Friday, September 15, 2006
Baby, Now That I've Found You
Some people travel for 6 months through the Amazon rain forest, or across the slopes of the Himalayas to find themselves. I hopped on a train to Edinburgh. Well, you don't like to make a fuss, do you? And how delightful Edinburgh was. Lots of nice people, lovely cakes (cake was a big feature of the break), pleasant weather (apart from the rain) and soothing scenery. I hung out with my mate Steve, drank in smokeless pubs and did lots of shopping, which is always a refreshing experience.
And being the music junkie I am, I went to record shops. Exciting, exotic record shops I had never been to before. This might seem a little strange to normal people. Indeed, one of Steve's flatmates asked me, with a mixture of sarcasm and bewilderment, "Aren't there any record shops in London?!" This is the question of someone who doesn't, and probably never will, understand. The collector gets stuck in a rut in his home environment, just like everyone else does. But in a new world, things become clear. The scales fell from my eyes, and I realised what I needed. Londonlife had diluted my passions, weakened my resolve, sunbleached my soul. I started flipping through vinyl like a man possessed.
I think everyone has a task they can lose themselves in for hours. An apparently mundane undertaking to the outsider that is something close to godliness for the person lost within it. Needlework for my Mum, gardening for my Dad, so it is with me and record shopping. I was in the zone: I picked up records that people had been raving to me about (Sufjan Stevens and Slint), things that I'd been meaning to get for ages (Teenage Fanclub, Stereolab and Marvin Gaye) and indulged in some rare treats from old friends (The White Stripes, Boards Of Canada and Godspeed You Black Emperor!) After 6 tiring months, of work stress, woman trouble and the wearying grind of modern life, I feel like I've bought my soul back.
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