Sunday, November 27, 2016


It's taken a while to realise why our house likes watching "Four In A Bed".

Four In a Bed is a British TV series about a very British thing called Bed N' Breakfast.

At least I thought it was very British until I heard about an internet success called something like "Air B and B" (hope I spelled it right), which gives people the chance to pitch up anywhere in the world and get a bed for the night in someone's home.

With Bed and Breakfast the customer arrives at a strange house and gets shown a room in a strange house where they will sleep until it's time to cautiously creep down for breakfast and meet the family.

So it's obvious now why a foster-home like ours enjoys the programme isn't it?

We sit there and giggle because the main thing that makes the programme fun is that each of the guests run a rival B and B and are itching to find fault with their competitor's rooms and breakfasts.

Everyone in fostering should watch some Four In A Bed in the company of foster children; their comments are so amazing and valuable.

One programme; some guests went on and on about the fact they disagreed with a toilet brush in the bathroom. They said it was a disgusting thing and found its presence down behind the toilet bowl unnerving. The counter argument was ...if the pan is a bit grubby after you've

It kicked off a great discussion in our house about toilet brushes, then the conversation moved on to whether you should flush the loo after doing a mere wee to what you should say if someone turns the bathroom door handle and it's locked...this came out best;

"Won't be long.."

I think foster children love Four In A Bed because it's all about people turning up in someone else's house and having to deal with not knowing how the bathroom works, what the plan is for eating, and having to sleep in a new bed with new noises through the night.

The foster child has the additional nightmare of not knowing who to call out for in the night if their nightmares overwhelm them.

On Four In A Bed you watch intelligent adults lying in bed worrying about what they are allowed to do in someone else's house. They discuss their confusion about what they've been told is going to happen in the morning.

I now watch out for twits on the programme. Sometimes the adult contestants are anxious, fault-finding, thin-skinned and bitchy. Often nasty to each other, partly because the experience of being in someone else's house is unnerving. Spoiled adult twits who own a home big enough to rent out rooms. So different from our foster children torn from their parents after a life of turmoil and suddenly driven off in a social worker's car and stuck somewhere they have had no choice in choosing.

Yet when the Four In A Bed contestants arrive at the place where they're going to spend just ONE NIGHT you can smell their anxiety. It's hilarious. Of course part of their anxiety is that their competitor's Bed and Breakfast might be better than theirs, and they are self-aware of that and acknowledge it by fault-finding as hard as they can.

But when you look at them, uncomfortable in a room because they don't know where the light switch is, are petrified of a rogue hair in the sink, worried about where to store their realise that these half-wits don't know they've been born lucky.

They should close their eyes and imagine they are entering a strange house aged six or seven. Strange adults, new bedroom, new bathroom, new eating.

What questions spiral around in their minds?

"What if there are ghosts here?"

"Does the dad smash the mum about?"

"Is my mummy alright?"

Oh, goodness, and worse; things I'm not for forming into sentences here...

Anyway, like I say, our (mostly) happy fostering house enjoys Four In A Bed. Don't get us started on Come Dine With Me...


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