I found myself at a loss earlier today for some intelligent content for an impending office powerpoint presentation… so rather than spend hours trying to come up with something meaningful I decided that actually what I needed was a test card, those things back in the earlier days of TV that kind of meant “stay tuned, normal service will be resumed shortly”, which is exactly where I was at… brain off-line and unable to get it back on line. A quick Google search turned up the one I wanted, being 35 this is the most familiar one – it was always on BBC if you turned the TV on too early in the morning on a wet weekend, not very exciting but on reflection far better than the snooker that was often programmed right afterwards. It brings back 3 channels of warm and fuzzy childhood memories of Bagpuss, Wombles, Flumps and the Clangers (I had to slip them in!)… apologies to my overseas readership, you missed such culture…

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So why am I talking about it here… well, nothing to do with the reaction of those on the receiving end of the presentation but rather that in the course of my ‘research’ I discovered that there is a society for the appreciation of these things and the bland music that used to go with them. Yep, it’s true – they’re the Test Card Circle. Looking at the content of the site, such gems as Ceefax music for example… I can hardly contain my joy, I can visualise a bunch of retired geography teachers in well worn tweed jackets, patches on the elbows, sucking on pipes that haven’t actually seen tobacco for years. That’s not to criticise however, I actually think it’s rather cool when you consider just how diverse the population is that folk can actually share such an odd passion as this. Still can’t help having a little snigger though, this beats stamp collecting by miles.