Sorry, I am late with this update to the blog. No real excuses here, I simply was not in the mood on Sunday. It has been so wet and wild and windy that I could not concentrate. The wather can do a lot to your mood and I am always happiest with a sunny day and a clear blue sky. Never bothered how cold it is, as long as I can see the sun. I remember at school, sitting in our classroom which got the sun in the morning, peering out across the frost covered fields and thinking how wonderful it was.
Last time I told you how a six days spell in bed with flu brought me into contact with shortwave radio for the first time. In July 1972, when Argos opened in Croydon, I bought my very own radio that had shortwave. I think, looking back, I did not really appreciate how influential shortwave broadcasts were. Not just to those who were away from home, but in countries where freedom of expression and media were not available.
Radio Tirana sticks in my mind. Who can forget that haunting set of notes played on a trumpet at the beginning of each broadcast. Again, at the time, I was probably too young to understand the significance of it but Radio Tirana had a very narrow and by today’s standards, warped outlook on life and the way it reported events. For example, the dreadful events of “Bloody Sunday” were reported as the British occupying forces killing innocent civilians supporting the Irish Freedom Fighters of the IRA. They also refered to Londonderry as an Irish city, forgetting the fact that it is in Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. But, for me, that was the sheer beauty of shortwave. You could hear how other countries viewed the world.
Today, with Internet, satellite and instant 24 hour rolling news, we tend to forget that back in the seventies, sometimes shortwave was the only way to get hold of independent and impartial information on the news. This was especially so for those in countries that were then behind the “Iron Curtain”. Oh how things have changed.