As we head into another lockdown in Toronto, have been thinking about something that my wife and I have found weirdly grounding amid the pandemic: our radio
We put a classical station on in the afternoons between the end of the workday and Fox's bedtime. The host is incredibly warm and personable, the music is calming, and we get just five minutes or so of regionally focused news at the start of every hour. It's great.
The listener-contributed content—mainly requests for pieces for the daily "beautiful moment" feature at 6:30 p.m. —gives it a bit of a communal feeling, too: here we are, a bunch of isolated people tuning in to the same station together, etc.
The host reads the request before playing it. Lots of folks in nursing homes or long-term care facilities write to him, some including details about their day-to-day experiences of pandemic restrictions, or explaining why the song they're requesting will lift their spirits.
He treats these messages sweetly and generously. The whole scenario is lovely and humanizing. Something crucial, I think, in only having the voices and the music, and also in its being something you might catch while turning the dial
A nice radio is one of the best gifts I've been given over the last few years, and my appreciation for it has only grown since our pattern of life shrunk to fit neatly around it
Since this thread is resonating with people I think it's worth mentioning the channel is @classical963fm, and the host is the wonderful @MWigmore.

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More from @martynwendell

21 Nov
Do you have any nascent talents you have chosen not to develop in part because they frighten you a little bit maybe
I have one
When I was in HS a man in the church my dad was pastoring took me, my dad & my brother pheasant hunting and at the end of the day—having not shot a shotgun before—I had shot more pheasants *than the guy had paid to have placed in the field for the dog to flush out*
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