Out with the old, and in with the new.
It sounds like New Year, doesn't it, but I have been sitting here thinking how this year really has been a new dawn for our town.
One of the things that really gets my goat is people running our town down - both people that live here and people that used to live here. It is a shame that there are so many that want to see the negatives, because there has been so much good happening this year, that barely a month has gone by without some exciting new event or opening, that me, in my journalistic capacity as Bicester's leading blogger, I feel duty bound to report on.
However it seems I am destined still not to get in to the cinema to see the film I wanted. Yes, despite the cinema being open six weeks I am still to go there. The fact that the opening has coincided with the school holidays has not helped, along with the fact that the film I specifically wanted to see opened on the weekend we left for a two week holiday. But even so, I was rather disappointed to see that despite only being launched 3 weeks ago, the film I am desperate to see, Alan Partridge, Alpha Papa is already being listed as a last chance to see at our cinema. I had arranged for the boys to stay at my parents on Wednesday so that Claire and I could go, yet now I find there is only one showing that day, at 21:30pm, and that is too late for me. If I was watching a film at that time it would be at home with a bottle of wine. My idea was more of an afternoon visit, a nice meal out afterwards and then a few pints down the White Hart afterwards. Still the rate things rush along now, I expect the DVD will be out before Christmas. Have you noticed how quick it all happens these days? I'm sure 20 years ago that you would have had to have waited at least a year for a video release and then another year for it to get on to SKY, and then maybe you'd get on to BBC1 about 3 years later!
Speaking of the White Hart, what a fantastic job they have done with the place. If you weren't aware it was closed for a few weeks for an extensive works and the end result is amazing. The interior has almost doubled in size, with a completely new indoor area where the old courtyard used to be - this has a big dancefloor area and a proper DJ booth - which is absolutely fantastic. I worked in there for the first time at the weekend and really enjoyed it. It's hard to believe it is the same pub that I first stepped into 22 years ago and had my first ever pint in Bicester. In recent years it has gone from strength to strength but this latest upgrade is by far the biggest and best and it really does stand out now from the other pubs in Bicester. Apart from my DJ booth (OK it's not mine personally, but I am the longest serving DJ in the pub, or member of staff of any type, so I can lay claim to it to some extent), there's completely new toilets, garden furniture, a coffee area at the front, and even a feature of an ancient well which was discovered during the building works. This is to name but a few of the new things, I suggest you get down there and take a look, and in fact if you happen to be there this Sunday night, I shall be providing once again my world famous retro disco when it is 80s and 90s all night long. I am expecting a big crowd.
The White Hart's facebook page with details of all the new features can be found here:
The new shiny White Hart is just another example of this brave new world of Bicester this year, hot on the heels of the cinema, Sainsbury and everything else. But there's more - and it's music related too, so leads on nicely from the DJ'ing theme.
My DAB radio recently packed up, so I have started using the internet for digital radio and really discovered how much there is out there. In fact I was rather disappointed with my DAB radio, it really didn't pick that much up apart from a few BBC stations and a few other commercial stations. Whereas on the internet itself there are thousands if not millions. I have taken to listening on my tablet which is great because I can listen also to local stations if there is something on them that I specifically want to hear. This has led to me tuning in to LBC, Radio Mersey and some specialist sports stations. I certainly don't miss the DAB radio and see no point in buying another. Anyway, it came to my attention some months ago that we in Bicester do in fact have our own internet radio station and I have tuned in to it on occasion to hear some good music and also it is great to hear a few of our local businesses advertising on it.
There have been a number of attempts to get a station off the ground over the years, and it is great to see a group of teenagers have got behind this project and got it on to air. It has been broadcasting for around a year now from the Courtyard Arts Centre, with a team of young DJ's offering a mix of programmes for the community. They have also just got a website up and running which I strongly recommend taking a look at, you can find it here:
When you consider how much people bang on about "the youth of today" and young people I think this group deserve nothing but praise for getting this project off the ground, and I have the utmost respect for them. The challenge now is for them to bring it to a wider audience. Discussions I have had with their founder suggest this is not just a youth project - it is for everyone in Bicester, and with that in mind, I have offered my services to be their first "older" DJ. This offer was gratefully received. I've got a couple of ideas for shows, both of which were well received, but I won't say more at this stage as there are technical issues to be resolved before at least one of them can realistically be brought to fruition. All I can say is that my ideas would appeal to a wide demographic, i.e. all age groups, and I am sure what I have to offer can help in growing the station's audience.
Most of their shows are afternoon or evening based at present, but because of my child care commitments, if I were to take up this role it would be likely to be for an hour one morning a week. If/ when it happens I shall let you know more, but chances are you may be hearing me on your airwaves some time this autumn.
It's another exciting development in this amazing town of Bicester, I am so glad to be offered the chance to be a part of it. If you've ever fantasised about having me coming in your ears in your very own living room, this could be your dream come true!
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