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St. Louis is a long way away from England, and the radio that I grew up with. One thing that is wholly absent from local radio is the radio play.

So when, casting about on the BBC web site recently, I discovered that it is possible to listen to the previous weeek's entire dramatic programming on Radio 4 I entered a state of bliss.

I began with an outstanding play dramatizing an encounter between poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan and the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in the 1960s.

That was very good. Thoughtful and thought provoking about the nature of philosophy and its political use and abuse and the culpability of its practitioners.

I followed that with a lightweight mystery drama involvng three train passengers traveling from Glasgow to London. That was equally delightful in a different way.

Listening to these is a double pleasure. Firstly there are the joys of the productions themselves. Secondly, there is the reconnection with a part of my life that I thought was out of reach. This is very satisfactory.

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