And You May Find Yourself…

“And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?”

(Brian Eno / Christopher Frantz / David Byrne / Jerry Harrison / Tina Weymouth)

“This is deadly !”, I thought, ”Lunchtime on Thursday and the blog is written already.” It was only as I was double checking the name of the rollercoaster in Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach in 1977 that it hit me, I’d written about that exotic experience before. Seven or eight years ago.

“What was it about ?” I hear you ask ,,.

Well , let’s just say it involved too much Irn-Bru and left me with a life long aversion to anything that I have no control over that propels me in the wrong direction and , or, turns me upside down…and Irn-Bru, obviously.

So I found myself thinking of something else to say….

I thought of writing about the current trend and dreadful mistake bands are making in offering their new albums on cassette tape. Dear God in Her heaven, why in the name of…You, I guess, would anyone think it a good idea to bring back cassette tapes ? Vinyl , I get. Vinyl is cool. The albums are big, you have a great space to make art. I love vinyl. But cassette tapes ? They only made sense for their portability years ago. They make no sense now. The hours wasted trying to untangle miles of tape that had got caught in the cassette heads. The use of pencils to try and wind them back. Breaking the tabs on your blank ones after you’d tried to record the Top 40 from 2FM on a Sunday without catching any of the DJ’s spiel…and then your brothers putting chewed up paper into the broken tab compartment so they could record some nonsense over your prized Top 40 recording….

And then I found myself thinking that a rant against cassette tapes was a very niche market segment…even for me.

So then I thought about the future.

I thought that I’ve been very fortunate in my life that I’ve only had a couple of brief employments that were terrible. One very early experience was ‘managing’ three mushroom houses. This involved carrying heavy things that mushrooms would grow out of, putting heavy things that mushrooms would grow out of in rows and then three weeks later taking them away again. There was some mushroom picking in between, but that was someone else’s job. When the heavy things that mushrooms had grown out of had been removed the mushroom house had to be cleaned. This involved washing the floor with diluted formaldehyde. On what proved to be my last day in the mushroom industry, I was ably assisted by Barry, the mushroom house owner’s son. I took my bucket of diluted formaldehyde to the bottom of the mushroom house and started washing the floor. Barry started at the top of the house with what turned out to be a bucket of pure formaldehyde. I looked up after a while to see that he was gone and then started to struggle for breath. I tried to run for the double doors at the top of the house, fell to my knees about 10 metres short and crawled on my hands and knees the rest of the way.

Oddly , unlike the Irn-Bru, I still love mushrooms.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to parts of the world through work that I’d never have even thought of visiting if it hadn’t been for work, Wellingborough, Stonehouse, Stow on the Wold, Porto, Dusseldorf, Mainburg, Lille, Ghent, Zagreb, Bozeman, Reykjavik, and I once stood in the Congress Hotel in Tucson, where Dillinger was shot, and witnessed the mesmerising glory of  the annual Tucson Roller Derby awards. Two awards I remember were “Most Broken Bones – Received” and “Most Broken Bones-Administered”.

There were difficult, stressful, quite frankly life threatening times too, but all in all I’ve had an easier run at this work malarkey than most.  

What brought this to mind were a number of things, the current pandemic, the impact it will have on our work, livelihoods and lifestyles and the future for our kids. What will their lives ,and work lives in particular, be like?
They will be different than ours.

Quality of life, meaning, purpose, community, they will all become more important. They are becoming more and more important for old fogeys like me, so I can only imagine/hope that their importance will increase exponentially over the next few years.

I think life will become more ‘local’. I don’t mean insular, thankfully our communities are much more wonderful and diverse than when I was a child, I mean the importance of where we are and what we do will become more important to ourselves. Perhaps ‘place’ is a better word for it. We’ll have more of a sense of ‘place’.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, I look forward to it.

Love is the main thing.

That’s where I find myself this Friday morning.

Thinking love is the main thing.

Got there in the end.


P.S. This is my favourite song at the moment , The Wave Pictures’ ‘I Love You Like A Madman’, especially for these lyrics :

“I’ll buy you bras instead of pickled eggs
Chocolate instead of chutney
Good red wine instead of bad red wine
Next time I remember your birthday”

Author: paul

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