Next Big Thing

Roz Sanderson is a recent graduate from the University of Kent, graduating in English & Creative Writing. She is spending the next few months trying to get enough money together to fund a three month expedition to India and is currently attempting to complete a novel that she began in her final year of Uni.

Roz loves the outdoors, (she spent the summer picking strawberries in Ireland!), and she spends her spare time trying to make a quilt, learning to knit and teaching herself to play the ukulele!

A lover of writing both fiction and non-fiction, Roz is based in London and about to launch her own blog.

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“The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, never, never let
Them near your television set.”

Roald Dahl

“TV Or Not TV?”

My family have never had a television.

Ok, that’s not entirely true. We had a television for a total of three months in the summer of 2004 so we could watch the Athens Olympics. A completely pointless acquisition as it turned out we’d be away for the majority of the main events anyway.

But essentially, we have never had a television.

This meant that my sisters and I spent vast periods of our childhood reading books, making up elaborate games and playing with our friends in the street. I remember on frequent occasions we would turn our bunk beds into ships, and dress up as sailors (complete with jagged red trousers and blue and white striped tops), my elder sister always insisting that she was a boy called Dick. We’d turn our living room carpets into the sea and make a walkway of chairs, sofas and tables to avoid getting eaten by sharks.

When we got slightly older, our after school and weekend time that would have otherwise been filled with the power rangers and… [genuinely at this point I’ve got stuck as I have no idea what we would have been watching], was taken up with penning our own songs (with lyrical genius such as “Lady, lady you’re driving me ker-azy, would you please get out of my way?”), making up dance routines and filming them on my Dad’s camcorder. Video evidence lurks somewhere in the deeper recesses of my house.

The only downside to not having a telly, as far as I could tell, was the frustrated feeling of not being able to join in with the playground conversations about what happened on ‘Eastenders’ the previous day, and feeling left out when Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokemon crazes hit our school. And for all the good it did us when we were at home, it did mean that when we went to our friends’ houses our eyes were glued to the brightly coloured moving people on the screen, no matter what was showing.

I’d take those feelings though, and that brief period of square eyed syndrome (which I truly believed would happen) over having a TV anytime. When I wasn’t playing with my friends or sisters I would spend my time reading, filling my head with stories and pictures unrivalled by any television show; good books, of which there are many, kept me quiet, still and entertained for the whole of my childhood. I devoured, and still do, book after book, taking in as much as I could, the colours, the smells, the heroes and villains, so I could relive it later in my imagination.

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

Roald Dahl

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.