Friday 22 January 2010


"What time do you sleep? I never know when to phone you!" A couple of typical remarks that I have received on numerous occasions over the years. The answer is, always call me at lunchtime. If I am not awake by then, I will probably have died so you won't be disturbing me.

With the new hours it seemed like a pretty good thing to try and cause minimum disruption to the bed time routine.

If you work nights you are probably aware how disruptive it can be. Another thing people often ask is: “how do you have a social life?” Well, for years I didn't, is the short answer. However, since moving back to London in 2008, I was determined to make sure that I had as good a time as I could, bearing in mind the restrictions.

Staying up all night and then starting the programme is not an option for me; it would mean that by the time we have got going, I would feel like going to bed which doesn't make for a very lively show. We are not “Radio Quiet”.

If you tune around at 2 in the morning, if there is music playing it tends to be the "let us soothe you gently to sleepy bo bo land 17 in a row here on Anodyne FM". Failing that, a shouty phone in with a selection of bigots arguing the toss for transportation to the New World for anyone caught committing even the most minor offence. “Parking on a double yellow? Not opening a door for a lady? Hang ‘em. Hang ‘em again then sentence them to life. That should mean life. Then hang ‘em a third time for good luck”. Being dead is the only way they'll learn!

I am sometimes amazed at how furious and unpleasant people can be, particularly behind a pseudonym on an internet message board.

I have had a quick look at a couple of the BBC and other broadcasting forums over the last week. From the tone of some of the remarks, Chris Evans appears to have beaten the Queen Mother to death with a litter of particularly cute puppies.

“What has this got to do with sleeping patterns?” I hear you cry. Well, Chris will have to change his for his new show. My new hours mean I haven't had a chance to hear him yet. Under the old regime I would get back and at 7.30 flip the radio on for a few minutes of Terry and then off to sleep.

Now I am back and up the wooden hill to bedfordshire before Chris starts. Better check out the iPlayer.

The side effects of this are that instead of being up at about 10.30, I can be fully awake by about 9.00. The whole day stretches ahead which usually involves a trip to the office, in case you think that we only do three hours a day.

I have been trying to stay up to my normal bedtime of 7.30 or 8pm. However, sometimes I have had it by about 7.

This means my bedtime is 30 minutes earlier than it was in 1966!

A world of opportunity awaits in 2010. Will this mean more brisk walking? Back at the gym with a vengeance? Daytime improving lectures or maybe some classes. I could learn Mandarin or how to play the didgeridoo.

On the evidence of the first two weeks, I have spent the time idling and watching such improving television programmes as Megastructures and Campervan Crisis.

Next week, I shall start to have a look at what live music is going on. Need a gig fix. Need to take myself in hand.

I would shake myself by the scruff of the neck.

However, it is still slightly sore having been hanged for the heinous crime of accidentally dropping a ticket stub as I got off the 51E one night in 1977 coming back from Birmingham after a night out.


Trucker John said...

Alex, as ever your show and blog make working nights a pleasure, if only we could get Janice back to 3 hours!! Keep up the good work mate, and lets spread the word!!

moggy said...

OMG sunday papers stuff ! DJ IN BED WITH SOCKS ON shock horror
look at photo i think theres someone in bed with him !!!!!! WHO ?
anyway alex lester shoe talked about on chris evans morning shoe try bbc i player friday 21/01/2010 its all there
you know you want to
moggy x

moggy said...

bbc i player DATE 22/01/2010 NOT AS I SAID BEFORE SORRY FOLKS

Mike from Pudsey said...

Judging by the "bedroom attire" I can see why there is no significant other half in your life Alex.

GrrrNasher said...

Is there a herd of octopuses in that bed with Alex ... The Lord of the Knight?
love those hairy legs - droooooooool xxxx

GrrrNasher said...

Alex, your show is starting to get rude ... I'm sure I heard some 'adult' words PLUS mention of bedroom scenes. Tut tut. Good job the kids are in bed zzzzzzzzzzzz

Annie said...

Mike from Pudsey... that's a little harsh... at least the socks match and the sheets are clean, besides I am quite sure lots of Lester's Lady Listeners' see lots of possibilities in that bedroom!

Alex, I agree with your comments re the message boards about Chris Evans, it's getting very tiresome and some lovely comments about you got completely lost in the volume of postings of frustration and hate about the Breakfast Show.

Pleased that you feel your social life got better now you're living in London some of the time.

Electro-Kevin said...

Shiftwork is a lonely twilight zone.

Dare I say it mine are even worse as I start at literally any time day or night and can never settle into a pattern.

Tonight I finished at 01.00 - Monday I start at 04.00. (I'm a train driver.) One of our shifts starts at 03.06 am ! What time are you supposed to go to bed to catch that ???

Rest assured that your radio show helps keep some sort of normality.

That's why I'm a coffee house guitarist playing lunchtimes only. No band will have me, no matter how good (or bad) I am.

Jilly S said...

Alex - I think I must be one of your "halfling" listeners. I'm supposed to be asleep when you're on, but since my husband died 2 years ago, can't sleep without the radio on so there's someone to talk to me when I wake - as I invariably do. The waking - and half sleeping - has been made so much better by listening to you. On the down side it's sometimes impossible to go back to sleep again as I ned to hear the next chunk of your programme.

Thanks anyway for a fab shoe! Have just acquired an i-pod so have now subscribed to the "oddcast" too - to get more lunacy. It's what we all need.



Twilight said...

I see you're a minimalist when it comes to bedroom decor, Alex. Or did you just forget to put the duvet cover on the duvet?

A time lapse video would be good next time - to show us how you progress from one position to the next. ;-) We're all voyeurs at heart.

Mike from Pudsey said...

Annie - the socks certainly do match, but black sock fluff on white bedding is an unsofisticated look. I'm sure Alex is glad of any tips that help in that direction.

GrrrNasher said...

Hey up Alex, do your feet really pong that much you have to sleep with them out of bed?

tailendcharlie said...

Trying to work out what is whiter - the flesh or the bedding? PS Can you really turn off the lights with your feet?

PPS Annie: I'm with you!

PPPS El Kevo - a train driver? See why you added guitar playing photo;-)

speedyandy said...

Standard greetings O ex-boat-occupying Bagmaster of the Darkness,
No one else; nowhere else.
Love the shoe.
My sleep pattern seems similar to yours pal and I find it really helps to nap mid afternoon for an hour or so then I get to "use" more of the evening - up to about 10 before my usual 3 hours kip. Something similar might make live gigs (at least the first half a runner mid-week.
Time change makes no neverminds to me but I think it's a shame that Jan and Sarah have been put out to give the Ginger Whinger his own way. What next? - Fridays off?

Andy from Bovey

ACCox said...

That looks like a hotel room, where else do you get those funny little lights by the bed?

Anonymous said...

You wear SOCKS in bed? Hopefully not always... cos, you know, that would be a fashion faux pas of epic proportions.

Hope all is well with you, m'dear. Rhi xx

Annie said...


You haven't been spending all your time in the last two weeks idling and watching improving tv have you?

I heard you play "Brand New Girlfriend" on Tuesday.

It does indeed seem a world of opportunity awaits you in 2010!

Pleased for you, stay happy!

tobacco jack said...

alex re people being unpleasant to chris,has no one ever heard of an off switch? he's a different bloke do they think the bbc should hire rob brydon to impersonate terry..they should move on.or of course they could listen to you on the i player instead,now thers a thought!

Unknown said...

shame i cant listen to you in morning as you are best dj on radio you would be perfect for drivetime ps is that picture of you airbrushed?

Unknown said...

While this subject can be very touchy for most people, my opinion is that there has to be a middle or common ground that we all can find.

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