I started working at 92.9 when my daughter Isabella was just 9 weeks old. I recall those post-pregnancy days on the radio only in terms of breast size. When my boobs were enormous my focus was on finding somewhere to pump milk immediately. Nothing bonds radio hosts more than a couple of leaking breasts I reckon. When my boobs were empty it was an absolute relief and I could focus all my short attention span on Lady Gaga being in Perth OH MY GOD she’s in Perth let’s FIND HER!!! And when my boobs felt like rocks I regretted not pumping in the 8.15am ad-break because I would be in a goddamn world of pain when I got home.
Ahhhh. Breakfast radio on 92.9. I remember those really, really early mornings. My alarm would go off and I would creep quietly in the darkness to Bella’s cot and softly lift her out for a 3.15am feed. I loved that time with Bella. She was so warm and tiny cradled in my arms and I could have sat on my bed and looked at her for hours. But I had a job. And I loved my job. So I would tuck her back into her cot, whisper goodbye, leave the door ajar in case she woke up and I’d get into my car armed with a breast pump, a spare bottle for milk, a pink feather boa and a hoola hoop (the last two are standard brekky radio paraphernalia) and I’d head off to the radio station.
Because of the hours I work I’ve never dropped Bella to daycare in the morning and waved her goodbye. I’ve never been there Monday through Friday to give her a cuddle when she first wakes up. For the last four years I’ve hosted events or attended functions mid-week, every week and on those nights I’ve missed feeding her dinner. I’ve missed bath time. Many times. I’ve missed reading her bedtime stories. On the nights I am home, I’m tweeting and X-Factoring and Facebooking and she’s missing out on Dora the Explorer. The person who has been there most for Bella is my glorious, hates-to-be-celebrated-Dad.
‘Rog’ as he is fondly known, has provided us with a saintly amount of love and support. He has been there for me solely and purposefully to enable me to achieve all that I have in my radio career. I don’t have words for how grateful I am to my Dad. But there comes a time when everyone needs a break.
So I have made the decision to take some time off from radio.
Bella starts school in just over a year. I want to enjoy quality time with her before she stops being my baby, and she grows into a proper little girl.
Of course I feel sad. I LOVE my job. I love radio. This decision cooked in the oven for a very long time before it was ready to come out. I miss it already. I may even cry. But seriously, how can I possibly garner sympathy when I also want to reflect upon a stellar four years and all the totes awesome fun I’ve had??? Some of my highlights? God there are so many but these are just some that stand out and make me smile.
Flying all the way to Los Angeles to raise money for Telethon and interviewing both Keith Urban and Will Ferrell, launching the inaugural 92.9 Kids Appeal with Telethon alongside Basil Zempilas and Sam Mac which has raised a total of $1,023,491 for the kids at PMH, the Tree party with Perth’s Tree-Man, hosting Perth’s Biggest Wedding which married 60 couples at Mosman’s, celebrating Baz commentating his first AFL game, riding 90kms from Perth to Mandurah on a mountain bike with Paul Hogan to raise money for Kids Appeal, abseiling 80 metres down the WACA lights, participating in Warrior Dash 2013 and not coming last or losing a limb, Isabella’s First Birthday party on the 92.9 rooftop, meeting Mel B in the flesh, Long Lunch in Bali with 20 listeners, following the journey of Amy’s pregnancy and the birth of beautiful Ava Zempilas, Dog Park Dating, meeting HRH the Queen (well…I came pretty close!) and getting to the Grand Final of RAW comedy this year.
And then there’s my 92.9 listeners. Oh how I love you all! It’s because of you that I’ve gotten out of bed at 3.50am even when I’ve felt like absolute crap. We’ve long lunched together, we’ve partied at the Paramount together, we’ve made each other laugh every single morning for four years and yes, I can’t lie, some of your stories have brought me to tears. Little two year old Xavier who died of cancer not long after I held him in my arms, I think of you every day buddy.
Thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing your lives with me. Thank you for sharing your hearts with me. And thank you for allowing me to share mine with you. I will miss you all. Every morning.