July 20, 2009

A Room of One's Own - July 09

I wasn't able to get the station streaming in the last two weeks of June. Organising a technician to come to the University and quote on purchasing the satellite and fitting to the roof turned out to take longer than I'd expected. It's little things that cause delays, like someone telling you they'll text you the details of urgent information needed for the next step. So I wait patiently only to discover they've emailed me instead without realising I can only access the internet at the little community centre 15 minutes drive away from my village which is only open two hours in the morning and afternoon and even then not every day. And because I wasn't expecting this information to come via email I didn't make the trek to go and check, so there's a few more days lost in the limited time I have!

Finally, three years after its inception, RD has a room of its own at Bordeaux IV University,Perigueux, France.

L to R: Pascale, Marianne and Jean-Luc from Perigueux Bordeaux IV University, help bring Radio Dordogne to life with a room and equipment on campus.

Sadly I make the decision to tell Andrew and John from the Uni of Lincoln there's no point in coming as the satellite won't be fitted in time. I worry they'll be annoyed. I've had a win with someone responding to my plea for a video camera person to document the event. He's sounds amiable and relaxed. He said he's into adventures and therefore keen to help. Nice attitude. I'll have so many helpers staying in my little stone cottage looks like I'll be staying at a friends to fit everyone in!

A point to remember here is the Australian dollar. When a quote comes in at 500 euros it's actually double this once I pay for it on my credit card back in Australia. When I hand over my card I have to look away and swallow hard otherwise I'd never buy a thing. Yes it's expensive but I love this project and remind myself the University are providing office space so I can hardly complain.

The day before I sadly head back to Australia I finally pay for the satellite and agree on a date in August for it to be fitted.

Frustration and satisfaction - May, 09

I'm about to head back to the Dordogne at last. The most difficult aspect of the RD project is that I have to come and go between Australia and France. Until I can get a French business visa I am unable to stay in France longer than six months and as I don't have an EU passport I can't work in France. So I have to return to Australia to earn a living and fly to France when possible, work on RD as much as I can before returning to my responsibilities back in Australia. It's a tough juggling act but I think I'm finally getting the right balance. It means being highly organised with the limited time I have in each country.

The good news is I've stumbled across two keen and willing radio tech heads at the Uni of Lincoln who are more than happy to help set up RD in exchange for accommodation in my newly acquired stone cottage. The generosity, kindness and adventurous spirit of some people never ceases to impress me. This means getting the satellite receiver, computers and networked material in place to allow the station to stream via the internet. I have a sneaking feeling it's not going to be as easy as it sounds.

It's interesting; generally I've found radio people around the world share a passion that surpasses any cultural or linguistic barrier, and when you need a hand someone extends theirs. Sweet.