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Friday, 12 September 2008

BlogTalkRadio with Magdalena Ball and Mike French


Wednesday
8:00--8:30 am: interview via conference call for The Compulsive Reader on BlogTalkRadio. Magdalena Ball interviewing Mike French and myself about The View From Here, The Dandelion Tree and The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore.

7:52¾ am: dial number and receive Telstra error message advising me to use a different overseas code.

7:54½ am: inadvertently phone New Zealand. No one answers. All the same, begin wondering what sort of conversation I might have if the Kiwi I'm phoning picks up. It seems a good idea to phone Australia-based Maggie Bell as if phoning from overseas.

7:56 am: dial number and receive Telstra error message advising me to use a different overseas code, or contact their Helpline.

7:56½ am: dial Telstra Helpline. Listen to menu.

7:57am: still listening to menu.

7:57¾ am: no option on menu for difficulties with conference calls, but plenty of options for reporting different sorts of faults. Never knew there were so many different sorts of fault. Fascinating really.

7:59 am: staring at telephone in disbelief.

7:59¼ am: phone rings! It's Maggie Bell and Mike, and a quick countdown into the show. Very quick.

It was great fun doing this interview, even though the call quality on my phone was poor and I couldn't quite hear everything; this just ensured my responses were even a little more random than normal. I sound like I'm standing at the bottom of a pit with the telephone receiver at the top, which is much the way it is. And whilst the evil cackle I produced at the start of the interview doesn't reflect my normal melodic laugh, I do get to sound like this when no one's thrown food into the pit for a few days.

I was going to read a longer extract from the book, but as I started each new sentence, the previous sentence was still coming back at me, which was a little trippy and reminded me of singing London's Burning as a 'round' when I was at school once. Kept expecting the altos and sopranos to kick in with the previous line and found myself beginning to listen for it.

Listen to the interview here.

9 comments:

Mike French said...

You must have been getting pretty annoyed when you couldn't get through - although you seemed calm once we got you. What does it take to hear an angry Burman?!

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

We should throw you food once in a while then...any British specialties you miss?

How about this for starters : The Snowing and Greening is now on my reading stack. It looks great - an awesome cover and nice feel. Congratulations!

Paul said...

Nah, wasn't annoyed. It seemed a little ironic that the message was telling me to use a different overseas dialling code when I didn't think I should be phoning overseas at all, but I quite enjoy a good dose of irony every now and then.

As for getting angry: after so many years of working in schools, I've found it doesn't pay to get angry. When I do try to sound angry, I usually spoil the effect by laughing. Can't keep a straight face! 8~)

Paul said...

Mushrooms grow really well down here, but I do miss the taste of European strawberries. Just throw a punnet down every once in a while please, ABB.

However, if happiness is the food of life, then I need nothing. Am so pleased you got hold of a copy of The Snowing and Greening. Thanks. I'm not going to need feeding for quite a while.

I hope you enjoy it.

Jane Turley said...

I would have thought PB all that lumpy school mashed potato would make you really, really angry....

so angry you may turn green and split your shirt.....

Paul said...

Jane: Fortunately --- and this is possibly the real reason I emigrated --- Australian schools do not inflict cooked "dinners" on their students and staff. I think it must be in our Constitution, or perhaps we agreed to this when we became signatories to the Geneva Convention on Human Rights.

As for turning green and splitting my shirt... this is why I daren't watch "Reality" TV shows. Surely there's some clause in the Geneva Convention banning them too?

gary davison said...

Great exposure! Talk about in at the deep end. 3-2-1 action! Great stuff, I'm going to have a listen to it when my daughter goes to bed.

Swubird said...

Paul:

Your phone problems reminded me of my efforts to call the Internal Revenue Service. I never saw an agency so anxious to get my money, yet to difficult to reach by phone. It seems to me like they should have two phones: 1) A red phone to call when you want to pay them money and, 2) A black phone to call when they owe you money. Of course the black phone would be hooked up to an answer machine that looped: Sorry, no one is available to take your call at this time!

Happy trails.

Paul said...

Cheers, Gary and Swubird. There are a few agencies I could mention that seem to use a similar system to your Inland revenue, Swubird! The irony of Telstra being one of them...