Attic Finds

Part One in a (very) occasional series on objects I find as I carry out the Herculean task of clearing out the attic…

It’s like a furnace up in the loft space today. The hottest day of the year so far and I decided to enter that seldom-explored territory of tarry dust and precarious joists, where forgotten possessions glare balefully from their webs of neglect.

Some cry out to be rescued, though, and vinyl albums perhaps have more reason than most. Consigned to the spidery attic of history as soon as technology tired of them, do they dream of being played again? Do they long to spin for one last time, one final dance on the turntable of time?

Here are three. Donovan, Family, Pentangle and Tchaikovsky.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Pentangle cover seems (to me anyway), to have aged the least, with its plain, uncluttered design and bold colour.ย Family seem to have fared the worst in terms of their look, but listen to the music: it’s definitely worth it! Donovan is just Donovan – a 60s classic – and that’s meant as a compliment.

However, the show-stopper has to be theย fourth: a ‘Swan Lake’ album cover. Startlingly pink, with yellow lettering, and a haughty ballerina. Pure 60s, I thought, until I looked on the reverse side and saw the date: 1959. Still, I’m sure that style boundaries between decades aren’t as rigid as we might think. Or perhaps the date referred to when the sleeve notes were written.

 

I brought them downstairs, cleaned the grime off them and took them outside into the sun to photograph them. Rescued at last! So now, will they ever be played again?

More to follow, I hope.

May Day Merits

I was going to enthuse about the merits of the May Day Bank Holiday yesterday, but ran out of time. I suspect we’re now expected to call it the Early Spring Bank Holiday, but that doesn’t have quite the same air of joy about it! So why do I rate it so highly?

Firstly, not everyone shares my feelings.

“Too soon after Easter”, say some.

“Useless at this time of year”, say others.

A blessed relief and rest, I believe, especially after an early Easter and a chilly start to spring, which has involved snow and sleet over the past two or three days.

I don’t make a particular effort to go out anywhere on any Bank Holiday Monday, and this one won’t be any different. The real pleasure of a Monday off work is, for me, the way it transforms Sunday. No pressure to prepare for work on Monday morning = pure relaxation.

Long live the May Day Bank hol!

20160501_132459.jpg

Too late for the coffee share?

Well, we’re not having coffee, unfortunately, because I couldn’t get myself organised in time.

However, I did want to record a couple of things this week, mainly to follow up on some of my recent posts.

The first piece of news, if you like, is that I’ve finished ‘Night After Night’, the third Phil Rickman novel in the series I’ve been immersed in (and I do hope not the last). This time, the spotlight falls on Grayle Underhill and Cindy Mars-Lewis; the setting is a particularly unpleasant building called Knap Hall. I love the way the author builds up tension and creates an unsettling atmosphere.

In case anyone is wondering, I’ve used a one of my own photos of a gargoyle to illustrate this post, in honour (if that’s the right word) of the Winchcombe Grotesques – enough to frighten any reader!

Gargoyle

Still in a somewhat sombre vein, I’m now reading ‘Love Story, With Murders’, by Harry Bingham. More on this at a later date, possibly…

***

Just a note to confirm, more to myself than anything, that I have been wearing my Fitbit and making more of an effort to exercise. So far, so good. A slight blip though… one evening, after I’d made a special effort to go for a walk after work, it wouldn’t give me a reading. Turned out it needed a reset. which it promptly received. It then informed me I’d taken eight steps all day!

I’ve forgiven it, though, and the battle for fitness continues…

First Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee, I’d probably tell you that I’ve decided to recharge my Fitbit and give it another try.

I threw it across the room in the middle of the night a few weeks ago, when I had flu and was probably hallucinating or something. Now seems like the time to try again. Spring seems to have arrived today. The air is full of birdsong. Cowslips and forget-me-nots are blooming in the garden – and a new start seems appropriate. Change is in the air; I don’t want to ignore it.

So… I have to change too. I need to work on exercise, a healthy diet and mental relaxation. And how I spend my time in the lighter spring evenings when I come home from work.

Plugging that charger in now!