Still 3 weeks to go…

I always find myself conflicted at this time of year.  In a few days’ time we will have reached the half way point of the year.  The 21st of June, the longest day, means at the end of the week the sun will rise before 5am and set after 9.30 pm.  This is a time for celebration.  I know it hasn’t been exactly barbecue weather but it’s still wonderful to enjoy the light mornings and late summer evenings. 

One of the ways it helps me is getting ready for an early morning radio show.  The alarm clock goes off at the same time for the breakfast show if it’s June or December but somehow it doesn’t hurt quite as much to scramble out of bed when its light outside.

That’s the glass half full side of my character. Now comes the conflict, on the other hand from now on…it’s all downhill to Christmas!!!

Having said that we have so much to look forward to over the coming weeks and months. Where do I start? 

It was by the end of the first week of the General Election campaign that someone told me they were bored of all the political coverage on the telly already.  I must admit I’m a bit of a political junkie.  I’ve actually been hooked to the 24 hour news coverage and to be fair there’s been plenty to entertain as well as make you shout at the television.

Ed Thomas and Mal Pope on a visit to 10 Downing Street

I think Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, is having the time of his life visiting theme parks and falling off paddle boards. Sir Keir Starmer is playing more ‘straight bat shots’ to the interviewers than Geoffrey Boycott used to play for England and Rishi Sunak is definitely making all sorts of headlines.

But now the trouble really starts.  How do I fit it all in with the addition of the Euros which kicked off last night?  It’s especially hard in the first week or so with up to 3 games a day.  Now I know Wales didn’t qualify so there’s not quite so much personal ‘skin in the game’ but its football and its on the telly.  Thank goodness the weather forecast seems to be pretty awful for the next week which means I have the perfect reason to stay on the sofa for the opening rounds.

The footie takes me up to the middle of July.  Which means any political withdrawal symptoms I might have expected post General Election Day on 4th July are now well and truly covered. But the Prime Minister’s decision to call a summer election has only really thrown up extra complications for my already crowded sporting diary.  Early July was always going to be difficult to navigate.

Wimbledon has now settled into being the first 2 weeks of July.  Luckily Thursday 4th July, General Election day itself, is a rest day at the Euros so its tennis all the way.  Also, being the day of an election all of the broadcasters have to stop all political coverage apart from saying the polls have now opened so I won’t miss anything there.

At this stage I think we should all stop for a moment and consider the sacrifice having to be made by the lovely Claire Balding. Claire had been booked by Channel 4 news to help host the post-election results shows with political commentating heavy weights Emily Maitlis and Krishnan Guru-Murthy.  She would have been the perfect ‘ordinary person’ to add comment and insight.

I’ve worked with Claire Balding. She’s good, really good but even Claire isn’t quite good enough to work 24 hours solid on the election and still get back to centre court for Friday lunchtime. Having said that don’t be too worried about Claire, she will be back hosting the Paralympics for Channel 4 at the end of August.

Which rather smoothly brings me to the Paris Olympics which start on Friday 26th July.  Luckily I’ll have had a couple of weeks to recuperate after the Election on the 4th July and the Wimbledon and Euros Finals which I think are both on 14th July.

I have to say I am livid at the complete lack of consideration politicians give to us, the people, when choosing dates on which to hold elections.  Didn’t Rishi Sunak check the sporting calendar before calling for a surprise General Election on the 4th July. 

But it’s not just here in Britain, non!  Last weekend, after his party did rather badly in the European elections President Macron called his own ‘snap’ legislative election.  Pity the poor French.  They will go to the polls twice, once on Sunday 30th June when there are 2 games to be played in the Euros and again on Sunday 7th July only 3 weeks before the start of the Paris Olympics!!!

As you can now see the next few weeks, indeed months, will need careful planning for the sports mad political junkie.  Of course in all of this I do need to try to plan how to keep my career going whilst also not completely ignoring family and friends.

When it rains!!!

Praying for rain to give me an excuse to stay in front of the telly rather than have a barbeque or trip to the beach with the grandkids might not be the most selfless act on my part.  This is especially true when you realise so much of the business in our part of the world relies on tourism. 

When the sun shines our beach bars and restaurants are crowded out with happy smiling faces and the sound of ringing tills.  Butchers and supermarkets count their cash every evening after bumper sales of burgers, buns and bags of salad.  This really struck me this week driving through Mumbles.  Over the last weekend, with the sun shining, you couldn’t find a parking space for love nor money. On Thursday when the floodgates opened, and the wind blew straight from the arctic destroying umbrellas across the region tourists and locals were in very short supply.

Anyway, I’m sure we will try our best to cope with everything politicians, the weather and sport throws at us. One thing is for sure, with all of this going on it won’t be a long boring summer will it, and of course with the nights starting to draw in we’ll soon start talking about Halloween, fireworks and… you know what.



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