10 August 2012

The past, and wallowing in it

In these days of chip-and-PIN – or, if you're really down with the kids, contactless payment – the recent past seems a quaint place.

While having a clearout in my office this afternoon, I stumbled across some old credit-card payment slips from over 20 years ago in a box in the corner. (Yeah, I know, hoarder. They're heading for the shredder now.) Most were stapled to the relevant statement, but half a dozen or so had come loose and were wafting around aimlessly. It made me smile to see these artifacts, handwritten and hand-kerchunk-kerchunked in imprint machines back in the day. Five years before I got online. Nine years before I got a mobile. Only the year after I bought my first CD player.

And then I saw this one.

A long-defunct record shop in Dorset. And the date. I immediately realised what the CD was. Hats by the Blue Nile. Back in 89, I'd read gushing reviews of this in the music papers, although I hadn't heard any of their work. So I asked the shop owner to play a bit. Two minutes into track one, "Over the Hillside", I was sold.

It's still one of my top 3 albums.