I have Facebook friends waiting to get blogged, but their breath isn’t bated. I hadn’t anticipated the demise of the landline to be this sudden. Catching a friend in their home at the end of a landline is rare.
I saw Bob at a local event. It was on the same day that an article I’d written about the bushfires was published. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatlife/12080588/The-Great-Ocean-Road-bushfire-made-me-so-proud-of-our-local-heroes.html)
He said he’d read it and would really like to see something by me that didn’t have me in it. Well, I could give him my novels for middle grade kids but he needs something more cerebral so I said ‘I’m blogging you next.’ And now I am all too aware of references to myself and speaking in the first person!
We agreed to meet at his house. When I arrived his bass voice called out over the valley and I waited, watching the birds fly round the Otways and the ocean. Then over coffee, unbelieveably good coffee, and surrounded by peaches, we talked.
I wouldn’t be sitting in Bob’s house looking at his strong, handsome face if I wasn’t writing about my Facebook friends. We know each other because we look at each other’s posts and I follow his interviews on local radio with interest. I mention that this blog is really all about what people mean to me, the phone call and the loss of the landline. Yes it hones my writing skills but it begs the question, how well are we all connecting now that it is done through a screen? How exciting is a phone call or a face to face visit now that the human voice is no longer received down the wire on a chunky phone? The phone in his pocket rang three times during our chat. He still gets a lot of calls from his wife and three daughters but he has no landline.
Bob says that on the old phone you would have a tea and a fag and you’d be listening. (Do you remember the smell of the receiver in smoker’s houses?) He says that we are evolving into a different way of connecting, and as well as keeping us all in touch, it is the perfect distraction. “You think it’s something to do but it’s not productive at all. We are processing the information differently through email, text and Facebook. It means we are getting more information but less understanding.”
And here I am, giving you more digital information on Bob Knowles and my connection. He is a voiceover artist and he recently made an ad for chocolate that is on the TV a lot! At the sailing club his voice hits the water before he does, so deep it is. He has a programme on our community radio station and this week he interviewed the mayor.
I was his second interviewee on his first programme (here I go again at 24 mins!)
We met when he needed a soprano voice for a song on an ad, so he got on to Facebook and posted on the Community Page ‘I really need to get in contact with Annabel Tellis a.s.a.p’ and I responded saying ‘Shhh Bob, or everyone will know!’ Sadly, it didn’t start a rumour.