I love my radio….. I waken up to John Humphries in the morning (his voice that is!) and my radio usually stays on all day until “Sailing By’ at lights out. Yes, you’ve guessed – it’s Radio 4. Believe it or not, I’m still not great with listening to music – my concessions being ‘Desert Island Discs’ and the ‘Inheritance Tracks’ from ‘Saturday Live’ but I do love debates and discussions and plays.
As a youngster I would sit and ‘watch’ the wireless intently during ‘Saturday Night Theatre’, ‘Paul Temple’ and ‘Dick Barton, Special Agent’ to name but a few. Then there was ‘Take It From Here’, ‘Life with the Lions’, ‘Round the Horn’, ‘The Mc Flannels’ and …….. I don’t quite know when I became aware of the fact that Archie Andrews in ‘Educating Archie’, was an actual puppet – I mean whose idea was it to put a ventriloquist on the radio!….. Well done Peter Brough, I didn’t hear your lips move once!! Musically there was,’The Billy Cotton Band Show’ which certainly helped wake you up on a Sunday morning. Sunday was also the day for ‘Family Favourites’ with Jean Metcalfe and Cliff Michelmore where record requests would fly via the airwaves to and from the British Army on the Rhine and even further afield. Geraldo and The Palm Court Orchestra, Jimmy Shand and his Band, The Ted Heath Orchestra and singers, all played a part in my musical upbringing along with Kenneth McKellar and Moira Anderson. I could picture everything in my head. Silence had to reign supreme, however, during the football results while my father ‘checked his coupon’. We could tell the results of each match by the inflections in the announcer’s voice…..win, lose or draw….. ‘West Bromwich Albion’, ‘Accrington Stanley’, ‘Leyton Orient’, ‘Crystal Palace’….. wonderful names that seem to have made indelible marks on my memory…… (as have all the ‘disappointed-yet-again’ tones of my father’s as the coupons were consigned to the back of the fire!) Now all of the aforementioned programmes had a signature tune and if you listen very carefully I’ll sing every one of them for you now ……….
There are so many programmes on Radio 4 which I enjoy: ‘Sorry I haven’t a Clue’, ‘Woman’s Hour’, ‘Any Questions/Answers’ for example and…….’The Archers’….yes….. ‘The Archers’ on a Sunday morning….. which is running a very disturbing storyline at the moment – domestic abuse, both physical and emotional. I am so hoping that the appalling behaviour of this ‘loving husband'(Rob) is exposed very soon as I am becoming more and more horrified at his manipulative behaviour. I wonder if ‘Ambridge’ has a pillory to hand or some stocks even ……. for he deserves the wrath of the entire community…… he deserves the public disgrace …..please can I throw the first rotten egg..?…. You have to wonder, though….. how is it that no one sees the demise of such a victim…. sees the fear in their eyes, the dwindling of confidence, the haemorrhaging of self esteem …. I’ll tell you why….. from what I understand, a victim is so overwhelmed with shame and fear that anyone should discover her/his plight, that they will defend the aggressor to the hilt and become ‘complicit’ in the crime till the scales are lifted from ‘someone’s’ eyes and a true picture emerges – hopefully before it is too late. Radio 4 is giving me the chance to hear first hand how this type of monster operates while the other characters in ‘Ambridge’ are going about their daily business in complete ignorance. I have spoken harshly to my radio but it does’t work two ways! I think, mind you, no one actually believes such a monster could be existing in their midst, maltreating the daughter of highly respected and respectable members of the community. We-ell, it’s only a play after all. No real harm done…… I could switch the radio off, change station even…… but for some this IS real, this IS their life and like Helen of Ambridge, they too, may be surrounded by lovely, caring people whose own personal issues, distract and blind them to the underlying pain of others. We really must learn to be better listeners….and listen more with our eyes…just as I did with my radio.
Clare Valley vintners in South Australia, which primarily produce Pino Blanc, Pino Noir and Pino Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic. It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night…
….The new wine will be marketed as PINO MORE. I heard this through the grapevine…..x