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It’s been four years since I started this blog. Four long years. In October 2009 I wrote something extremely well thought out and literary like OH MY GOD I’M PREGNANT WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW?! and that decision may have changed my life a little bit.
In those four years I’ve given birth twice, started the process of divorce (just the once… for now), gone a bit mental with the pressure of kids, work and marriage, found happiness, put on and lost six stone and moved cities three times. I’ve written here about the hardest times and the happiest, births, marriages and deaths. It’s basically been the blog version of Four Weddings And A Funeral, naturally starring me as Andie MacDowell in that massive black hat (so when do I get to snog Hugh Grant? I kid… kind of).
When I started my blog I had no expectations. I did it purely for the reason that I didn’t know what else to do when I realised I was pregnant at the age of 24. Not having any friends who were pregnant or had children I desperately needed somewhere to share my experiences, ask questions and connect with people who’d know what I was going through.
But this place has become so much more than that. It’s been my lifeline at times, therapy for when I’ve wanted to share the bad and sad bits of motherhood. It’s become my job, given me some of the best friends I could have ever wished for (you know who you are and you rock). It’s offered me opportunities I never would have experienced otherwise.
One of those opportunities just happened.
If you look closely you’ll see I’m trying to push open an automatic door. Smooth.
Last week I had an email asking whether or not I might be interested in appearing in a feature on Woman’s Hour about Parent Blogging. WOULD I EVER!! Woman’s Hour has always been such a ‘thing’ in my family; my mum has listened to it for as long as I can remember and she still to this day emails me links to each segment she thinks I’ll enjoy. She often starts her sentences with, “I was listening to Woman’s Hour and…” before delivering a little nugget of wisdom (love your nuggets, mum).
I had a quick chat on the phone with a producer and all was confirmed for Monday. I called my mum and she actually screamed at the news. At our family friend’s engagement party last Friday I don’t think there was anyone in the room who didn’t know that I was to be on Radio 4. She’s never been prouder and has been swearing she always knew I’d turn up on Woman’s Hour.
So this morning Mum and I were up bright and early and on a (massively delayed) train en route to BBC Broadcasting Centre on Regent Street; tired, stressed and not knowing what was ahead. We signed in and were taken up to the green room which wasn’t actually green. Or that fancy, really, the whole place kind of felt like a big office.
Jane Garvey came to greet us (my mum fangirled all over her) and was as much of a legend as she is on the radio: friendly, professional, welcoming. She showed us round the studio before mum was banished back to the green room and I was seated next to her with some ‘cans’ on. I couldn’t get over how breezy she was; she literally chatted happily with me as the news was on and stopped one second before she started speaking to three million people. She was so calm, so cool… when I grow up I want to be Jane Garvey.
By the way: I was seated in the same chair Jamie Oliver sat in last week. BOOM.
I was joined remotely by Tim Atkinson of Bringing Up Charlie and it was showtime: we were on. Jane asked us questions, we gave her answers, the whole ten minute segment flashed by in the blink of an eye. I didn’t swear, forget what I wanted to say or mention any brand names (a big no-no, apparently). I was nervous but really enjoyed the whole experience; mum was shaking when I went back to meet her in the Green Room so I think the whole thing was more taxing for her. I did it without vomiting… what a bloody achievement.
We followed my media debut with brunch at The Langham (I NEEDED that Bucks Fizz) and then headed home when I was back to the daily routine of lunch, naptime, food shopping and jigsaws. I imagine this is how Gwyneth Paltrow lives her life… apart from it doesn’t rain in LA and she never has to deal with The 8.04 London Midland service from Milton Keynes being 30 minutes delayed. Not that I know of, anyway.
You can listen to my radio voice right here – I’m first on so you don’t need to skip through the segment. Keep in mind I usually don’t sound this articulate or well spoken in real life, but that’ll be the wine.
Thanks to Radio 4 for having us: we had a blast. Do listen tomorrow and Wednesday at 10am as the special on Parent Blogging continues and best of luck to my lovely blogging friends Jennie and Hayley for their turn with Jane ‘The Legend’ Garvey.