Not a latch-key child
When I was about 8 or 9 years old my mother went to Teacher’s Training College to become a Primary School teacher. Rather than have me as latch-key child, she chose a better option – I became an ignition key child. What I mean is that I would sit and wait for her for 60-90 minutes in her car (A Mini) whilst she did whatever she had to do in the College building (she never left the keys – poetic licence!). This brief spell seemed a lot longer to me and when I wasn’t reading my favourite books – Jennings and Derbyshire, the Haunting of Borley Rectory, or a Rosemary Sutcliffe historical adventure (I had an eclectic taste in reading), I listened in to Radio 4.
I loved Radio 4 and still do. There was usually a play on in the afternoon (the Afternoon Play at 3.00 pm) or some sort of talk programme and even though I probably didn’t understand it all, I loved the experience of listening and using my imagination. At school, I had a similar experience when we would sit cross-legged on the floor and listen to David Kossoff tell stories from the bible. He was a wonderful story teller and I would be enthralled.
My friend and companion
When I was at home looking after my 3 young children I was always grateful to Radio 4. I used to say that the only thing I couldn’t do with a baby on my hip, a toddler hanging on my skirt, stopping a 3-year old scribbling on the wall, was to butter bread (it’s a definite 2 hand operation). However, listening to Radio 4 was something I could always do and it made up for the lack of adult conversation and it felt like a true friend and companion.
I’ve listened to Radio 4 for most of my life. Woman’s Hour is an absolute favourite (I have a secret wish to be on the programme and/or meet Jenni Murray who has been presenting it for more than 30 years!) as is Desert Island Discs. There was a moment in time (the early 1980s?) when, for some reason still unknown to me, the Radio 4 schedule was radically changed. It caused me confusion, hurt and yes … betrayal! I am over it now but it took probably a decade for me to get closure and I still complain from time to time although I am getting near to the acceptance state of my grieving process.
My lovely friend Deb has converted me to the idea of audio books. In a similar way to Radio 4, you can listen to audio books when you are doing other things BUT unlike the radio you can listen when you are on a train and anywhere where there is no radio. I have downloaded my first book ‘Believe Me’ (that’s the name of book not that I think this is so radical that you will doubt me`) by Eddie Izzard.
Please note: I am an early riser and frequently wake up with thoughts and questions on my mind. I write them down and record them in these short unedited, un-researched, unscientific bits of writing. They are written in a half asleep hypnopompic state and should not be regarded as anything more than what they are – random thoughts and musings. For sensible subjects and writing please visit Positive Psychology Learning website