Christmas is a funny time of the year. Some people love it, some hate it. Some have families to share their Christmas day with and others are on their own. It's often the single time of the year where we get together, usually to reflect on the year that was, and in our case at Radio Mansfield, a time to catch up with some of the presenters we've never met.
When we got to our dinner destination, there the tables were set for fun and Christmas cheer with those lovely colours of silver, red, green and a lucky table got some flashing lights. . Party poppers, local wines, and some sweet treats made up the table setting and tucked away were some treats to be shared with the man in red.
Our community radio station has a range of presenters who have nothing in common, truth be told, except their love of the radio station and sharing their music, thoughts and opinions with the locals via local shows and yet they come together on occasions for a meal and social interaction.
In my very short time of being a presenter of a show that is more talk than music sometimes, I am impressed with the incredible dedication, time and committment made by those who are part of the station. Their willingness to share knowledge and give tips and help when needed and general good cheer when you pass one another at the station is a true testament to how communities can work together, even though they distinctly individual.
The evening was fun, and for me, a person who rarely if ever goes out, and who can count on one hand, how many Christmas parties I've been to, it was great to see the dynamics of people who's sole connection was the radio station.
While there were plenty of presenters, there's also the all important people behind the scenes who actually help make this station so successful, and in particular have helped grow the station to be an official Emergency Broadcaster and their partners who helped make the evening a success.
I'm not a photographer by a long shot, but I'd rather get a couple of snaps of people enjoying themselves, than not at all. They help foster great memories of friendships and good times, in spite of some being camera shy.
What I didn't get a photo of (because I was busy with pen & paper), was the music trivia prepared by Kathy & David Octigan. Not just questions but synced with music snippets to test the knowledge of what was probably 500 years or more of music knowledge by way of presenters playing the game. And with many songs having just a snippet played for us all to guess particular answers to, it became very obvious my vocabulary of music is rather limited, or I just listen to music without thinking who's playing it. I really enjoyed trying to guess the answers to the musical questions.
You know when someone gives you a hint to the name of something, but for the life of you, you can't remember it... that was me, with a song played by Chicago with numbers in it. I've heard it 200 times I'm sure and if you're over 50, you would have too, but those numbers were on the tip of my tongue and that's where they stayed. Of course to reveal the correct answer, the song was played and the chants to the answer to that question and all the others became quite loud as we progressed through the list. I discovered that the presenters are a competitive lot!!!
This evening of watching others interact, laugh, share stories and have fun with Santa Claus appearing to hand out little gifts was really lovely. David & Kathy - I'd call these two the 'funsters' of the night. Just there to make sure the evening was fun and enjoyable for everyone else. Thank you to both of you - you did a really good job.
I want to tell you about Santa Claus ... He was really kitted out in the most luxurious suit. The rich deep colours of the red to almost burgandy suit with pristine white trims was impressive and the feel of of the fabric..... I knew Mrs.Santa Claus was an excellent seamstress and had a taste for quality fabric. I could see myself wearing it, on a cold snowy day with a glass of mulled wine and a warm fire just in case the mulled wine didn't warm me up enough.
We all got a turn to sit next to him and have our photos taken. I think for most of us, Santa Claus and those obligatory photos we either were subjected to or forced our kids to endure have more impact on us as we get older and look back and reflect how many Christmases we've had.
Some of the more shy and reluctant ones didn't miss out because after the brave ones who sat next to him and chatted for a minute or two were finished, he sought them out and I was able to get that elusive photo that they thought would not be part of. I felt ... mission accomplished. ... That was except Greg Wilder. He was elusive and had special 'camera detection sensors' I think because whenever I thought of the camera and looked around for him.. he'd disappeared for a moment or two, or 10... But I'll get you one day Greg, mark my words.
Since becoming a presenter at the station, I've felt very welcomed by the others who are incredibly encouraging and supportive as I fumble my way around remembering so many things. It's not a natural thing for me to talk on air, but the station gives everyone who wants to be a presenter, a chance to have a voice, their voice, so if you've got a desire to share your music with the world, become a presenter. You'll love it.
And I think I have it easy compared to the 'olden days' where it was not just patting your head and rubbing your stomach, it was on one foot and blindfolded sometimes. Radio presenting has come a long, long way.
So I've put together a small group of photos which I took, and I'm not a photographer by a long shot, just someone who loves to capture memories and moments we can look at in the future.