Who cares if I've never seen Game of Thrones? Jo Carroll
Ah ... Game of Thrones. It's an excitement that has passed me by.
Why? Well, it's not on Freeview, and that's the only television I watch. And even that is only turned on before nine in the evening if it's something special.
'Think what you're missing,' I hear you cry. 'It costs next to nothing to pay for Sky, or Virgin, or Netflix ... all gateways to a world of wonderfulness.'
'But,' I reply, 'I spend enough time with screens. I write on a screen. I do a lot of my research on a screen. I catch up with the News on a screen. I drop by social media occasionally. And when that is done I want to look up from the screen and read a book, or go for a walk, or simply sit on my balcony and listen to the birds sing.'
Does this exclude me from the mainstream? Possibly. It reminds me of my schooldays. Unlike almost everyone else in my class, we didn't have a television until I was 16. This meant I felt shut out of vital discussions about Top of the Pops or Ready Steady Go. But I had one ally - one other girl with no television who could discuss The Navy Lark or Round the Horn. We were in a minority of two and it wasn't always comfortable.
That was then. Now - I feel, at times, comparably excluded. But this time it's my choice, and I'm happy with that.
If there's a problem, I see it as lying with those who look astonished when I admit I have no idea what they are talking about when they launch into a Game of Thrones discussion. I have no problem with their choices, yet it seems that my choice to read a book is enough to brand me a Luddite.
Oh well, so be it. I'm sure I'm not alone in never having seen Game of Thrones - and good luck to all those who love it.
If you want to read what I've been writing while Game of Thrones has enthralled millions, you can find The Planter's Daughter here.