I’ve got a room full of records, and thought I kept them in alphabetical order so I can find the one I want, but apparently it means I’ve got a problem with my arse. — Mark Steel
For the last 10 years I have been separated from my record collection, which has been lying dormant in my parents’ house, awaiting some love. We had neither the room to house them nor the means to play them until now, but today everything came together. I spent the afternoon in “my office” (a little room next to the upstairs bathroom) with an air conditioner, my records in random order, and a knackered SL1200 turntable. By the early evening I had all my records in the cupboard, sorted in fuzzy-strict alphabetical order, and a fully working, beautiful, turntable. A few little adjustments to the tonearm was all it took to get the turntable working perfectly. It’s plugged into “teapot”; our main file-server, telephone exchange, music streamer, and generic upstairs computer. Having all of the old music that formed such a significant part of my youth to hand, and easily playable, is quite a lovely feeling. It’s like being reunited with a long-lost part of the family.
This all sounds objectionably cosy and irritating I’m sure…but that’s the way life is at the moment…and I can’t say I mind. Every piece of shit news we hear on the radio that underlines what a bunch of pig-ignorant morons our fellow countrymen are is trumped by news from the UK: 42 days without charge ? You’re all mental! Makes the Patriot Act look almost sane. Almost. OK, no it doesn’t, but you should all be ashamed of yourselves for letting Brown get away with that.
Yesterday my neighbour, Tim, called round mid-afternoon because he was bored stripping the wallpaper from his walls. Michele had gone out shopping and I was watching Videodrome. Of course, he arrived just as Debbie Harry and James Woods were having their first sex scene and naturally assumed I was taking advantage of the “baywatch window”… despite having all three parrots out in the room. Using his devious powers of persuasion he convinced me into coming outside for a beer and a tea-cigar [sorry – I know. But the odd cigar is surprisingly life affirming]. The fact that Michele hates cigars and the fact that he knew that, and the fact he knew she had gone out, combined, would give entirely the wrong impression. We spent a very pleasant hour on the front step talking bollocks and it dawned on me that I was slowly turning into Hank from King of the Hill. But, that’s not so bad is it ? Hmm.