Alexander Averin

Friday, 18 December 2009

All Things Radio

Dear Diary,

I shed a tear this morning (I do so at the drop of a hat these days) because I caught the ending of Terry Wogan’s last programme on Radio 2. I bet I am not the only one.

Also on the radio theme.

I have been listening to Dear Granny Smith which is Book of the Week on Radio 4 this week; I haven’t been able to hear it all but what I have heard has been very moving especially if you work in public service as I do and can empathise with a lot of his experience. So much of it I understood and could identify with, working in public libraries as I do which are also under extreme threat.

If you want to break a civilisation you close libraries, it has happened in the past.
Just an aside here….something struck me as odd, interesting, infuriating (pick what word you like) when I heard we were giving Pakistan money to set up libraries for the people........????

I digress again forgive me, back to the Royal Mail, for which I have nothing but the highest praise.

Roy Mayall is a postman. 50 something. Lives down south and has been doing his round for "a number of years". Roy has the most fascinating blog detailing his working life and he portrays a wonderful view of life within the Royal Mail.

His book, 'Dear Granny Smith: A letter from your postman', is currently the Radio 4 Book of the Week. "A letter from your postman written by Roy Mayall and delivered by Philip Jackson; a heartfelt musing on the past, present and future role of one of the oldest British institutions, the Postie. Why postmen used to have the best job in the world, and why it's heading towards becoming the worst"

There is to be a discussion on issues raised by the programme on Radio 4 at midday today, I must try and catch it.

Also on Radio 4 this morning I caught Carol Ann Duffy on Woman’s Hour talking about poetry (of course) and she read this poem - I thought it tied in well with the postal theme.

Christmas In Envelopes

Monks are at it again, quaffing, carousing;
And stage-coaches, cantering out of Merrie England,
In a flurry of whips and fetlocks, sacks and Santas.

Raphael has been roped in, and Botticelli;
Experts predict a vintage year for Virgins.

From the theologically challenged, Richmond Bridge,
Giverny, a lugger by moonlight, doves. Ours

Costs less than these in money, more in time;
Like them, is hopelessly irrelevant,
But brings, like them, the essential message

U A Fanthorpe

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Elizabethd said...

What a fascinating book that sounds. I can imagine that postmen have interesting tales to tell. Sadly here we just have a postman in a car that goes round the boxes set by the gates. The boxes have to be set at the right height so that he can slip the letters in without leaving the car! So no conversation much.

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Off Topic on this post but... Oh No My Dear, that is Not My House!!!

Happy Christmas!

lampworkbeader said...

I've loved the Dear Granny Smith serial. I am lucky enough to live in a semi rural area with an excellent postman. It is important to have a postie you can trust as they must know so much about their customers.
We have an excellent library too. Althought it is only tiny the women who work there do everything they can to be helpful.

Bee said...

When I first moved to England, one of my friends had a postman who would always come in the house for a cuppa and a chat. I thought that it was incredibly charming. I suppose that those relationships are one of the elements which is being lost?

Yes; so sad about Terry Wogan. Do you think he was quiet in his home life . . . or always so full of witty gab?

I wanted to tell you that I bought a copy of The Ivington Diaries (from your recommendation) for my mother-in-law . . . but then I coveted it so much that I had to buy a copy for myself as well!

Frances said...

Hello Cait. Once again you've written about lots that caught my interest.

You know how much I love libraries (reluctantly returned an overdue book today ... put my name back on the list for an e-mail when it is available. And checked out a very intriguing book, Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet. I was put on the trail of this book originally published in Portugal years ago, by the wonderful Merisi, who writes about Vienna, and often is kind enough to comment on my posts.

See how you've made me drift, Cait? Libraries, wonderful radio, wonderful postal service. Aren't each of these a key to continued civilization? Is there some way in which i-pods, etc., also show some new evolutionary direction?

Drifting again, Cait. For these drifts, I do thank you for your continued inspiration. We have got snow in the weather forecast for tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon into evening.

Maybe by Sunday, we shall both be marveling at our frosty covering ... and reading lots more wonderful words.

(You are now my guide to poetry, and I so thank you for the gift of your wonderful taste.) xo

Marcheline said...

I could see every Christmas card in that poem... have seen them every year. Funny how dear some memories are, when you don't even know you have them until someone writes a poem like that.


Fennie said...

I think I read an extract somewhere. Yes posties for the most part are wonderful people always cheerful, fit, slim (unlike us couch potatoes)optimistic. Sadly, the business is not well run. I keep making suggestions to them but they are just not interested in feedback from customers. As a result more and more of our label parcels go by private courier. I feel sad and bad about this but the PO has a massive tendency to shoot itself in the foot.

elizabethm said...

I have been listening to this too and found myself unexpectedly moved by it.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Just wanted to wish you and yours a very Happy christmas and 2010

warm wishes

CAMILLA said...

That book does sound very interesting indeed Cait. We have so many different postmen delivering here, can always remember in London our friendly happy postman whistling a happy tune as he came up the driveway to our house.

Have always loved Library's, to be able to reserve a book of choice, and love my radio too Cait.

Thank you for sharing yet another wonderful Poem Cait for us, along with all of your beautiful posts this last year.