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The Retired Re-fresher: why Dr Who and Sherlock make me cringe

I have now watched over 20 DVDs since Christmas.

Yes, my Christmas presents this year were box sets of DVDs due to the fact that I am studying TV fiction writing and haven't watched enough TV.

This is compounded by the fact that, living in the Highlands as I do, we don't have the internet bandwidth required for on demand TV.

The DVD Christmas present thing works the same way as it would if, say, you like baking - then your nearest and dearest give you loads of baking accessories for Christmas.

For the-TV orientated, there isn't a lot to buy bar a TV and DVDs.

I bought myself a TV with DVD player for the bedroom so I can spare everyone my continuous stream of criticism on programmes and get down to serious TV watching.

The problem with all this is that I'm gaining weight and my eyes having been giving me gyp.

I first noticed my eyesight wasn't so hot at a very traditional and lovely Hogmannay dinner hosted by friends.

"Isn't that cake gorgeous!" I exclaimed. So beautiful was it that I proceeded to take photographs of it and wax lyrically on how wonderful it was to the others seated round the table.

My fellow guests were too polite to tell me that it was a bronze sculpture of Edinburgh Castle...

In my defence, it did have a Saltire flag attached to a straw.

As there has been nothing worth watching on TV over the festive season and I've been doing my assignments, I was looking forward to the new Sherlock on BBC One. Crikey! Just 10 minutes was enough for me. It was like watching Dr Who and I won't bore you again with just how much I dislike Dr Who...

Television seems to have no confidence in breaking trends and creating new ideas. Everything I see seems to import successful formulas from other programmes.

It's like buying a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk and finding a Kinder Egg inside. It's all chocolate - but something's not quite right.

You would think the finances would allow time out for seeding new ideas or taking a risk on a loss leader every now and then to create and develop new work.

In other exciting news, my friend and I have secured a publishing deal to write a book together which is very exciting. We are looking forward to this new venture. I decided to stop being a wimp and get a grip on things.

After all, life for me really is too short - so let's get on with it!

I'm still in Boat of Garten as the term starts at the end of January although I had to go down to Glasgow and back to hand in assignments before launching myself on another one.

Almost excited about going back for the new term. My colleagues on the Glasgow Caledonian University MA in TV Fiction Writing are a happy bunch and we have all managed to get on well as a group even though I've binned all Facebook communications.

Facebook is what it says on the tin …. a book of faces, all sorts and all places. I set it up for communications at university among fellow students and it did seem to be quite useful initially. I accepted ten friends - some of them were family, so in theory, we were friends already. But a few months in, I've had enough of fighting my way through the nonsensical daily driveI. So I have cut myself off from photos of people's Christmas trees; candle cup cakes; selfish selfies and cut and pasted proverbs. After a Christmas night out with friends in Aviemore, my pictures appeared all over the world from Aviemore to Australia. That was it for me. Off with Facebook's head. I am no longer your Friend.

The refectory lamb curry beckons; the early rises are calling and so let's see what this term brings. My greatest challenge so far in 2014 is forcing myself to fall in love with Doctors, a long-running drama which airs every week day on BBC One. I have to do this apparently (according to my tutor). Well, I did grow to like peas eventually after years of shoving them in a hankie up my sleeve and dumping them!

It took a good steak, a nice man and a good bottle of wine for that to happen...

Happy New Year, all!

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