Psst! Don't let on. Don't breathe a word...Somewhere in the vastness of the United States Pam's small son Jack has asked Father Christmas (or maybe there he's called Santa Claus) to bring him a bike. Now I know - and blog world knows - that Pam has, on behalf of F. Christmas found the bike of his dreams and that on Christmas morning one small boy will be very happy indeed. We'll keep it a surprise.
What, asked Pam as an afterthought, were her readers' favourite presents?
It didn't take much head scratching to remember a Christmas in the mid sixties when, along with the painting by numbers set and the 'sensible dressing gown from hell' I unwrapped the neatest little transistor radio - the iPod of its day. This picture - found on some radio geek's site - does not do it justice - it was immeasurably more gorgeous. It sat in all its hard plastic glory in a tan leather case. It had a strap - I think aspiring hipsters were meant to sling it over their shoulder for music on the go - which I discarded immediately as 'not cool' - although I'm not sure if 'cool' had reached south Warwickshire as early as 1960 something....
It was a license to listen and listen I did; indoors and outdoors, under the covers, in the bath or on interminable car journeys where, with it clutched to my ear, I would hope for a signal. It saw me through school and university, first home and at least 1 child. I discovered drama and comedy and to distrust anything labeled 'light entertainment.' The batteries - big chunky jobs - lasted forever. No complicated knobs, buttons and dials - I seem to remember one for volume and one for tuning; the Home Service and The Light Programme. How primitive it all seems now.
Being so far inland, pirate stations London and Caroline were but whispers in my ear - but lying in bed on a school night with my radio alongside me on the pillow I would strain to listen to John Peel's idiosyncratic 'Perfumed Garden Show' a pot pourri of blues, folk, rock and West Coast wackiness. Radio Luxembourg with its crackles and whistles was never quite as enticing. And Radio 1, the hip answer to the Light Programme? I suppose it had its moments.
I can't remember when we parted company. I wonder if something more sophisticated* came on the market. It's more likely that old age and one accident too many involving bath water meant an untimely end. RIP little radio. Gone but not forgotten.
* I've just remembered. Indeed it did - in the form of a 'Brixton Briefcase' - a 'ghetto blaster'; an amalgam of cassette decks, loudspeakers, controls, aerials, bells and whistles. What a waste of space that was.