Yesterday’s Dollop posed the greatest challenge out of all the Dollops so far. Firstly, I was in a car with Sean Cooney and our friend Graeme. It was difficult therefore to not get dragged into conversation. I hadn’t seen Graeme since September, and ordinarily I would have spent the journey catching up and chatting, but I was also aware that I really needed to start getting to work on the Dollop. I thought that it would have been a bit much to spend the entire funeral service typing a flippant blog post about wheat intolerance. If I was chastised by anyone, I suppose I could have always claimed that it’s what he would have wanted, but I doubt that anyone would have really bought this. Perhaps if Les had been an avid Dollop reader or listener then this statement might have held some weight, but sadly Les died at the beginning of the year and so probably never really got the chance to read or listen to many of my Dollops, which makes his passing even more tragic. I hope you realise how blessed you are to be alive and able to benefit from receiving daily updates about my kettle, and my wrangles with music streaming services. You are truly blessed.
The difficulty was further increased by the pothole riddled winding roads, causing me to feel sick, as well as my laptop shaking to the point of nearly falling off my knee, plus I was frequently mistyping things due to my hands being shaken up and down while I tried to type.
Then there was the issue of recording the audio version. I had ten minutes at Sean’s house before our taxi came to take us to the pub where we were meeting with some friends. I didn’t have time to set up the tripod, and so I just slumped over the bed with my braille machine and digital recorder, and quickly read the blog post which I’d barely had time to proof read. The recording quality was pretty bad, the reading wasn’t my best, but I managed to get the audio uploaded just as the taxi rounded the corner and arrived at Sean’s.
In the taxi I realised that I’d made some mistakes when adding the link to the audio version of the blog. I then had to spend the taxi journey ignoring everyone and correcting this, which proved very difficult using such a small touch screen device. I had just about succeeded in making the correction when the taxi arrived at the pub. I left the others to sort out the money situation, while I republished the blog post with the correction made.
We entered the pub and were greeted by our friends. I didn’t offer to pay for a round of drinks, because I still needed to put a message on Facebook and Twitter about the fact that the new Dollop was now up. So I let someone else buy the drinks, even though I hadn’t paid anything towards the taxi, and it was therefore definitely my turn to contribute.
Perhaps I still had the poor banker in mind who I spoke to on the phone yesterday who was concerned about the lack of money going into my account this month. Perhaps subconsciously I was avoiding spending money, fearing that it might result in her poor children having to go hungry. My friends might have thought I was being stingy and ignorant, not paying for anything and spending all my time ignoring them and typing on a touch screen device. In reality I was doing all this through pure altruism. It was important that I didn’t let the banker’s children starve, and I was also imagining all the forlorn people sat at home at their computers, constantly hitting refresh, hoping with increasing desperation that today’s Dollop would land on their screens and provide them with that one thing they need to make life seem worthwhile.
After another five minutes of me being antisocial, I sent the Facebook and Twitter posts, and then was able to relax. Given that we’d just been to a funeral, we spent the first half an hour playing an odd but strangely therapeutic and enjoyable game of Death Top Trumps, in which we went around the table and counted up all the people we knew who had died in the last year. Because we’re on the folk scene, we know a lot of people who are in their fifties and older. I think it’s probably quite unusual to be thirty, and having about twenty of your friends die in the space of a year. Still, the advantage of this fact is that you can enjoy a lovely evening playing Death Top Trumps. You can play the straight version where you merely award a point for each dead friend, or you can award more points dependant on age of the person or type of death. I started to enjoy the evening and the game so much that I really began to relax, and wrecklessly bought everyone on the table a round of drinks. Perhaps this was my subconscious trying to get me to kill off the banker’s family, so that I could score some more points the next time we play a round of Death Top Trumps.
I really must go now, because I am once again being very antisocial. My housemate Ben’s parents have arrived from Bournemouth, and I have been ignoring them in order to write this. Fortunately, if anyone feels aggrieved by my ignorance, all they have to do is visit my website, read or listen to these Dollops, and they’ll soon see that the quality of what I’m writing is worth being ignored for. Surely, they will feel honoured to have been an integral part of the writing process, glad to have been snubbed in order to facilitate such quality work.