This post is unsolicited and un-sponsored and has nothing to do with anything other than an expression of appreciation for a Canadian treasure.
I didn’t grow up in a CBC house. I mean, I do have fond memories of Mr Dressup and Danger Bay and Degrassi and The Friendly Giant and Video Hits (which, like, changed my life – omg, watch this clip!) but my family moved around a lot, including spending a few years out of the country, and I felt like we were often more tied to the BBC than the CBC. I don’t remember watching Barbara Frum read the news. I can’t actually remember listening to any CBC radio at all. All my road trip memories from child hood involve ABBA and Queen cassettes. Hey, it could have been a lot worse.
In the last few years, Mark and I have developed a ritual that involves Peter and Claire and a 10 o’clock date before bed. Yes, that’s right. We religiously watch the National every night. If there’s another good show on at 10pm, that’s really too bad. It’s time for the news. I know we could watch it at other times (no more timeshifting since we quit cable, but you can stream it on the CBC website) but it’s just our thing that we do.
When we moved to this house a year and a half ago, we decided to restrict family television viewing to a family room upstairs beside the bedrooms. A complete change of layout for us, as we’ve always had a family/sitting room with a TV on the main floor, usually near the kitchen. And I like to putter around in the kitchen with noise, so I’d usually turn the TV on for company.
Anyway, new house, no TV on the main level. Only my iPod and docking station to entertain me with. And that is when I ‘discovered’ CBC Radio 1. And I’ve had it on ever since. As soon as I get to the kitchen after my shower, I’ve got Metro Morning on. When I was on maternity leave, and the two older kids were at school and Charlie was down for his nap, it was time for the Current and Q. And I relied on those shows to inform and entertain me on my leave, to be a lifeline to the outside world (which is also what social media is handy for).
I can’t listen to the radio all day anymore, but I bought a little cheap radio with headphones so I can tune in on my streetcar ride, old school style. And sometimes if I’ve got the type of work to do that keeps my head down all day, I use the radio background noise as a beat to keep me going.
In the past few months, I had the chance to tell both Jian Ghomeshi (host of Q) and Matt Galloway (host of Metro Morning) just how much their work meant to me while I was off. Jian was a speaker at Blissdom Canada in October, and I got him to sign my copy of his book 1982 after he spoke. I thanked him for his interesting interviews and dulcet tones at 10am every morning last year, with my cup of coffee and my puttering around in the kitchen.
(And yeah, totally unflattering pic of me, but really, no one looked as pretty as Jian that day anyway, so…)
Oliver in particular wanted to talk to Matt Galloway when we attended a recent CBC Live event at Sherway Gardens. He told him that we listened to the radio all the time, and Matt replied that his parents always had it on too, which is probably why he does what he does now. I really got a kick out of meeting the clever voice I hear teaching me all about this bustling city every weekday morning.
At the same event, Claire Martin made funny faces at Oliver. Too bad he’s not up at 10:50 every weeknight to appreciate the awesomeness of that. I had to share it with Mark afterwards instead.
But, the kids did meet Patty and Mamma Yamma, which was apparently much more impressive. They do love Kids CBC Saturday mornings. So do I, for the peace and quiet.
The CBC is an oft-criticized Canadian institution. Personally I’m so glad it’s here for me, for the kids, and for our 10pm dates.