I'm back, well nearly. Which is to say that I am here and getting back into the swing of things, but not quite. Blogging shall recommence shortly and this blog will have a new and exciting look. And have much to say - on Britain's wet but magnificent summer; on my rollercoaster journey with the NHS; on my love life (things are at least and at last going well there) and on our spectacularly misfiring government, David Cameron and the sheer misery of being governed by those feckless and disingenuous (even to themselves) Lib Dems.
For now however, a word about the BBC. Like many I love the Beeb. It can be infuriating and frustrating but it remains a jewel in our national crown, something without which we would be very much the poorer. For those of us who have had the chance to work for it, the BBC remains the pinnacle.
And this year, after a bad start with the Jubilee ('m a republican so why should I care - perhaps it was deliberate since so many BBC types are of like mind if further to the left than me) the Beeb has had a magnificent summer. The Olympics was what public service broadcasting is all about - it was just a pity about Gary Lineker, who should be encouraged to take up one of those offers he is said to be considering. The best presenter by far was Clare Balding, a woman who managed to be enthusiastic but well informed, intelligent and personable. Oh and she's freelance, thus not tied to a mega contract like the considerably less able Lineker.
And now, this autumn, the drama is coming thick and fast. ITV has had some decent efforts too, and the Beeb has slightly spoilt things with the idiotically reinvented Waterloo Road, which was bad enough before. But we have also had Jimmy McGovern's crafty and clever Play for Today of the 21st century The Accused.
But best of all we have had the magnificent Parade's End from BBC2 - a kind of Brideshead Revisited for the 21st century. It has garnered deserved rave reviews and record audience figures. It proves that dumbing down remains something that only TV execs think necessary to make an impact. It is intelligent, demanding and trusts the viewer to have a little or even a lot of background knowledge without resorting to spoon feeding. This, rather than the execrable Downton Abbey, is the real story of Edwardian England in the lead up to the 1st World War.
If you haven't seen it then watch it on the iPlayer or demand that your own broadcaster buys it if you are unfortunate to live elsewhere in the world. This year Britain, for all kinds of reasons, is the place to be. It's no wonder all of those students cheat to get their visas to come here.