A long time ago, way back near the end of 2009, I realised how wise it is to write down anything you are likely to want to say before saying it in the Talking Newspaper studio. While rather good at the old ad lib another life ago, the words refuse to come quite as seamlessly as I age. I know what I want to say but the words fall about in my head like a bag full of Scrabble tiles. My reasoning was borne out today though, fortunately, not by me.
I’ve probably mentioned June and John before. They’ve been reading at FATN for over 13 years and are by far the best readers (in my opinion). They have the amazing knack of making everything sound like they are just sitting chatting to you. I always love when I get to work with them, as I did today.
Everything was going along fine with John cracking me up every chance he had. Then June started reading a story about some sort of environmentally friendly village hall (or other). The story went fine and at the end she started describing the photograph. She struggled for quite some time before calling a halt to it all. We were all in fits (as was she). She said she just couldn’t think of the words she wanted because her brain went blank.
It was then highly relevant when someone read a piece about forgetting things as you get older.
The other reader today was a lady called Anne who I’ve not worked with before. She explained, afterwards, that she can’t be as clever as the rest of us and has to write everything down. I showed my copious notes and told her I write EVERYTHING down, leaving nothing to chance. (Actually, when I do go ‘off script’ I tend to “um” and “ah” a lot, so best I don’t.) Anne was very relieved.
Meanwhile I think John was quietly pleased he hadn’t slipped up (he never writes anything down…show off) and his wife had, because she’s usually very, very good.
Walking back afterwards, the sky quite pleasantly decided to turn blue (it was grey the rest of the day) and I thought the Jolly Sailor pub looked quite appealing. I had a swift pint before continuing on to Waitrose.
Earlier in the day I spotted a squirrel eating an apple. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a squirrel eating an apple. Unfortunately I didn’t have my good camera with me so the photo below is not that great (the squirrel was hiding behind the branches and, in fact, when I moved around for a clearer shot, he darted up the tree away from my prying lens) but it was such an odd thing to see that I couldn’t help but include it.
Much earlier in the day, I took the poodles for an early walk where we met Rex, a puppy who just wants to play. He was with his owner who had a second dog on a lead. She spent all the time I saw her yelling for Rex to come back…which is how I know his name.
Of course Rex just wanted to play with the poodles but they were having none of it. Carmen squealed, Day-z ran away and Rex just went and found a much friendlier piece of wood instead.