A few weeks ago someone posted an old school photograph on facebook. I looked at it briefly, showed Andy my terrible haircut and went off and did something else. In the meantime the photograph of me got tagged as someone else (!) and everyone I went to school with crawled out of the woodwork to reminisce about how wonderful school was and how we should have a reunion.
I’ve found a number of things about this whole situation utterly baffling, the first being how many children my former classmates have accumulated between them! This shouldn’t be a surprise given that at least one girl in my year was pregnant before we took our GCSEs but somehow it is.
The second thing that confounded me was the amount of nostalgia for high school. I’m the first one to stand up and say I loathed almost every minute of my time there but I cannot believe that none of these people have done anything more enjoyable with their lives in the past twelve years. That bunking off school, bullying anyone who looked at you the wrong way and possessing a vastly inflated sense of your own importance for a few years over a decade is actually all some people can pinpoint as the high point of nearly three decades on this planet. I’m not claiming my life is any kind of glittering trail of achievements but everything I’m proud of I achieved once I left school…
The final thing was how irrelevant my school days now seem to me. It used to be a big deal that I hated school but as I’ve got older I realised that most people had a horrific high school experience. I literally never think about it these days, there are no repressed memories – it just has absolutely no relevance to my life.
Day 17: A Song That You Hear Often On The Radio
To be honest I don’t listen to the radio all that much these days – for which I mostly blame last.fm and Spotify. I used to be a massive Radio One fan, particularly when I was in sixth form and then university. Jo Whiley used to do a great mid-morning show which I adored back in the days when I didn’t have to work 9 -5. Sadly, Radio One appears to play exclusively terrible music and employ rubbish DJs these days so I’ve abandoned it completely. This may be a sign of old age but also reflects the fact that my music taste is a lot different these days – the whole point of Radio One is to play mainstream stuff I guess. My current listening habits tend to be dictated by whatever people have recommended to me this week rather than by what’s in the top 40. Actually, I have no idea what is in the top 40 – I think the last time I listened to a chart show was about 2001…
So my radio listening is a bit limited – when I gave in and realised I was too old and fussy for Radio One I defected to a mixture of Radio Four (primarily for morning political gossip) and Kerrang which, despite the surfeit of irksome adverts, generally plays enough rock to keep me happy. Of these two stations only one actually plays any music which narrows the field down somewhat! Kerrang can be somewhat repetitive, particularly with less modern music and therefore virtually the only AC/DC song they play is Highway to Hell. I lose count of the times I’ve got seriously funny looks from strangers at traffic lights for singing along to this song at the top of my voice – I may hear it a lot but it’s still an awesome tune!
“No stop signs
Nobody’s gonna slow me down
Like a wheel
Gonna spin it
Nobody’s gonna mess me ’round
Paid my dues
Playin’ in a rockin’ band
Look at me
I’m on my way to the Promised Land, wooh
I’m on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I’m on the highway to hell
Highway to hell”
Day 16: A Song That You Used To Love But Now Hate
Goodness, I thought after yesterday’s question things might get easier. Apparently not so much! I get bored of songs quite easily but I very rarely start hating them. I’ve resorted to a bit of statistical cheating on this one to be completely honest and have just chosen a song that I used to play so much that it’s still near the top of my iTunes most played list despite the fact that I haven’t listened to it for about two years. I don’t hate this song especially but I struggle to enjoy it anymore. This is partially because I played it to death and partially because I associate it with several periods of particular emotional trauma – nothing like loading your music collection up with repressed angst! However I have grown to rather hate the artist who sings it – when I first heard of him he was a supporting act at a gig in York in about 2003 and he was really good, better than the band we’d actually gone to see. He then became famous, his songs got completely overplayed and whenever I see him being interviewed he’s a complete prat. Also, the lyrics are a bit rubbish when you really listen to them…
So here you go – in my best 80’s DJ stylee – here’s a little bit of James Blunt with Goodbye My Lover. Try not to let it enrage you…
“Did I disappoint you or let you down? Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown? ‘Cause I saw the end before we’d begun, Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won. So I took what’s mine by eternal right. Took your soul out into the night. It may be over but it won’t stop there, I am here for you if you’d only care. You touched my heart you touched my soul. You changed my life and all my goals. And love is blind and that I knew when, My heart was blinded by you. I’ve kissed your lips and held your hand. Shared your dreams and shared your bed. I know you well, I know your smell. I’ve been addicted to you.
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me”