Christmas presents when I’m trying to be there and just enjoy the SPACE.  Inconsiderate little so-and-so’s.

It is mildly – only mildly – concerning what effect this could have on my bank balance.  I’ve been fairly good so far – so far – at keeping my wallet in check and not splashing out, but it’s only a matter of time.

I see Borders, and my addiction to it, as rather like one of these new Super Casinos that are due to be hitting our shores sometime in the near future (you know, the one that should be in Blackpool that the Government are making everyone think they might put somewhere else, just to spite Blackpool and take away it’s “UK’s Las Vegas” tag, as if that was something to be proud of in the first place).  You think you’ve got it under control, and that you’re winning.  But sooner or later the situation’s gonna change, everything will turn around on you and you’ll find yourself completely wiped out.

Mind you, at least when I’ve cleaned myself out, maxed out my credit cards and had to lock myself in the flat and barricade the baliffs out I’ll have something good to read….


5 Responses to “Addictive personalities”

  1. Nicola said

    I have to agree with you Oli,I have also recently discovered the wonder that is Sky+,but seen as I already watch far too much Tv,it now means I spend most of my day on the sofa.I can’t believe I have never been into Borders,the nearest one is a bit away but it sounds fab,i love getting lost in a new book.

    Hope your well.


  2. Suze said

    Glad to hear that you have been more disciplined than me! I’ve not managed to walk out of Borders the past few weeks without buying at least two things – and I haven’t even looked for the play section yet! Rheya joined me there last week and found it an exhilarating experience – and I convinced her to buy three books for her brother’s birthday present. Nice to see it’s had almost the same effect on you.

    As for Sky, you know me – hate the damn thing as my hubby spends most evenings flicking between ‘How It’s Made’ to another dull programme!

    Suze x

  3. Suzie said

    OMG Oli…Borders is our all time favourite, big coffee an cake then retire to comfy leather chair to read book we’re still deciding whether or not to buy while watching everyone rushing about and rain lashing at the window…bliss.
    They also stock every mag in creation.

    Try before you buy, brilliant.
    Take care chuck

  4. AL said

    Oli our version of Sky is TiVo or DVR…& I love it too!!! Although we watch more shows than we did before, at least we don’t have to watch commercials!! Once Dad got it he called me in the middle of a show just so he could pause live TV…So funny!!

    Be careful with that Borders addiction…you could get lost in one of those stores!! 🙂

  5. elaine said

    i haven’t discovered the wonders of sxy+ yet as my parents absolutely refuse to join the 21st century…but i’m also addicted to borders! It’s just fantastic! You do feel remarkably fulfilled after sitting in starbucks with an unbought book, drinking a hot chocolate (can’t stand coffee) reading half of it and then putting it back, it is something which you must try!

    My friends are going to hate me this year, i’m fairly sure that some of them have gone so long without reading that they’ve forgotten how to, but they’ve all got books this christmas because i can’t stand the centre at this time, and borders is just amazing 🙂

    take care
    see you in the new year? hopefully
    elaine x

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