Sunday before last I was on air on BBC Radio York as a guest on Bake of the Day. This was my 6th appearance. Well, I say 6th appearance , this was a totally different experience this time. This time there was not going to be an appearance, I mean no visiting the studio, this time I was going to be on air ‘virtually’. By this I mean that I was going to be in my sitting room with my earphones plugged in and my notes propped up on a table.Why should this be different ? Well I felt very out of my comfort zone this time, I have to admit.This was my 6th time, I knew what to expect, I knew the routine. Normally I would choose my recipe, email my recipe to the editor and bake my recipe.
The date was in the diary and had been for several weeks, way before lock down. Easter weekend came and I wasn’t even sure whether we would go ahead with the show the following weekend. Except I received the email to say it would and could I email the recipe as usual. The brief was if I could share a recipe using ingredients that people may already have in the cupboard. So, I asked my followers which ingredients they had – with some carefully chosen ones suggested – I did need to be able to bake a recipe after all with the chosen ingredient! The votes came in and oats was the winner. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy all I needed to do was come up with a recipe that wasn’t flapjack! Eureka! I found the perfect one….a chocolate oatmeal cake….you could even use left over Easter eggs if you couldn’t buy any chocolate chips. A quick adaptation as it was a recipe with American measurements. I converted the cups to grams and greatly reduced the sugar content. All I had to do was bake it and email the recipe. Nothing new there then. All going swimmingly until Sunday morning arrived.
I got myself set up in the sitting room, mobile tuned to BBC Radio Sounds, earphones in, ready and waiting. My husband then popped his head around the door and said that there was a time delay between the radio and it actually playing live. Oh no! What if I had missed my slot, what if I wasn’t listening to it in real time and it wasn’t going to happen. Hurriedly and rather in a panic I turned the radio off. I sat in silence waiting for the call, waiting for my mobile to ring. 11.25am came and went 11.28am then 11.32am can you imagine how I was feeling now? The allocated time of 11.30am had already passed. Then all of a sudden 11.38am the ring tone I had been waiting for. “Hello Nicola” said the voice on the other end I will just put you through. That was it I was on air except I couldn’t see anyone, no eye contact, no looking at the clock in the studio, no taste testing, it all felt a little surreal.
I felt I was bumbling on with no prompt from the presenter to tell me to stop. So I stopped, I stopped talking. Then there was that deathly pause, no one likes a pause, you always feel like you should fill it with words. Then words came again and I stopped again. Then another voice said “that’s great, thanks Nicola” and I was off air. No more chatting about how corona is affecting my business, how I am managing my business, has my business model changed. None of that. If I am truthful I felt short changed. I had quotes and anecdotes ready to share about people using up stores from their cupboards.
I sat motionless in the sitting room. What had just happened? I wasn’t really sure. All I know is this experience left me feeling a little out of sorts and bewildered. This is the little secret I wanted to share with you but the motto has to be during these tricky times of lock down, life’s experiences will be different and may even make you feel uncomfortable but we will get through this and learn and adapt.
Oh yes, I totally forgot if you would like the recipe I will be sharing it with you all very soon