Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Three Cheers For The Archers, And One For Me

If you know me well, you will know how much I love radio. And if you know me very, very well, which not that many people do, you will know that I have been a massive fan of The Archers since I was a teenager. I have rarely missed a Sunday omnibus sine the early 1980s. If I ever went on Mastermind it would be my specialist subject.

The Archers doesn't often make me cry. Well, not that often. I cried years ago when Ruth and David received her breast cancer diagnosis, and more recently I cried at the scene between Helen and her dad Tony after she was acquitted of attempting to murder evil Rob. I probably cried when John Archer died too.

The week before last, it made me cry again. Twice. Once on the Friday night, then again when the episode was repeated on Sunday morning. Because Nic Grundy died of sepsis. A fit, healthy woman in her mid thirties died a horrible agonizing death because she had an infected cut on her hand. This storyline came completely out of the blue. One day she was fine, and fretting over having lost her job. A few days later she was gone. That's what sepsis is like. That really is how quickly it can happen.

Many people think that soaps, or serial dramas, or whatever you want to call them, shouldn't be used as public information vehicles. It's a valid viewpoint. Their main purpose is to entertain. Having said that, most of what I know about HIV and AIDS I learned from Eastenders, and much later from Hollyoaks (Yeah, ok, you get the picture, I'm a bit of a soap addict...) But I'm willing to bet that Nic's story has already saved some lives, by raising awareness. Sepsis isn't glamorous or sexy. It's not a 'cause' that you see celebrities championing. It's cruel, ugly, random and, for the most part, completely avoidable. So well done The Archers for tackling it. Read more about Nic's story here

In other news, I'm having a rather better writing year in 2018. So far I've managed a shortlisting in the Retreat West Flash Fiction competition, with a brand new, never been anywhere before story called Curl Up And Die, and I'e been Highly commended, for the second time, in the Inktears 2017 Short Story Competition, with my story The Less Fortunate, which got down to the last 50 in the Mslexia comp last year. Never give up on a good story.

Most excitingly, I have sold my first ever story to The People's Friend magazine. Don't know yet when it will be published. I know magazines work months ahead. The People's Friend was always on the arm of my Nana's chair when I was growing up. I think she'd be just a little bit proud.