November 28th, 2003


Friday, not much else really

On Friday morning, they replay Sunday's edition of Desert Island Discs. I'm glad I remembered it was a repeat as I was at first astonished that two guests had decided to take The Darkness' I Believe in Love with them. Catchy enough, but not a record for the rest of your life. It's one of those programs that plays in the background without the need to actively listen.

It annoys me sometimes that they don't actually play anymore than a minute and a half or so of any record. So if someone has chosen Sister Ray, an interesting choice for a life of solitude, you don't even get started really. This is one of these radio programs that I have been hearing since the birth of consciousness. There aren't many others left on Radio 4: Just A Minute, The Shipping Forecast, err, The Archers, The concept, conjured up by Roy Plumley back in 1942, is that you are cast away on a desert island (assume the island has enough coconuts and shellfish to keep you alive). You get to choose eight records and, aside from the free gift of The Complete Works of Shakespeare and The Holy Bible, you can choose your own additional book and a luxury. I'm not sure if the bible can be exchanged for The Torah, Koran, etc. I assume so these days, but you can't exchange it for a non-Book book... Actually, that link is a bit off in a way, as 'people of the book' for me is much more of an inclusive Islamic phrase concerning a shared inheritance rather than a specifically Jewish one. There's some beautiful things there though, to be sure.

As I've mentioned, I was impressed by Nigella Lawson's luxury (liquid temazepam) but choosing a jukebox really isn't playing the game. A few months back, someone went for an iPod. Well, the battery would be dead in six hours anyway, so you'd regret that one soon enough. There must be uses for a dead iPod, but the only one I can think of is wistfully disguising it as a packet of fags or signalling airplanes with the shiny metal backplate. While I'm on the subject, I do find those current iPod adverts sort of annoying. I love mine, but a long and tangly white flex is not one of its advantages. Do people really dance around with them on? I did find myself drawling out 'It's no hanging matter, it's no capital crime' in the dark streets of Acton as I made my way to Thanksgiving yesterday. Anyway, currently, my luxury is an oud and the book is, oh, I don't know, something on survival skills I would imagine.

Thanksgiving was nice, but for my money you don't really get a proper festive effect unless you're all sat down at the same table. And it helps if you're not having to watch Liverpool vs Bucharest in the background too. The food was good and I had a pleasant journey back with Owenanbrady, who are divisible - One half, Irish, had been drinking since lunchtime and was having memory problems, but seemed very likeable. The other half was sober, but with a broken wrist and equally pleasant. We ended up talking about casualty and those old foreign body in arse stories came out easily enough; unlike the foreign bodies. Note to self, ensure that if you do talk about these things on public transport, make sure you change the subject five minutes before you part so your last words aren't "So she came in with the record player strapped to her... oh, you're getting off?".

I must be getting old, I had to explain the concept of the long spindle that you could stack '45s onto.
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