A friend’s daughter recently celebrated her 6th birthday. As I looked at the photographs on Facebook of the fabulous party, I was reminded of the things that I loved when I was six years old. Two things stand out for me – books and the radio. (how’s that for showing my age ?!)

winnethepoohI still have the hardcover versions of A A Milne’s Now we are Six and Winne the Pooh on my bookshelf. The beautiful pen illustrations of all my favourite characters – Pooh Bear, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit and who can forget the bouncy Tigger ? On the inside cover of Winnie Pooh book, there is a map of where everyone lives and at the bottom a caption – “Drawn by me and Mr Shepard Helpd”.

My love of books and stories has stayed with me from my childhood. They have been a way for  me to escape into my imagination and make a story come to life. I love exploring old bookstores to look and touch the spines of books bound beautifully, and maybe even with gold leaf embossing.  I have to say, I have not brought myself into the 21st century and purchased a Kindle or read books on my iPad. I just can’t be without the heaviness of the book in my hands, the touch of the paper between my fingers as I turn the page to see what comes next.

When I was 6, one of my favourite things to do on a Saturday morning was to take my Dad’s radio into my room with my colouring-in books, lie on the floor, and listen to the radio dramas on Springbok Radio. I would spend hours listening to the clever stories with their sound effects and the different voices – until Dad came looking for his radio, that is. :)

Sadly, Springbok Radio has been off the airwaves for many,many years and the radio drama has been lost to South African radio audiences … or so I thought ! Last month, a techno-savvy friend of mine told me how he streamed BBC Radio 4 on his iPad. It was just as easy as downloading an iPad app and PRESTO, I had access to radio worldwide ! YAY FOR ME !

I am now able to listen to radio dramas and a whole host of other interesting programs to my heart’s content (although I no longer have a colouring-in book and my crayons).

childConnecting with comforting, happy times in your childhood (even if there were very few of them to choose from) is a way of keeping yourself young at heart. It gives you practice in seeing the world through a child’s eyes which keeps a rather jaded, disillusioned adult curious and excited.