Thursday, 16 February 2012

Why I like Desert Islands Discs.

I am newly addicted to listening to Desert Island Discs podcasts via the Radio 4 website. And I have been pondering why this might be. Some interviews catch my attention more than others. Some strike more of a chord. So many stories and different takes on life. Music choices- meaning that I find a new kind of music or a new composer.

Frank Gardner; BBC Journalist shot 6 times in Riyadh. Now paraplegic but still reporting. Dame Cecily Saunders, founder of the Hospice movement saying of singleness "All in the end is Harvest". Nigella Lawson, and her love of cooking. But you also discover that she has lost her mother, sister and her first husband to cancer. Emma Thompson describing the how and why of the Sense and Sensibility screenplay. Baronness Ryder working as a SOE during World War II and then the years after, driving across Europe with supplies for the wreck that Poland was after the end of the war. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, imprisoned at Auschwitz and Belsen, a member of the Auschwitz orchestra, who survived the Holocaust and later moved to England and played in the English Chamber Orchestra for many years. And there are so many others.

So why do I like it so much? Is it discovering Emile Waldteufel's music? Is it just the details of people's lives that are so fascinating? No- I think it is bigger than this - for beauty, bravery, courage, creativity and people's (albeit imperfect) goodness or kindness point me to the provider and source of it all.

“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited” (C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory).

Sunday, 12 February 2012

In which I am currently....

Reading Love Letters from Cell 92 by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Maria Von Wedemeyer. I like ordinary homely details, what he is reading, whom she visited, what he is learning from his Bible reading and all in the midst of the bleakness of prison. Love, waiting love at it's most acute.

Eating brown toast and honey. Or was for breakfast.

Drinking tea. Obviously.

Wearing black trousers, peasant style blouse from Sainburies (blue and red patterns), and black cardigan.

Feeling hopeful. Because of different new things that might happen/are happening.

Weather is surprisingly mild. Bulbs are beginning to poke their heads out which fills me with spring-anticipation.

Wanting - well - many answers to this one. I have applied for a job, waiting to hear about short listing and then interviews would be the 1st March. But I would really like to get it. Please.

Needing - again many replies. However I really need to de-junk my flat. The proportions of this task are a little over-whelming but I suspect I need to isolate certain areas (this box, this cupboard, this drawer) and just focus on it for an evening or weekend afternoon.

Thinking about quiet time (and bible reading) quality. And not really having it or doing it. Early it needs to be, and of course with tea. But more than that I need soul feeding. After all, few things are needed and they tend to be the most important.

Enjoying NIGELLA!! I ordered all of the Nigella TV programmes on DVD from Amazon. I love her enjoyment of cooking and food and somehow I am picking it up when my motivation for cooking for one is at a low ebb. So I am enjoying preparing a meal (however humble) in my kitchen and eating it.

Looking forward to an International Palliative Care course at Edinburgh University for the whole of next week and a long weekend in Birmingham with friends.

Thank you Sarah Bessey at for this idea and giving me permission to use it.