a love letter to ABC Evenings.

This morning I am feeling nostalgic. I think it’s the winter air, being cold somehow always makes me look back. Or maybe it’s because we’ve gotten the space heater out, and every once in a while I get a whiff of the gas. The internet tells me that, “scents bypass the thalamus and go straight to the brain’s smell center, known as the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is directly connected to the amygdala and hippocampus, which might explain why the smell of something can so immediately trigger a detailed memory or even intense emotion.”[1] The smell of the heater, paired with a cup of tea, perfectly blended to remind me of years ago when we’d heat our towel up on the space heater to warm us after a shower. Flannelette pyjamas and fluffy socks and crowding around the heater, rotating turns. This was before the days of air-conditioning, or when we could afford air-conditioning. The nights started earlier, the cold came quickly.
We didn’t have a TV growing up – religious reasons. We had homework and books to keep us company. And the radio. When we were younger it was the Christian radio station and ‘Adventures in Odyssey'[2], but I look back on that less. Once we were passed the age of receiving moral lessons with dinner, we switched to the mainstream. We eagerly awaited 7PM, for James O’Loghlin and ‘Norman the Quiz'[3]. I’ve been trying to find archived episodes, hunting for that theme song, or the way they said: ‘multiple, multiple, multiple choice. A, B, C, D.’ We tested our knowledge against it, “we would’ve won if we’d called up for this round.” Listening to people on a winning streak, only to get the final question wrong and someone swooping in to steal the win.
And then there was ‘PM with Mark Colvin'[4]. This morning I’ve had Wil Anderson’s Wilosophy episode with Mark Colvin on in the background. Colvin has one of my most iconic voices – iconic to me. A British journalist who moved to Australia and became arguably the most iconic radio journalist on our airwaves. He passed away in 2017, and can now only be listened to in past podcasts and interviews.
It is strange what we find comforting. What we put an onus on, what we ascribe meaning. ABC Radio has been thus chosen. It gives me the warm and fuzzies, it takes me out of a temporal present, negates ephemerality. I guess that’s the beautiful thing of memory, nostalgia, tea and space heaters. It’s almost … anachronistic. It’s outside of time, outside of the present. It’s nice.

[1] Hamer, Ashley. ‘Here’s Why Smell Triggers Such Vivid Memories’, Discovery.com, 01 August 2019, <https://www.discovery.com/science/Why-Smells-Trigger-Such-Vivid-Memories&gt;, (accessed 28 May 2020).
[2] 99.7 Rhema FM.
[3] 1233 ABC Newcastle (frequency changes depending on location).
[4] ibid.

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