The romance of records


Daughter one is still celebrating her 17th birthday and is mighty impressed by one of her presents – a second-hand record player that drops down records automatically like in the old days. “Can you actually put more than one record in the drop-down thing?” she asked, gasping at the sheer wonder of being able to stack them all up. “Wow,” she said. Yes, technology was really something in the 80s.

And if something didn’t work, you could just change the needle or the screw or whatever and it cost you a couple of quid and it was good as new. You didn’t have to buy a whole new record player. Daughter one has fallen in love with albums. She’s got a stack of cool ones from my brother and a smattering of really uncool ones from me [Boney M Nightflight to Venus…]

Vinyl is back big time with her age group. Meanwhile, her entire Christmas list is made up of second-hand books. Only son, meanwhile, is more of a digital native. He did a powerpoint presentation for Santa. Nevertheless, one of the main things on his list was a plant.

School is out and finished with parties [primary school] and one small nod to the festive season from the secondary school – a concert by the teachers which was dissected in minute detail on the journey home from school. It’s a perilous business being a teacher. I know about every one of their foibles, from comb-overs to fashion choices and embarrassing dance moves. I dread to think what they say about their parents [I am awaiting in trepidation daughter two’s Christmas video of a day in the life of her mother].

Only son had a bad day on the second last day of term. He came out last with his head hanging low and wanted to be carried to the car, burrowed inside my coat. It emerged that he had “accidentally” called someone, indeed one of the smallest people in his class, a “big bum”. “It just came out accidentally. I couldn’t stop it, mum. And I am so ashamed and now everyone hates me.” Only son is very down on himself lately. He accidentally hit his sister the other day and drew a picture of himself with an arrow to a giant poo. I have tried to reassure him that, though it is not wise to call people a big bum, they will probably forget it in due course and get on with playing with him again. Indeed by the next day it was all forgotten in the excitement of chocolates and end of term-ness.

So far none of the team have succumbed to a Christmas bug, perhaps one of the main good points of working from home. There’s just the small matter of getting some food in. The Tesco deliveries are all booked up till January as if we are entering a state of siege rather than a couple of bank holidays so we are going to have to brave Armageddon Friday or whatever they have decided to name it, now that all the main shopping days leading up to Christmas have a special name. It is as if we didn’t have to do last minute shops for Christmas food back in the day when the Friday before Christmas was just known as humble old Friday. There seems to be a need to brand and hype everything all the time these days. It’s slightly exhausting. Time to switch off, regather forces and spend a few days in small quiet letters rather than capitals and exclamation marks, listening to a good LP on the record player.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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