For All Those Freaking Out

Great radio usually has human stories at his heart. This couldn’t be more true of Fi Glover’s “landmark” series Generations Apart, which was broadcast on Radio 4 the last two Wednesdays. In the series, Fi gets to know individuals from two very different generations, all from very different walks of life and now facing very different problems.


The stories of the people she chose to feature are the perfect representatives for addressing the issues everyone in the nation are familiar with, no matter which generation you are part of. She speaks to the post-war ‘baby boomers’ about what they remember about leaving education, facing the world of work and settling down and establishing a family.


That is then perfectly contrasted with individuals born in the 1990s, who have grown up with a huge range of lifestyle options available, in an technology driven global age. However, they are the ones now struggling to find their way in life through this economic crisis.


And this was the part which spoke to me the most. Fi speaks to one girl who has a story almost identical to mine, and many of my friends. The girl was a journalism undergraduate in her final year, trying to network her way into the media industry by continuously doing weeks of internships and work experience placements.


This is exactly what everyone I know is doing right now, including myself! Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited about achieving my goals when working in radio, and I enjoy being placed in new environments.


But it’s scary. Four short months, and then we’re out there in the big wide world! We’re standing on the edge of the void now.


Maybe I was just feeling particularly emotional that day, but when I heard Generations Apart and the stories from real people around the country, it comforted me. It’s a reminder that there are people experiencing the same thing up and down the country, and it’s always nice not to be alone.


So if you want some comfort, and to hear real stories about the paths in life and what’s important, listen to Generations Apart. Don’t freak out.


And luckily, it’s available for over a year thanks to the BBC’s new online archive!


Generations Apart

Fi Glover, BBC Radio 4



And if you’re into radio drama, I’ve really enjoyed these adaptations. It’s the autobiography of New Zealand author Janet Frame, who grew up in an interesting time with an interesting family. Her take on the world is beautifully told, taking us through time and locations.


An Angel At My Table

BBC Radio 4


I Want To Be An Animal

Africa has done it again. The TV programme I mean. The country has obviously done it too by evolving such magnificent landscapes and amazing creatures, but the team behind the show have done a brilliant job capturing the Congo.

I’m sitting in my room, surrounded by notepads, appliances and other objects that indicate my very enjoyable but very human existence. What I wouldn’t give right now to be one of the little fish swimming in the Congo rivers, or one of the colourful birds zipping through the rainforest. Just finding food, keeping out the rain, not getting eaten, what could be nicer?


I’m the daughter of an RSPB warden, and we watch a lot of wildlife documentaries in my house, but I’d never seen these birds before!




The Picathartes looks like it’s been made out of modelling clay, with its disproportionate wings and smooth feathers.





African Skimmer


And the African Skimmer looks like a child’s drawing of a bird! If that makes sense…



I’m not usually a big watcher of television, probably because I don’t actually own one and only have my laptop, but I am just massively impressed at the journeys we can be taken on and things we can be shown.


I’d much rather see them with my own eyes of course! African expedition, anyone?

From Africa To Blandings

I just finished enjoying the BBC’s new series of P. G. Wodehouses’ ‘Blandings’. An excellent cast of familiar British faces such Imageas Timothy Spall, Jennifer Saunders and Mark Williams. I’m not overly familiar with Wodehouse, but I’d gathered that his talent lay in satirising the prim and proper era which he grew up in: the early 1900s. His fame for wit through language became apparent as the cast of Blandings relished in creative turns of phrase and anecdotes. My particular favourite was Spall reminiscing fondly how his deceased wife had such a way with words she once persuaded him to put beetroot in his mouth and he found it quite pleasant!

I wish I could remember some direct quotes, but the first episode has spiked my curiousity and after Caitlin Moran’s ‘Moranthology’ and a book about Woman’s Hour, I’ll be picking up my first copy of Wodehouse. I love that kind of humour. Another good one to watch is French and Saunders when they were part of Channel 4’s Comic Strip doing their Famous Five spoof ‘Five Go To Dorset’. It’s available on Youtube, here’s a link.

Whilst I’m talking TV, I’ll tell you about the other brilliant series on the BBC at the moment. The whole country has been blown away by ‘Africa’. It’s the perfect blend of landscapes that look like paintings, which I find it hard to believe can exist on this planet, and fascinating close-ups of exotic animals. Perfect for the HD TV everyone got for Christmas!

ImageAt it’s heart, ‘Africa’ is also a fantastic storyteller. It personifies the wildlife whilst maintaining their mystique as wild animals. I do not cry easily at films, maybe ‘Up’ being the exception that gets me every time, but I found myself welling up over the giraffe sequence and the death of the baby elephant. I thought that a trembling bottom lip was a cliché that only happened in cartoons!

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but these programmes will be on my viewing list.