Some institutions; churches, schools, shops and offices have always been there. In the place where I live, a very imposing, grand, stone building, a church called because of its importance a cathedral, has been there for nine hundred years. Around Palace Green are some buildings which have been there one to two hundred years, the university began two hundred and fourteen years ago. The houses and shops are much more recent. A small medieval city has become a busy metropolis, limited only by the meandering river and the surrounding hills.
Every day some buildings are torn down and others quickly built. Roads are packed with cars, buses and lorries. Today the hospital car park was overflowing with cars, I walked in and thankfully walked out again a little later. The thing that unsettles me the most is the BBC is changing by the hour. The BBC has always been part of my life, in the early years it was entirely the radio. If I remember rightly it was the Home Service and the Light Programme, voices enunciating clearly and authoritatively informed me what was interesting, what I should think and brought me my favourite programme, Children’s Hour. The voices were very different from anything I heard around me, they spoke properly whereas I spoke quite differently- wrongly. The people around me spoke what I later discovered was a north-eastern dialect , not Geordie but Wear- side. It was the language of comedians, doesn’t this sound funny? The strange thing was in my head I sounded exactly like Jean Metcalfe absolutely correct BBC English. Today in fact I still have the same illusion.
But my BBC has changed, no more the voice of authority, now all kinds of dialects are heard. More scarily now they ask me to send in my news, I’ve thought about it, going to Sainsbury’s hardly sounds like News. I can email or text or phone and they will read out my words. I’m tempted, I really am but who wants to know we’re having bacon and beans for tea? Of course if they wanted my views on the election I would have plenty to say. Who can I rely on now?
Then of course there are reams and reams of television stations taking up several pages of the Radio Times, the television day begins at 6.0 am and ends in the early hours of the following day. It is a continuous miscellany of flickering images, some which date back almost 50 years and they are the comedy programmes! Do I watch television, of course I do, the world brought into my living room, sometimes I switch it off. For awhile I enjoy a blissfully quiet room, sometimes I even pick up a book but a printed book is so last century, my kindle contains a whole library of books. Yes, its not possible to riffle through the pages and the printing is very small but its digital technology, very twenty-first century as my doctor said when I told him I have an email address. My mind still functions, well some of the time!
I have been a teacher and a lecturer for a number of years. I am married with two sons. I'm interested drama, films, TV, books, society in general, poverty and riches and political systems.
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