It’s a funny thing turning forty. Not funny ha ha, or even peculiar, more bloody annoying than funny actually. I remember when I was kid and my parents hit the big 40. In my mind they may just as well have turned seventy. I have been in my forties now for a while and I am starting to realise just why people have a ‘mid-life crisis’ or look at things differently when they say goodbye to their thirties.
A while ago I wrote about Frankie Valli, Englebert Humperdinck and Diana Gould, older people who are playing a joyously active role in the world. Now, I’d like you to meet Beryl Renwick, 86 and Betty Smith, 90 who have recently won the award for best entertainment programme at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, beating off the competition from the likes of Frank Skinner and the BBC’s Adam & Joe.
I’ve got a computer that can filter out unwanted rubbish and a sign on my letter box shielding me from junk mail, but when it comes to useless information it seems that I’m just not capable of rejecting it. Those that promote interest in this sort of stuff (pushers) call it trivia, but it’s reaching the point that ‘brain spam’ would be a more honest description. The amount of information that I don’t really need to absorb is pretty scary.
After hearing an old friend’s comments on his final regular broadcast, I couldn’t help feeling short-changed by the folks that run national radio here in New Zealand. Dougal Stevenson’s final remarks were delivered with the same calm dignity with which he had presented TVNZ national news for so many years. There’s far more to Dougal than a BBC accent, there’s a genuine love of the English language, a deceptively dry wit and, as I discovered, a willingness to encourage those new to public performances. My first encounter with him was for the… Read More
It’s that time again: Queen’s Birthday Honours! And I’m eyeing the postman with all the expectancy of Hyacinth Bucket waiting for the mayoral invitation. Surely Her Majesty won’t overlook me again? I know I’m tucked away a bit down here, but that shouldn’t be a problem with communication the way it is these days. Unless some bugger in Wellington is putting the diplomatic boot in, it must be my year. A knighthood? Thank you, but no, perhaps later when she’s run out of pop stars. In the meantime, something a bit more… Read More