Dollop 34 – A Blog From The Beyond, About The down Under

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Ooooooooooooooooooooo! I am a ghost, a ghost in the machine. The machine is David Eagle’s laptop. As mentioned in yesterday’s Dollop, David had had some potential paranormal activity occurring in his house. Therefore, he mused yesterday about whether the ghosts, who clearly enjoy interfering with electronic objects, would like to put themselves to practical use. And so David has left his laptop on over night to see if a ghost would type up today’s Dollop for him. And here I am.

Chances are you are probably just assuming that this is David doing a stupid unfunny introduction to his blog, but that’s where you’re wrong. You are being stubbornly sceptical, even though the evidence is right here in front of you. But you have blinded yourself to the truth. You wouldn’t know a ghost if it hit you in the face; although, in fairness, you wouldn’t really be able to feel much due to the fact that it would just go right through you. But that’s not the point.

Anyway, you might be hoping that, since you are now reading the words of someone from beyond the grave, I might give you an insight into one of life’s most sought questions: what exactly happens when we die? But I’m afraid I can’t answer that. David has given me a list of bullet points to follow, full of pathetic pithy little throwaway jokes and boring anecdotes about his daily life, but I haven’t been given any instructions to talk about the nature of life after death I’m afraid, sorry.

When I started writing this Dollop I was finding it rather difficult. Typing was severely impaired because my spectral fingers kept going straight through the keys. Fortunately, I’ve mastered it now. Jalfjjfjao. Oops, sorry, it happened again, I guess I spook too soon.

Anyway, I best crack on with making sentences out of the bullet points that David has supplied me with. I will write as if I am David, emulating his style to the best of my ability. Think of me as a ghost writer, if you will. That was my own joke, not David’s. I am clearly funnier than David, and I should have my own blog. Well, actually I do, but sadly it’s not available on your earth-based Internet, as you don’t have Ghoulgle. That’s another joke, although admittedly, it doesn’t work quite so well in print. But thank you, I’m here all week; well actually I’m not, I’m shimmering in and out of being all week, but let’s not get pedantic. Anyway, here is today’s Dollop, written by a poltergeist in the style of David Eagle.

I am trying to restore my sleeping routine to something resembling normal. My sleeping patterns are terrible, waking up very late morning and unable to quiet my brain to sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning. I think this is principally down to the fact that I gig for a living. I did about 200 gigs last year, and most of these gigs didn’t finish until at least 11pm. By the time we’d got out of the venue it was nearly 12. Then often we had to drive somewhere, either to accommodation or back home. If we were driving back home then I might not get to sleep until 5 in the morning. Plus, I find that I get quite a lot of post-gig adrenalin and energy (take note wannabe groupies) and so this means that I can’t just fall asleep straight after a gig, even if we are staying somewhere close to the venue and got back at a reasonable time.

So far this year I’ve not gigged yet, but my sleeping patterns haven’t reverted back to sensible. This is not entirely my fault; I have been scuppered by the Australian media. I know, the old familiar Australian media excuse. In preparation for our Australian tour in March, I’ve been doing interviews with the Australian media. The trouble is that their day time is our night time, meaning most of the interviews have been when I would ordinarily be asleep. So I set my phone alarm to wake me a few minutes before the interview.

Assuming that I have managed to get to sleep before then, my alarm will wake me up at 5 to 4 in the morning, ready for a call from an Australian radio station at 4. I’ll then chat away with an extremely chipper and chatty presenter about the band, as well as a mind boggling array of incidental nonsense that these radio presenters like to bring up in order to be a bit quirky. There is often quite a bit of a delay on the line too, which doesn’t help my addled brain come up with answers, as I know that I have to answer as quickly as possible after the presenter has finished asking his question, otherwise there’ll be an even longer delay. Then, after the phone call, about fifteen minutes later, I’ll be trying to get back asleep.

To make the situation even weirder and more disconcerting, I’ve now started having odd reoccurring dreams in which I’m woken by the sound of the phone. It’s an Australian radio station. Even though I didn’t recall having an interview booked for this particular night, I assume that I must have forgotten. I am then put straight to air. I haven’t had a chance to wake up or have a drink of water or anything. The interviewer starts asking me questions, but I can’t understand what the heck he is asking me. I try to answer the question, but then the interviewer takes on the persona of John Humphrys and constantly interrupts me, berating me for not answering the question. I try to explain to him that I am answering the question but that there is just a huge delay on the line, but he just keeps interrupting me. I then wake up in a cold sweat, realise it’s a dream and then try and get back to sleep again.

Recently I did an interview for an Australian magazine. Baring in mind that the people reading it are unlikely to know who The Young’uns are, given that we’ve not played Australia yet. So you would have thought that the questions would have reflected this. When we first started doing interviews in the UK, everyone asked the same questions: how did the three of you meet? Describe your music? What are your influences? How did you get into folk music and start performing together? Why do you have such a terrible name? So I would have expected, given we are completely unknown in Australia, that these would have been the kinds of questions. But know. Proof that they obviously had no idea about who I am was demonstrated by their request that I kept my answers to a couple of sentences.

The first question this magazine chose to ask me was: What are you listening to right now? Nothing about who I am or who the band is. The second question was: What is your hidden talent? They didn’t even know what my actual unhidden talent was, so surely we should be covering all that before going down the quirky route. And then, their final question was: What is your claim to fame? My claim to fame is being in the folk band who are playing your country this year, but that you seem to be completely uninterested in talking about.

I don’t even think they ended up publishing the interview. I’ve searched for it and I can’t find it anywhere. Perhaps I annoyed them by refusing to keep my answers to a couple of sentences, although, in fairness, I did try, and none of my answers exceeded five paragraphs. Or maybe I just out-quirked them with my responses.

Question: What are you listening to right now?

Answer: I tend to work in silence, so that I can concentrate fully on what I’m writing. Amazingly high quality and inspired writing – such as what you are going to be graced with over the next few paragraphs – requires complete focus and unwavering concentration. However, my next-door neighbour is somewhat ruining that because she is listening to music rather loudly. I’ve no idea what it is she’s listening to. It sounds like fairly generic pop. I could Shazam it, but I really don’t think you’re that interested, and if you are then quite frankly I think you need to sort out your life. I’m sorry, I promised my therapist that I’d try and go for at least a couple of paragraphs before I started insulting you.

Question: What is your hidden tallent?

Answer: Answering questions for blogs. I think you’ll all agree I’m hiding that particular talent very well indeed.

Question: What is your claim to fame?

Answer: David’s claim to fame is that he is Britain’s most modest man. This is David’s friend typing this by the way; David was far too modest to tell you about this himself. He thanks you for reading. Oh, and incidentally, he’s also in a folk group called The Young’uns, who are touring your country this year for a month. But, no, you’re probably not interested in that!

I have a couple of interviews with Australian radio tomorrow, but fortunately for my sanity they are during the daytime. One of them is at 1am Australian time. I am looking forward to getting my own back on the Australian media by being as over-the-top and garrulous as I possibly can, knowing that the presenter is probably really tired. I’ll also answer all his questions in a really quirky manner, even if the question is completely normal. That will show them.

Oooooooooo! It’s me again. The ghost. I think I managed to emulate David’s style quite well. Let me know how you thought I did by leaving a comment in the comments section. I’m not sure if David expects me to read and reply to your comments as well. If you have any questions about the world beyond yours then feel free to ask, and I’ll try my best to answer it, assuming David will let me.

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