Apparently, the 21.9% increase in non-food retail sales last month was driven by televisions bought to watch the World Cup. I experienced an unreasonably warm glow on reading this news. I worked out that we'd bought one TV since we'd been home owners. So that's one in fourteen years (a £200 Sony).
I feel smug not because I look down on TV - I don't (well, not much). I pretty much watch it daily and after most of a lifetime of daily viewing it provides a good part of my mental furniture. I'm also doing my bit to ensure my children turn out the same (thank God for the respite offered by Nick Jr. - even if it is named after the devil's spawn).
No, I get a warm feeling because - despite my love of fine food and wines and the occasional expensive piece of clothing and not forgetting the odd tropical holiday - I have a streak of miserliness. I love having deprived those manufacturers of electrical goods hundreds of pounds over the years.
But I'm having to battle to keep things this way. We currently watch a wide-screen TV, kindly given to me by my brother because he wanted something slimmer (his cast-off is improbably heavy, as if it's full of boulders, and it's almost as deep as it is wide - in fact, it could have been called a deep-screen TV). Unfortunately, T, too, would now like something slimmer and more aesthetic.
I'm basing my opposition on practical grounds: But you can't see the back anyway! The couple of feet of space we'd save, being behind the TV (obviously) and in the corner of the room, is totally useless to us! And, of course, it almost goes without saying, we can't afford it!
Anyway, I'm sure the thing will break down eventually or perhaps become obsolete or illegal in ways we can't now foresee. A new one will then be our only option, TV repair being a lost craft. And if we're lucky it will be before next year's Rugby World Cup.