Donald's Crazy Donut Adventures...
Donald first entered my life in 2009,
I knew that a friend of mine would well be collecting him at some point but I was shocked and screamed with fear when I grudgingly wandered downstairs half asleep at four in the morning to turn the corner and be met face to face with a fat, smiley bright yellow Donut. Little did I know then about the adventures that would ensue over the years...
I had an instant connection with the fellow and the name Donald seem to sit right. This inspired me to base my donut unit at the time on him, with the help of Andrea Ellis a local artist we created 'Donututopia', featuring Donald on various adventures from surfing to rock climbing. Becoming the frontage for the unit, Donald proudly stood out-front on guard, entertaining countless children, animals and adults alike.
Over the years, Donald has had a hard life. His first major injury was at "The Secret Garden party" when some reckless revellers impaled him through the heart with a totem pole. We thought that the damage was fatal and he was doomed to an early departure. Thank the heavens for fibre glass! This was to become a lifeline for Donald as he has since received many near fatal experiences. Each time, fibre glass has been his kiss of life.
Of course every accident takes its toll, unfortunately due to an excessive number of incidents his legs became injured beyond repair and the drastic decision to resort to a double amputation. Wheeling him onto a sack trolley down at my fathers shed, I could feel his pain, as I left my father (also an amputee) to commence with the operation. My lasting memory of this, was seeing my father with angle grinder in hand. I had to leave with the piercing noise of the machine slicing through Donald as I retreated up the path.
Donald was now registered disabled but given new life with the aid of an old water tank for him to sit comfortably on and painted a classy red.
Throughout his life on the chaotic festival circuit, he has been lucky enough to see many top head line acts, Rolling Stones, The Who, Iron Maiden , Faithless, Rod Stewart, Kaiser Chiefs and Tom Jones to name but a few!
He has been on stage with Dizzy rascal, crowd surfed to the Killers and was present in front of the Pyramid stage when the Dalai Lama graced Glastonbury. That was not planned and the Dalai lama must of know that his calm blessing was needed because at that time Donald had been Kidnapped for several days and was in the hands of villains.
He has gone missing on several occasions, albeit we do try to ensure his safety, with a knowing glance when the evening festivities are taking hold Donut dollies know the key words. "it’s time for Donald to come in". That means his days’ work is done and it is no longer safe for him to be exposed to the public. With that we drag, lift and haul the chap (he is not light) round behind the unit to relax safely for the night. Once I was glad to find him sat proudly in the front of the disabled viewing enclosure at Boardmasters.
Reporting Donald as missing is always a tentative affair. An unsuspecting Police or Security officer is not expecting you to approach them asking if they have seen a four foot bright yellow donut answering to the name of Donald with a big Prozac smile.
Folks when they get Donald in their grasp and with alcohol on board can be very reluctant to give him back. For example at one local village event, I reported him to a Police officer as missing, just as I was explaining, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of him being carried high above the head of some young men from one pub to another. I shouted "there he is!" With this, the police officer went over to retrieve him. A scuffle friskily ensued which ended in arrests being made. I was left trying to drag Donald back to the unit as the police vans with sirens wailing appeared through the crowd.
Obviously the most dramatic experience was Glastonbury 2015 with him missing for five days. We put up posters, the only information we gathered was that he was last seen in the Kasbar. We got permission to climb the viewing enclosures overlooking the site desperate for a glimpse of him. We alerted the police and security and started a social media campaign on Face book.
Facebook post to try and retrieve him at Glastonbury 2015:
Donald, last seen two days ago near the Other Stage at Glastonbury Festival. We believe he has been kidnapped as he has never run away before. The Donut Dollies' family are extremely distraught about the matter as he is a huge part of it, and would be glad to hear any information about his whereabouts. We have informed security and have done our best to search for him. If you have any information or have seen him astray, he may be confused and distressed so approach him calmly and please inform us or return him home at the Donut Dollies' van near the Other Stage (just look for the yellow flags with Donuts written on them) and you will be rewarded with a deep fried, rolled in sugar Ultimate Taste Sensation."
By day five packing up to leave I was processing the emotions that we will never see him again. When alas our Area manager excitedly came up to us saying "they have found him, they have found him!" Litter pickers had seen the campaign on face book and recognised him, strapped to a sack trolley not far from the pyramid stage. By the time they got to him, the villains were trying to shove him into the back of a white van Again they were not willing to give him back and threats of violence were made, they stated that they had bought him for thirty pounds! He had been pimped! Battered and bruised, it was cheers all round as we saw him being wheeled towards us.. He did have to have a couple of weeks off to recuperate after that experience due to trauma.
We know that at some point in the future Donald will have to retire, likely to the front lawn, until that day long may he reign. He is the official Donut Dollies' mascot and throughout all these years has remained a loyal comrade. We salute you Donald.