On the air

So the email went like this:

“I work on the Mornings programme on BBC Radio Scotland. On Monday the 27th July we’re going to be speaking to Donald Macsween about his new series of An Lot and I would like to widen this out a little and have a bit of a look at modern crofting. Ideally we’d like to speak to a female crofter who is relatively new to it. Could you recommend anyone like that who we could possibly speak to?”

So that’s when I come in. My response? Aye, that’s fine, but bear in mind I have no media background like MacSweenie (ok, I’ve done two days of filming with a German film crew but that’s not really a ‘be up there and go live on the radio’ deal). MacSweenie is on Series 5 of ‘An Lot’, he’s confident speaking AND he’s bilingual (this goes back to the David and Goliath blog when we were both shortlisted for the Young Crofter Awards in 2018).

However (as always, there is always a however). If it means helping people to understand that they don’t have to be from a family that have been in agriculture for the past 700 years, then ok, I’ll sign myself up.

The wee ‘research chat’ a week ago was fine. Easy chatting, nae bother. About three days before the event I started to wonder what I had done. Two days before I started thinking of question/answers they may ask. The day before I did a blunder; I listened to the programme by the same lady. And then I really wanted to know why I had agreed. I don’t really listen to Radio Scotland. Any programs that have call ins are an instant ‘turn-the-radio-off’ deal for me. But I had gone and signed up for this.

Insomnia and I are often pals, catching up frequently; the night before was no different. The brain rewriting answers to potential questions. It was becoming worse than preparing for an interview. This would be on the phone. I hate phones (I am much more likely to go round and tap on someone’s door than make a phone call).

The minutes were etching toward the time they said they would call. It ticked past. I had already picked up that each topic was snippets. No depth, no background. Just fire and run. The radio discussion was currently on gardening. Just started to think I had the wrong day, or maybe that they were running out of time so decided to skip it…I could be in luck. Fat chance, the phone rang.

All that to say, yes, it did feel like I was back at school in a French oral exam and yes, I was introduced by my maiden name (and no, people can still not pronouce it). At least both MacSweenie and I spoke of deadstock. He mentioned the abattoir. And I was about to post a blog about the abattoir. Which funny that, the German film crew got a trip to the abattoir and now Radio Scotland tie in to the abattoir.

And voila, it was over. Thankfully my mind pulled a blank screen over what I said so I can’t really reflect on it. I’ll go back to talking to the cows. Oh, and don’t make bread the morning of an interview, it will rise quicker than you have ever seen and will need the oven about, ohh, 15 mins before you’re on the air…