The shipping bones

Saturday morning – Foe remarked on my Pavlovian response to the opening bars of “Sailing By”, the music that introduces the late-night shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4.

Usually I am asleep by the end of it, or well on my way. Sometimes I can last until around South Utsire before I’m snoring like a taser’d walrus.

We have a DAB digital radio by the side of the bed, and Foe’s idea was to have the latest shipping forecast spooled on there for on-demand consumption, whenever you needed a nap.

I went one further, suggesting it gets spooled to your mobile, in order to take it where you want – a nap in the park, or if you’re been travelling to other timezones – a digital, portable melatonin replacement to get you to sleep wherever, whenever. The audio could be transmitted by bone-conduction under your pillow, as not to disturb others.

Foe then trumped this suggestion by taking the bone-conduction theme to its natural conclusion – the shipping forecast implanted, resonant in one’s bones; the offshore outlook of your sceptred isle sending you a-slumber whenever your head rested on your shoulder…

0 thoughts on “The shipping bones

  1. I’d love the BBC, at very least, to keep the midnight-45 shipping forecast online all day. The five-hour time difference means that it’s replaced by the 5am one by my bedtime.

    The late-night forecast is like checking the doors and windows, then tucking yourself up in bed. The early one throws off the sheets and opens the curtains.

  2. Ah, the shipping forecast’s great for getting to sleep. First the relaxing music followed by the forecast itself.

    When I was a nipper, I used to think it was a choice: “Finisterre. South or southwest veering veering northwest 5 or 6. Moderate or good”. Well, I’ll have ‘good’ then!

    You can listen to the latest forecast at any time online.

    Oh, and I also recommend Overseer’s take on the shipping forecast on ‘Heligoland’. Also great for when you’re falling asleep 🙂

  3. I remember hearing on radio 4 about 10 yrs ago, a story using the names of all the shipping areas as characters in a story. I particularly remember Malin as being an evil character. Do you remember it – if so, do you know where I can “read” the story again.

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