I’m a 62 years old virtual recluse who lives on the edge of the Graytown/Rushworth state forest in country Victoria (Australia). By ‘virtual’ I mean that I share my existence with my donkey (Polly) and with my father who resides about 500mtrs from me, and who I check on a couple of times a day. Other than that I stick to myself, love my solitude and leave home as little as possible.
Regarding the request (and occasional discussions on the matter) that we use our real names on this site:- well okay, my given name is Allan. I’m always reluctant to disclose my my surname on the internet in case people from my past try to catch up with me. Nothing sinister in this;- I have led a fairly virtuous life and all, and had only the best of friends (no enemies that I know of). It’s just that after half a lifetime of mental illness and savage depression, the first person I have tried to escape from since my recovery is my old self. Hence, I really do associate my ‘self’ nowadays with the name Gobby, and I seriously do prefer to be called by that name. You will in fact, find Gobby to be a far more self-honest person than Allan used to be. And despite my social withdrawal, I assure you all that I am a very good natured and friendly guy.
I have always loved ITM, but only started playing the fiddle five years ago. Amazingly, (to me) I attribute that newly discovered passion to the ending of my long term depression. I previously had a near lifetime of playing other instruments, (guitar, banjo’s, bass, whistle, flute, harmonica’s, bouzouki, and various bangy things, as well as some bad singing). I always played in pub bands, mainly rock and roll in the 70’s and 80’s, and then folk music in the 90’s. None of that ever really pushed my button;- it was good work but just work all the same. I always preferred to listen to other muso’s. Then five years ago I quite unintentionally bought myself a very cheap fiddle and instantly wondered why I had been wasting my previous life. Four fiddle upgrades later my addiction is still growing, and after what must average out to be over three hours a day of playing. I consider myself to be fairly competent. I intend to put that self assessment to your judgement in the near future by uploading some sound files.
Although I’ve only been a member of this site since January this year (2013), I’ve been a follower of it for nearly ten years. I was drawn to it firstly by my love of traditional Irish music, and then by the good humour and valuable advice given in the discussion and tunes pages. There would hardly be a morning (and then afternoon) that I don’t check out these pages and I really appreciate the exchange of laughs, banter and information. Despite the occasional spat, this is surely a good community. Cheers everyone!