Well, Wovember is nearly over and I’m not yet casting off my November jumper. I’m in the throes of a big change in my life and have lost out on valued knitting time in the process. It’s making headway, though, and I think I’ll be able to blog about it in a couple of days… No promises!
Until then, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how time passes just so fast now compared to my vivid memories of being a child and every day being soooo lonnnng; watching the hour hands slowly creeping around clocks on classroom walls, and the neverending evenings (although my bedtime was always surprisingly early). Maybe it’s the change of the seasons? I know for sure that this time of year makes me lethargic and nostalgic all at the same time. The flip-flopping of long days and short nights into short days and long nights slows me down and winds me back.
I’ve realised there’s something about wool, too, as I sort through my precious stash and heritage knitting books. I’ve been a fan of traditional knitting since I picked up the sticks 5 years ago, and both my library and stash reflect my adoration of Northern European folk knitting. Somehow that feels like just the right resonance for wool, with its timelessness and always-having-been-there-ness. And I feel completely at home immersed in this essential quality of it – I knit things, with yarn bought decades before my birth, which will hopefully out-survive me. And so wool bookends my life and those of people who have lived before me, truly a thread of time.
So then I saw this on the Guardian and it just dovetailed so nicely with all this world-weariness I was feeling on the subject of time. We have a lot of nineties pop love in this home (Blur and Radiohead are perennial favourites, never to be usurped) and I for one was a mixtape teen with a vengeance, as my long-suffering parents will testify! (I know they read this, and will be nodding their heads…) This micro play really captures the essence of making mixtapes: the awkward cellophane wrappers C-90 tapes came in, the cunning timing and clunky combinations of button presses, and the careful crafting of the inlays and tracklistings. When my friends finally moved onto CDs, they were enticed by the enhanced surface area for artwork, but the necessity of using computers to burn the CDs soon led to the temptation to shortcut with word-processed tracklistings (made worse when iTunes offered to do it for you!). All the art was lost.
But any old mixtape friends who might be reading this, do not fear! Although my tapes are long gone, I still keep your tracklistings:
• Steve’s Kings of Aerosol • Jan’s Internationale Superhits • Kathy’s twee compilations • Sam’s 26 Reasons – and his anachronistic word-processed tracklisting for a taped compilation Home Taping Is Killing Music • Gareth’s undeniably-hasty and crap listing for 90 Minute Party People • Jamie’s similarly underwhelming effort for a mixtape he couldn’t even be arsed to name
… Admittedly at this point I run out of actual crafted tracklistings and just have a pile of those standard TDK inlay cards or crappy pieces of paper with hastily scrawled track info, but the named and shamed mixtapes are cherished artifacts of my music biography – one shared by an entire generation of music fans, but sadly consigned to the history hard drives of many more to come.
And so time passes, and changes. If we’re lucky we might change with it, although not so much that we can’t recognise our former selves.
Sorry for all the navel-gazing. I promise that’s it for this week…