Monday, 26 July 2010

Back in the routine

No photos with this blog, which I hope does not make the content seem rather plain.

I am now back in the groove, having returned to my radio show this morning after what seemed like and endless weekend of travelling.

I decided to go to JFK airport at 11am on Saturday even though check-in had to be by 6.00pm for the 9.00pm flight.

The reason was the New York heat. At 100 degrees and stuffy humidity, the city was not the place to be. I went to Macy's, purely to use the restroom. It was up five floors but the air conditioning was so welcome.

There was no way I could spend the whole day wandering around the shops and taking in the sights in such conditions. So I used the airport as a place of refuge.

A conversation with an English businessman between flights passed away an hour, and the purchase of the New York Post passed another.

As I finished reading the printed press from cover to cover, I began an encounter which was to last a full 90 minutes.

A young Brazilian gentleman sat next to me and asked if I knew of any hotels in the area. I managed to decipher that he had arrived at the airport, but his connecting flight to Brazil was not until Sunday evening.

When I tried to explain about hotels surrounding the airport, albeit with limited fine detail, the conversation became more difficult as he only had limited English and I have no knowledge whatsoever of Portuguese. So we continued our chat via an English/Portuguese translating website where we both typed in out own tongue and pressed the translate button.

On visiting websites of well known chains, the nearby hotels were fully booked. So I had the idea of a comparison website and typed in JFK. Hey presto, a room was found and he was delighted at the prospect of not having to endure sitting in the airport for around 30 hours.

The address of the hotel was noted and I accompanied the young man to the taxi rank. I'm glad I did. Immediately we stepped out into the heat, the 'bandits' offering a taxi and would have no doubt ripped him off were approaching.

We went to the front of the official taxi rank, and the genial yellow cab driver agreed to my request of giving my new Brazilian friend a quote to ensure he knew what he would expect to part with.

My flight was busy, but behind me was a spare row of two seats - the final row at the rear of the aircraft.

I told the gentleman sat next to me I was going to move back and he seemed as delighted as I was with the prospect of more space to stretch out the legs.

I am not a good sleeper on planes, but did manage to nod off for two brief periods. Transatlantic flights on the return journey always seem strange when breakfast is served around three hours later than the evening meal.

Then, at Heathrow, the menace of queues. Welcome to Britain!

Numerous planeloads of passengers, and only two customs officials at the UK Passports line.

My luggage had probably done a number of circuits by the time I reached the carousel., then the wait for my bus to bring me back to Plymouth.

Managing eight hours sleep, I felt better than expected when getting into work this morning.

Luckily, my producer, James, had agreed to come in early as I was using a new studio for the first time.

Faders that work in the opposite direction that the old studio, buttons in different places and touchscreens for some controls. The new carpet is quite nice as well.

Fortunately, at 9am and after my four hour on-air stint, no mishaps occurred.

I could sigh a breath of relief more confident that tomorrow I will feel comfortable and it wasn't as daunting as I may have feared.

So where does this leave my blogging? Do I continue every few days with experiences on the show? Maybe there could be interest in my football broadcasts with any odd stories that pop up.

I have my Twitter account running, but maybe if I am asked to continue to blog my life away, then I shall succumb to furthering my social networking.

Comments welcome!


  1. Enjoyed your blog of your US trip Sparsky - hope you carry on with events back in Plymouth.

  2. dougie seat 3227/26/2010

    Interesting reading your blogs. Keep them going. Would be fascinating to read about life outside the studio, insight into your guest on the show,football and other sports. We hear different listeners contributing to the show let's read about them and their lifestyle. Keep on keeping on.