It’s just gone 8am and I’m on the bus, heading to Middlesbrough for four hours of radio interviews. I used to regularly write blog posts on the bus when I did a daily commute to and from work, which involved a two hour journey each way. At that time, I think that this was one of the things that was keeping me sane, which is somewhat ironic given the absurd, crazy, ridiculous nonsense that I was writing about.
I am not properly awake yet. I am struggling to keep my eyes open, which granted isn’t really as much of an issue as it would be for most people. I read an article once that suggested that the brain could be at its most creative first thing in the morning; Something about still being in the alpha brain wave frequency, but don’t rely on me to be your science oracle. The disadvantage of writing blog posts on the bus is that I don’t have the same access to the Internet as usual, meaning that I can’t do some cursory Internet research, and then write about a subject as if I was an expert on that thing. These on-the-road Dollops have the potential to out me for the ignorant idiot that I am. I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of proving the study correct. I feel tired and my brain is foggy, although in fairness to the study, the test conditions were probably rather diffferent to this environment. I doubt any experiments relating to this idea took place on a freezing bus that’s been stopped at the same bus stop for fifteen minutes with the door open, because we’re ahead of schedule, which I think potentially would have put a different spin on the results.
It’s odd to consider, given how I feel now, that in about 90 minutes, we will be squatting in a cupboard singing. If you didn’t read or listen to yesterday’s Dollop, don’t worry, this is not some odd kinky thing I’m going to be getting up to; it’s just that the radio studio is the size of a tiny cupboard and there’s only one microphone, set on the desk at a fixed height, which the three of us have to squat at in order to sing.
Still, as grumpy and tired as I’m feeling right now, deep down I know that I am very lucky. I was speaking to a friend last night who works as a nurse and had just come off a thirteen hour gruelling shift, and she has to do the same today. It’s a thankless task much of the time, with worried family members of patients taking their frustrations and fear out on the you, not to mention people dying on you, which very rarely happens when we gig, apart from when Michael unwisely strives for that high note. But it’s clear that we have it easy in comparison. Although, you could argue that our jobs do tie in together. Someone dies on the ward, and we come along, see if they’ve done anything that we could write a folk song about. There’s nothing like a dead person with a story to get Sean’s heart racing, although hopefully not
racing at a speed that would require him to need a nurse. At which point, another folk songwriter would be set to standby in case they needed to write a ballad about Sean. Although has he really done anything of note to write a ballad about? Whereas me, on the other hand: people will be singing ballads about my harrowing 365 consecutive daily blogging project for centuries.
“Is it true granddad? What they sing about? Is it all really true?”
“Aye lad. Just type David Eagle Blind into Google and you’ll find him. I remember my dad reading David’s Daily Digital Dollop to me every bed time. My favourites were his stories about his kettle. I’ll never forget the day when he read me David’s Dollop called, Young Hungarian Fat Gay Boys And watery Cat Faeces. That was a real right of passage. He read it to me, and said, “you’re a man now son, a real man”. But you’re a bit too young for that one. Maybe when you’re six.”
Tomorrow we set off to Manchester from Hartlepool at 630 in the morning. We’re doing a singing workshop between 10 and 3, and then heading to play a gig in Manchester on the evening. So it’ll be another early morning writing session for me as I try to type up the Dollop in the van on the way to Manchester. This will be somewhat of a physical and spacial challenge, as our van doesn’t afford the three of us much room. In order for whoever is driving to change gear, they have to put their hand between the legs of the person next to them, or at least that’s what they tell me anyway. There is also no elbow space between the two passengers, and so it will be nearly physically impossible to type, not to mention trying to find the energy and inspiration to write at 630 in the morning, after only a few hours sleep the night before. I also need to find somewhere to record the audio version. But, when I took on this challenge I knew that these issues would exist. My challenge is to write, record and publish a blog post and podcast everyday, regardless of how busy we are and any practical problems. And if that means elbowing Sean or Michael repeatedly in the ribs then so be it. They should consider it an honour to be physically abused for such a noble and important reason.