Monday, February 06, 2006

Coming soon to BBC4...

...well, me.
I was interviewed at my parish church (St. Mark's) on Sunday about the importance of the built environment, particularly in parish churches, in the wake of the British government's vote to make a certain one-time grant to the Church of England. The grant is for deferred maintenance and other physical plant issues. I think it works out to be around £49,000 per parish: in some places, a lifesaver, I'm sure.

I have searched in vain for a web reference to the news article on the BBC website; I am just going on what the interviewer from BBC4 told me.

Anyway, the relationship between the built environment and human flourishing is a topic I easily warm to -- with great regularity, if friends such as Craig H. are to be believed, and they probably are.

But I am afraid that after a halfway decent opening, explaining some of the social and cultural differences between here and America, I'm afraid I sort of petered out, giving only the most obvious and vacuous examples. If I'm not edited out altogether (not a bad idea, that), I will most likely be pontificating on the differences between America and the UK. Oh well.

It still might be a few minutes in the sunshine -- which right now, believe me, is entirely metaphorical.

By the way, I love the BBC. And BBC4 is such a phenomenon, it seems uniquely British. The British -- especially the English -- are known for loving words (which is one reason I feel at home). (If their love of words is in doubt, check out this programme, entitled Word Hunt, devoted to etymology and 'word mysteries'. We don't have a telly, but this sorely tempts me to get one...Really, really cool!)

And BBC4 is all talk radio. Not the usual stuff we're used to in the 'States: ideological blather, left and right (more of the latter than the former), vapid 'sports talk', call-in shows with themes such as "your favourite candy bar and why", or "Have you ever been cut off in traffic? Probably served you right...". No. BBC4 has expert physicians talking about medicine for laypeople; dramatisations of novels and plays; news; quiz shows; call-in shows for financial advice, and the astonishly popular shipping news. They have all manner of entertaining and useful talk. Not so highbrow as to put you off, nor so lowbrow as to...well...put you off. Good stuff.

Yes,we're liking it here. Although I could do with a tad more sun. And a day or two of not being ill. But other than that, splendid.


Blogger Emily said...

I'll send you some of our ubiquitous Oklahoma sun if you send some desperately needed rain our way.

(I very much like the idea of BBC4. I guess we have to live with This American Life and Wait, wait, don't tell me.)

Monday, February 06, 2006 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...


That would sound like a fair trade, except I honestly don't have much rain to send -- Cambridge is one of the driest parts of England, and seems to be in the midst of a drought at that. Everything is still quite green, but we have had very little rain.

I love NPR, too, and you have named my two favourite programs! We listen to Wait, Wait every week via the internet -- NPR are very obliging in letting people stream the broadcasts whenever they want. TAL is a close second for me. So I don't think we do too bad with those -- both from WBEZ in Chicago, represent! -- but we could always do with more.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 9:06:00 AM  

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