Strangely enough all the work doesn’t seem so bad when you have it out of the way and can look back with satisfaction.
What helps is the odd highlight that makes it all worthwhile. Take Saturday night for instance. The presenter who I desperately had to keep in line was Mike. Not the usual host of the slot and perhaps with good cause. An opinionated and argumentative man who never quite manages to strike the balance between debate and out and out abuse.
By one stage during the evening I was starting to get quite annoyed at how bad the whole thing was. That was until one caller came on the line in response to a debate about America and whether we would be better off being a part of it.
The caller was a fan of Michael Moore and was in the process of recommending his books, entitled Bowling For Columbine and Dirty White Men. Yes, I know that is not what they are called and all of us in the studio did too, but the caller was quite convinced that was what they were. I immediately dissolved into giggles behind the glass and ran the risk of seriously rupturing something when the caller went on to talk about his latest, Hey Guy, Where’s My Country Gone?.
The rest of his points were almost certainly lost on those of us in the studio. I was unable to see with tears running down my face, Mike frantically trying not to lose it on air as well. Therefore we should apologise to the caller who was almost certainly making a very valid and very serious point. Even if his grasp on his favourite literature was somewhat limited.
I’m my own worst enemy of course, unable to say no when people wave the prospect of paid work in front of me. Without wishing to boast, this is the almost ludicrous schedule I am currently in the middle of:
Friday – work at the office 9-6. Dash home for dinner before racing out to the radio station to work from 10pm until 2am. Taxi home, fall into bed exhausted.
Saturday – rise mid-morning and try to have some semblance of a life outside work. Not for long, immediately race out to the radio station again to get paid to listen to a football match and press the odd button along the way. Have a three hour break from 5pm before going back on the air at 8pm. This shift lasts until 2am during which time I discovered that a taxi home was a non-starter and so had to trudge through the rain across Blackfriars bridge to the bus stop. Two night busses home results in a one hour journey.
Which takes me to where I am right now, bleary eyed and unfocused. Ahead of me I still have another six hour shift at the radio station before coming back home to write the Launch column before bed.
Yes, I actually said I would do this and was enthusiastic about the prospect. Some people are their own worst enemies.
Do you know what the most entertaining thing about this week is? The overwhelming shock-horror reaction to the fact that in the height of midwinter we are having a spell of extremely cold weather.
Combine that with the barely suppressed glee with which people greeted public transport grinding to a halt at the first sign of snow and you get the feeling that actually we British would feel hard done by if the usual things we complain about did not materialise.
Actually I feel hard done by as most people I’ve spoken to today are full of horror stories about their journey home and/or the disasters they had attempting to arrive at work today. My journey last night was so smooth that I caught a half-empty tube home, called Mila to discover she was still in town, travelled back to meet her and then travelled back home again. Or is that showing off?
I think I envy Mila this week, not only is she revelling in weather that is a proper home from home but she is possibly one of the few people in the country who can hear the words “Hutton Report” without grimacing.