What’s up with Radio 3? This morning, as I was driving to the dentist, it was playing variations on Yankee Doodle. 9 variations – one would have been more than enough – on the harpsichord. Written soon after the original tune was, apparently, whenever that was. It was the most deeply boring but at the same time intensely irritating noise you can imagine. Then, this afternoon, I switched on – briefly – to find the ‘It’s a Knock-Out’ theme being played – why? It’s Radio 3. When the announcers came on afterwards it became apparent that the programme was aimed at children. They didn’t say so, they had an archly bickering conversation, ploddingly obviously talking not to each other but down to the radio audience. If you want to attract small children to a classical music channel, surely you play appropriate good music and treat them as people, not idiots.
I’ve been reading Victorian London, by Liza Picard, whose books I have so enjoyed over the last few years. She writes social histories of London at specific different periods and this is the latest and, it seems, the last. It’s the sort of book you can’t resist reading out vignettes from, to whoever else is in the room, and since this is no fun at all for the listener I try to be considerate and read while alone.
A meeting tonight at the parish church room. I spoil that committee. Normally they get coffee and sweets – jelly babies, Minstrels and Maltesers are the most requested. Tonight they are having wine and cheesy biscuits as well as it’s the present Rector’s last meeting. In the next 10 days he will have 6 farewell parties. I think he will need his promised month’s sabbatical to let his liver recover – well, it’ll be Lent by then so he can gain points in St Peter’s book for abstinence as well as recover from the excesses inflicted by parishioners determined to party to the last.