Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Winter Night, Summer Meadow
Lying awake in the small hours this morning (having been abruptly woken by a violent calf cramp, the afterpain of which is still with me), I realised again how poorly we semi-insomniacs are served by the radio since the demise of the much missed Birdsong radio. The World Service, at an appropriately low volume, is fine, though it's all too likely to grab the attention and haul you back from incipient slumber - or, worse, wake you from a doze with a blast of vibrant ethnic music. Radio 4 has an appalling habit of switching from the World Service to loud, jaunty and utterly infuriating song-and-dance programmes that appear to be aimed at deaf imbeciles, but are, I believe, intended for teachers to record and inflict on classrooms of helpless children - one can but pity them. Similarly, Radio 7, once the studio laughter shows have died down, is likely to jolt you with a blast of jollity aimed at the little ones, god bless 'em. Radio 3 would be fine, but you just can't rely on music to stay at the same volume for long, so there's no sleeping through it. What to do then? I know what I'd have, to see me through the long winter nights in a calm, going on blissful state - an endless loop, a la Birdsong, of the sound of a summer meadow. The buzzing of bees from flower to flower, the intermittent chirring of grasshoppers, birds singing merrily in the middle distance, every now and then the faint susurration of a passing butterfly... I'm nodding off already. Here's a project for some right-minded philanthropist - maybe that Anglophile Getty, whatever his name is - Radio Summer Meadow. What could be more perfectly relaxing in the long small hours of a winter night?