Thursday, 22 February 2007

Other worlds

Dig's bought an internet radio. This is probably as mind-blowing to me as telephones were to our grandmother Edna. She refused to have a telephone in the house because she didn't trust them. Not like the wireless. She trusted that. You could shout at the presenter and they didn't answer back. Someone on the other end of a telephone might chance a response, and she wasn't having any of that.

So I look at the Internet radio and I'm reminded of Edna Gran and the telephone. And the TV. Apparently, the first thing T'other Gran said on seeing a TV was an exclaimed 'Look! Midgets dancing!' She couldn't work out how the people got to be made so small. And by the time I was aged 4 and sat in front of Bill and Ben I probably couldn't work it out either. But the big difference between me and T'other Gran was that I could accept this collapsed size condition. I didn't know how either, but that was OK.

I feel a bit like Edna Gran and T'other Gran when I get my hands on the internet radio. I'm hanging about the push buttons all afternoon, amazed, tuning in to radio from all around the world, wondering how. But for me it doesn't matter that I don't know. It doesn't matter that I can't speak Japanese, that I don't understand Farsi, or I can't utter a word in Polish. I'm loving hearing these sounds blowing all around the kitchen like warm breath sweeping in from other voices, other places and other times. Here I am, locked inside the house with screaming kids, fighting for access to a stuffed puffin, and I can feel these soft echoes pulsing out from elsewhere, and it's like breathing in perfumed air.

So today is my day. I ignore everybody else and forget they have to eat carbohydrates or they'll scream. I ignore the fact that limp wet socks from the laundry are hanging over the banister and that the dishwasher needs loading. I ignore the fact that an internet radio is a learning opportunity or that the puffin's being nailed by its wings to the wooden floor in the front room. I'm listening to radio Buenos Aires, and wondering about waking up to the traffic outside my hotel window.

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