Finn Marsden

I first met Finn when I was picking up Anna for a date very early in our courtship. He was a big old black lab who didn’t look unlike a coffee table when he was lying down.

Anna and her friends had “The Finn Test’ which meant prospective boyfriends had to go to the family home and meet Finn. If Finn liked the boy and the boy liked Finn, he was suitable for a second date.

Anna says that I spent more time with Finn that day than with her. She’s now my wife.

Finn lived a great old life with Anna’s parents in Epsom. The dog ranger used to find him at the top of the drive in the sun. Whenever he was taken for a walk, the cats would come too.

Finn was a good dog, and a very old dog. He was born on March 19 1992 and shuffled off on the 26th of August 2008.

Godspeed old man.

Here’s the situation right now.

Anna is giving Joey his last feed before bed on the couch and Sophie is tucked up with her blanket in bed underneath a mountain of toys. I’m at the computer contemplating the emotions of fatherhood.

There’s the absolute joy of a 2 year old who says at the breakfast table, “Uv you mummy!” and grins as her Mum melts. Then turns to her Dad and says the same thing. The feeling you get when your children tell you that they love you without being prompted is magical indeed.

Today also, I have so much pride as Joey sits in his high chair drinking from a cup like he’s been doing it all his life when in fact this is the first time he’s had the opportunity.

UPDATE: Joey is now in bed...

However, there’s also the frustration that comes with the fact that he’s been crying all day. I mean, ALL day. The incessant whinging is hard to bear.

Putting both kids in the bath and getting drenched while they have a splash fight is both irritating and amusing but knowing that kicking a towel around the bathroom floor is all it will take to clean the water up makes it ok. The joy on their faces is superb and not worth getting irritated over.

Chucking daughter into time out for bashing the shit out of her brother is a hard one, she knows it’s wrong yet feels the need to do it every now and then. She can be so sweet with him but so rough at other times. He’ll get her back when he has full use of his doughy little fists I’m sure.

Sophie is very good at whining for food, crying for no reason, running round shaking her head yelling “craaazy!!” She can screw up the TV reception for hours if left alone with the remote for 5 seconds. She also is very good at being a pirate / dancer / fly / and singing songs.

UPDATE: Sophie is now back up again...

Joey is an expert at grabbing bowls, cups or anything that will make a mess and flipping them over. He has possibly the widest grin I’ve ever seen and blows an excellent raspberry. He does a mean row, row, row your boat too...

Their timing is both impeccable and appalling. One day, they’ll sleep for two hours at the same time and the next, as soon as one goes down, the other will wake up. Joey knows EXACTLY when dinner is and will start to cry as soon as it’s served up no matter what time we have it. They’re both small human wheely bins when it comes to their tummies, in fact the only difference between my children and wheely bins at the table is the fact that bins generally make things tidier and cleaner, my kids do exactly the opposite.

UPDATE: Sophie and Mummy are watching the lions and Doctor Who is about to start. Sophie’s about to go back to bed and my wife and I will hopefully pull up a couch each for an hour or so before bed.

Two kids, so many emotions. Some good, some not so good. That’s the ups and downs of being a parent and if you’re reading this and you don’t have kids, yes, it is worth it. Every second. Particularly when they’re asleep.

Here’s how I expect bed time to go in about 4 minutes.

"Sophie, bed. Now. Come on. 5, 4, yes you can have your tiger. 3, no you can’t take your pram to bed. Sigh. 2, 1... Come on. Kiss Mummy. I love you."

Sophie: “Uv you Mummy, uv you Daddy."

"Special treat?" Treat! Treat!" (As she's carried off down the hall...)

The wedding...

This has been the biggest radio promotion I've ever been directly involved in. I say directly because it's a promo driven solely out of my show and not a station wide thing that I've been one of many players in.

Over the past few weeks Camille and I have been soliciting, finding, meeting and eliminating couples who want to win a wedding. That wedding will be on September 5 and it will be totally paid for by us and our associates.

I always said I'd never get caught up in the emotion of something like this. I try to distance myself from promotions - I'm not entirely sure why. This time though, I've got completely caught up in it and apart from having to tell 4 couple that they can't win the wedding, I've quite enjoyed it.

It has been a great experience meeting the couples who made the final and hearing their stories. They've declared their love for each other in the most public way and I've learned to some extent how people who participate in radio competitions feel about being on the other end of the broadcast. I've really enjoyed hearing their confidence grow as they talked candidly and connected with the audience.

I wish we could have given away a wedding to each couple....

Meet our couples and hear their journeys through something that has ended up as so much more than just a radio competition.

Hello Kapiti...

Tomorrow we go into Kapiti for the rest of the week.

Story is, Phil Costello who is the host of the Classic Hits Kapiti breakfast show also does the odd overnight show on Newstalk ZB. It's not fair to get him to start at midnight, host talkback til 6am and then do a breakfast show so we're filling in for him. It works quite well because when Camille and I are away, Phil fills in for us so it's only fair that we return the favour.

Pooling of resources if you like...

The techs have been beavering away to make it work. As far as I can tell, to make this work involves quite a bit of wire and several million mouse clicks.

So tomorrow, Dave and Camille's Classic Breakfast is on 90FM in Wellington and 92.7 in Kapiti and Horowhenua. If we sound like we're a bit stressed tomorrow, imagine it like you've got a bunch of mates round at your house and then another whole group turns up as well. Do we have enough coffee cups to go round and will there be enough chairs in the lounge?

All back to normal on Monday the 25th.