It's not in every phone conversation that the subject of RTE2 becoming Network Two becoming RTE2 comes up, but it did just there with Denise when she told me how she used to wait for programmes to start by watching the on-screen 'test clock' or whatever it was called back in the day.
Herself and her brother Paul, up bright and breezy, Sugar Poofs coursing through their systems, waiting o waiting for the televisual start. In the days before onscreen EPGs and 87 digital channels (introducing UKTV Oven Cleaning, 24 hours dedicated to a more hospitable cooker), we were forced to scan the papers daily for our favourite cartoons or cookery programmes, circle them and wait. Miss them and you'd regret it. Repeats? Not for at least three years.
My favourites were always...
Voltron - A cartoon with a plastic toy range spin-off, with five crusaders who'd come together and form one big monster type thingy - the eponymous Voltron - in order to set the universe to rights. This had a great storyline. One of the characters was a French lad whose name I can't remember. He got killed and replaced by a princess or some such, and I lamented his demise daily. He eventually made his return but by then I was on to petty theft, cans of Bulmers and breasts.
Hart To Hart - I remember the theme tune, Max and Robert Wagner being suave. Even as a five-year-old I thought his suits were really rather natty.
Glenroe - This was bittersweet to me. While I gorged on the love triangle between Teasy, Dinny and the actor David Kelly from Waking Ned, I knew that come those final credits I was facing nothing but bed and a week in Scoil Mobhi. But, at least, on Monday nights, I had...
The Krypton Factor - Gordon Wood was the presenter's name. I'm sure of it. Teams would compete physically and mentally for some sort of prize - probably a weekend retreat to Butlins. Still, there was genuine tension and skill involved, and something to look forward to once I'd done my sums.
London's Burning - I was a bit older for this one. Myself and Anne had long since seen our Sunday bedtime extended to 10pm, so we'd never miss the adventures of Sicknote and Hallam and the fat fucker who looked like Neil Ruddock. May have contained scenes of mild peril.
Baywatch - Appealed to my inner pervert.