Gareth Austin is a Horticultural Trainer and is a regular on BBC Radio Foyle where he gives gardening advice on the Mark Patterson Show. Gareth is 36 and married to Leanne and has 2 children, Connie 6 and Gracie 3. Gareth lives in Newtowncunningham and is originally from Edinburgh.
How would you describe yourself?
Tall, Scottish and happy.
Happiest childhood memory?
Visiting Blackpool pleasure beach as a young child, I remember the awful smell of the Ponies and the magic of sitting in the wee cars on the merry go rounds.
What was your first job?
The normal paper delivery boy, then working at Ingliston Dog Kennels. This involved a few miles walk from the house and a full day cleaning up doggie ‘presents’ and washing kennel runs...It taught me an awful lot about work and how hard it was to earn money.
Favourite television programme?
Current Top Gear, I’m a big Jeremy Clarkson fan. I love his sense of humour and they way he deliberately aggravates people to get a discussion or a reaction.
Favourite method of relaxation?
Gardening, although it’s something a do for my 9-5 I enjoy immensely footering about my own garden, especially with Connie or Gracie lending a hand, to experience stuff through a child’s eyes is a wonderful feeling and is one of the reasons I love my children so much is they keep me entertained and open minded.
What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?
A classic trouser rip. Teaching one day and my trousers gave way at the groin during bending down for something...leaving me with exposed boxers in a school....never a good move.
What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?
I had an Uncle die on me after suffering a long and prolonged illness from Cancer. This uncle was like a father to me and was the man I went to for any advise growing up, you know stuff like girls, money, cars etc. Although he was seriously ill at the time this uncle travelled to Ireland when I got married, and that weekend was the last ‘good weekend’ he had and after that the illness took him away. I still have his mobile phone number in my phone to this day, every phone I’ve changed I’ve always put his number in it and even writing this I’m getting emotional. Maybe some things in life you never move on from....
What has been the high point of your life to date?
The birth of my first child. For me was such a game-changer, turning from a ‘lad’ to a ‘father’ was a big change for me, it slapped me up and changed me hugely. That pride you feel when you phone your parents and tell them ‘its a girl’, a feeling that will never leave me.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a decent man, a nice man.
What is your most treasured possession?
I’m not sentimental about goods or items. Although I keep my wedding ring for ‘best’, it’s the only shiny thing I own.
If you won the lotto what would you do with it?
Buy a brand new transit. I joke about this with Leanne, I love driving a van more than a car and I like the Transit. No doubt Leanne will spend the rest of whatever!!
If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?
For it to be eternally spring.
If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?
Gareth Austin was a kind man, a good man, a man who loved his family and worked hard to provide for his family. He enjoyed being with people, chatting and helping people. Simple and direct. Many a bit like me??