Saturday, September 20, 2008

a classical night

I have my car radio finely tuned to 18 presets. I like to have a variety and all options available at the touch of a finger. I can change stations without looking at my dashboard and usually get the one I'm looking for on the first try.

Mostly, I have CBC Radio 1 and 2, JazzFM, and Wave (new jazz), plus a country station, three 'top forty' stations (are they still called 'top forty'?), two oldies, an classic rock (70's and 80's) (more current than the other oldies, which is mostly 50's and 60's), one classical station, two university stations for the alternative music you never hear anywhere else, NPR from New York (reception varies), another US station I forget about, until the weather comes on... and AM640 for the "traffic and weather on the ones". And another one I obviously don't listen to as I cannot think of it and I'm not going down to the car to check.

It wasn't until I was back home that I realized I had heard absolutely no music while staying at EM's in England. When we were in the house, the 'wireless' was only on twice and both times to talk radio, while EM did her baking for the market. In the car, the radio wasn't on, but then we were chatting up a storm and didn't need the extra noise. When I commented on that during a lull in the conversation, EM did put the radio on and I got my FIRST listen to 'The Archers'!* I have been going to the UK for the better part of 35 years, and I have never heard this apocryphal radio serial. But not once was there music around. It probably would have been the same as what we hear here, but thinking about it's absence is strange to me.

I need to have the radio on when I am working. I like the lift certain songs give. Classical music is lovely if you are curled up reading, or daydreaming, but it is usually too somnolent to keep me running at my job. Jazz is good sometimes early in the morning. I wait in breathless anticipation for Alan Jackson to croon over the airwaves so the country station gets lots of hits. I have been known to occasionally belt out "It's Five O'clock, Somewhere" or "Life in a Northern Town". Sometimes I listen to CBC Overnight where there is an assortment of half hour "news and information broadcasts from around the globe". BBC, Radio Sweden, Radio Australia are my favourites, but also Radio Poland, and one from Czech Republic. That sometimes slows me down though, as I sit in the car while listening to a particularly amusing or intriguing interview...picking the right moment to run up to the house with my rolled newspaper in hand to toss and run back before missing any morsel of the conversation. This sometimes results in missed steps. I have had a few scrapes.

Last night, while anticipating a foul temper, I was afraid of it being exacerbated by finding every song I heard annoying. I discover that all three newspapers I deliver would have an extra section (and you know they are going to be filled to overflowing with glossy flyers that want to fall out). I found that I was, in fact, in a very good humour. No coffee passed my lips. I fortified myself with a large bottle of some orange, mango and cranberry concoction and a carrot muffin. For some reason, the classical station was appealing. I found a picnic table by the lake and decided to do most of my inserting there. It was quiet. Warm, with no hint of a wind. The sky was clear with lots of stars visible. The lake was glistening and smelled as fresh as Lake Ontario can smell.

A strangely, happy night.

* I have now found out one can listen to it over the internet. How many years do I have to get caught up???


  1. What a lovely post, I so enjoyed reading it. I can picture you sitting at the picnic table sorting out the papers.

    I also remember while driving in Wales listening to the radio, trying to find music... all I could find was talk shows. I was so surprised. I can't remember in France though, I don't think we listened to the radio as well.

    I love music but for some reason, do not listen to the radio. The chatter, the commercials annoy me. I prefer CDs, or as I do, listen to my iPod :)

  2. When I'm working, I need rock!

  3. I've learned a lot tonight. I didn't know you delivered papers. I sometimes hate all the inserts in the paper and then laugh at myself because I used to do that for a living. It sounds like a wonderful night by the lake. Maybe quitting the coffee has fired up your awareness. I'm glad you had a good time.

  4. This post was very descriptive, I could almost smell the night air. Love the quote at the top of your blog.

  5. This post was very descriptive, I could almost smell the night air. Love the quote at the top of your blog.

  6. UA: thanks. yeah, the chatter can be annoying. I don't have an ipod.

    Citizen: especially if I can sing along.

    geewits: two of my three jobs. don't tell, but there were an awful lot of inserts that fell into my trunk. they have been dealt with.

    dj: thanks.

    sagittarian: oh, I have tea as well!!


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