Sunday, 17 October 2010

Every Little Heartbeat

So me and mum were sat in her front room trying to watch some kind of a crime detective programme on the BBC.

I say trying because it's hard to concetrate. As well as the moving pictures and the characters speaking, there is also the somewhat alarming presence of a well spoken lady speaking very very quickly over the top of the programme, describing EXACTLY what is happening.

'Geoff walks down a path in terraced street. He enters a red door. The wall paper is flocked and stripped. A gas fire is lit. A woman in a flannelette nightdress is seated. The woman appears pensive. Geoff rolls his eyes. A cigarette burns in an ashtray'.

For a split second a feeling of unease chills me.

Am I hearing voices in my head?

Is this what it has come to?

And if so, am I not supposed to hear someone telling me that I AM the Virgin Mary or perhaps the Second Coming (or at the very least that my soul will find redemption if go outside with no clothes on bar a pair of Argyle socks).

I never thought true aural psychosis would involve a man called Geoff and a woman in a flannelette nightie.


But then it clicks. It's not in my head. My mum's got the 'extra visual description' function turned on the TV. You know, the facility for blind people so they can actually follow what's happening between the dialogue.


'Yes Darling!'.

'Why have you got that mad commentary thing on the tele?'.

'Oh I know darling, it's the new thing it seems. All the programmes seem to have it these days. I'm surprised someone hasn't written into Points of View about it!'.

'Does Points of View still exist?'.

'I don't know actually, but it's very odd isn't it?'.

'Mum. It's for blind people'.

'What, Points of View?'.

'No. That crazy woman talking. It's a special thing to use if you can't see the pictures. Last time I looked you weren't blind and I don't think you've had THAT much white wine'.

'Oh (stunned). I just thought it was the trend'.

'Did you not ever stop to wonder why EVERY programme had the same woman talking, manically, over the dialogue?'.

'Erm, no'.

'Right well I'll turn it off. It's an option. Not compulsory'

(A brief tussle with the remote control later I have failed to turn it off. What I have acheived are sub-titles. So now we have moving pictures, dialogue, woman frantically describing wallpaper and facial expressions AND the written word).

We fall into a defeated silence, our senses overloaded.

Sometime later, my mum speaks.

'Would you look at that. My wine is moving to the rhythmn of my heartbeat'.

'You what!?'.

'The surface of my wine. When my heart beats. It moves. How extraordinary'.

'Erm, mum. Is your heart beating really hard or something? The wine is on the table. You are in your chair. How on earth could your heart be making the floor vibrate?'.

'I don't know. It's like we're connected'.


(She watches the wine shimmer for a few more minutes).

'Oh actually, no. It's not my hearbeat. Its the dishwasher'.

'Mum, those plants by the front gate, are they still intact?'

And they think I'm the mad one.......


  1. ROFL - thank you so much for sharing this surreal conversation. I laughed out loud for the first time in ages (Dad died last Saturday and it's his funeral tomorrow).
    Just what I needed.
    Sue xx

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  3. lol my sister phoned me the other day to ask if I was watching Emmerdale and was someone talking over it? She had done the same thing but didn't know how she had turned it on or how to turn it off! She eventually got there!!! And wine wasn't involved - or so she claimed.

  4. I love your mum. She makes my mum seem normal. A good thing.

  5. Oh blimey we've had that too - always seems to come to the attention of the kids during 'Timmy Time' (no speaking probably makes it more obvious). It's happened a few times but I can never remember which button it is to get rid of it....I really should put a dot of paint on it or something! Hope your mum managed to turn it off

  6. Nope, I still want her to adopt me - you can't put me off with episodes like this we're meant to be together!

  7. She's like Uri Gellar, but with wine...... cor!