Back in April, I was driving into work when I turned a corner and the usually crystal-clear car radio went "buzz!". Static. Interference. Call it what you will. I lost the AM stations and most of the FM stations in one right-hand bend. Disaster!
I'm an avid radio listener. Talk radio, rock music, pop music, classical - I listen to the lot depending on my mood. Most of the time, I listen to talk radio. Music is fine, but on long journeys I want information, company and entertainment not just background music. And in Britain, that means BBC Radio Five, which is only broadcast on AM and DAB digital frequencies. Radio Five delivers news and interviews, sports commentary, book review, film reviews and the occasional phone-in.
I sought advice: check the connections, particularly if it isn't the one originally installed. Apparently, they become loose. That made sense; it's not the original radio (a few Christmases ago, DH bought me one that played CDs instead of the original one which played tapes). But I couldn't figure out how to get it out, so took it to the garage and they had a go. Miraculously, they re-established reception of most of my channels. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than nothing. The mechanics suggested replacing the antenna at the next service - not just the aerial, but the whole thing. The next service came and went. "We're sorry, but we can't get the radio out, so we can't change the antenna." I was disappointed. The radio still worked, not brilliantly but at least I could hear most things, some of the time. It just wasn't reliable.
The CD player works, but there are only so many times I can listen to the same audio book before getting bored. Having bought a new MP3 player, I sort out podcasts. Radio Five does several: the book program, Mark Kermode's film reviews, various finance broadcasts, etc. I'm up to date with the shows I love, but sadly they don't keep an archive. More recently, I've sought out the various knitting podcasts out there: Cast-On, Yarn Thing (hello, Marly-mad-woman! I love listening to you), She Knits, and Knitty Nora are the most noteworthy.
Podcasts have opened up another window on the world for me. Most are amateur - people who just have something to say and want to share it with you. I've come to the conclusion that the best knitting podcasts are like the best blogs: it's like having a good conversation with a friend. Yarn Thing has to be the best of the lot: fun, entertaining and Marly's laugh is contagious. If you have never listened to a podcast, I suggest you start with Yarn Thing. My trips to Site are 4 hours each way - I've been up there three times in the last five weeks - and listened to the entire archive of Yarn Thing on the way. And I still want to hear more! Surely that is the best recommendation there can be.
- Pam (got to get the radio fixed. It's lost the AM stations again, so there's no football and no cricket in my car and I can't live without them.)