Kent Life's new columnist, BBC Radio Kent broadcaster and producer Andy Garland
PUBLISHED: 20:27 20 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:30 20 February 2013
Andy Garland on the latest happenings BBC Radio Kent and how he manages to balance work and family life on next to no sleep
On the mic with Kent Lifes new columnist, BBC Radio Kent broadcaster and producer Andy Garland
Andy Garland shares all the latest happenings from the radio station and how he manages to balance work and family life on next to no sleep
I realise that this might not be the best opening gambit in a brand new column for Kent Life but its the undeniable truth.
As I write Ive just returned from the Chelsea Flower Show (see also page 102), where I was on the road at 0500 and 0330 for our two shows from horticultures world-famous event.
Looking at those times in black and white makes me think they should be at the top of a column in some train timetable, not the beginning of a long day at work. Once upon a time as a student in Canterbury, half three in the morning would have constituted an early night; not anymore sadly.
Ironically, 0500 is a lie-in, as apart from presenting Sunday Gardening, my working life usually starts at 0430 producing John Warnett and Clare McDonnell on BBC Radio Kents Breakfast show.
Tiredness on this shift is like a badge of honourhow much sleep have you had? How many times were the kids up in the night? When did you get to bed? Its a battle to see whos the most resilient and who requires the most empathy that particular morning.
Its alright for the singletons in the office; when their shift ends off they trot to the pub, the golf course or the gym or to indulge in what my friend Ian coyly calls a bijou napette, the illicit joy of sneaking under the duvet at about 2 in the afternoon.
I however, have chosen as my early morning modus operandi, to plough on, to look after the kids, do the school run, entertain after school, do chores, get tea, bath time and bedtime, then an early night, all ready for the next morning.
Unfortunately this system has two downfalls, firstly, if I stop at any point, I simply nod off. In company, in the sun at the park, standing up watching my daughters swimming lesson (thank you to the nice lady if shes reading this, who touched me gently on the elbow and said Excuse me I think you might be asleep she was right, I was!).
The second downfall comes later, early in the evening as I read a bedtime story, I find myself talking gobbledegook as I tread the tightrope between sleeping and wakefulness (Daddy thats not what happens in the book...). I can find myself asleep with my head resting comfily on the radiator or not daring to read my Kindle in the bath for fear of snoozily dispatching it to a watery end.
Fortunately my tiredness rarely has any consequences beyond a crooked neck, or slight sense of embarrassment.
I can find myself asleep with my head resting comfily on the radiator or not daring to read my Kindle in the bath for fear of snoozily dispatching it to a watery end
Imagine our astonishment when scanning the days stories in the office one (tired) morning we found the one about aircraft pilots not only falling asleep on the job, but awaking to find their co-pilot also asleep.
Cue a rich vein of material from you, about the inappropriate places you have dropped off, including being fast asleep in the audience of rock bands and West End shows, stories of ending up in Kents railway sidings and catching 40 winks during sermons, meetings, weddings and even on the and.zzzzzzzzz
Andy Garland presents Sunday Gardening from 0800 on BBC Radio Kent with Steve Bradley and Jean Griffin, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 08459 8111 11 or text on 81333 starting your message with the word KENT.