In having a wee peak through the stats for this site I noticed that the next post, whatever it may be, would be the 100th. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this but I didn’t want to just let it pass unacknowledged. I thought given we’re about to hit a fairly frenetic fortnight and a half , now would be a good time for a brief moment of reflection.
During the recent #100DaysToEurovision campaign it was truly heartening to see so many stories of what Eurovision meant to so many people. It’s remarkable how much an annual music competition has positively affected people’s lives. It was also truly hilarious to see just how comically bad the countdown livestream was at the same time. Either way, I was smiling.
Four years ago, when I first launched Pif Paf, I was somewhat lost in my life. All previous dreams and goals of my youth had died and I had settled into a steady, if somewhat unfulfilling, job. I felt adrift from the world. At this time my friend and ESC Insight co-founder, Ewan Spence, pushed me into starting my own endeavour. Although unsure at first I took his advice and threw myself into WordPress…and all it’s idiosyncrasies.
Although it took some time to find the right tone and how I wanted to approach the Contest, it’s almost certainly the best thing I did in my twenties. Being part of the Eurovision community has given me a new lease of life. To many it’s just a one night a year TV show but, as Eurofans know, it’s so much more. Eurovision is making new friends from all across the world (online and in real life), it’s learning about others’ cultures and it’s experiencing new countries & cities following the Contest wherever it goes. Lisbon 2018, my first (and to date only) experience as a ‘blogger’, will always be one of the happiest times of my life.
Then came 2020. A dreadful year that wiped out so much, for so many. With lockdowns and restrictions the cancellation of the Contest was a foregone conclusion. But like the Phoenix from the Ashes up rose Eurovision Again. We, as Contest fans, were able to join together once a week during the early days of Covid, giving us all the opportunity to relive memories, rediscover old classics and mock every single thing Toto Cutugno did and said during the 1991 broadcast. Rob and the gang did an incredible job. Just one of many examples of Eurovision fans being there for one another.
Now we find ourselves in 2021. Although there’s some light at the end of the tunnel we still find ourselves facing difficult times. This been the darkest and coldest of all the lockdowns, both literally and metaphorically, but once again trusty old Eurovision has been there. The weeks just fly by when you’ve got nationals finals to focus on at the weekend. The past 12 months have been tough but being part of this community has made it a lot whole lot easier to cope.
Right, that’s enough sincerity for one lifetime. What’s next? Oh yeah, just the matter 28 songs to be confirmed in just over two and a half weeks. Strap in, everyone!