The road back to reality

Phill Hooper

It’s Tuesday 4.20am.

I’m sitting in the studio, and I feel completely lost.

It has nothing to do with the lack of sleep the night before.

Or the result of an overextension at Beer Club on Saturday.

I usually struggle to get to sleep the night before returning to work after a holiday or long weekend.

You know what it’s like, the more you tell yourself you need the sleep, the more awake you feel. Or is that just me?

After the adrenaline fuelled week before where there was no need to organise local news and my regular features because it was all evolving before my eyes all the time, I was crashing back to earth with a thud.

What do I do today?

Do I slowly morph back to what I had been doing before the flooding hit?

Do I look at re-designing my whole show?

I’m one coffee deep and I still have no answers.

I talked to a colleague in radio down in Dunedin and luckily the first words out of his mouth were, “I totally understand what you mean about lost”.

He went through the exact same thing after Covid hit and every time after he gets a big snow in the city.

“You are going to have plenty of follow-up stuff to do with the clean-ups and what’s happening with the bridge, so just use that as a stepping stone back to your original show”.

He was dead right, there has been plenty of follow-up bits in my show this week and of course it’s been good to use this paper’s angle on stories as well.

When I look back now, I feel like a drama queen.

Here I was, sitting and feeling all sorry for myself, in my nice warm studio with coffee in hand.

What about the poor bloody cockies who had rivers running through their homes and kilometres of fences ripped out of the ground and washed away?

Just how lost did they feel on Tuesday and every other day since the rain came?

Pull your head in man!

And if that wasn’t a big enough wake-up call to myself, then the tribute I read on air yesterday certainly was.

My Monday “lost” feeling pales into insignificance when I compare it to what Hamish and Hayley McLeod must be feeling.

They lost their beautiful wee daughter Charlotte on Monday night.

They should be so proud of their gorgeous, happy and incredibly brave girl who went through a battle that no nine-year-old should have to go through, and she put up one hell of a fight.

They should also be proud of the way they guided her through the fight.

We send them, Charlotte’s sister and brother Maggie and Fergus, the McLeod and Kelly ‘Grandies” and all their family and friends, all the love in the world.

Till next week

Hoo Roo

Phill Hooper

Realigning perspective


Phill Hooper is the breakfast host of Ashburton’s Hokonui radio station. The views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect the opinion of his employer or the Ashburton Guardian.