Time to listen

I have been working from home since just before the first lockdown and – all in all – I’m loving it.

I’m saving about two hundred quid a month in fuel, for one thing.

And about three hours a day sitting in the car.

I really do not miss that commute!

But, there is something that I do miss about that drive.

Being such a horrible, boring  journey – all 37.5 miles there and 37.5 miles back on the M1, M25 and M40 – I have to keep myself entertained, to save the steering wheel getting too chewed up through frustration.

As such, once I was in range, I would often talk to a small group of amateur radio operators, who frequent the Amersham repeater most mornings.  A friendly bunch, it was always pleasant to chat over technical matters with them. We even got together a couple of times for Christmas dinner… not gonna happen this year, obviously.

But, working from home, I am out of range and so  haven’t been able to have my regular chats with them, and I miss that.

But, the other thing I am missing is my podcasts.  Each Sunday I would store up a week’s worth of podcast listening onto a Re-Writable CD-ROM (I know: how quaint, in this day and age) and I would listen to it throughout the week, whilst driving… and until I was in range of the Amersham Repeater.

I would also record comedy shows from Radio 4 and Radio 4xtra and bung a couple of them on the CD as well.

I am still recording them, even now, but as I haven’t been driving, I haven’t been listening, so have amassed a huge backlog.

Episodes of Just A Minute, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and The Unbelievable Truth, languish on my radio’s memory card, amongst classic episodes of Dad’s Army, Hancock’s Half-Hour and Steptoe & Son.  The Answer Me This podcast remains undownloaded, along with The Modern Mann, Rutherford & Fry, Dr Karl, The Naked Scientists  and the Eclectic Tech podcast from the ARRL.  Amongst others.

Even if things do return to ‘normal’, I’m wondering where I’ll ever find the time to catch up with them all.


  1. Graham W

    My morning dog walk gives me the time to keep on top of podcasts using an app on my phone. Not sure I would want to carry around a Sony Discman, people would think I’d just arrived from the 80’s.

    Hope and yours are keeping well; I do miss our car chats whilst you’re stationery on the M25.

    • Masher

      Hi Graham.
      Yes, been a while since we last spoke.

      A Sony Discman! I remember them! Of course, I’m using the built-in CD player in the car, but I know that most people nowadays stream from their phone..

      Listening whilst I walk the dog is a good idea, but there is something about our morning walk, where I just enjoy the peace and quiet.

      I know that a lot of the young millennials at work listen to music or podcasts while they work, but it’s not something I’ve ever been able to do.

  2. Rajesh

    Cool Mark.. I am signed up to WFH for a better part of the week even when the pandemic is over.. 3 days WFH and 2 days from office would be ideal 🙂 but 3 days from office and 2 days from home will be just acceptable 🙂 ..since mine is only 20 miles it comes out to £100. I have now also renewed my insurance to pay by miles.. let see how that goes.. but as the commute time is not there i have been able to devote some time to Aditi and do the school runs.. which is a better bonus..

    • Masher

      It all adds up to a better work/life balance, Rajesh… which can’t be a bad thing.

  3. Brennig

    Like you I a heavily into the WFH thing. I’ve been into the office once since April. I miss nothing about the commute (it was 16 minutes on the Ninja, and 28 minutes in the car). Actually, I miss filtering on the Ninja. The A52 is a challenge in the car, but it’s a joy to filter through two/three lanes of rush-hour idiocy on that bike.

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