Pure Digital Radio – cleaning up the nation…

I purchased my digital radio six years ago from Empire Direct and the Pure Evoke 2 sits in my kitchen pumping out content from the moment I awake to the moment I retire – not that I spend my entire day in my kitchen I should add! Rather as I go about my home each time I need to visit my kitchen I am greeted by whatever station I am tuned to at that time.  The latest model includes naturally a number of refinements including the ability to connect an iPod – and I presume iPhone – and to pause and rewind digital radio for up to fifteen minutes – but I am more than satisfied with the older version I have.

What could I be listening too!

Digital radio has a lot of competition not just from other formats such as Internet radio but also the format itself delivered on other platforms like satellite and cable. But I like that my radio is self-contained unintegrated with the rest of the online world.  The sound from the two speakers is remarkable – even at a modest volume it produces a richness and power quite surprising given its small stature.  And it is a bit of a looker too!  My only niggle was that the handle came off – odd too as I am not in the habit of carrying the radio about – perhaps it came loose because of being in a kitchen the day long and subject to condensation – however it is a minor niggle as the handle for me serves no function I require, purely ornamental.

And what a lot of stations are on offer.  I have no favourite rather I stick with a station until I fancy a change and move along the dial usually to the very next station – very few channels I ever feel the need to skip.

In addition to the usual family of BBC stations including the indispensable Radio 3 and local Radio Scotland there are the Absolute family of stations – their 80’s and 90’s stations are available to me but the 00’s (pronounced Naughties!) station is not.  And though I do not feel a need for a 60’s and 70’s version as those two decades are so well served already an Absolute 50’s would be a pleasure as a decade beginning to become overlooked.

Local stations are well served too which in my case include Forth, Clyde and Real radio – stations that I would not be able to pick up if reliant on FM alone.

A notable mention to Amazing radio a station to showcase new and unsigned talent – a station I am sure that would have gladdened the heart of the late John Peel.

There have been a number of casualties along the way – I miss both the rock Arrow and ambient Chill – but there are more than enough other stations to keep my attention any time of the day, any day of the week.

Digital sound is pristine but reception is not perfect for all stations – Clyde, Forth and Radio Scotland can sometimes fade away but it is easy enough to recover them.

Now to paraphrase the English Elvis again – digital radio is the sound salvation…

Living The Big C – Two for the Road

Cancer must be one of the hardest sells both to networks and their audience – it dealing with disease and in this case one that is often terminal with no it seems happy ending likely.

Credit then for Showtime for commissioning this Darlene Hunt terminal creation and to Channel 4 for picking it up this side of the Atlantic.

Crafted with comic spirit and grace so this cancer is chronicled. Courageously the charismatic Laura Linney character Cathy Jamison – the programs real Big C  – responds to the diagnosis.

Comfortless from her family – her husband is slung out of the household, her teenage son is a stranger in the house, her father out of state and out of mind.  Only her brother provides comfort if cold and up to the seventh episode the one I have just watched – Two for the Road – news of her cancer has yet to have been shared with any of them – well it was with her brother in this episode but it proved too much for him and the news was withdrawn as a reprisal prank – you have to see the episode to understand this!

Casting aside what is not important in her life and gathering in what is, Cathy takes control of her fate.

Cast is an ensemble performance with John Benjamin Hickey notable as her brother also courageous in his convictions often in the face of mainstream indifference and Oliver Platt as her uncommitted loving husband.

Cast-iron certainties there are not but I am hopeful this Big C like Cathy herself proves resilient and that many years lie ahead for it.!