Pasta at Caffe Gondola

Blogmas 8: Caffe Gondola – An unexpected find

Today I took an essay break and headed down to Egham with some of the other media board members (although it basically ended up as an Orbital social with an added Insanity board member). Nevertheless, it was a lovely evening which took an unexpected turn. We had hoped to go to Baja, a great Mexican place which is usually empty, but they couldn’t seat us for almost 2 hours so we headed elsewhere.

We ended up in Caffe Gondola, an Italian restaurant tucked away at the top of the High Street next to Oxfam. With the season of Christmas meals well underway I was not hopeful we’d find somewhere to sit, but the restaurant is HUGE and we got a table easily. Slightly pricey compared to the Italian restaurants I’m used to at home (Donatello’s/Pinocchios in Brighton did a basic pasta/pizza for under a fiver) but there was pretty standard food for under £10 and the portion sizes were sizeable – I also liked the idea of a starter size pasta for £2.50 less than the main course. I got a Fettuccine Carbonara and it completely filled me up plus it was very tasty.

I wouldn’t recommend this as a venue for groups larger than 6 if you want to be able to chat to each other – it’s quite a loud environment so you tend to only talk to the people immediately around you but the staff were lovely. I would definitely return, so I guess our unexpected evening turned out pretty well!

Head of Training, Insanity Radio 103.2FM

Almost three months ago, Insanity Radio held its annual elections, at which the new board for 2016/17 was decided. After much deliberation I ran for the position of Head of Training and was duly elected.

My main responsibilities are training and organising pre-recorded and holiday content, which includes the summer schedule that begins tomorrow! My handover period has therefore been pretty hectic, with multiple spreadsheets and emails designed to organise the lives of the many presenters and a few concerned conversations about stress levels. However, being busy is what I like and I am so excited to see what is in store for the next year with a fantastic board.

It’s weird to think that a conversation with the lovely Charlotte Mason, now Station Manager, who I barely knew at the time, and Ceri-Ann (my predecessor) in a toilet at the union bar when we were celebrating the 4th anniversary of Insanity going FM has now become a reality but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Being on the board also means I am obliged to, nay want to, get involved in various other roles like helping with the stall at the Magna Carta Festival yesterday on Egham High Street (pictured) and going to socials (the first of which featured my first ride in an Uber). Most importantly, I get to share the wonders of Insanity with others and help make the station the best it can be!

Let Them Hear on Insanity Radio 103.2FM

Yesterday saw the start of a new term and therefore a new schedule for Insanity Radio 103.2FM, the community radio station based at Royal Holloway, University of London. For the last two terms I have been presenting a weekly entertainment breakfast/afternoon show entitled Entertaining History, which I have really enjoyed and have been well supported with. However, recently my friend Tim and I both had the same idea for a radio show concept, which has excitingly just been accepted into the schedule on Thursdays 11am-12pm. This is a completely different show to Entertaining History – there are two of us presenting for a start and it is a specialist show.

What is our specialism? We are both from the local parish church in Egham, St John’s, and really wanted to share the wonderful music we hear in Christian circles and challenge the idea that Christians are boring and sing hymns in harmony all the time. Inevitably we will also talk a bit about the songs and the sentiments behind them and also involve local churches with guests to tell us about their lives as Christians. We are called Let Them Hear after a similar show on Leeds Student Radio (you can find their show on Facebook), who took the name from Matthew 11:15 ‘Whoever has ears, let them hear’ (NIV). We really want people to hear the wonderful music we are playing and know about the activities of Christian faith groups in the area so they can find their own opportunity to hear the gospel, or just enjoy the amazing game that we will be playing live on air!

You can hear our very first show on Thursday 28th April, 11am-12pm on Insanity Radio 103.2FM across North Surrey and South East Berkshire, and across the world online at http://www.insanityradio.com/listen. You can also keep up to date with what’s going on with the show at our Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/letthemhearinsanity.