God, I’m so predictable, a creature of habit.
My dirty little secret is I am a Radio 4 junkie. Yes, I really am. My alarm went off by turning on the Today program every morning, except on Sundays, when I got Farming Today, and it didn’t turn itself off until after I had left for work.
The radio in the kitchen was on all day, aural wallpaper as I pottered about – In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, Eddie Grundy and his latest schemes, and even the occasional letter from a Mrs Trellis of North Wales – all day, every day.
Sad, isn’t it? And after that year on year immersion I am STILL not a socialist. Amazed?
So what happened when I left Blighty? Cold turkey, although admittedly with the occasional lapse.
Changing the subject, I have just set up a dedicated media computer, radio, movies, tv card, Internet connection, every CD ripped to disk giving me a juke box with thousands of tracks. Great machine. Wanted to do one of these for ages.
So what am I doing with it? Here in Queensland?
Yep, you guessed, I am streaming Radio 4.
Working in the office, watching a movie on my general purpose pc, working on a document, it doesn’t matter, Radio 4 on in the background.
Leave home in the morning? Radio 4 is playing. Get home at night? Radio 4 when I walk through the door.
All of which serves no purpose at all, other than as a lead up to and explanation of the following statement -
I was cooking dinner and listening to Jenni Murray on Women’s Hour tonight - look, I’m ten hours ahead of the UK, it’s all heavily time shifted .
There, I have said it. Anyway I was getting a bit annoyed at the attitudes everyone present was expressing (Yes, I know; not just Radio 4 but Women’s Hour, what should I expect?). The topic under discussion was Universities and the way students were turned out. Everyone, academics and journalists, accepted as given the idea that the Universities role was to educate students for a job, the ideas of knowledge for knowledge sake, and that a university was a community of scholars, simply didn’t get a look in.
What became clear listening to these people was that although the polytechnics have renamed themselves universities, the reality is that the universities have all become polytechnics.