Let me count the reasons why I’m doing this.
1 No one wears coats.
2 I get to sit down.
3 I’m usually eating.
4 People know not to talk to me or telephone during this time, even the children.
5 I’ve done it for years; nineteen, to be precise.
6 I once bumped into them at Bahrain Airport.
7 I can criticise.
8 I can make predictions (even write the script).
9 I can watch people grow old, die or go to Brisbane.
10 I can watch people change and improve dramatically in the most improbable ways.
11 I can watch it whilst simultaneously trying to figure out why it is so improbable by recalling past storylines.
12 It has no beginning, middle or ending but it does have rhythm.
13 It slows me down, prevents me from doing too much.
So, as I lay on the bed watching a video of the omnibus edition of Neighbours, recorded by my husband for me today, having missed an entire week’s episodes, I ask myself why. I ask myself why I feel compelled to subject myself to one hour and forty-five minutes (minus the adverts through which we fast-forward) so late at night and wonder how much I will enjoy this hedonistic activity. I ask myself the same question as those who have regarded my addiction with such mirth over the years, incredulous that I am prepared to admit publicly to my little foible.
As we plough through the episodes, the answers coming to me are those above. Interestingly, it is a chore, not a pleasure and I feel rather silly. Therefore, I conclude that the real reason I watch Neighbours is because I don’t have to think for twenty minutes or so. Even someone as daft as I can’t not think for one hour and forty-five minutes.