Deacde In Review.

With the birth of social media, it’s great to have a visual look back at what i’ve done over 10 years… So without further ado, let’s have a look at my life…

 

2010

  • DJ’d NYE Party in local pub.
  • January – Another Year Older.
  • Relationship: Still dating Jo’Ann
  • Worked briefly at Link FM (hired 2 weeks before it closed) as Promotional & Sales with a target area of “Whole Local Area” – This was clearly going to end well..
  • Uncensored on Google Maps!
    Passed Driving Test (CAT B) – Thanks to Elaine
  • Make a Twitter Account MusicMat 
  • I Appear on Google Maps – UNCENSORED!
  • Short Weekend away with Jo’ann, can’t remember the location.
  • Became a ‘volunteer’ Travel Correspondent for Time FM Drivetime show. 
  • Visited Newcastle to see my friend Laura.

2011

  • Laura Visits – “Mind The Gap” Becomes “One Baguette”
    January – Another Birthday
  • Relationship: Breaking Up with Jo’Ann. 
  • British Pullman ride (Bellmond) for Mum’s 50th Birthday. 
  • Relationship: Dating Lucy. 
  • Laura Visited London,  She hears ‘Mind the Gap” as “One Baguette”, Tube trains become subways sandwiches… 
  • Asked to Cover shows Time FM
  • Received a Team London Award for Volunteering at Bedrock Radio.

2012

  • January – Turned 21, starting to feel old. – Parents Booked a Microlight
    21st Birthday Treat – I even got control of the stick!
    experience day! 
  • Became Presenter of the Weekday Afternoon Show on Time FM. 
  • Booked to Microlight flight – Got to fly the plane too.
  • Relationship: Broke up with Lucy.
  • Bedrock Radio’s 10th Birthday.
  • Unveiled plans to begin program of upgrades to the studio ‘Onward’ 
  • Saw Dave Gorman Live with Lauren, We buy CD from warm up act Jay Forman, we being singing “Stealing Food” to each other… 
  • Relationship: Dating Lauren.
  • Get added onto the car insurance for the Kia Soul, i’m let loose on the roads!
  • Visited Laura in Newcastle for her 21st Birthday. 

2013

  • January – Another year old! 
  • Letter from Finland, gentleman had heard my Time FM Afternoon Show on his FM Rig! 
  • Lauren “Bum Hand Pocket” – rear pockets on jeans… Name now sticks forever.
  • Visage Night with Time FM – Ellie, Jo L & Caz came along.
    Visage with Jo, Ellie & Caz!
  • Jo L passed away in car collision – Ellie & Me in shock, later attended funeral. 
  • Forced by Time FM into “volunteering” to do a “Charity” Stand up gig… which wasn’t for a charity & I didn’t get paid., The experience of stand up fine, other aspects no. 
  • Myriad Installed & Live at Bedrock Radio
  • Signed up to Anthony Nolan Charity as a doner.
  • Visage Again with Time FM crew & Lauren. – Listeners loved Lauren more than me! 
  • I Cover various shows through including Breakfast & Drivetime. 

2014

  • January  – birthday time! – given a chocolate teapot cake.
  • Time FM owners London Media Company / Sunrise put into administration & forced to sell up, making all staff redundant & selling the licence & studio. 
  • Time FM bought by Lyca mobile – While transfers happen all staff are muted #MatOnMute. 
  • Resumed Afternoon Show with new employer LycaMediaII , really don’t like the ‘freelance agreement’ i’m being forced to sign. 
  • Interviewed Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) at CEME for News Team. 
  • Delilah’s Pancakes – Lauren follows recipe, but gets name wrong – Pancakes are now forever known as De-Lihas at home.
  • Used Redundancy Payout to go Gadget Show Live with Lee, I make impluse purcahse of a drone… Lauren disapooves.
  • Tried Ostrich Steak Burgers – Lovely! 
  • Have a weekend away with Lauren at her Nans during her uni break. I win multiple games of Draughts. 
  • Havering Show with Time FM – Drone get’s used for some crowd footage. 
  • Relationship: Dumped by Lauren. Uni & other things in way of our relationship.
    Vino Time!
  • Lee comes to see  Dave Gorman with me at Westcliff, He introduces me to the Westcliff casino – I sign up. 
  • Spend a few months feeling sorry for myself after breaking up with Lauren & Work getting me down. Ellie takes me to the pub so we can drink & forget about life. 
  • Lee get’s involved with Jumbo Sound to help fix their studio. I slowly get involved in some minor repairs & Jokingly say how Bedrock & Jumbo should share programmes…. 
  • After months of in-denial flirting & not wanting to be in a relationship, me & Carly hit it off at a social night out, resulting in us going on a non date, date.
  • Relationship: Dating Carly (in a non date, date way… Makes sense right?)
  • I become a producer for Eric Hall’s Making Memories on Sundays on Time FM.

2015

  • Another Year Older, must be January.
  • Me & Lee attended HBA Conference in Newcastle, Carly as a +1 to visit her friends.  – I start realising what a waste of time the HBA actually are.
  • Had Lunch with Laura while in Newcastle. Managed to avoid Sunderland completely knowing Lauren was still at Uni there. 
  • I get approached by Decades Radio, an online station operating in Dagenham, they have me prepare & produce David Hamilton’s Million Sellers show. Time FM become slightly annoyed that I’m working at another station nearby..  I state i’m on a ‘Freelance’ agreement, that doesn’t tie me in. 
  • Lee & Me get asked to host a School Fete (as Bedrock Raido),  Geoff the toy Shark becomes a thing. 
  • Decades Radio have me do ad-hoc breakfast cover as ‘Mathew Thomas’, so not to clash with Time FM, Decades Radio Breakfast is re-broadcast on NuSound Community Radio as their Breakfast show, covering East London (East Ham / Manor Park etc)
  • I’ve had enough of Time FM. They don’t want to give me a pay rise & are
    Last Ever Time FM Afternoon Show
    reluctant to make big changes with the pending studio move. They’ve likely had enough of me & my sarcasm, I apply for a new Job. 
  • Relationship: Carly & Me split up – In a non relationship, relationship way. 
  • I get accepted for the new job… I start by public ‘Count Down’ to my Last Show, Many listeners call / text / email their thoughts & we say our goodbyes, I’ll miss the listners most.
  • I pass my PCV test & gain a CAT D driving licence to drive buses for Stagecoach London.  I first drive the 252 with an instructor with my first solo run a week later on route 103 Rainham Station to Chase Cross (Romford) – I undoubably run late. 
  • Decades Radio closes as it struggled to make money, despite pulling in a small audience & hosting live roadshows. Everyone is disappointed, but we knew the risks.  
  • Lee & Myself fitted a new office desk at Bedrock as part of the upgrades.
  • Me & Dad went on a beer making experience in Brentwood Brewery we had two polypins of IPAto collect & drink over Christmas. Making it a very merry christmas.
  • First time behind the wheel of a single decker bus.. I managed to break it, shattering a pane of door glass.. I still don’t know how I did this. – I have an instant dislike of single deck buses. 

2016

  • January – I’m 26, starting to get on a bit now. – Mum made a Bare shaped cake after finding the baking tin she used when I was a child. 
  • I’ve learned all the routes from RM garage. 103, 165, 174, 248, 252, 256, 287, 365 & 372. Also know NS routes 294 & started learning 496. 
  • Lee adds me to his car insurance as a named, as I saved him cash – Plus side I can now use his car as & when I like! 
  • Bedrock Radio take over Jumbo Sound – All Studios get refitted with newer gear following insurance payout – We won’t talk about the woodwork being cut wrong. 
  • I was rostered on the 287 route AKA ‘Barking Bin Lorry’. Following very heavy rain in June, I sitting in traffic for over an hour, I didn’t make it to Barking, until the 2nd part of the shift, on my last run. – A memorable day & plenty of lost mileage!
    New Gear at Bedrock Radio
  • United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, I voted Leave, after a bit of pencil waving, I’m dubbed a Brexiter. I think it could be good for the UK. But also who doesn’t want to watch the world fall apart?  
  • Bedrock Radio  & Bedrock Radio, Goodmayes start broadcasting, in addition We soft launched Bedrock GOLD, to target the older listeners.
  • Visited Whipps Cross Hospital Radio to help fix a network issue. 
  • Changed to 4 Day Rosta at work (12 to 14 hour shifts where killing me), becomming rostered on the 174 AKA ‘Dagenham Dustcart’…. Hated it.
  • Me & Lee went on an EU Roadtrip! Covering; Luxembourg, Zurich, Milano, Venice, Innsbruck, Munich, Prague, Berlin & Hamburg & Rotterdam
    Making full use of me being on his insurance! 

2017

  • Jan – Getting ever older 
  • Hello London – TfL Bus Drivers course, met Sir Peter Hendy (Head of Network Rail) on the course, which surprised us all. 
  • I bought my own car – Kia Optima (AKA the Vixen)… I’m super pleased with myself.
    I bought a Car! – Kia Optima 3
  • I discover how much I actually enjoy driving the old TA Buses, I like them as much as the scanias. However, the TA days are numbered due to EU Emissions targets, I try to get my hands on one every late shift. 
  • General Election time. Reading the manifestos, I hovered the pencil between Conservative & UKIP. finally settling on UKIP.  I felt the others where too ‘soft & something for nothing’ 
  • I apply for another new job – this time within core TfL, not thinking i’ll get, I forget I’ve applied. 
  • Dad turns 60, Now I don’t feel so old, he does! – We spend a few days up in Cambridge with family. 
  • Bedrock Radio takes a vote to change to a CIO, Giving myself all the work. 
  • Mum is finally awarded the disability allowance she deserves & is able join the motability scheme. We say goodbye to the Kia Soul.
  • On The Buses
    I get a call back from the TfL Job & I’m asked to book in for assessment, these go well… I get invited into interview.
  • Bedrock Radio does a live music night & we broadcast it Live from a mobile studio. 
  • I’ve been offered the Job by TfL, I formalise by Notice of Resignation at Stagecoach with some sadness as I enjoyed driving buses, despite the god awfulnes of the 174.
  • My Cousin gets married again. Family catchup & the ennavale awkwardness of “Mat, You’re next” for the excuse to have a big family do.
  • Ellie & Me agree to have ‘monthly’ catch ups as we’ve hardly seen each other in the past year.  
  • I start my training as a CSA2 for London Underground Limited. I become rostered at South Kensington Station.
  • Me & Mum start a very long & ongoing ‘Ducky’ game – A Duck related gift now become standard every Birthday & Christmas. 

 

2018

    • ‘Back In My Day, Birthdays used to be…’ – Yep Older still. Duck themed Cake this year. (See above)
    • The Dark Side – Underground
      I settle into working at South Ken with my new colleagues, although the commute is a slog, it’s a nice place to work.
    • HBA Conference in Windsor – I’m totally not buying their nonsense & remain firm on Bedrock Leaving the HBA. 
    • I begin the CIO Conversion for Bedrock Radio. 
    • I make friends with a squirrel. Mum nicknames it “Buddy”.
    • Lauren contacts me, we have a long catch up & reminisce about our relationship & ‘Stealing Food’. We have occasional catch ups every few months by text & few years in person. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this. But i’ve gone along with it. 
    • A rather warm summer I remember, felt sweaty.
    • Bestie Ellie get’s married to her long (suffering) fiance Chris! – I have a catch up with Ellie’s parents & some old school friends.
    • World Cup Fever, means a good excuse for the South Ken team to have a good drink.
    • I Finally admit I sorta like Curry… James doesn’t believe me, photo evidence is sent he calls me a “Tart”.. 
    • Tower Hill / Marks Lane Disused.
      I transfer to Tower Hill Area in order to get my promotion to CSA1. While it’s nearer to home. I felt there was something amiss with the staff & how the place operated – Turns out later my gut feeling was right.
    • Lee & Myself have started offering technical help to Harlow Hospital Radio, studio visits ensue.
    • Tower Hill Christmas Party on a boat.  Those of us who got on had a proper laugh. We almost threw colleague Rachel off the boat.
    • I got the CIO conversion done, Bedrock Radio now has a new direction.
    • I’ve got the Squirrel to now take food from my hand, I have a friend for life. 

 

2019

  • Now 28… Christ, I’ll be 30 in two years! January is here.
  • Bedrock Radio, Goodmayes told parts of the old building are shutting & we need to remove equipment from them areas. 
  • Ellie & Me discover Tortilla at Lakeside, our catch ups regularly(ish) happen over burritos! 
  • I transfer back to South Kensington as a CSA1, About a month later preverbal hits the fan at Tower, proving my gut instinct was right – This was confirmed by staff there.
  • I discover I can park around Kensington on Sundays for free & my Car is ULEZ exempt (For now)… Sundays just become a lot nicer to work! 
  • Lee & Me sell the old mixer from Goodmayes & agreed to meet halfway in  Lincoln to hand it over. We realise this is where our friend Rebecca lives & met her the next day for breakfast.
  • Old & New 150 Steam Special with Dad
    I booked tickets for Me & Dad to ride the last Steam Specials on the District Line as part of it’s 150 year anniversary  – The special train was late.. by almost an hour.  
  • Family Day Trip to Colchester Zoo – Mum loved it, we made friends with a Duck (I know a whole zoo of animals, and I found the wild Duck most interesting).
  • I decided to take myself on a little holiday to Devon, to relax (I’ve not been away properly in a while) I went down to see my old school friend Shannon & explore the town.
  • Eden Project
    While in down West, I finally visited the Eden Project, which i’d been longing to see for years, I may go back in 2020 when all the plants in are in bloom. 
  • Finally opened a Help To Buy ISA to try & get onto the housing ladder.
  • Annoyed ‘Brexit’ hasn’t happened & on glancing through the manifestos I voted Conservative for the first time, I have formed more stronger views & find Labour intolerable, I find myself thinking ‘World owes people nothing, why do they want something for nothing’. 
  • 2009 / 2010 to 2019 / 2020
    Bedrock Radio Goodmayes, Studio closure confirmed by NHS as building is being closed. Lee & Myself hire a Van and clear the place out. A degree of Sadness is shared between us after all the effort put into keeping it on-air. Content will now come from Queen’s. 
  • Genuinely feeling a bit lost with life. I’ve started coming up with ideas of how to celebrate when I’m 30 in two years. 
  • Relationship Status: Single (Since 2015). I sti

This Bus Terminates Here….

I have been driving a London Red Bus for almost two years come September. However, I’m not making it to my two year anniversary… because I am chaining jobs (again), but staying within transport!

I’m actually off to work for London Underground, not as a a driver (yet!) but as station staff, I stumbled across the vacancy on the TfL Linkedin page and thought “why not!”.

Like most jobs i’ve applied for, I had some scepticism as TfL jobs, like many high profile companies, notoriously have thousands of applicants, so it’s a long and competitive process. I applied a few months ago with a small bit of resentment when I got news I was being put on rota for the 174, in the same week I was doing spread-over (split hours) shifts. I remained optimistic, because I have the possibility of progressing and trying for operations roles fulfilling another boyhood dream of playing with a real size train set!

So I applied, a few months back and made it through the various assessments, interviews and finally the medical… and i’m off to play with the railway!

To be honest, I’m not sure if the time was right, there where a few things that interested me with the bus operations such as iBus & Service Control, plus learning a few more routes such plus the rail replacements runs…

When I was rostered for the 174, I  started highlighting problems to our management so they can take our concerns up the chain of command and get the route running right.
Now I have an opportuntiy not be missed to work for the ‘the Tube’ / TfL – Who knows if I would have got another chance?
I admit I have some sadness leaving the Buses, the team at RM made the job worthwhile, It’s left me with a feeling of ambivalance over the whole thing, which is a shame as part of me really wants to celebrate that i’m changing jobs.

I start training in a week, so I can let the excitement develop!

No more ‘This Bus Terminates Here‘. Instead; ‘Mind The Gap‘!

 

Alight here for a new career.

I’m changing career….

Well sort of, I’m a man of many hats, and soon to doth another cap to my collection!

So, I’ve been in professional radio for a few years now, built up a nice afternoon show, with some fantastic loyal listeners. but the only problem with working in professional radio is the pay. Essentially your only paid for the work you do, and when your doing a few hours a day, that doesn’t add up to much, with both Time & Decades. it’s below a ‘liveable’ wage.

So I’m taking a rather bold move, I’ve applied to Stagecoach London, to become a Bus Driver.

The future Image sourced from: TFL forum

Seriously… I admit it’s quite a change, well it’s a totally different industry, but one that’s calling out for people to join it, the pay seems good for a person of my age. I’ve undergone a series of assessments, interviews and medicals. Now I just have to apply myself to passing a theory, practical and CPC tests to become qualified. The motivation is the pay and a different environment are appealing.

So next time you get on a bus… it could be me saying hello!

The radio dream isn’t over! I’m still keeping my finger in the proverbial pie, with cover shifts and production work. Plus the charity stuff! It’s just a decision, based on a realisation that I want and need to be able to move on and progress along the highway of life.

So here’s to driving a double decker bus…

 

 

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Hello

Welcome to MatWatson.co.uk | MusicMat.Me

I’m a Radio Broadcaster, Tea Drinker, Tad on the Cheeky side.
Living and working around the London & Essex Area.
Read & hear more about my work – Mat