Jo Sugarman
A humourous take on making Aliyah

I’m a TV addict

So I have a confession to make…

I’m a TV addict.

Which means I spend an awful lot of time on my beige sofa. Friends and family are taken aback to see me standing up. When face-timing, (an extremely rare occurrence), my sister (only person allowed to attempt this, and then, at her peril) will be completely thrown if she can’t see the familiar beige suede behind my head whilst we talk.

The first time I was pregnant, my husband left in the morning, kissing me goodbye (18 years ago, pre-kids, it used to happen). I was warm and snug on the sofa, curtains drawn, mug of tea in hand, stylishly clad in flannelette pyjamas and fleecy dressing gown, obviously from Primark, which is only slightly behind Tesco on my list of ‘Shops I Love’. (Which isn’t a very long list now I think of it, as those actually are the only two Shops I Love).

When he returned home at 6 o’clock, he found me in the same position. He was forced into prising the TV remote out my hand, (I’m surprisingly strong when the mood takes me), and trying to erase the imprint of my (rather large) bum left on the beige suede sofa.

Of course this was long before the days of Candy Crush and Netflix. So you can imagine how things have deteriorated since then. My husband now looks back on those days fondly.

In the UK, I had a TV. It was 55 inches wide, (showing off now) and I could spend hours in ‘position on beige sofa’ flicking through Sky. Of course, there were subtitles. I’m hard of hearing (honest) and need the subtitles to watch the programme. It was either subtitles or turn the volume up to 99 (I recall that was the maximum), but my husband didn’t seem to enjoy that all that much. He never said, but I could tell by the terrible pained grimace on his face and his hands plastered over his ears.

Then came Sky Plus! You could record a whole series and watch it at your leisure – in one sitting. It soon became known as ‘binge – watching’.

I believe I was one of the first ‘binge-watchers’. I was a quick learner. In those days, my kids were still young enough to help me find the correct buttons to press.

It was all so simple. The only thing that could ruin it was a power cut, and thankfully we didn’t get many of those at the time. (It was the noughties, not the 70s).

When we moved to Israel, I had one request. Just ONE. I didn’t want an oven, (cooking’s not really my thing), or a car, (I had nowhere to go, unless there was a TV there). No. All I wanted was Sky TV. This was a DEAL BREAKER. If we were to make aliyah, I needed to know that my Strictly Come Dancing viewing plan would not be interrupted. Or I was not getting off the plane.

Promises were made by husband. Legal contracts were drawn up. I was assured that Sky TV would be in situ for my arrival.

But it wasn’t.

Apparently, he was ‘sooooo busy’ setting up a new business, finding us somewhere to live and making sure the kids were registered at Israeli schools, (I mean really), that he forgot the Most Important Thing — Sky TV.

We had an actual television. But the programmes were in Hebrew. (When I called to complain, they told me it was because we were living in Israel). We got the Israeli equivalent of Sky which showed English programmes. But the all-important subtitles without which I couldn’t watch, were, you guessed it, in Hebrew. (Again, annoyingly, this was something to do with the country we were living in).

Diss – aaahhhsss – ter.

My girlfriends in the UK knew that TV was a biggie for me and seemed worried that Sky TV was not going to happen in Israel (they obviously knew something I didn’t). So they clubbed together and bought me an iPad.

I was joyous. Best. Gift. Ever.

I took up position on my beige sofa. I inserted the headphones. I turned it on. I was ready.

I then spent the next 18 months watching Netflix, BBC IPlayer, ITV Hub and Couchtuner (a new one on me). Sometimes I switched things up with some Candy Crush or Words with Friends. All was good with the world.

But then the iPad stopped working. I called for my kids. But now they’re older they’re not interested. I called for my husband. But he was out (apparently he was working or something. Not sure what that is.) I lay on the beige sofa (I sometimes swap from sitting to lying for variety), head in my hands, sobbing loudly, ‘My iPad woooon’t woooork. What am I supposed to dooooooooo???’ and they all walked on by, shrugging disdainfully at my disgusting, techy incompetence.

So my binge-watching days are over. It was great whilst it lasted but I s’pose the kids could do with a meal after a year and a half and apparently there’s a pile of laundry that needs doing.

I thought I’d write a blog instead.

About the Author
Jo Sugarman is a reasonably good mother and wife and just wants an easy life playing Candy Crush. But when her husband informed her that you don't get an ACTUAL prize for reaching level 4,896 she thought she would try writing a blog instead. She is 50, made Aliyah 6 years ago from the UK and lives in Raanana, Israel with her husband and three (roughly) teenage children. She still cannot speak Hebrew.
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