TV and Advent

Do you remember?

Those halcyon days when the days were good! Oh how those memories flood back. We ventured to Derby and their library to see an exhibition of past TV programmes.

Muffin the Mule, Captain Pugwash, Rainbow, The Magic Roundabout and the Tellytubbies brought back so many memories. It was wonderful to see the annuals from TV programmes that were broadcast soon after the emergence of the television, first of course in black and white. The strings of the puppets so evident but ignored by the viewers as they were delighted in the storyline and the whole spectacle.

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It was interesting to see the props some of the programmes used to tell the story: a cigarette in a magic trick and a mallet to quell a pirate, all perfectly acceptable in children’s TV then. There was the innuendo which appears so obvious today but then it was not so clearly identified by the viewers – thank goodness.

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We wondered what kept the attention of the children then – it certainly kept my attention! Watch With Mother: Pew, Hugh, Barley, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub all standing at attention for parade, I was transfixed. I wonder what today’s generation would make of it all?

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There were so many adults standing watching the old programmes as they were shown all around the exhibition: smiling, the odd laughter at the jokes and possibly as they recalled happy times. Would we like to be back there now?

We can all recall such memories perhaps, although not all are good – some we would very much like to forget. So why do we look back?

Memories can provide us with some form of foundation. They tell us of days gone by and those good and bad times. It gives us a chance to move forward with knowledge of how to find success and happiness.  Importantly, I feel, we shouldn’t want to languish there. We are a society which is moving forward. We are in the present and looking ahead, with hope, to the future.

In Advent, this is a time when we can look back, reflect on our present (note, not presents!) and consider the future. Advent is a time when we can consider what has happened over the past year for example, how what we have done, what others have done to us, have affected situations. Then we can see where we are. Stepping back from the scene, looking at our current situation afresh can provide a new perspective – a chance to move forward again. And we can also look forward to our future, with hope.

Will we use what has happened to us this last year to help us move forward? Can we see God in our lives, helping, providing opportunities to help others, to show his love to all? Then Christmas can mean so much more than those presents as we value our family, friends and those we encounter on a day to day basis. God gives us so much, so many opportunities to show his love to others and his love to be experienced by us.

I really enjoyed the TV programmes of yesteryear. I could recognise the TV theme tunes especially Joe 90 even if I hadn’t watched it for 40 years! But now I can look ahead by being positive for others and bringing smiles to those I meet.

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