Friday, March 05, 2010
band, soap, bore
Rubber bands like this are a common sight on the streets of Tunbridge Wells (and I dare say on the streets of other towns in England). They are shed every few yards by postmen who assemble letters in packs arranged in delivery order. The packs are held together by the rubber bands, which are simply dropped, one by one, when no longer needed. I have often wondered how much the Post Office spends on rubber bands every year. Though it does not worry me deeply, I am, somehow, glad to be able to share this concern.
On the BBC 4 Programme Desert Island Disks, the guest is June Spencer, Peggy Archer(later Peggy Wooley) in the Archers of Ambridge soap opera about a farming family. She chooses eight records to keep her company on a theoretical desert island. She has played the part for more than 50 years and, as an actress, has, herself, loved, suffered and grown old, along side her fictional role as wife, mother, grandmother, pub owner in Ambridge. It makes me think about the blurred line between soaps and real life. I have always liked soap operas - the soap operas in the media and those which occur, immitating fiction, in our daily lives and the lives of others rounds us. Sometimes it is hard to know where the fiction begins. I remember, when I was still at school, working on a farm in the holidays. I was required, on one occasion, to hoe a field in the company of an old farm worker, who told me much of his life story, as our hoes dodged in and out of endless rows of turnips. He was, I soon found out, a regular listener to The Archers, which was already in existence in those early post-War years. His own story was woven into the story of the fictional inhabitants of Ambridge, to the point that I found it difficult to separate his life from theirs. To day, I sometimes feel that I have a similar problem with my own life and The Archers which I still listen to as a matter of course every weekday evening at 7pm
When you engage in something like this blog, you are occasionally assailed by the thought that it could be, and probably is, boring, to some people at least. Is there a word for the fear of being boring? And one for the fear of being bored? As far as I am concerned, the former is worse than the latter. But I am on the look out for both words, if they exist, to put a name to two of my special phobias.