Out here in the west there are times when you can feel cut off from the rest of the country. We’ll glance over Morecambe Bay to discover that England has disappeared in fog or cloud, and the comment is normally made that ‘England has gone again.’ Given the number of times the A590 gets blocked by roadworks or accidents, it’s not surprising we can end up feeling isolated.
Admittedly at times the feeling can be our fault. Due to an administrative error in our purchasing department we forgot to buy a newspaper and we ended up reading it a day late. Given it was the issue which covered the government losing three votes in an evening, I didn’t want to miss the details. But actually it just reminded me of watching one of those Youtube videos of abysmally bad driving. You know how it is going to end but you cannot tear your eyes away from the build up to disaster.
But we get weird radio reception as well. Due to geography or weather, there are places where you can pick up Manchester local radio stations but not our own local radio station or even some of the national stations. Indeed a lot of years ago I used to drive up to Gosforth quite a lot. I was in a landrover with a radio of dubious utility; it could reliably get Radio 2. It was the year of the Los Angeles Olympics and driving home late at night all I could get was Terry Wogan covering them. To be fair, I have no interest in Olympic events but at least Terry Wogan made it interesting enough to keep me awake.
But occasionally other stations butted in. I remember once travelling north when I lost Radio 2 and got a radio station from somewhere in the Irish Republic instead. Well their music was no worse and their news was more interesting.
One story that has always stuck with me was the Manager of a semi-professional team somewhere in the Republic. Apparently his players got paid so much a game. But if they played abroad, they got double the payment.
In one competition they were drawn to play a team from Northern Ireland and the players all wanted the double payment because this was abroad.
The manager, a good republican and supporter of a united Ireland told them they were only getting paid the standard rate because it wasn’t abroad.
In the end it appears the team had gone on strike and he’d put them all on the transfer list.
At that point Radio 2 came back and I never did find out what happened.
But still, I haven’t been idle. Another book awaits your eager grasp. Merely sent £0.99 to Amazon and this can be all yours!