There was a stark contrast between two BBC television offerings the other night. BBC One presented the latest instalment of The Apprentice, whilst BBC Two aired a documentary about poetry. In Why Poetry Matters, presenter Griff Rhys Jones bounded into view reciting Wordsworth. After trampling a few daffodils he said ‘Hello, sky, hello trees, hello birds, hello Spring and hello daffodils’. He talked of the beauty of life and cited poetry as one of the most powerful and enduring forms of art in the world today. The Apprentice, on the other hand, opened with the buzz and excitement of city life. It highlighted the career options of fifteen of ‘Britain’s brightest business prospects’. The star of that show opened with the lines ‘Pressure – that’s what business is all about. Pressure – are you tough enough to put up with it?’ Lives today are packed with appointments, possessions and materialistic goals. We live in a profit driven, consumerist culture, where money, image, status and personal achievement are seen as the values to aim for. Whilst I know the need for increased consumerism to drive economic growth is a concept for people who understand far, far more than me, and I love science and technological advancement – today I will make one important life-changing decision. After I finish this piece I am going to slow down and bring my version of a frenetic life to a gentle walking speed. I may even read a little poetry. At least that is, until tomorrow, when we start on the next issue.