The playlist that time forgot

The playlist that time forgot

Maybe it’s that the world is so fucked up right now, and seemingly teetering on the brink of nuclear war (Donald Trump’s preference to being impeached over his ties to Russia), but I’ve been spending a lot of time wrapped in a warm, comforting blanket of nostalgia recently.

It all started when I heard Madonna’s ‘Borderline on the radio, which instantly triggered a memory of a school coach trip to Wales in 1986. Midway through the four hour journey from Watford to Criccieth, a girl I fancied suddenly reached over my seat, placed her Walkman headphones over my head, and pressed ‘play’, saying: “This is what you do to me.”

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Memories

Memories

My grandma died a couple of weeks ago. She’d just turned 91, was in failing health, and died peacefully in a nursing home. There were no frenzied attempts at resuscitation, with medical professionals swarming around her bed to a discordant soundtrack of blips and bleeps from an array of lifesaving equipment. She just ate some porridge for breakfast, returned to her room, then slipped away.

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A dispatch from my safe space

A dispatch from my safe space

I hate all this bollocks about ‘safe spaces’, as if the very notion of having somewhere you can go to be content and happy, largely insulated from the hate, fear and bullshit of the world, is somehow indicative of weakness or timidity, or an unwillingness to engage. “Get back to your safe space, snowflake!” seems to be the insult du jour on social media at the moment – often, but not exclusively, used by emboldened right-wingers (let’s call them ‘red caps‘) who just love snappy slogans (Take back control! MAGA!). However, it completely loses its impact if, like me, you think of it merely as a kind-hearted suggestion. “Get back to my safe space? Thanks, I will! It’s cosy there and we have Hobnobs.”

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Monty Don’s Gardens of the Illuminati

Monty Don’s Gardens of the Illuminati

I blame Jon Ronson. There I was, a bored 26-year-old on a Sunday evening in late April 2001, lamenting the fact that TV was typically shit (before I truly appreciated Countryfile and The Antiques Roadshow), when I half-arsedly flicked to Channel 4 to watch something called The Secret Rulers of the World.

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I hate the 21st century

I hate the 21st century

One minute you’re a massive wanker on a Cairo-bound EgyptAir flight, and the next, you’re a globally ‘famous’ massive wanker after having your photo taken with a hijacker wearing a suicide belt, grinning beatifically for the camera like the embalmed corpse of a man who’d died suddenly only a few pleasurable seconds into his very first blowjob.

This is viral fame in the 21st century.
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The new normal

The new normal

Last Friday felt a bit like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where everyone appeared to look outwardly normal but you knew that some of the people you were brushing shoulders with had voted to leave the EU. It was strangely disconcerting.

Still, now the Brexiteers have “taken their country back” – simultaneously robbing it from those of us in the Remain camp – I simply can’t wait to find out how they’re going to put the Great back into Great Britain. It’s a line I’ve heard uttered repeatedly over the last few days but no one seems to know what that actually means, or how it’s to be achieved. And from the look of Johnson and Gove, when they took to the podium to deliver their victory speeches last Friday, it looked like they had no clue either. About anything.

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I worry…a lot

I worry…a lot

I worry. I worry about lots of things. Only a couple of weeks ago, I cheerfully said “white rabbit!” to welcome in the new month, before blowing off loudly in the confines of my shower. I then started to overthink the consequences of my actions, speculating that the black squares of misery and misfortune on the Gods’ chess board might be reserved solely for the flatulent and disrespectful. Is that bad luck, I thought? Has my farty observance of this superstitious ritual now cursed November? Should I apologise and repeat the saying again…or will my repeating it only serve to amplify the bad luck that will likely befall me this month?

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