It's been another eventful week in national and international affairs but I wasn't surprised to read some recent research which reported that 38 per cent of us choose not to engage with the news any more.

It's so difficult to process with one 'unprecedented' event following another. 

News Literacy Network has launched to help young people understand the role of news, its impact on us and how to develop a more accurate worldview without becoming overwhelmed with negative feelings.  

I haven't watched the news, or television generally, over the summer, but this week as I hunkered down in the darker evenings, I decided to watch programmes with presenters whose books I've read recently.

On BBC Two Bob Mortimer had joined his friend Paul Whitehouse for some more fishing. It was beautiful 'slow' tv with gentle banter and glorious scenery, and the concluding episode introduced a bit of activism from the musician Feargal Sharkey as he highlighted how our rivers have become polluted through neglect and commercial gain by the water companies. 

Meanwhile the reporter and documentary maker Simon Reeve embarked on a less exotic journey than is his wont, with a short series of programmes about the Lake District.

Here again there were wonderful shots of the stunning landscape, but also some amazing interviews with fascinating, inspiring people. They were ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

There was a young man, for example, still a teenager, who was running the family farm alone, with a little help from schoolfriends, after losing both of his parents to illness within a period of two years. And there were a couple of middle aged men who, seeking a solution to the flooding of Carlisle, had recognised that the course of the river had been altered by government intervention hundreds of years previously.

It was so encouraging to find serious issues covered in sensitive, thoughtful ways highlighting the problems but also showing how people were trying to find solutions. It was uplifting, inspiring, enabling, and refreshing!

But time is flying by and, though we're not quite at the end of the month, the book group will be meeting next week, on Monday 24 October, so do please let me know if you hope to join in the discussion. We'll be talking about 'We Have All Lived in the Castle' by Shirley Jackson. It's a slim book, so there's still time to read it if you'd like to come along to the meeting!

Thank you for reading.