Today I had that shift on Kerrang Radio to do. As I was in Manchester and they are in Birmingham this ment I had a bit of travelling to do. Not far when you're on the motorway but I thought I'd set off early. Get as used to the equipment as I could. Kerrang is a national station on digital and Sky so there were a few complications with things like split adverts and alternative gig guides. Leaving at around 10am I thought all was going to plan until the traffic ground to a halt on the M6.
There was a gradual realisation that this stoppage was going to be a long one amongst the cars around me. We were slowly sussing out that this had become a massive car park as opposed to a motorway. By a stroke of luck I'd stopped right opposite the turn in to Keele services. I pulled in and got some food*. As I sat in the queue of traffic which was ostensibly leaving the services I noticed that a lot of people had given up and got out of their cars to sunbathe. One bloke got out a portable radio and popped on some happy tunes. Another group of people started organising a game of football. There was a party atmophere as the radio explained that a lorry had capsized and that the motorway wouldn't be clear for a few hours. The air ambulance was coming in. It was possible the motorway would be closed.
I actually heard strangers saying to each other: "Oh well, look on the bright side, at least it's a sunday and no one needs to be anywhere!"
"Ha ha ha, lets all make love!"
"Yes, yes lets. Good god, look at that angry fat stick in the mud over there? What's up grumpy guts? We're all having a great time. What a boring square you are."
And there I was. Hot and sweaty in a car in my least favourite weather very annoyed that I was going to be late for my first ever show on Kerrang Radio. I rang the boss and the DJ on air and explained the situation. I'd clearly dropped them in it as they didn't know who they could get to cover. It was sounding like it might end up being non-stop music on Kerrang Radio. All because I'd f#cked up. This was bad.
Then lady luck took me by the hand and guided me in the form of a posh bloke who said; "hey mate, I've just heard they're opening the back gates of the service station, it leads to an A road. Follow me and we might get out."
I don't know why he helped me but it meant I got there on time. I escaped. It involved some complex 12 point turns as I got out of the queue I was in. It involved my girlfriend doing some extra navigation over the phone as I drove round some odd little A roads. But I got there, with 20 minutes to spare. Fortunately I'd prepped before I got there.
I think the show went quite well, although in places I fluffed a few bits. I also boll#cksed up an ad break. We'll see. It was quite mad the number of friends I had listening to it around the UK.
*I estimated around 8 points on weightwatchers. Sandwiches. Quite nice. Doing alright on weightwatchers at the moment.