Sunday Salon

70757~Cafe-Mocha-PostersOh Lord!  Sorry I haven’t been around these last couple of days.  My nightmare scenario happened at a preliminary meeting over at Stratford.  There was a major accident on the motorway on the way home and as a consequence the hour journey took nearer three.  And, as a consequence of that, my adrenalin problem kicked in and, well let’s just say you don’t want to know about the rest, because you really don’t!    I console myself by the fact that if things really do become impossible this is a degree that can be done by distance learning.  I don’t want to do it that way, but if I have to I will.  Nothing much to report from the meeting (this week and next it’s more administrative stuff than actual teaching) except that everyone seems formidably clever and incredibly confident.  I know enough about students to know that the latter, at least, is 90% bravado.  Most of them will be shaking in their boots as much as I am.

But, I did get a good tip from one woman to whom I spoke about a very good audio version of Richard II, which in the light of what we were talking about last week concerning the way in which Shakespeare’s audience would have listened to a play, I thought I would explore and see if just listening made a big difference.

The version about which she was so complimentary was the BBC Radio Production with Samuel West as Richard.  I’m not certain if those of you who are reading this outside the UK will know Sam West’s work, but let me just say that when I heard this existed I had to come home and discover if it was available anywhere because anything with West in it is a must in this household.  In fact, it is because Sam West is his namesake that Samuel Bear wants to grow up to be a Bear who is an actor. (Amongst many other things.  Samuel Bear is a Bear who wants to do everything; preferably yesterday.  Sometimes, living with Samuel Bear can be exhausting!)

The link I’ve given you is for the Audible Company.  I discovered them last week after deciding that I wanted to do more listening.  For £7.99 a month you can have one download whatever the actual price.  Sometimes that means a saving on shop bought CDs of over £50.  A deal not to be sniffed at.  We have already had our discounted download for this month and I’ll tell you about that another day, but as this Richard is only £8.99 I’m going to treat The Bears and we are all going to the theatre this evening.

I think Audible must have originated in the US, so if this is as good as my new colleague suggests then when I report back maybe you will be able to get a copy there if it appeals. I wonder, are there other companies like this around?  If anyone knows of any I’d be glad of a link.  As it is we have already decided on next month’s discount.  Little Dorrit is available at about 15% of the price I would have had to pay in the shops.  Our long winter nights with tea, scones and Dickens are now assured.

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Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 9:39 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ooh I am extremely tempted by Audible, as of next week by afternoons are going to get significantly quieter, I quite fancy the company of a good audio book, keeping me amused as I sew.

  2. I love audible. I’ve had it since the spring and it has been great for when I have been travelling and such.

    Also I wanted to say that distance learning can be great actually. That is how I am getting my teaching degree. While I do sometimes miss the social side of campus learning I think at this particular point in my life distance is better. If you have questions on what I like and don’t like drop me a line (I am happy to sell the concept ;))

  3. Thank you for letting us know about Audible. It’s a pity your start was so … disappointing and (mis)adventurous, Ann! So, you are seriously thinking of getting your degree by distance learning? It’s not the same but with less adrenalin involvement, of course. Have a nice relaxing Sunday!

  4. I love audible and have had an account for over six years. They are now associated with (maybe purchased by?) amazon, so if you click on audio download at amazon it takes you right to audible.

    Enjoy Little Dorrrit. I have Great Expectations ready to go.

  5. Lacer, I think you would get immense pleasure form the Audible catalogue. I always used to listen to radio plays while I was sewing and this would be just the same.

    Zee, thanks for what you say about distance learning. I’m not going to give up on the real thing just yet. It’s simply that I’m glad to have the option there if my ehalth lets me down on the travelling front. If I do have to take up the distance option then I’ll be glad of your advice.

    Maria, does re-potting all the pots on the patios count as relaxing?

    JoAnn, I hadn’t realised there was an Amazon link. I must explore that. Thanks.

  6. I don’t really connect with audiobooks the way many other booklovers seem to, but I could certainly see the benefit when it comes to Shakespeare! My husband and I are currently reading (and dissecting) Hamlet aloud to one another (1 – 2 scenes per day), and our oral renditions can certainly verge on awkward! 😉

  7. I have heard such good things about audible, namely from Joann and Beth Fish. Since I have yet to fully cultivate the audio learning gene, however, I don’t think I would get my money’s worth from the membership — yet! I am working on my audio listening skills, though, and hope to appreciate an audio book as much as a hard copy book soon enough.

  8. I bought my MP3 player from Best Buy (a US electronic store–not sure you have them?). My player is the Best Buy brand–I bought it especially as it has a nifty bookmark feature on it for audio books–something I couldn’t find on other players when I was looking. I’ve not listened to any audio books for a while, but Audible teamed up with Best Buy and the players are meant to work well with Audible downloads. I may have to try it eventually. They do seem to have good prices here as well for their audio books.

  9. I’ll have to see if that Best Buy is up in our stores too – we have Best Buy, and I need an MP3 player. The audio sounds fascinating, Ann! Thank you! for all this with Shakespeare!


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