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Author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce goes back to his boyhood bedroom in Liverpool and reflects on his childhood memories, the meaning of home and the journey to get there.

"Memory is sticky" says author and screenwriter Dr. Frank Cottrell Boyce in his reminiscences of his childhood. "I worry about what will happen in the future when our reading and our music comes digital and non-stick."

In a whimsical and intensely personal reflection, Cottrell Boyce indulges in the music, poetry and prose that made and makes him tick. He does all this sat in his boyhood bedroom, in the house where his parents still live, and where he visits each week to look after them.

He remembers moving out of Liverpool city centre - destroyed by the Blitz - to a new housing estate where his hopes and dreams were forged and where, inspired by the moon landings, he became certain that one day he and his brother would be camping there.

There is much in this programme about the meaning of "home" and the journey to get there, and he pays tribute to his mum and dad for creating a home out of the bricks and mortar in to which they moved. "They created rhythms and rituals that seemed as unalterable and ancient as weather ... the walk to school, the Friday night chippy supper, Saturday Grandstand, Sunday mass and of course that great litany - with its contradictory mixture of reassuring rhythm and emotional unpredictability ... the football scores as read by Len Martin".

The programme features the music of David Bowie, Benjamin Britten, Paul Simon and the Magnetic North, with poetry from Les Murray, RS Thomas and Seamus Heaney. Cottrell Boyce wonders about the nature of memory and where home really is, concluding with St Augustine, that God has made us for himself "and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee."

Presenter: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Producer: Michael Wakelin
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Last on

New Year's Day 2017 23:30

Music Played

  • David Bowie

    Space Oddity

  • Benjamin Britten

    New Year Carol

  • The Magnetic North

    A Death In The Woods

  • David Bowie

    Sound and Vision

  • John McCusker

    Poodle Girl

  • Simon & Garfunkel

    Homeward Bound

  • The Revolution Army of the Infant Jesus

    Bright Field

Readings

Title: The Sleepout

Author: Les Murray

Publisher: Carcanet Press


Title: Anne of Green Gables

Author: L.M. Montgomery

Publisher: Oxford University


Title: Mercian Hymn

Author: Geoffrey Hill

Publisher: Andre Deutsch


Title: The Cure at Troy

Author: Seamus Heaney

Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Title: Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journey

Author: Michael Collins

Publisher: Cooper Square Press


Title: Ithaka

Author: C.P. Cavafy (trans. Edmund Keeley)

Publisher: Princeton University Press


Title: Mere Christianity

Author: C.S. Lewis

Publisher: William Collins


Title: The Bright Field

Author: R.S. Thomas

Publisher: Macmillan

Broadcasts