TV's a turn-off

TV's a turn-off
By Emma Joseph

TV viewers are switching off
MY weekly TV viewing schedule consists of a handful of soaps, some reality shows and a few American dramas thrown in for good measure.

Then there's the odd half-hour here and there spent flicking through the music channels, and breakfast just wouldn't be breakfast without GMTV.

Yet as I struggle to keep up with the ever-increasing number of new channels being offered, more and more people are opting to turn off their TVs in favour of a better life.

In fact, as many as five million people shunned their televisions during this year's TV-Turnoff Week, which ran from April 21 to 27, and organiser White Dot is urging viewers to use the opportunity to start a new, permanently TV-free life.

The TV-Turnoff was first proposed by Marie Winn in her 1977 book The Plug-in Drug. Non-profit group the TV Turnoff Project took up the idea and it became an international event, which has now been running for 10 years in the US, with White Dot organising its first British TV Turnoff in 1997.

While millions are signing up to White Dot's vision of a TV-free Britain, others have been switching off of their own accord.

Mother-of-two Vicki Skinner, from Boscombe, said: "I have an older son and I gave it up when he was about two - that was seven-and-a-half years ago.

"It was mainly the adverts.

"Children are so susceptible - if it says something in an advert they don't have the ability to judge it for themselves.

"My oldest son told me he was going to get a bank account at Halifax because they gave you extra, and he was upset because they didn't do tampons for boys, because the advert was so cool. I thought it was getting silly.

"It's a shame - because of the way it is, I've had to get rid of it completely. But I have bought some DVDs - the kids love it and there are no adverts. But even then, it's something to do as a treat - it's more special then.

"We are in the community doing things rather than stuck in the house."

It's out in the community that Vicki, 31, and her family do most of their socialising - with fellow non-TV watchers Lisa Northover and Julie White.

The trio are also involved in running the Boscombe Wholefood Co-operative together.

Lisa, a mum-of-four, hasn't had a television for the last 10 years, while Julie doesn't have one as she and her family live in a church community which chooses not to have a TV in the house.

"I just found you can sit in front of it and it just sucks you in," said Lisa, 30.

"I know if I had one, I would just watch it all the time. I think there's a lot to be gained from giving it up. You can have more of a life."

Lisa said not having a TV enabled her and her family to fully embrace community life.

"We're all out of the house quite a lot, out and about doing stuff. We're involved with a lot of community initiatives.

"I got rid of the TV when my eldest was still a baby and that made a big difference, because he had never had it at all.

"My daughter only recently knew what Barbie was, and she's seven. It's great because she was able to see it for what it was and didn't think it was that great, whereas if she'd seen all the hype from the adverts she would have thought it was amazing.

"And my kids have only just learnt what McDonald's is - they thought it was Old McDonald's and they thought it was something to do with a farm."

Mum-of-two Julie, 30, agreed her family was much better off without a TV.

"You find other pastimes," she said.

"I couldn't go back to watching TV now because I don't have the time. I like not having to arrange my living room around the TV, and mealtimes are really important - we've all got dining room tables and we all have dinner as a family.

"I talk a lot more to people as well - our community is about real people rather than fake people on the TV."

Vicki, Lisa and Julie are urging people to turn off their televisions, not just for a week, but for good, and to get out and enjoy life in their own communities.

"We've got the beach, we've got the park, we've got shops, just get outside and enjoy it," said Julie.

Lisa added: "Turn it off and live."

To find out more about White Dot and TV-Turnoff Week, visit

Echo Photo

Having looked at the photo's on the echo website I found this one of us taken the other day when we were talking to the reporter about having no telly. The Cellar bar geezer came and sat next to Vickinki and kissed her, she was mortified but it was caught on camera


Could there be a worse image in your head at the prospect of mixing a cappuchino and a nappy?
still this is the name of the local events which promote using real nappies. Real nappies are not just not virtual they are nappies which you don't throw away, even when they are very soiled. Instead you wash them, dry them and start again. Doesn't sound too bad? I have used them a majority of the time with my four children and it was OK, nappies are no longer terry squares, pins and plastic pants. They are now all velcro funky soft and nice. with a modern washing machine they don't need soaking, and you can even tumble dry most(mucks up your carbon footprint though).
So, I was at said Nappichino today, and 2cr Journalist was there, I did a little interview which was in 'drivetime' this evening. Publicity mad Emma was there too and was also on the radio,
here are some examples of nice nappiesPS
Many forward thinking councils give money to parents who are purchasing real nappies, as it helps them to save money in landfill tax.

TV Turnoff 2007

The Best thing we ever did was getting rid of our Television.
This week is TV turnoff week, a time to think about the effect of TV on your life
We have been TV free for most of the past 10 years, strangely nearly all of my best friends are also TV Free, They are my best friends because they are people who are interesting, they do things and they have a life! so I thoroughly reccomend everyone to...Turn off your TV se, and do something less boring insteadAnd you save £120 per year on TV licence fees....AND you get to wind up the licence instector OH AND you you get any money paid for the rest of this year back if you cancel it now!

I have just come back from a St Georges day celebration at the Tenants Union shop in Roumelia lane.
We had Spam sandwichesfishpaste sandwiches, I put crisps in my sandwiches, and we had cheese and pineapple on sticks. Our international friends from Wales were most impressed with our rich culture. Thanks Gary for inviting me

from the sheila mckechnie website

Lisa Northover
Baby Milk Action
Lisa is director of Baby Milk Action, an organisation that wants to see effective and transparent controls on the marketing of formula products UK-wide. She has complained to Trading Standards and Advertising Standards about illegal and unethical marketing of baby milk products. Lisa believes that the campaign has lots of scope for growth as the campaign has attracted widespread support from breastfeeding organisations.
Election campaigning is now well underway, but the boys in the office are keeping it all together.........

I feel so confident now
I never thought I would say it , But I'm happily - along with Julie and Vickee Mr wells's newest tenant in Roumelia lane. We signed the lease on thursday, and take over the unit previously used as the Healthy living shop. The Unit will now be home to the Boscombe food co-op and will give local residents access to very cheap healthy food, so watch this space!

Opera House in Boscombe

I am so looking forward to the "new 'Opera house opening, we already booked for the first 2 nights which are:

June 1st - Indie Rock 'n' Roll Launch Party

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting indie Rock N Roll Parties around, get set for a night of indie mischief from The Twang, the legends that are The Young Knives and the mighty Holloways, all rounded off with DJ sets from The Futureheads and other top DJ's.
Radio One superstar Jo Whiley will be opening the venue and compering the event, for a fun packed evening of live bands and DJ's, straight through till 5am!!
Then the next night we wil be recovering whilst listening to:
June 2nd - Jazz Launch Party - featuring Jazz legend Courtney Pine

"In A Class of His Own" - THE TIMES
"The UK's most important jazz instrumentalist" - OBSERVER

Set in the most exquisite of show styles, this is an unmissable show from one of the greatest Jazz musicians that ever lived. If you enjoy the style of the infamous Ronnie Scott's Club in London, then this is definitely the show for you.
2007 sees the re-release of his classic 'Modern Day Jazz Stories' (a Mercury Music Prize Album of The Year) so expect to hear old favourites alongside first airings of new album material and gems from his current 'Resistance' set.

The good

Made lots of new friends in london, can remember some of their names...

This is my new mate Adam, CE at Shelter, a funny thing happened, we were in the Red Lion, opposite parliament and bumped into our local Boscombe landlord Mr Price!

I had a great night and fell asleep on the train after giving some poor bloke dubious advice on his best man speech
Broadband is down, it seems the cable coming into our house was never right! they cant come to fix it till the 27th......

I have packed up my Imac and moved to Bens spare room its quite relaxing, he says I must go home before I get hungry
What a time for half of the children to get chicken pox... straight after the holiday, in election fortnight...... only two more children to go!

My lovely friend Alison Baum was also at No 11 with me the other day - she was in a different category, Health and social care, and she won! this is what they say about the campaign.....
Best Beginnings
Alison formed Best Beginnings, a campaign working to break-down the inequalities that exist within the area of infant feeding. Alison argues that there are strong health benefits associated with breast feeding both for mother and child. Best Beginnings is also the founder member of the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition, consisting of thirty organisations. In the short time Alison has been campaigning, she has recruited cross-party champions to help her promote her breastfeeding manifesto.

Both La Lech League (who I am a breastfeeding counsellor with) and Baby milk action ( who I am a Director of ) are members of the Breastfeeding manifesto coalition, so I was really pleased that Alison won, I think the manifesto could achieve so much of what has been campaigned for so its great news.

No - I Didn't win....

But I had a great time!

I went to the reception at No 11 yesterday for the Presentation of the Sheila McKechnie Awards
- an annual bursary scheme for emerging and grassroots campaigners.
I nearly didn't get in as I didn't know you have to bring your passport!

Cats cradle

could there be a better party game?
found some elastic at Martha's and we couldnt resist playing!

Cat's cradle is a well known series of string figures. The name of the entire game, the specific figures, their order, and the names of the figures vary. Versions of this game have been found in indigenous cultures all over the world--from the Arctic to the Equatorial zones.

The game begins with the first player wrapping a loop of string around the hands (around the fingers or wrists) and taking one side of the string and circling the hands again. Then this player performs the last two moves of Opening A: taking the string which runs on the inside of the left arm onto the first finger of their right hand, then, reaching through the triangle created, the loop on the inside of the right hand is taken onto the first finger of the left hand).
This creates two sets of crossed string between both hands. A second player grasps each cross horizontally using the thumb and first fingers, pulls these outwards, down under the line which runs below the crosses from the first players wrists, and back up. The first player lets go of the figure and the second player stretches it open by bringing apart the thumbs and fingers. This figure is the "diamonds". A series of other alterations produce more figures, some of which lead back to the diamonds while some are dead ends and cannot be transformed. (Some say that "diamonds" is the cat's cradle from the game title, while others insist it's only the game title, and not any figures.)
This game is very simple and is always started with opening A. After that one mostly pinches the x's and wrap them around the outside strings. The others tend to need a little more practice.

More on SMA!

Great Baby Milk Action Subvertising!

Tap Water Awards

The History of The Tap Water Awards
More on the fabulous Tapwater awards.....
The Tap Water Awards are not about comedy or comedians; the only link is that they were set up after the media became aware of the Bongo Club’s decision not to participate in the Perrier Comedy awards in 2001. This boycott culminated in the creation of the Tap Water Awards. The concept was launched at the end of the 2001 Fringe Festival to highlight the fact that Perrier was owned by NestlĂ© the manufacturer of baby milk substitutes in developing countries.

Baby Milk Action AGM

The Baby Milk Action AGM came round pretty fast again, as the chairman has recently stood down, Me and Julie had agreed to Co-chair the AGM, but Julie then realised that she was away hanging about with the permatan celebraties on holiday that weekend so I would have to chair it alone..... It turned out to be a good AGM, and very interesting as we had a great speaker from the tap water awards (alternative to the Nestle owned Perrier comedy awards) It was fascinating and very clever and funny. more on that soon...
We also launched the new t-shirt design, very nice after the controversial sucked! and little mother sucker! range from last year!

We spent some of the day at the Boscombe chine gardens fun day, grandma collard my friend Marissa for about an hour, wouldn't let her go, then we took grandma home and went straight on to a party at Vicky's stayed up till about one, tangoing - or trying!

Gordon Brown

I am a bit excited as I am going to meet Gordon Borown, I have been shortlisted for a Sheila McKhecnie award under the catagory - Consumer action - for working on the Baby Milk action campaign, where I am a director. So I am going to number 11 later in the month to a reception hosted by Mr Brown!
Just arrived at the park, not only is there a nice man called Stuart playing vey good guitar next to me as entertainment, but I also have opened the laptop to find a wireless hotspot. I do feel today like I live in a very nice place.