I stared at the runway waiting for the Korean Air flight to take off, knowing it would be my chance to step back on British soil gone for the foreseeable future. I never spotted it....probably a good thing...although I felt strangely unemotional. It felt so entirely right to be moving to Alice Springs.
Luckily the boss, Roger, agreed to sponsor me after I provided news bulletins for the station for (apparently) the first time in 20 years! It was a baptism of fire and at first extremely frightening: new news patch, no contacts, no other journos, no lawyer, no inbox full of press releases. Nothing. AAAGHHRRR!
On my second day at work (Valentine's Day) I met a Canadian girl called Jenn who does sales for the station. She must have wooed me with the ladies' BBQ we had that night because she's quickly become a tremendously good friend, and is pictured, right, and above with myself and Roger. We were photographed by the local paper when we went to an Aussie Rules football match.
But the best thing is I have the creative outlet to record the features I want. I've started by doing a 10-week environmental challenge with a piece per week to accompany it. After that I'll be working on some history features for our tourist information station, and I also grab interviews with anyone who either comes to the station, or makes an appearance in town.
It was an absolute honour to meet Gaby Kennard...the first Australian woman to fly solo around the world, and she only started learning to fly when she was 30! I now count her amongst my heroes.
I also met another hero of mine, Brolga (aka Kangaroo Dundee), for a second time and I was pretty blown away to know that he'd heard my news bulletins and also the radio show I do with my totally awesome office mate, Nicky G. Nicky is an announcer on the sister station, Sun 969, for which I also provide news bulletins. She has me in stitches every week without fail when we record a show together. I've not cried with laughter so much in years!
But on the other hand, in this town you don't see dog mess on the pavement. The flies are straight in there cleaning it up....so again, positives to outweigh the negatives!
As you can see, I got my hands on a lovely python, as well as the obligatory joey...this one was called Boris.
But most intriguingly there was a kingfisher living on the windowsill! His name is Terry and he'd been brought up by the staff, after his egg fell out of a nest, and he fell out of his egg. Lovely Terry sat in my hand while I had a beer! By the way I'm wearing no make up in these pictures and I'd been camping. There's no room for TV ways around here!
Sunrise and sunset are easily the best times of day here. Wherever the sun is will be orange, but in the opposite direction it's always blue and purpley-pink.
The daylight hours don't vary much through the year. Sunrise is 6am give or take an hour and sunset is about 7pm. Here's a sunrise from a hill near where I'm staying...