Friday 26 December 2014

The dawn of Christmas morn (on Radio 4)

Hope you all had a merry Christmas Day and that Satan brought you everything you wanted (especially our dyslexic readers)!

In the spirit of the season (and this blog), I'd just like to say something nice about a couple of BBC Radio 4 programmes which I woke up to yesterday morning... 

Firstly, an edition of Farming Today which gave us nothing but the voices of those attending a nativity in a barn at a family-run dairy farm adjoining a church in a tiny Devon village. 

We heard from the participating children (the main narrators), the farmers, the local vicar, the villagers, and others in the audience. Plus the cows. 

Concerns over things like the falling milk price weren't ignored, but the fact that a community rooted in farming, in village life, in church life, is still able to get together at Christmas, draw strength from continuing, age-old English 'calendar customs', and find significance in the Christian message really struck a chord with me. 

It also shows that BBC Radio 4 can go beyond pandering to hand-wringing, lefty, latte-sipping, muesli-munching, Guardian-reading, Woman's Hour-listening, Volvo-driving, metrosexual middle-class types (as we say in this part of the blogosphere!)

Only sour-pusses would have failed to enjoy it.

Secondly, I'd like to recommend a Tweet of the Day from Sir David BBCenborough.

It dealt with the Christmas Shearwater - a very-rarely-reported bird whose main call - 'Oh.....Oh....Oh....Oh' - seems to suggest its surprise at being noticed - and, more than that, actually profiled by the world-famous BBC, and by the legendary Sir David BBCenborough at that! 

The bird, which likes to reside on Christmas Island, has the Latin name Puffinus nativitatis (a Christmas puffin!) - and what's not to like about that?



  1. I often drift in and out of consciousness during Farming Today, and when I was woken by what I assumed was an excerpt from the Archers’s Christmas Pantomime I rushed for the snooze button. (The Archers (and all children’s voices on the radio) are banned from this household.)

    I did hear what was introduced as the tweet of the day, but thought they’d forgotten to include the actual tweet because BBCenborough was talking throughout. There was a faint choking sound in the background. (was that your puffin?)

    1. I do hope you're not accusing Sir David BBCenborough of personally choking those poor Christmassy puffins, Sue. I'll have to report you to the BBC's Rapid Rebuttals Unit if you are.


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