Across Continents

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Bit of a washout

Tropical downpour. Intense. But warm. And very humid. Cairns. Northern Queensland. Stood in the middle of a car park. Sheltering beneath a large umbrella. Feeling frustrated. Desperately trying to get a signal on my satellite phone so my local radio station could call me. With little success. Too many buildings around perhaps.

Back in the first world. Should have been straightforward enough. But, alas, pay phones don’t accept incoming calls. And the land line number I’d eventually found hadn’t worked. New Years Day so the internet cafes in town had closed early. And I’d not got WiFi access where I was staying. So, no Skype. Out of options. Tonight at least.

In truth, Anton and Jon at the radio station had spoken to me a little earlier. Reasonably clear line, bit of a time delay but workable. But, as soon as the live interview started, the signal began to fade. I’d tried to ad-lib, second guess things. And then the connection was lost. I didn’t want to even begin to imagine what was happening back in the studio in Somerset. Some frantic filling in.

I’d felt particularly bad about it because, in a way, it was may fault. We’d a well-proven method for pre-recorded interviews, unaffected by the now significant time difference. But I’d run out of time for that in Hong Kong, suggesting instead we did it live. After all, how difficult could it be to find a landline they could call me on? Now you know.

[The author is particularly indebted to presenter Anton and interviewer Jon at 10 Radio for their patience and understanding. Much more appreciative of why radio stations try and avoid live interviews…]


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