Tonight’s show, I think, might be best described as a curate’s egg – good in parts. Aileen Walsh, my first guest, was excellent, contributing informative and funny observations on teenage depression, blogging and Patricia Highsmith. We might have struck up a rapport had it not been for my other guest – Douglas Mair who was a pain from start to finish: querulous, unprepared and weirdly defensive on the topic of ley-lines – his purported realm of expertise.
At one point, seizing on a passing reference to haute cuisine, he embarked on a long, pointless digression about food in the midst of which, he mispronounced the word ‘lasagne’, using a hard ‘g’ (as in ‘lager’). Noticing that Aileen was struggling not to laugh, he then repeated the error, causing her to regurgitate coffee over her blouse.
The show, I’m afraid, didn’t recover from the awkwardness, which, I suspect, was Mair’s intention.
Two emails from Francis Kemp: the first – to my surprise – congratulated me on last night’s show:
“Top guests, interesting music and great banter – typical Coe and community radio at its best!”
A momentary gratification was tempered by a shiver of apprehension – an intuition that was immediately vindicated by the content of the second email:
“In a nutshell, this is the problem at Lomond Sound. Hamilton can clear a room in seconds – I’ve seen it! – but we give him God knows how many shows and even license to sit in on other people’s. You’re the station manager, Calum – sort it out!”
On closer inspection, I realised that I’d been cc’d in an email to Calum Barr – presumably in error, though, on reflection, it occurs to me that Francis might revel in a demonstration of his own crazed duplicity.
I drafted several pointed responses before deciding that the provocation was better ignored: Francis might have declared his hand, but there’s no reason for me to reveal mine.