Thursday, 12 January 2017

on my radio

Copyright: <a href=''>dubassy / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Up until a couple of years ago, I think I'd forgotten the joy of radio. It had become the soundtrack to my solo car journey on the work run, once the nursery rhymes had been switched off after drop off or before pick up. I didn't really pay attention to who was wittering into my box of wheels and more often than not I would switch off in favour of CD of choice. Dance in the summer, funk in the winter, Eurovision in the spring, down for whatever in the autumn.  

When my days took a different shape, writing alone all day I was suddenly surrounded by silence. Although music would always kickstart my words (writing a chapter that was set in 1950s Caribbean  meant a backdrop of vintage soca), until the 3G finished school it was rare for me to hear a single conversation.

Until I found, in particular, two dials on the radio. I say dials, I am aware of DAB radio but the phrase pushing buttons bring the Sugababes in all their damp lyrical glory to mind.

So yeah, two dials. Vanessa Feltz at BBC Radio London and Women's Hour on Radio 4. My goodness. People this is radio heaven. If, like me, you love a good yell at the telly then roll over to radio shows where people share opinions! 

Since Ms Feltz has shifted to an earlier time I have lost some listening hours of London's vocal brigade kicking down the airwaves with their left wing, right wing, sashaying down the middle liberal  views. I just about manage to squeeze an issue or two during breakfast. I don't think I've ever been persuaded to switch off in a humph but there have been some toe-curling caller moments where they have been taken to task over a throw away comment. If you can't back up your argument, don't call in.  When will they learn?

And for something a little more sedate, as I clear emails and trawl social media with a mid-morning coffee, there is Women's Hour.  A radio programme where I have been educated and inspired and astounded at some awesome individuals creating their way in the world. I mean, Radio 4 has opened up a new world to me. The campaigns and the experiences that have been brought to light in just one episode are simply eye-opening.

I've also trawled Desert Island Discs and listened to, literally, all of my sheroes. I've discovered radio plays that have cover a scope of topics, which in turn encourage me to find stories from wherever and whatever I can.

I can't have the radio on all day, I have learnt to embrace the silence to help me concentrate but without the water cooler or the canteen moments I had when I was at work, the voices in my radio bring the world into me.

And it also means I don't turn on the evil telly!

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