Last week I left work early and travelled into the City Centre to go to the cinema.
On my way there I went into a bookshop, where they were playing “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac (1988).
I picked up a copy of “The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy” and stopped at a coffee shop.
Four paragraphs into a book that is still very much a happy place for me, the coffee shop PA started playing “Into the great wide open”, by Tom Petty (1991).
Those two songs were around when I was reading H2G2 for the first time.
I really am not sure how the book arrived into our house. My brother gave me his copy, but I couldn’t tell you how he’d heard about it.
Those were dark days: information travelled on paper, via the wireless or a cathode ray tube. In other words, extremely slowly.
It was hard to find out what to read, or what to listen to, although perhaps we were safer from fads, fanboys and fanbases.
Back to the coffee shop, I was pretty sure I had gone back in time 20 years, although luckily I no longer lived in a small town, I had disposable income and my stubborness in teaching myself English had obviously paid off.
Music has always been a big part of my life. It soothes any pain in ways that no other passion or pleasure does. Whenever I am at a great gig I am always reminded that no pain is too strong and no trouble too big, as long as I can hear music. It’s a reaction that I have never had with running, sewing, swimming or any other (not family-friend) activity that I enyoy.
On Thursday my friend and I went to see State of the Union, the collaboration between Boo Hewerdine and American guitar legend Brooks Williams.
When I started to follow music again properly a few years ago, I made a point to finally go see Boo Hewerdine play live – he’s brilliant, check him out if he’s near you.
Based on this, if you told 13-year-old me that one day I would have been at a Boo Hewerdine gig the Infinite Improbability Drive wouldn’t exact have been revving in delight(*).
Even the gig being in England wouldn’t exactly help the Improbability. Nor would the fact that I was wearing a rather odd dress made by me. I might be The Wayward Middle Child, but some things were always there.
But if you told 13-year-old me that Boo Hewerdine was going to sing one of my favourite Pet Shop Boys songs, then I would have told you were insane. And I would have stood and watched The Heart Of Gold do the famous 2276709 to one, and probably some more.
And yet it happened, it was great and I extended the fun making my friend guess who the song was originally from. He failed. The 1980s are the only weak point of his otherwise astounding musical knowledge.
There is no shortage of improbability in my life, and it’s mostly a happy journey, but this one leap was an absolute delight.
(*) Yes, I know The Heart Of Gold is not a car!