Saturday, 29 March 2014

Further Adventures in Radio

I had a meeting with my mentor at Radio Leeds this week. I'm not over the thrill of that yet. I have a mentor. Me. Inexperienced, out of my depth me. It's bloody brilliant.
An experienced, knowledgeable, talented person is helping me get closer to becoming a broadcaster, and the BBC is letting him do that on their time. It's an act of such generosity on his and BBC Yorkshire's parts; I'm extraordinarily lucky. I'm Wayne and Garth meeting Alice Cooper - "We are not worthy" - and I'm Charlie Bucket, golden ticket in hand.

In February I appeared as a guest on Jake Katberg's Saturday morning panel, chatting away about Facebook movies, texts from the council telling you to exercise more and other lightweight news from the week. My first time on air - wow! It was enormous fun. I didn't feel at all scared, which I put down to that afternoon shadowing Andrew Edwards in early January. It was a familiar environment rather than an intimidating one.  That helped me a lot.

There's the weekend editor, Andy, at the desk. He was a really nice bloke. The cake box you can see is full of home made scones with jam and cream. I figured if Radio Leeds helps me develop new skills, it's only fair they benefit from the skills I have already. 

On this coming Wednesday I'm on air for again - this time as part of the Wednesday Witter chat with Johnny I'Anson a little after 3pm. I don't know what we'll be talking about but I am very much looking forward to it. 

I've got a heap of tasks to do before next month's mentoring session, including recording some interviews. I'm pretty nervous about that, even though they are not for broadcast. It needs to be with people I don't know, last 4 minutes or so, and in a style that suits Radio Leeds. Eek. I'll feel better when I've done the first one.

Looking back to when I first knuckled down and applied for a place on the Women In Radio event, it's been a remarkable 5 months. I still can't believe that my crazy day researching things for my programme idea and trying (and failing) to talk into my iphone's microphone about Leeds for 2 minutes without saying 'um' once led to all of this. Sometimes attempting - whether fearlessly or when you are scared stiff - pays off.
Jay x

Friday, 28 March 2014

Tackling that list

Since I wrote out the list of of tricky things in January I felt newly motivated to tackle some of them. I can't say I've had a Damascene conversion to all of the things I've attempted, but I liked more than I expected.

First item on the list -
Our eldest is studying for next year's GCSEs at the moment. One of his set texts is Lord of the Flies, the book I was too terrified by age 10 to ever go back to. Parental responsibility trumps childhood fear, so in order to help him with revision I read it, as I mentioned here. Tick.

Try meat -
I've had a go at 4 types of meat in the last 2 months. I quite like pancetta, as long as it is pretty well cooked. I have it in carbonara now, although I give Mark most of the pancetta bits. However, the British version, back bacon, grosses me out dreadfully - all that pale stringy fat. I had to spit it out.
I already knew I loved pastrami. Pastrami, dill pickle, mayo and French's mustard is a good enough sandwich to dream about. add a little firm lettuce like cos or little gem and you've hit perfection. I missed pastrami dreadfully for years.
I tried peperoni. Peperoni and hot dogs were the last meats I gave up all those years ago. I was disapointed. Nice flavour up to a point, but so oily I felt queasy afterwards.
Finally, a 'dinner' type meat - chicken. Just no. I wish I could but I can't. The texture, the smell... I'm happy sticking to fish and veggies.

The big one - exercise.
Thanks to the generous Michelle Nichols, writer of the Running Up Top Down Under blog and all 'round good egg,  I have exercised for over a month. She's discussed different options, looked at my (lack of) fitness and free time, and provided masses of encouragement and cheerleading - all online, as she lives in Newcastle.
We decided brisk walking was best. There have been days when events overtook me, but on the whole I've managed 2 1/2 hours of walking per week, averaging 3km per day, Monday to Friday. I have problems with my knees, and Michelle kindly worked out series of exercises and stretches to help with that and to keep me going.
Yesterday I walked to a supermarket 5km away before doing my shop, getting a taxi back with it all (I'm not THAT tough!) and walking another 2km across the afternoon on assorted errands. I wouldn't have done that 6 weeks ago.I probably couldn't have done it. I definitely need some more suitable shoes but otherwise I'm glad I'm doing this.

Write an essay.
In fact, I've written two. Sort of.
The first was in answer to a gcse question as an example to my son of what would constitute a full answer to an essay question. It was fun. I liked pulling together the quotes and framing my arguments. However, it was pretty basic stuff I know inside out and backwards.
The second thing wasn't quite written in essay form, but close enough for my purposes. My mentor at Radio Leeds assigned me a half hour segment of radio to analyse. I spent 6 hours on it, listening, pausing, rewinding, listening all the way through - I must have heard some bits 4 or 5 times. I listened to competing programmes for context and reviewed my notes from the Women in Radio Event too. Then I wrote about 1200 words analysing the styler, techniques, choices made and news priorities of the half hour. I found it an immensely useful exercise and I enjoyed the whole process.

There are still plenty of other tricky things to tackle some day, of course. But now I've done a few I'm going back to attempting more fun stuff. I have a couple of them to blog about in the next few days.
Have a lovely weekend,
Jay x