Monday, October 03, 2005

The Shipping Forecast

I have discovered a new oddity to love about England. At 0048 each day, the folks on BBC Radio 4 read the shipping forecast. I'd heard tell of this, and absolutely every Brit I've questioned on it raves likes it is some sort of mystical oracle.

I've been up at 0048 and still alert quite a bit in the last few weeks so I tuned in.

I, too, am mesmerised by its power.

It's not unlike the commodities prices they read on the AM radio news in the midwest US. There's the part about the indecipherable language that's fascinating, but the shipping forecast is even better. (And it's hard to get better than futures on corn or beans or the price of cattle at the Ronan Trading Barn.)

The shipping forecast sets one's mind to thinking about the possibilities of life...of sailing off into the sunset/sunrise, heading out for adventure in the great unknown. As you sit snuggly in your dark, quiet house in the middle of the night (made snugger now that the heat is on,) it makes you dream of distant shores. It's oddly calming, like a verbal lullaby. Reassuring even. As you tuck yourself in under the duvet and turn out the light, it puts the wind at your back and sends you to sleep.

Listen to it here. Nighty night.

2 comments:

lulu said...

I usd to love the farm report...hog bellys, live sows, etc....I had forgotten all about it

Pam said...

Okay, they don't do it anymore, maybe they decided they needed the time slot for, um, news, or something. But a while back, I remember lying in bed listening to some guy with a totally toffee accent read the cricket scores. That's it, just the name of the team and the score. Name. Score. Name. Score. Put me back to sleep EVERY time. I miss it.