Christmas Day was ticking along as usual – I was about to sit down for our family lunch, in fact – when one of my dearest friends rang and yelled excitedly into the answerphone about having just heard one of my poems on the radio.
To my huge delight and even huger disbelief, the actors James Bolam and Susan Jameson, guest presenters of the Christmas edition of Radio 4’s With Great Pleasure, had apparently selected a poem from Creatures of the Intertidal Zone, to read aloud on the programme as one of their favourite pieces of writing.
Post-lunch, and still feeling deeply disbelieving (my friend must have got it wrong…must have been someone else’s poem…), I managed to track the programme down. And did indeed hear Susan Jameson mention the fact that she’d discovered my work earlier this year, that she appreciated my interest in environmental issues and had opted to read my ‘take on consumerism’, the poem ‘Tesco Extra’.
Other writers featured on the programme include Wendy Cope, James Thurber and U.A. Fanthorpe and you can listen to the whole show, available via bbc iplayer for the next few days, here. (Ignore the fact that this page asserts that James Naughtie is the guest presenter – this is a mistake! James Naughtie introduced an older show and the link will take you to the James Bolam/Susan Jameson programme from Xmas Day!)
Even now, three days on, I find it astounding not only that they should have come across my work (how and where, I wonder?) but also that they seemed to like it enough to share it. What a memorable Christmas!