Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Radio Ga Ga

I remember, some time ago, I wrote about how my little treasure can make the mundaness of a car journey evaporate into a capsule of giggling, and tomfoolery.

Even on longer car journeys, the boy is good value for money, and I cannot actually recall a time when he has been a pain in the ass whilst on the road, apart from being sick on himself once, and I really don’t hold that against him.

During the school holidays we have spent a chunk of time on the road, we headed to North Wales, made a couple of visits to pals in Yorkshire, then have had less further-a-field trips to Leamington Spa and Shrewsbury.

It has got to a point that I make little provision for our longer car journeys. I used to set up a portable DVD player, pack all manner of ‘at-hand’ entertainment props, but now if I have a new magazine for my son to read, I would consider it an extravagance.

We just rely on each other’s company, and usually drinks and some snack food.

Except on our first long journey of the holidays, a trip to Wales with my parents, I made the fatal error of being far less entertaining than them, and my boy decided - of his two car options - sitting in the back of granddad’s car with grandma, was a better one than shotgun with me.

I tried several times to convince him otherwise, not really making a big deal, but I did genuinely want him to travel with me, however with licence to play big-boy-music on my iPod, swearing et al, and without fear of being told off for singing too loud (yes, he does that now) I quickly thought I would actually enjoy the near three hour drive, solo.

How wrong I was.

Firstly, the idiot had kicked in, and my iPod was completely dead, with my rogue in-car charger nowhere to be found. Until, that is, I took my extensive search for it to the glove compartment, later in our holidays.

But the lack of power in my Apple slice of music stowage, meant I was forced to the sound of the car, or that of the radio.

I could have done my old trick of calling people whilst on the road, to pass the time, but couldn’t be bothered with actually having to talk, and listen to people.

Instead I opted for the radio, and discovered, there really isn’t a radio station for me, I am, somewhat, between stations.

Radio One had Firm Cotton on, who could only be more annoying if they surgically attached Reggie Yates, making shows without him an impossibility. At least I was spared that knob, but Cotton, really isn’t sincere at all, not that that is a problem precisely, but coupled with being uninteresting, at least to me, it meant I was quickly looking for another station.

Radio Two was a mix of Zoe Ball, and Jeremy Vine, neither of which I can really palate either, and as the eversosecretnoneofusknewwascoming election had been anonnced on the same day, the latter’s show was even more annoying than usual.

He actually had people, as in, random individuals, call in with their predictions for the election result. And if they weren’t specific, like saying Tory majority of 10, or similar, he was telling them off. Not entertainment, and not of any point at all, so that bit the bullet.

Radio Four has often been decent value for money, but it was actually Womens' Hour when I tuned in, which had some bints going-on about how much men have not listened to them over time, and who am I to question that stereotype? So I switched off.

Then I was off searching local radio stations, which is another world of shite.

They may all have different names, and the presenters, different accents, but they are just all copying the same formula.

The ‘time tunnel’ or ‘golden year’ features really are pants, but people do seem to lap them up, or at least waste their time, and money, making phone calls to make incorrect guesses of the relevant year, based on random recollections, that are neither entertaining, or accurate, for that matter.

I was very tempted to call in to when of the stations, when I was constantly asked; “So, what is the year?”

I was going to go with; “2010, you fuckwits, get a new fucking feature.”

But if that feature wasn’t enough lyrical chaff, phone ins about tips for getting a good night’s sleep, and random acts of kindness topped them off.

Radio Cymru was actually of surprising comfort, and it goes to say something, that the best entertainment, was chucking at the fact that the Welsh language has quite a few holes in it, that they intermittently use good old English words, like; ‘rear window’ and ‘costume maker’ amongst their gobbledygook.

I listened to that for a solid 20 minutes, such was my angst with the other options. It made me laugh, and that says a lot about me, but probably more so of them guano that radio stations are churning out.

If I was cool, I could go on about Radio Six, and how we should all join the campaign to save it, but as I don’t listen to digital radio, that would be rather false of moi, though Mr Hughes, does listen to it, and recently posted a link to a reasonably funny protest song.

Bet I have you totally sold on that link?

I want Atlantic 252, or a derivative, back, a station that just plays music, reasonably up to date, and of rare annoyance, but, I suppose, as I only rely on the radio at times of iPod outages, I am not really anyone’s target audience.

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