Friday, 5 September 2008
Bean Bag Mayhem Almost Scuppers Radio 4 Interview
A fairly eventful catty week, this one. On Thursday, I found myself in the BBC's very 1970s* Manchester studios being interviewed about Under The Paw for Radio 4's Woman's Hour, which was holding a discussion regarding "a pet's place in the family" in the wake of a recent survey that had found that around a fifth of all mothers loved their pets as much, if not more than, their children (!). Before that, however, I had a bit of a domestic disaster: my bean bag exploded.
I don't mean this euphemistically: one of my bean bags actually did explode. I'd taken the cordouroy cover off to wash some particularly adhesive cat vomit off it, and it turned out that one of the bags inside holding the beans had come undone. I'm not sure if this has ever happened to you, but the carnage is quite mindboggling. Who knew there were that many beans in there, that they could be so hard to get out of the bristles on a vacuum cleaner head, or that they could move twenty feet across a room of their own volition, jump into the air, and secrete themselves in a plate of quiche? Janet - whose love of budget, alternative playthings has already been documented here - was very impressed, and celebrated by jumping into the middle of the vast, seemingly ever-expanding puddle of tiny beads on my dining room floor. Sadly, I couldn't find the camera in time to capture him leaping joyfully through this "indoor snow" - a particular disappointment, in the case of the moment when he looked up at me with his tongue sticking out and three beads stuck to his chin, nose and forehead in a perfect line. The experience made me realise how Woody Allen must have felt in Sleeper when he had to tackle that giant instant pudding. Of course, Woody had sort of an advantage, in that he didn't have three small dumb animals attempting to variously bat, skate on and eat the pudding: had The Bear, Bootsy and Ralph not been asleep downstairs at the time, the mayhem that ensued could have been enough to put an end to this blog, my love of mogs and, well, me. It took me almost two hours to clear up, and I made it to my Manchester-bound train with only about 30 seconds to spare. I didn't find the last bead until I ran my hand through my hair somewhere in the region of Macclesfield.
I've done quite a lot of radio in the last couple of years and always look forward to it - in a way I can't ever imagine myself doing with TV - but I was oddly nervous in the run-up to entering the WH studio. Perhaps it was because Woman's Hour was the first programme I'd been on that I could actually imagine members of my family and friends listening to. I forgot to say most of what I wanted to say, simultaneously probably said a bit too much about the way I talk to and about my cats, but still had a very nice chat with Jenni Murray, who's got a lovely soothing, familiar voice. Apparently Jenni is allergic to cat hair, but not, weirdly, the hair of black cats. Has anyone else heard of this condition? I'd never encountered it before, but it seems to be more proof of the magical nature of the darker feline. Jenni admits she does refer to herself as the "mummy" of her dog and cats. However, I didn't get chance to ask her whether she sings to the latter animals, and, when she does, she sings the same song that littlecatdiaries reader Natalija admitted to singing to hers this week.**
* I didn't think there was anywhere in Britain that still had that Life On Mars lighting in its corridors - bar the Life On Mars set - but I was wrong. When I went to the toilet, I half-expected to find one of Joy Division in there, smoking a cigarette and looking shifty.
** James Brown's 'Say It Loud (I'm Black And I'm Proud)'.