Hello dear friends

When I say the word KITCHEN what immediately comes to your mind? Food? Cooking? Washing up? Yes, probably all of these things, but I have become aware lately that the word KITCHEN is appearing in all sorts of places these days … and it’s not always about cooking or food either!

Here in Australia, we have a unique political program called ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ where the host cooks a cake and takes it to the home of a political figure who then proceeds to cook the host a meal while discussing politics. Quite unique really and it manages to give quite an insight into the politician at the same time.

Another program ‘My Kitchen Rules’ is a cooking competition but then again we have a lot of those cooking competitions on our TV screens these days. ‘Overkill’ is the word that comes to mind when I think about these shows.

405257_10150414778362465_184729403_a But recently I came across another use for the word KITCHEN. It was in relation to a program on radio called Life Matters (ABC Radio National). Someone had commented on the show’s Facebook feed that they loved listening to Life Matters when they were at home with babies and were missing interaction in the workplace.

They called listening to Life Matters as being participation in The Kitchen University. As a mother who stayed home with her children for some years, this resonated immediately with me. Yes, I had attended the Kitchen University long before I formally attended university folks!

How many other people ‘out there’ have attended The Kitchen University … just by listening to good radio programs?

Life Matters is one of those unique programs that has daily interviews about social change and other day-to-day issues of life. The presenter, Natasha Mitchell talks with “the main people behind our social policies—from workplace reform to education, health, family relationships, and social change.”

What a great show it is! Still, women have listened to the radio in days gone by, but it was WHAT they were listening to then that was different. I remember my mother listening to soap operas on the radio. “Portia faces Life” was a daily favourite and as we got older, even us children would listen in to hear what Portia was facing in her life at that moment!

???????????????????????????????????????There were other radio plays also during the day but, at night, the whole family would gather around the radio and listen to Quiz Shows or music. It wasn’t until the 1970s when TV was well and truly entrenched into society that ‘Talkback’ radio put in its appearance.

And this was the real beginning of the Kitchen University. Since those days, talkback radio has just got better and better. For instance, this week on Life Matters on Radio National, there has been great discussions:

  • Power to the People: a discussion about the rising cost of electricity and how much power  we have over power prices (more interesting than it sounds!)
  • The highs and lows of synthetic drugs: a discussion about the dangers of synthetic drugs and why they are still legal in Australia after a teenager died from using them.
  • Syria: how do you engage? It’s in the news every day but how does it affect YOU? Various experts formed a panel to tell us what is REALLY going on (highly informative and interesting)
  • Isolation and Loneliness: tackling men’s health in rural Australia: talking to men who work in the health industry in the bush (funny in parts yet serious; very uplifting)

And folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is just one hour on one radio station! There is so much more ‘out there’ to capture your attention. As for me, I am the expert on at least five different radio stations! Ask me and I can tell you what is on … when.Yep, I think I could be one of those people who get paid to point people in the right direction.

I have been known to listen to the Breakfast Program on one station, go to Radio National for Life Matters at 9am, back to ABC radio for another couple of hours, then Classic FM for a midday interview with music chosen by the interviewees, then back to ABC radio for their afternoon program, finishing with a commercial station at night and a music station if I cannot sleep.

Desert+Island+Discs

All of which just goes to show: I could live my life without TV but not without my radio! Even when I am studying I have the radio turned down in the background. If I was stranded on a desert island, I would have to have a radio to survive folks. Forget the food … just leave me a radio!

And so my days (when I am at home) are spent being educated at The Kitchen University. What degree could I possibly get from this you might ask? Well, I suppose it is a degree in “Life” wouldn’t you say? Perhaps we could call it a degree in “Life Matters” because life does matter and in order to live life to the full we need to know what is going on, don’t we?

As I end this post today I am reminded that I cannot imagine how my life would be in retirement, without access to the interesting topics I find every day on my radio. All I can say is this:

Thank God for my continued education at the ‘Kitchen University!’

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