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Lisa Markwell: When the great outdoors doesn't look so great

FreeView from the editors at i

At the time, it seemed like a good idea. Bedevilled by the constant presence of screens around the house and in my children's hands, I decided to book a holiday at a house with no TV or internet access.

A good idea, not least for me. My concentration levels are at an all-time low (as I write this, I'm also watching BBC footage of brilliant Bradley Wiggins, my BlackBerry is flashing red and I can hear the chime of an arriving email).

We all need some screen-free time. I might not always be a responsible parent (as pointed out by a reader after last week's admission of a mislaid child mishap), but a week in the French countryside, with just wild swimming, games and walks to entertain us, can only be good for our health.

I say that, but there's one big problem. IT'S THE OLYMPICS.

At any other time of the year, finding one television programme that brings us together is nigh-on impossible. I can sometimes lure them out of their teenage caves and away from the glow of a laptop with the promise of a new episode of Modern Family, but that's it.

However the last five days has seen new team sports in Markwell Towers: the sofa-sprint and tea relay. As each family member gets in from work or play, they dash for the prime spot in the front room, snatching up the remote on the way.

During lulls in perving over the male gymnasts (er, that's just me) and marvelling at the table-tennis skills (my TT-obsessed husband), someone is dispatched to the kitchen to put the kettle on. Then team member two does water into teapot, and so on, till steaming beverages are delivered sofa-side.

How will we cope without this most marvellous of events? We will again fracture, listlessly trying amateur badminton (well, we couldn't be worse than the discredited Olympians) and squabbling over a long-wave radio signal.

I am hoist by my own petard: I like to book holidays months in advance, and I didn't foresee the fanaticism.

Of course, I do have some sympathy for those in Britain who are not newly minted sports obsessives. There's precious little on TV for them. One exception is Channel 4's Lost Children two-part documentary. Part one is on C4 OD; it concludes next Tuesday. It's about an amazing special-needs school in Berkshire and it will tug your heartstrings in very different ways than Bradley did yesterday when he sought out his children after winning gold. Don't miss it.

Oh, and can you tweet me whenever we win a medal? Thanks.