Contributor number 201 is actually dealt with on the previous page, so instead, we'll start here on Friday 16th January where nothing turns up in the post at work which which is a little disappointing as I was sort of expecting some. I also know that I probably won't get any over the weekend, but I do know that I'm meeting someone on Monday lunchtime to grab a couple then.
But later today I meet my friend Roger for a coffee, and he asks if he can be number 500!
I explain that people have already started to 'book' the last few slots, and that numbers 499 and 500 have already gone, so Roger agrees to be number 498 instead. Anyone else want to book one of the last 'slots'?
I wasn't convinced I'd get any over the weekend, but come Saturday 17th January, and I find that I have loads of emails, which contain three more contributions which people have PayPal'd me.
Firstly is Kristina Anderson (202) who's in Hawaii, and says "If everyone had an iPod, the world would be a better place!". She's an original first generation 5Gb owner. Thank you Kris, and she provides a photo of herself as well. Her nominated song is "Aye aye aye" by Santana.
Amy Matthes (203) is next, and she's from a great named place - Chilliwack in British Columbia in Canada.
She only had $0.67 left in her PayPal account, which is slightly short of the 50p equivalent of £0.90, but I'm happy to accept it - thank you very much Amy.
Finally there's one from John Innes (204) from Balham here in south London, who nominates the song "Hocus Pocus" by the band "Focus" ! "It's a superb title for a song" says John, and he also wants me to give a plug to the website www.rockingvicar.com which is an email newsletter from the Word and Sight & Sound magazine.
Thanks John, oh - and he also sends me a photo of himself, I think that's pushchair/buggy in the background as he says that his daughter Martha is in it! "Can I have the song 'Martha' by Tom Waits as well?" asks John - only if you send in another 50p on behalf of her John! :-)
And welcome to Sunday 18th January where I get another friendly contribution in my inbox when I fire up my email this morning. John DiBello (205) is in Brooklyn, New York, and simply says "50p for an iPod", and unfortunately uses an email address that I can't reply to. So thank you John, if you're reading this now.
Later that day I go round for dinner at contributors Chris (#91) and Julia's (#92) place where they've also got a couple of friends round.
I've only been there a few minutes when I'm asked "So what have you been up to recently then?", and well, you know how it is, the conversation turned to 50p collecting and Lieutenant Colonels in the US Army, you know, like you do.
So Helen Quigley (206) and Will Jackson (207) got to hear the whole story, and - what do you know! I just happen to have my digital camera on me as well - and they very nicely under no duress whatsoever (Do I get a point for using the word 'Duress' Chris?) decide to contribute which is lovely of them.
They also nominate tunes - Will picks Kirsty MacColl "Days", and Helen choses Sarah MacLachlan's "Building a mystery".
And then, just to be silly, Julia (#92) decides that one of her cats "Fourpaws" should contribute too, as long as I put a link up here to 'Rate my kitten' (I swear that 'Rate my pussy' would be funnier, but she doesn't seem to think so..) which I will gladly do just as soon as you give me the link Julia!
Oh and Fourpaws (208) obviously has to 'nominate' a song as well of course, so after we come up with all the typical suggestions (e.g - Anything by Cat Stevens, Tom Jones' "What's new pussycat", The Cure "Love Cats", or even anything by Atomic Kitten ), Julia decides to have none of it and chooses a sensible song in the form of The Beatles and "Blackbirds" instead. Thank you Fourpaws
It's the start of a new week, it's Monday 19th January and I have a quick check of my inbox this morning before I leave for work to find that Vineet Singh (209) has Paypal'd me $1 USD - thank you Vineet!
He says that he wanted an iPod too, but then he discovered the Neuros MP3 player instead which he thinks is better. I check it out at the website he gives me: www.neurosaudio.com that he gives me, and - oh dear! I have to say it DOES look really good! Could I be tempted away from the iPod ... ?
You know what'll happen. I'll probaby end up slogging away on this mad project to get a nice new 3rd gen iPod, and the next month, they'll probably bring out a new model with built in radio, FM transmitter and recording functionality built in!
Anyway, I get to work, and find a letter and coin from Nelis van Nahuijs (210) - except the coin isn't a 50p, it's a 1 Euro! I've been expecting it though, as it's taken about two weeks from him posting it for it to turn up and Nelis emailed me the other day anxiously asking if it had turned up yet. Nelis - it has now!
1 Euro is worth 64p today, so I'm a few pennies richer than 50p, and I proceed to swap the coin with contributor Mark (#31) who's going to Europe next week and thus can spend it. Cheers mate, and thank you very much Nelis as well!
At lunchtime, I nip out for a pre-arranged meeting that I planned last week to collect two more 50p's.
Contributor Nicki's (#35) sister Jacqui Clark (211) had been quite offended when she heard about my 'quest', because I hadn't asked her to contribute! "I can't believe you haven't asked me yet Geoff!" she wrote in an email to me the other week.
So I made a special effort to meet up with her below the towering Simmons & Simmons building (in the background) where she works in the city, and she gave me 50p from herself, and another on behalf of her nice husband Mark Clark (212) as well.
Thank you guys! They're both yet to nominate tunes, although Jacqui was thinking about suggesting John Cage's 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. Clever!
It's Tuesday 20th January and I discover (Ok, so I knew it was going to happen), that there's an article about me and the whole 50p thing, and a picture of Rick (#175) on the front page of our in-house staff magazine! Excellent!
Circulation? Over 20,000 people ... so that should get a few more people interested, right?
Well in fact, by lunchtime only one person has been in touch, so thanks to Clare Prochazka (213) who pops in personally to see me, poses for a photo which was nice of her and nominates the tune "God is a DJ" by Faithless, which I'm more than happy with as it's one of my own favourites! Cheers Clare.
Then I go up to our staff canteen, where my old boss's boss Malcolm Ireland (214) sees me, and with a big grin on his face, he walks up to my and donates 50p. Thanks Malcolm! He wasn't keen on having his photo taken, and he says he'll think about choosing a song as well.
Later that afternoon I get an email off of Mathew Caswell (215) in the office next door to me. He says (and I quote) "Go on then you mad bastard, just read your site ... 50p on my desk but only if you hop through the office with your fingers in your ears.".
Hmm ... I can do that ! So I hopped next door, fingers in ears, took the photo and came back 50p richer - thanks Matt! But not before he told me that "I think you asked me before but I was a bit drunk and told you to bugger off didn't I?", yup .. I think you did mate!
Oh, and he nominated 'Fools Gold' by the Stone Roses as well. Nice one.
Wednesday 21st January brings quite a few emails and enquiries of what i'm doing, etc.. and some people who want my real address to send 50p's to, but nothing in terms of hard cash itself!
Until I get home that is, and find an email from contributor Kris (#202) who's PayPal'd me a further $2, but this time it's on behalf of her twin sons!
They're both eight years old, and so Christopher Jones (216) and Kyle Jones (217) help bump up my total by one more pound.
They've also got song nominations for me as well. Kyle's is "Rio" by Duran Duran (A 1980's pop-classic fave of mine!), and Christopher's is "Matthew & Son" by Cat Stevens. Consider them nominated guys - and thanks again, to you and your mum!
Kris also tells me that they love their moms iPod, and she lets them have a go of hers only when they've done their chores for the day - so you see, it's an MP3 player and a way of disciplining your child - a multi functional gadget or what!
On Thursday 22nd there was disappointingly nothing in the mail as I was expecting, but did get chatting to colleague Marios Louca, in the office next door who has conceded that he'll contribute in the 'latter stages'. So I pressed him on that and wore him down until he agreed to be one the the last few, and his booked his 'slot' at position 497.
This evening I went round to contributor Steven's (#2) house, where we recorded our own spoof version of the 50 Cent song "In da club", we're calling it "50 pence - iN da Pod" and it's now available in the download area.
I should warn you that's it's TOTALLY terrible and not the best thing in the world I've ever recorded - but it's meant to be like that. It's meant to be funny. It's meant to make you cringe. It's NOT to be taken seriously! Okay?
This is me (left) with my face obscured recording the lyrics - holding my laptop upon which I'd typed them up, and yes for some reason that is a Dilbert stuffed doll hanging from the microphone stand! (Don't ask)
We've recorded about a one minutes worth of original material, but will probably mix it into a two minute tune when done. Get it from the new download area.
Last day of the week then, Friday 23rd January starts with a physical 50p piece in the mail from Adam Hart (218) - he's a friend of contributor Alex (#192) and is from Newcastle too, although he's currently studying at Cambridge. He chooses "No surprises" by Radiohead as his nominated song. Thanks you Adam!
Later that evening after work, I'm down the bar with some people from work. Get chatting to colleague Steve Hughes, who wants to be number 500. I tell him that the last few 'slots' are already being booked by people, and that the next available one is 496. "What about 501?", he asks. "Er... but by then I'll have the money, and I won't need your contribution" I tell him.
"Exactly!" he replies "So you'll then have an extra 50 pence that you'll need to find something to do with" he says. Ok Steve! If that's what you want .. it looks like I'm going to have an extra 50 pence donated, to take me to 501 !
Still, I do actually manage to get a couple of contributors that I wasn't expecting. So hello and big thanks to Gavin Meerwald (219) who I think had initially been holding out but has been eventually swayed by the whole silliness of the affair. Oh, and he nominates Neneh Cherry's "Manchild" as his song. Cheers Gav.
Also present and getting caught up in the 'emotion' of it all (personally, I just think it's because she had a glass of wine inside her) was Vanessa Daley (220) who wasn't that fussed about nominating a song, and even less so wanted to have her photo taken! But I managed to talk her into a picture of her hand placing the 50p into mine... thank-you Vanessa! And that completes Friday.
A strange thing happens to me today - Saturday 24th January. I get my normal bank statement through the post and fire up my PC to check my balance when I realise that I haven't checked my online savings account for a couple of months.
This is where I've been paying in cheques etc ... where people have sent me those instead of a physical fifty pence piece. Now, ok the money that is in there isn't just the small amount that I've received in cheques, but I realise that it's a little higher than it would have been - and the last three months that I've been doing this I've been paid interest every month on my account .. and guess how much it is?
Well, no it's not exactly 50p, it's a little higher - 56p!! But I'm counting that as a contribution, and the contributor I will put down as being my bank - Abbey So if you're an Abbey (221) employee, or better still the manager of my local branch, and you're reading this now, then please email me with a song nomination - thanks!
Later that night, I catch up with some friends for dinner, who've also invited round one of my old school mates that I haven't see for ages, so it's nice to see Jon Mitcham (222) again and explain to him what this is all about.
Although Jon does own a CD player, we take the mickey out of him a bit because for about the last five years he's been saying that he's going to buy a computer and 'get with' the whole 21st century and gadgets, and MP3 players such as the iPod, but he still hasn't. He's such a nice man though, he joins in with the silliness by making his nominated tune T Rex's "20th Century boy" - as he said himself "I'm still stuck in the 20th century aren't I?". Oh bless. And cheers for your 50p mate.
Sunday 25th January brings me three more 50p's which is nice because I'd forgotten that I was 'due' a couple of the ones that I'd got.
Contributor Jono (#186) and his wife dropped in and I got one through him from Rupert Goodwins (223) who was the man that wrote the ZDnet article about me, and then one from Jono's wife who wanted no picture of herself to be taken, and for her to remain anonymous.
So thanks to KM (224) for that one - who is actually a first-generation iPod owner, and whilst she was as it, she also gave me one (a 50p that is) on behalf of her brother (225) who she insisted should also remain as just a pair of initials, so thanks to you MM if you're reading this now!
And that takes me to 225 and to the end of this page ...
Contributors 201 to 225