My life has changed since I was able to get broadband. Yeah, right, I hear you say incredulously. No, no, really it has and I'll tell you why. Because I can listen to BBC Radio 4. This is an oasis, for a poor Brit abroad, of intelligent radio, of Sunday morning services with hymns one can sing along to, and of coverage of events such as Remembrance Day.
I cannot convey the tediousness of French radio sufficiently to make it palpable to the non-initiated. Suffice it to say, the day I was able to tune in to 'Today' was a day when sighs of relief were breathed in quantities that would have sent Nelson and his fleet as far as Papua New Guinea.
Today, then, I was in bed, as was Ulysse, and listening to the Remembrance Day ceremony with its emotive music and words, its 2-minute silence and soul-wrenching mixture of pride and sorrow for those who gave their lives in the Great Wars and wars since.
All brought to me with no trouble at all via the internet broadband connection and Radio 4. I have been in France since 1989 and have missed no end of important events in the UK. Even little things such as listening to Christmas music has been impossible. Carols are a rarity here, but a Christmas without them is a pale imitation of my idea of Christmas.
So, Cheers! to progress. Big hugs to Radio 4 and hello world, I'm back in tune!