Tuesday 19th March
Yesterday, Sunday and Friday had been some of those classic days.
On Friday I had a call to tell me that Monday's job would be in Liverpool and then jaunting across to Harrogate. It was something to do with the up and coming budget.
Later on Friday the job kind of reversed, although still on the same subject, the budget. I would drive down to Harrogate first and then after having done the job there, head west to St Helen's for another part of the job.
On Sunday that all changed.
The job was changed to a location in Sunderland where I would shoot a story about a woman who had been diagnosed with alcoholic liver disease before she was thirty years old with correspondent Nick Dixon.
Then on Tuesday morning we would do some live broadcasts with her into Daybreak.
So, on Monday morning I got up and got on my way down the A1. I was in no rush, taking it nice and easy, as I was not due to meet Nick in Sunderland until mid afternoon.
The phone rang.
It was Carol from the Daybreak office.
As soon as she started to speak I knew from the already apologetic tone of her voice and her opening question that things were about to change yet again.
"Are you on your way to Sunderland?"
"Yes.", I replied pretty sure I knew what was coming next.
"Have you gone far?"
Now I was sure that I knew what was about to happen and I was not wrong.
After pulling over and a period of about an hour of being neither in the northeast of England nor in Edinburgh whilst the logistical plans were worked out in London I was instructed to head back north.
I turned the car around and came home.
The forecast was for snow in the morning and I would be needed to man live broadcasts from the outside camera position at STV in Edinburgh with Scotland correspondent Debi Edward.
This unseasonal surprise snow was making its heavy mark in my little estate, which nestles at the bottom of the Pentland hills, when I left in the early hours of this morning to drive the relatively short distance to the STV office in Edinburgh.
|4 am snow in Edinburgh's outskirts|
By the time I had driven a few hundred meters up to the main road the wet snow had turned to an unpleasant mixture of sleet and rain. The roads were just wet. Any residue of falling snow was quickly assimilated by the laying water.
There was a bit of a breeze blowing at ground level making the rain swirl around me as I unloaded my kit.
Alex, STV's engineer who was suffering from a bit of cold helped me get the camera, lights, run bag and tripod up to the offices of Todds Murray. They are a company of solicitors that actually own the building that STV lease their office from.
One of the lawyers smart conference rooms has a balcony that gives good views of Edinburgh. The backdrop is not nearly as good as it was from the old office that STV had in George Street in the centre of the city but it is acceptable.
Only a few floors up had made all the difference to the speed and ferocity of the wind. Also what was falling as rain at ground level was in the transition from snow at this higher level.
I set the camera up where it would get most shelter from the almost horizontally blasting mixture of snow, sleet and rain.
Alex got the cables connected and saved me the job of checking that all the vision and audio was working.
|Alex rigging the cables in the horizontal snow.|
I set the lights up inside the massive glass window that looked out on to the balcony to light the area where Debi would stand to prevent them getting launched into the turbulent sky.
We only did a few short broadcasts, which was enough.
The sleet, snow, wind, rain combination was doing a great job of saving Debi a huge amount on exfoliating products.
|Don't know how Debi's managing to smile whilst being battered by the weather|
The only real excitement of the morning was when the elements of both the lights blew, one very noisily and spectacularly. It was only the safety glass that prevented us being showered with tiny bits of very hot glass and quartz.