Monday, September 03, 2007

shipping forecast, conkers, lace

Though not a sailor, I love the BBC shipping forecast. The area names and the shorthand language are pleasing and somehow reassuring. Fair Isle, Viking, Cromarty, Forth,Tyne, Dogger, German Bite and so on. When I listen, now that I have a map, I follow the coastline in my mind, down the North Sea, through the English Channel up the Irish Sea and up the coast of Ireland until the Scottish Islands, Faroes and Iceland. Then there is the language: "Northwesterly 5 to 7. decreasing 5 or 6 later. Rough or very rough. Showers. moderate or good". Spoken in the measured tones of the announcer, it is far removed from the wind, rain and spray, but nevertheless is a gentle reminder of a wider world.

The green, spiked husks of conkers hang in bunches of two and three. They begin to take on a dunn colour.

Through the lower section of a sash window, the bottom part of a lace curtain waggles and waves.


Lucy said...

Ah, but the lilting melody of 'Sailing By' for the last one of the day has, I hear, gone west!
(I was rarely up late enough to hear it, but I loved it when I did.)

Unknown said...

Yes, indeed. Lots of people lament the disappearance of "Sailing by". Is it sentimental to regret the passing of such insistutions? Nostalgia isnt't what it used to be.Eh? For the time being we should be grateful for the chimes of Big Ben, which I can recall from my childhood, during World War 2. In Mrs Dalloway, whose eponymous heroine lived within earshot of them, Virginia Woolf refers to them as "leaden circles disolving in the air". The chimes have been temporarily withdrawn from the Six O'clock News because of repairs to the clock, and have been replaced for a month or so by recordings made by listeners of the sounds of summer. Perhaps, you listen to the PM programme. I forget sometimes, in the modern world, that it must be accessible to you. Silly me.

Lucy said...

In fact we receive both BBC FM radio and television through ordinary terrestrial means directly from Jersey; there is no ground higher than where we are in between us and the Anglo- Norman Isles, and the reception, save in periods of exceptional high pressure or other clmatic conditions, is better than when we lived in a narrow valley in Dorset! However, I haven't listened to PM for a bit, so i didn't know about that.
(I'm not supposed to be reading any blogs this week, but I can't forego yours!)