Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009


It's a few hours now until voting for TBJITW closes, and I think I can safely say that I did not dramatically scamper up the charts in a final, astonishing display of popularity.

"Votes don't count, though, right?" I said to the Important People and fellow candidates yesterday. There was a silence. "Right?" I repeated anxiously.
"Mmm," somebody said, so I looked at the desk and pretended to be really interested in one of the extraordinarily strong mints they gave us: presumably because we're British and not famous for our incredible dental hygiene.

Of course they count, though. I know that. If they didn't count, they wouldn't have initiated them to start with. That's not my main problem, however. My main problem is: how do I make my friends like me again? After three weeks of thrusting myself in their faces - "Me! Vote for me! My life! Me!" - how easy will it be to make myself bearable again? How can I convince them that I don't want to talk about islands, or votes, or radios, or dates, or myself, when that's all I've done for nearly a month? When I can hardly stand to be with myself because of it?

The last three and a half weeks have been very, very strange and exciting for me, but they must have been incredibly dull for the people closest to me. I would imagine that it's like standing in the sidelines watching somebody playing Crazy Golf: you're not quite sure why they're doing it, and it's not a lot of fun to watch, but you're cheering anyway because they look like they need a bit of encouragement. Which my friends and family have done manfully: loyally and steadfastedly waving their little Holly banners, even though they probably want to ram it down my selfish throat. Are they proud? Of course not. What have I actually done to make them proud? Diddley. Written a little limerick - the kind of thing I write in their birthday cards - and made a 60 second film featuring my ugly mug. I haven't cured cancer, I haven't even written something they can stick on their bookshelves. But have they been amazing? Absolutely.

So, do I care that my votes are quite low, in the scale of things? Not really. The people I needed got behind me, and that has meant everything. And yes, they may have wanted to kill me. And yes, they may have had a million things they would rather do with that precious thirty seconds every day. But they bolstered me up, and they did what they could to make me feel like I wasn't being foolish. 

Which, of course, I was. Because when this is all over - in just over a week, in all likelihood - it will be these very people that I crawl to for a pint and a packet of spare rib flavoured crisps. It will be these people who pretend to look interested when I tell them how devastated and flat I feel. And it will be these people who give me a hug when I tell them that I don't know what I'm going to do next, because my whole life has been tipped upside down and the contents of it have been flung on to the floor.

Thankyou. Anyone who voted, but particularly my family, and Hel: who tirelessly campaigned, even though she must have thought this the silliest thing I have ever done (and that is saying something). Thankyou.

And, as for votes? Clare from Taiwan can have them. I got all the votes I needed.