When the alarm went off at 5.30am I resisted checking all my FB alerts but did check in with my interviewee – a Chef in San Francisco to make sure our scheduled meet-up was still moving ahead. I was almost hopeful that he had had an emergency so I could head back into sleep land – but to be fair I am usually up at 6am so it wouldn’t have been much of a benefit. Not to mention that often scheduling the interviews is the hardest part of the whole podcast process. In this case I don’t even know the Chef. Actually a friend had eaten at his restaurant in San Fran a couple of weeks ago and fortunately thought to text me with the details and huge praise for the restaurant. Manish himself seemed keen for the interview so the scene was easily set. It’s funny actually that the International Chefs are more receptive to interviews than the Kiwi ones. The guys overseas are so accomodating and happy to make the time and even the time difference work – yet at home I am so often hearing the words “sorry he is too busy for an interview until later in the year”. The interviews are only 30 minutes and can fit into any timing or place – so it’s kind of surprising! Anyway, I used to be hurt by their rejection but now I am just truly amazed and honoured to all those who have said yes – and boy we have had some extraordinary guests!
So, back to this morning. School lunch boxes thrown together and coffee made by 5.45am. Decided to skip the shower until later – still need to walk dogs anyway and no-one will be about to cast judgement on my shabby appearance! So, with zero traffic I made it to the studio in Newton by 6am. Perfect timing with 30 minutes to relax over my notes, write out my either/or questions and maybe even down another coffee pre-interview!
Thankfully, I have the alarm code for the studio stored in the depths of my secure password app on my smart phone. What I have never thought to ask though is where the ‘mains’ switch is for the lights. With my phone torch I made my way around the pitch dark office, investigating near doors, behind desks, beside electrical boards – but no light switches anywhere! I was grateful to see the Receptionist’s computer on the screen saver mode – flickering fish on the screen – so realised at least the equipment should work – just an issue of darkness (thank goodness the podcast is audio only!)
As I rocked into the studio itself I had the brainwave to turn on the funky corner lamp – that would cast some sort of a glow surely – and I’m sure it would have had I not knocked it over, loosening the lightbulb and causing it to dangerously flicker a couple of times before turning itself resoundingly OFF. I had off balanced it too – so had to cradle it onto the couch where it is still limply lying until someone arrives, turns on the elusive overhead lights and can take a good look at it!
The computer didn’t want to wake up then. It’s a new Mac Pro and it doesn’t come with an on/off button. Good grief – why do Apple have to constantly update everything so that it becomes a challenge with each new item. Thankfully my tapping of pretty much every key on the keyboard eventually resulted in an image appearing and I was ready for action. Manish Tyagi is obviously a very common name in India – there are millions of them on Skype so I was grateful that he had thought to call himself Chef and there are not so many of them! He had the same problem with Vanessa Baxter NZ – really? Where are all those Vanessas? We should meet for a drink!!!
Finally, with skype sorted, the software loaded and a touch of light from my phone, we were underway.
When this young Indian Chef from San Francisco began chatting about his journey, every moment that came before totally melted away. He was a joy to interview. Inspiring and engaging, positive and contemplative, grateful yet accepting that his passion and his fate have aligned perfectly.
A brilliant start to any day!