Pre-Birthday Month

Yes, I’m starting to gear up for a Pre-Birthday-Month this year. HBTW didn’t look at all surprised this morning when I announced that I needed some cheering up. Usually, come March -(the actual Birthday Month) I start to enjoy finding treats and outings that we can enjoy. Springtime is always a special time of year for me, that comes simply from being a spring baby. Lovely to look forward to and experience as well.

This year, if I’m spared and well – Another of Gran’s sayings – I shall be 70. That demands some special outings. And to get me in the mood, February can be the starter for the month itself. A Pre-Birthday-Month. February is one of those months in the year that can either surprise with the unexpected gift of a few days of spring, or it can disappoint with cold winds and driving horizontal rain. So, the first treat when February comes is to be the purchase of some new music. Probably James Blunt, which you will already know if you keep up.

The trouble is that buying music is not as easy as it used to be. When I first started getting interested in music around the age of eight or nine, it was a case of being trusted to put the big, clunky 78rpm records on my parents’ record player. After a couple of years EP or Extended Play records came along – they were much smaller in physical size but were played at 45rpm.  A favourite weekend treat was to play at being a disc jockey. It was my job to take a note of requests and pull out the piece of paper with the dedication on it. . . . . . . . then set the record spinning. Much of the time I would be spinning too, round and round to the latest hits. Johnnie Ray, Bill Haley, Elvis, Johnny Matheson, Guy Mitchell. . . . . . . .

Then came the day when I could afford to buy a single for myself. I remember when I pushed to the front of the crowd in the record store and asked them to play my current favourite. Elvis Presley, I want you, I need you, I love you. . . . . .

Oh was my face red when I finally blurted out the title. And Oh how I enjoyed hearing it in the little listening booth. I went into the little cubby hole already knowing what I would buy, but loving the whole experience of hearing the music through again. At the time it seemed so risque and daring, nowadays it is simply sweet!

In time, LP’s (long-players at 33rpm) were the latest thing – consisiting of around ten or twelve songs. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep all my favourites – there were just too many, especially when I added in special classical and opera pieces, learnt from “Musical Appreciation” at school.

Nowadays, it is still possible to buy albums or singles on disc – the bright, shiney kind that isn’t as durable as we always thought. But there is the problem of whether or not to download an MP3 file and store it on computer or ipod/other storage device. That brings its own trials, because unless you remember to take a hard copy of everything it seems that your MP3 collection dies with you when you eventually come to the end time of your musical life. I think that might be something to have a rant about another day. Also, I don’t see how “they-  whoever they are” can affect MP3’s on private devices – it just means there is no opportunity to renew tracks on a deceased person’s itunes or amazon account.

For today and until February begins, I shall be trying to decide whether to buy a whole album or individual tracks . . . . . . . . .  so there is time to play lots of possibles on itunes and spotify.  Does anyone else have the same problem when it comes to too much choice? I suspect I actually buy far less music than I used to – it’s certainly fun deciding what to do.

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