Thursday, 6 January 2022

Shipping Forecast

 How those words used to fill me  with excitement.  Going back to Radio only days the forecast used to come on about four times a day and the areas would always be read out in the same order - almost like a poem.   I could recite them in the right order - now I can only remember some of them.   Sitting here, a mixture of snow and rain falling, central heating full on at lunch time, only a light breeze - I suddenly for some reason thought of it - Faroes, Fairisle, Dogger, Lundy, Malin, Hebrides,  - Rockall, Shannon - that's about all I can rake up from the depths.

I would sit and listen and find the areas on the tattered old map we had because even at that age I was fascinated by the idea of travel, of seeing places.   I was about ten I suppose and in our class at Primary school we were asked to bring in labels off tinned food from around the world and they would be placed on a map.   I brought in many more than anyone else - not because we had more, after all we were in the midst of World War II, but I went round all neighbours, friends, relatives - everyone who could supply even a meagre label.   And then at Christmas, for my present, I asked for a new Atlas and joy of joys, at the front it even had a picture of the shipping areas round our coast.

Shows how a simple thing can foster a lifelong interest.  After school, no chance of travelling because you needed money and we never had any to spare.   Then came marriage, buying a house, raising a son and it really wasn't until he had gone through University that there was any spare money..  Then we did travel as much as we possibly could.  There is nohing like it.

At present I am going round the World in 80 days - now on TV no longer for real.   But imagination is a wonderful thing isn't it?   Wouldn't have minded going right round the British Isles all those years ago, taking in all those shipping forecast areas.  Trouble is I am terribly seasick - sick at the slightest ripple.   What about you?

32 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Travel has never interested me, guess it's the fact that I'm a Cancerian, never happier than when I'm in my shell, or house. I was in my late 30's when my wife at the time finally convinced me to have a holiday abroad, in Majorca. For the next twenty years annual holidays abroad became the thing but never to travel in any particular country, purely to sit on a beach and sunbathe. Makes me boring I guess but I'm never comfortable being far from home.

jinxxxygirl said...

Went deep sea fishing one time and got sick as a dog! Ofcourse it was high surf... i tried all the tricks.. keeping your eye on the horizon etc... nothing helped.. uuugh..

Tasker Dunham said...

I once learnt them in sequence, and can probably still make a good attempts, although it is always tempting to put Sole after Dover.

gz said...

This crab loves travelling!
I remember the shipping forecast.. trying to stay awake until the right area turned up!!...loved the music, "Sailing by" ....

Anne Brew said...

Love travel and I’ve been very lucky to have visited some really remote areas with my birdwatching OH.

JayCee said...

Oh yes, it was very soothing listening to that wonderful voice calmly reading out the shipping forecast.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I am also not good on a boat, even our friends' boat to go round the lake where they have a cottage. When I lived in Nova Scotia for a year to attend teacher's college, I found it so interesting that they included in their weather forecasts things like knots and wind speeds and other things that I forget and am probably getting wrong. But for someone who didn't live anywhere close to an ocean for her whole life, it was new and exciting. -Jenn

Joan (Devon) said...

I remember the shipping forecasts and some of the names you mentioned, but they didn't hold any interest for us as we didn't live anywhere near the sea.

Bovey Belle said...

I always found listening to the shipping forecast very comforting. Someone was bound to be getting worse weather than you, and just the intonation was almost soporific. I get seasick if it's choppy, but my poor dad couldn't even get outside the harbour wall with his uncle to go fishing before he got the heave-ho's and poor man, he went over to France on the D-Day landings on those awful flat-bottomed landing craft. I went on one from Scarborough one year, when we were holidaying there, and you got the chance to go out to a landing ship, HMS Fearless. I knew just how he felt as unless you could see the horizon (you couldn't of course, if standing on the bottom) - it was ghastly.

I'm pretty good at British geography but not so clever on world geography, and have been unable to do much travelling in my life and I am more interested in history/archaeology, which are my real passions.

Ellen D. said...

I was the kid in my family that got motion sickness and had to sit by a window. Cars, planes, boats, even yoga, can make me feel woozy.
I have traveled a bit. As kids, my Dad was great for planning long trips across the USA. Two of my sons married women from other countries so I got to visit China and Rwanda for those weddings and that was fabulous. Took a trip right before Covid hit to Italy with my daughter - thank goodness we did it then - unforgettable!

the veg artist said...

I love boats, and it's almost a case of the more basic, the better. One of my fondest memories is of a Greek ferry boat, travelling to an island with locals, complete with goats, chickens, buckets of fish, the smell of diesel - quite pungent on a very hot day!
I love the Shipping Forecast too. Sometimes, if I can't sleep, I put the radio on very quietly, (00.48 hrs and 05.33hrs) but I've usually zoned out by the time they get to Lundy/Irish Sea.

Rachel Phillips said...

I note that your commenters refer to the Shipping Forecast as if it is a thing of the past (the veg artist is an exception) and it is of course still broadcast on a daily basis. My ex partner I have discovered recently listened to the OO.48 broadcast every night unbeknown to me, you could have knocked me down with a feather in that he had to get up and go downstairs to listen to it. Perhaps it gave him some comfort in his troubled life. You are lucky to have had such an enjoyable life travelling. I enjoy travelling but have mostly had to travel alone. From choice I would like to have had a like-minded companion.

Bettina Groh said...

I remember taking the ferry from Jersey to Southampton... very rough... everything was chained down but my Mother and I were fine sitting in a totally empty dining room having breakfast!!

Debby said...

I had a French teacher who spent her summers (she and her husband) boarding 'tramp steamers' and going all over the world on the cheap. Her grandson goes to my church now, a grandfather in his own right. We were talking about her one day and he said, "When I was a kid, I thought she was magical. THey were always going someplace and bringing me back little carved toys for my collection. I thought everybody's grandma went all over the world and had adventures.

Sue in Suffolk said...

If I hear the Shipping Forecast then I know I've had a bad night and the radio has been on all night - midnight I want to be asleep and 5.25am I don't want to be awake either.

Susan said...

We have our own shipping forecast for coastal BC. The person who reads it is not up to the task. The British one was beautifully read when I listened to it, to the point, as you say, of being inspiring. I love experiencing new places but not the travel required to get to them.

Anonymous said...

Too many travel sickness stories to recount, sea sickness, car and bus travel, even in a glider in the air (paper bag provided by the pilot).
It's a horrible feeling - Pam.

Heather said...

No travel in WW2 and after my parents were not wealthy enough. I always liked the idea of foreign travel and had a wonderful book titled: 'The World's People and how they lived'. However, the first time I went abroad was for a much needed holiday to Spain one November. Lovely without the summer crowds. Then a long weekend in France - again lovely. Next 2 weeks on Rhodes with one of our daughters and lastly 3 weeks in Seattle, Vancouver and Salt Spring Island. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them but my husband never caught the travel bug and the Isle of Wight and Guernsey was as 'abroad' as he wanted! I have never been really tested by sea-sickness but didn't much like the heavy swell coming back from France on the ferry.

A Smaller Life said...

As a child I used to take my little transistor radio to bed and listen to it under the covers, with the volume on so I could just about hear it but not alert my parents in the next room to my late night listening. On radio 4 I would listen to the news, then the shipping forecast and then I would struggle to stay awake to listen to A Book at Bedtime. Grown up stories that I didn't always understand but I just loved being read to. 😀

Chris said...

We came to Canada by sea - five days on The Empress of England - and I was pretty sick the first couple of days. Now it doesn't bother me. I think the ships have better stabilizers now.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Reading these at eleven oclock at night - fascinating stuff.

The Furry Gnome said...

I've loved geography all my life, and like you travelled a fair bit later in life. Wonderful memories!

Joanne Noragon said...

I travelled with my children and a little with the grands. Showing them the world is good.

Susan said...

Travel is a great experience and very beneficial. Exposure to other countries and cultures, other than our own, is very broadening, making the individual well rounded. I've traveled all my life, from early childhood through my adult life. As a result, my son has also traveled through childhood and to the current day as a young adult.

Cro Magnon said...

How funny, I used to do the same thing. There was something totally fascinating about the names and the weather they could expect; spoken almost in code. It was almost like listening to some spy network.

thelma said...

I still listen every morning, a stabilising of the world. Always wanted to live in the Isles of Silly, but of course it is Scilly. English language always delights. Not much for travelling, sea-sickness being one reason.

Librarian said...

My favourite way to explore a place is on foot - no other way offers as much detail as that. As for travelling, the older I get, the less do I want to deal with all the waiting around at airports. There are still many places on this planet I would like to see, but long flights put me off, especially these days.
Like you, as a child I loved looking at the maps in my atlas. I would find a favourite spot for where I‘d imagine I would live, and then make up routes from there, where would I go walking, shopping, visiting friends and so on.

SallyC said...

My husband and I loved to travel when we reached that lovely stage - children off with their own lives and a bit of cash to spare. My favourite memory is of teaching the children how to do the Hokey Cokey on Christmas Day in a village high up in the mountains in the north of Thailand. I'm widowed now but have so many lovely memories.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for all these responses. How fascinating they all are. I can't reply individually - it is now lunchtime on Friday - I am up and dressed and my Carer has gone - another one this weekeend as it is my usual carer's week end off. All I can say is - as I well seasoned traveller - I would not have missed a single minute of my travels and now I think about the places all the time. Yes the memories will die with me - but they have certainly made my life what it is

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Yes, the Shipping Forecast is still alive and well, but confined to Radio 4 on long wave. When listening to the Test Match cricket they have to warn listeners that they are going to break away for a few minutes to Humber, Fisher, German Bight etc. For some reason the commentators from overseas find this amusing and one of them, Carlos Brathwaite from the West Indies, became obsessed with it to such a degree that they got the script for it and allowed him to read it over the air. I'm sure you would have enjoyed the romance of hearing it read with his strong Barbadian accent.

The Feminine Energy said...

I never used to be motion sick ever.... until about 15 years ago or so. Now even too much motion on the television makes my stomach roll. I wonder why that is? ~Andrea xoxoxo

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