Monday, 30 March 2009


The Radio Four Appeal this week was for the charity, Young Minds. If you missed it (like I did) you can catch it here. Young Minds is a favourite of mine and I was sent an e-mail weeks ago alerting me to the broadcast. I was all geared up to listen. I was up, despite losing an hour of sleep; Charlie was playing quietly; breakfast was over; no nappies needed changing. And yet I only remembered the broadcast hours after it had aired. Last week Mark Steel did a show on Boston, and I missed that, too. In fact, I miss everything these days. It doesn't matter if it's on the radio, on TV or where it is. I blame ‘Listen Again’ or iPlayer or whatever. In the past I used to really listen to a programme. You know – on the radio. When broadcast. I’d sit down and give it my attention, or at least I’d turn the radio up and carry on with what I was doing. But now, I never bother: I just think, I’ll listen again sometime, when it’s convenient (because it never is when they broadcast these programmes; there’s always something else to do). But then I hit the flaw in this cunning plan. I don’t listen again. I keep meaning to, but put it off. Or I forget. And by the time I finally get round to doing it, they’ve taken the damn thing off the website. It's the same for TV programmes. Long ago I used to tape them. Then, weeks later, I'd tape over them. Unwatched. Now, a Freeview box with an internal hard drive means the tottering pile of VHS cassettes won't fall on Charlie. But does it mean I actually watch the programmes? Well, sometimes. For about five minutes, while I decide which ones to delete in order to free up some disc space to record more programmes. Of course, there are some programmes here that we never miss, and which we always watch live. What are they? Yes, you've guessed. And here's the reason why!
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