Radio Sussex

The garden table is full of windfalls. Half the apples are brown waspy mush the other half shiny green and red.
I’m working on Radio Sussex this week so gardening duty is out.
It’s a 6.00a.m. start. Shower, dressed, torch to the car. Headlights on and I’m off. I put on Radio 4 on and listen to the economic report. Marvelling at the conversation about more money than sense.
A little bit of Radio 2 and Chris Evans.
A little bit of Radio 3
And then BB.JAMES singing at me from my CD player.
I arrive just after 7.00, drive round the Queens Road bend into the BBC car park. So narrow that the wall has been chipped and crunched by better drivers than I.
Into the studio, up to the first floor to get the script. Down to the basement, clip on a mike call Tunbridge Wells studio, James turns the lanterns on remotely. The hot lamps are welcome, the studio always a little chilly so early in the morning.
After James, on the telephone, has checked me on the remote camera, and I have moved a little to the right, a little to the left, ‘Jen, split the difference’ I talk into camera. 30 seconds of the top story to give out the telephone number. Encourage callers.
Then its across the road for my porridge which is made with water, and a hot croissant for one of the team.
I eat my gruel in the studio, enter Mr. Miller my engineer. A screen is rearranged, so I can read cues, and a box to plug in my very own headphones is slapped on the desk.
A hand over to Radio Surrey, a little giggle. Then into the breakfast show studio and a tiny chat with Neil Pringle.
It’s now nearly 9.00. Pre-records out of the way. I have sheets of paper with each story, reading the research between songs. Beware of dropping notes on the floor when a seriously important guest is on the line. Scrabbling between my legs for his name is not a good look. Out goes the news, in come the travel, I read out the teaser to get the callers, and then its the first disc.
And its a chat and a song, an interview and a song. Mr. Miller plays everything from Jesse Glynn to Buddy Holly.
Hot water and lemon, in the first hour, green juice for the second hour, more lemon water for the third hour.
I cant eat any more, old age and lazy muscles mean the tiniest crumb will potentially choke me. This morning I had a bit of an almond stuck on me vocal chords thank God for Billy Joel singing over my coughing. After glugs of water I was ok.
The topics come thick and fast, from Argos same day delivery to pensions. Writers, comedians, sad stories, funny stories, callers, experts. By 11.58 the last disc is spun and I’m off to get my car.
I get home by 1.00. Out into the garden to sit in the sun, all those apples accusingly pointing their stalks at me.
The windfalls sitting on the table demanding a juicing.
‘I’ll do it, I’ll do it.’ I cry, as the apples turn their sour faces to the dwindling sun.
Alarm set for 5.58 a.m. and it’s tomorrow already.