Yesterday’s Dollop about Angela Eagle’s Office window being smashed with a brick recieved the following comment from Bill
“Brilliant, David! I think you missed a trick there though. You should have called it Angela Eagle’s Brick-xit.”
Excellent Bill, I hereby appoint you chief Dollop title creator. Obviously that’s a bit of a crap job title, but your first job can be thinking of a better job title for yourself.. I’m assembling quite the team with these Dollops: I’ve now got two detectives and a job title creator. Jools seems to have long ago abandoned her position as grammar and spellchecker, so there’s a position there up for grabs if anyone fancies it. Over the next few eeks I’ll be thinking of other dollop-based positions for people, so watch this space for announcements, which let’s be honest is a lot more interesting and even more newsworthy than Theresa May’s cabinet
In contrast, Mavis Crumble’s comment was simply, “sheeeeep!” and a broad smiling face emoticon. It’s nice to see that these Dollops can cater for a broad range of interests. Some people appreciate the politics, others enjoy the sounds of bleating sheep in the country. However, no one as of yet has commented on the most exciting part of yesterday’s Dollop which was my fascinating conversation with some dogs. I assume this is because we don’t have any listeners who are animal communicators, which is a shame because you’re missing out on some really gripping stuff.
Sean and I had a lovely day together yesterday, and not just because we finally got to spend a day together as just the two of us, without bloody Michael getting in the way and spoiling things. The reason for our lovely day was because we spent it in the company of a husband and wife in their eighties, who invited us to their home and provided us with delicious food and great conversation, songs and stories. Donn’t worry, we’re not doing so badly financially from folk music that we’ve become homeless and reliant on people taking us in and feeding us.
If you’ve come to any of our gigs over the last year, you will have no doubt heard us talk about the late Mary Duffy, an amazingly inspiring Teesside lady who we became acquainted with thanks to the chance acquiring of an old reel-to-reel tape recording that someone gave us. The tape was recorded in the eighties and contains stories of her life mixed with songs. Just like with the 1960s reel-to-reel tape recording that I played and investigated in these Dollops a couple of weeks ago, we found ourselves getting drawn into the lives of these people and feeling a real sense of connection with and warmth towards Mary. You can spend years working in an office with someone, exchange small talk or office banter with them on a daily basis, but never really get a true sense of who they are, but somehow you can feel so connected with and drawn to someone in the space of one half an hour recording, a mere solitary snapshot of their existence. With both these reel-to-reel recordings we are given very intimate access into people’s lives. We are essentially brought into their home, hearing their jokes, their stories, their songs, their conversations. And strangely, we are able to capture and savour that moment and get to know it and own it, more than the actual people involved, because we can rewind it and play it again, and analyse it and know it inside out. We can travel back through that particular small moment of time over and over again; the fleeting is made concrete and permanent, preserved for strangers from the future to listen to, and in doing so, feel as if they are no longer strangers, but are now friends.
After discovering this recording of Mary Duffy, we tried to get in touch with Mary’s daughter Pat. We tried Facebook which didn’t yield a direct contact, but we did manage to get her address from someone. So we wrote a letter explaining who we were and how we had come by the recording of her mother, who’s songs we’d started singing and stories we’d started telling in our gigs, and we also included our CDs. And Pat wrote back to us with more stories about her mother, who was a truly amazing, inspiring and fascinating woman. I won’t go into detail about those stories and about Mary here, because we’ll be talking a lot more about her at gigs, plus it’s getting late and I need to get some sleep before our early start tomorrow. Y
So yesterday Sean and I went to Pat’s house in Durham and she regaled us with more stories and songs, and lots of food and drink, including home-made quiche, a variety of salads and chicken (real chicken as opposed to Vegan chicken that we wouldn’t be able to believe wasn’t chicken), followed by Apple stroodle with ice cream, and then a selection of cheeses and crackers. We’d never met these people before. We only knew them because of an old tape recording of her mother from the eighties, yet here we were in their home and made to feel as if we were best of friends. As I said a few Dollops ago, we are so lucky to live the kind of lives that brings us into contact with so many interesting people, and we have made so many friends through folk music, people of all ages, which all stems from an accidental discovery of our local folk club as teenagers. And tomorrow that accidental teenage discovery takes us to Canada for three weeks. So don’t worry, from tomorrow I’ll be telling you about our Canadian exploits, as opposed to boring you with this kind of sentimental tosh.