I lived in the UK for a couple of years, and it was one of the greatest times of my life…I learned SO much, and made friendships that are still close to this day – I LOVED living there. Oddly, I think I love it more in hindsight than I did in the moment because I realize what an extraordinary opportunity I had. I may have taken it a wee bit for granted while I was there, but…with age comes wisdom, eh? Anyway, I think of that time fondly – the job I had remains my very favorite school job that I’ve ever had (for realz – I taught Music, the kids were freaking AMAZING, the parents wonderful, my colleagues were awesome…it was just perfect), I loved my little shoe box apartment, my tiny cats, and my Renault Clio. I had great friends, I got to travel around and see tons of stuff – it was a good time in my life, because it forced me to really figure out who I was. Turns out I really like the person that I am – hurray! 😊 Anyway, I’ve been rather melancholy lately, longing for those days – probably because I’ve been listening to my favorite radio DJs from my time over there online in the car.
When I first moved across the pond, it became very clear to me quickly that although we all spoke English, there were some hugely significant differences in the ‘common language’ that we were speaking. There were TONS of holes in my popular culture knowledge in England, and how I filled those was listening to the radio – in the mornings, I would alternate between BBC Radio 1 (Sara Cox was the morning DJ at first, and then Chris Moyles took over) and Chiltern Radio (the local station – coincidentally, the morning show was hosted by a bloody Canadian living abroad – JUST LIKE ME!!!!!! Fun fact: I called in one day and talked to him – to reinforce every stereotype about Canadians that exists in the world, we were from the same general area, we knew loads of people in common, and it was a bloomin’ miracle that we had never met growing up at home – the world is so small, eh?)). After work, I drove home with Chris Moyles every day (and then Sara when they swapped time slots). Between these people, I learned SO MUCH about British life, it’s hard to even explain….they introduced me to scads of music I hadn’t heard before (obviously), but I learned about TV shows, silly references, nationale jokes (ie: everyone teases everyone else in the country about shagging sheep), the news, traffic and weather…all sorts of stuff – SO good. Listening to the radio there did lots to alter the way I speak – and still do! For example, I had never heard the expression “big girl’s blouse” until I heard Chris say it one day, and I bet not a week goes by that I don’t call someone a big girl’s blouse! Still!!
Anyway – I’ve found that I can listen to all of the BBC Radio stations through the app, as well as the Radio X station (where Chris is now), so I’ve been doing that lately (since I gave up my Sirius account due to their absolute rubbish customer service). While I miss Howard Stern more than I can tell you (he was the reason I had Sirius), I’m filling the gap with British radio. On yesterday’s Chris Moyles show, Chris and Dominic Byrne (newsman extraordinaire) piled a bunch of prizes (and themselves) into a brand new Mini Cooper and drove to a tiny village near York to deliver prizes – including the car – to a lucky listener. I couldn’t believe that they were getting to go to York – it’s GORGEOUS there!!! I only visited once, but I had such an epic night out that my recall of the details is a wee bit fuzzy, but I know that I’ve yet to match it in terms of fun…there was dancing in the street, singing a spirited duet with a pack of strangers that I met walking down the most gorgeous cobblestone street (we sang about how we were all best friends for life, of course), and even a bit of time spent sitting atop a bar regaling the locals with a series of jokes and humorous (to me, anyway) anecdotes from Canada – So. Much. Fun. Sigh…time to go back, methinks!
Anyway – if you’re looking to listen to something different in the morning, check out Radio X on their app, and give the Chris Moyles show a listen. If you want to hear something good on the BBC Radio app, there’s tons of great programming – you can’t go wrong. The overseas perspective on the news will be undoubtedly interesting (and enlightening), and I think you, too, may start using big girl’s blouse in a sentence! 😉 You can thank me later! 😊