Today’s mid-week whoo is brought to you by my all-time favourite band Red Hot Chili Peppers with Cabron
Even if the Chilis end up going the way of the Rolling Stones and being like your granddad dancing at a disco, I’ll still always love them. Can’t believe this great album is now 12 years old! That is quite obscene. It was my CD of choice for a long summer of drives over to Clitheroe where I was working; it was a good 50-minute drive from my house up to work and I must have listened to this album hundreds of times. Music these days is so portable. In the past, you had to commit yourself to ten or so CDs in your car, or even cassette tapes. When I took a long train trip through France in 1995, I had 8 albums with me, taped back-to-back on 4 C90 cassette tapes. They remind me of that time so much. I bought the albums on CD too, but often would make the tapes for my car. It saved on wear and tear.
But you got to know albums and sequences and track listings so much better than today’s random days for the post-MTV generation, who can’t listen to a full album all the way through anymore. James’ Laid is THE album of 1995 for me – I listened to it on the ferry from St Malo on repeat and it just defines that time for me. Likewise the Trainspotting soundtrack for 1996. I love those albums that define a time. This week I am revisiting my CD collection from 2002-3 and having a fine time doing it. The Coral, Turin Brakes, Is this it? Air and Starsailor. The early millennium was very mellow.
So what is bringing me joy this week?
Parcels from England. Though I feel a bit like a refugee. They are filled with cheap seeds and bulbs (compared to France anyway!) tea bags, coffee, bad chocolate (likewise… bad being a question of opinion!) and newspaper cuttings. Sometimes I feel like I am living in a very different country rather than one that is no further away from me than Edinburgh is from London. I love those parcels when they contain whimsical little treasures and I love them even more when they bring memories from the past. This last parcel was filled with my extremely average school reports and a whole load of pictures of small me.
Garden elves. Those who come round and tidy up your garden and leave an orderly, neat pile of rubbish as well as a mown lawn. Even if they make you feel a bit ashamed that the weather has kept you inside for so very long. Now much of my grass is back at a normal length after April’s humidity and heat and rain sent the grass into a frenzy of growing. I can even see the bottom of my garden again. Even my plant pots are tidy. My hoses are wound up. My lawnmowers are lined up (the kind-of broken one and the not-so broken one) and my tools are all neat.
Dog lovers everywhere. Two dogs I had been advertising have been taken for adoption this week. I only hope they work out. People expect instant perfection. Sometimes they get it and the dog fits in like a missing jigsaw piece. Sometimes it takes a little while. Tilly was a pain when I first got her. She needed re-house-training and would happily pee inside if it was wet outside. She ferreted round all night if I left her out. She was a bin-dipping table-climbing obsessive monkey. Now she is so close to me that you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between us. She still pees on the floor from time to time. She is the reason the dogs sleep in my room at night – since she needs to be enclosed at night or she roots. The other reason is that she might smell bad, but feeling her little warm body next to me in the night is just about the nicest thing ever. Hearing her snore is hugely reassuring. I love stopping to chat with random friends in supermarkets and having a ten-minute conversation about our animals.