I'm sitting here at my desk with a cup of Yorkshire tea which arrived in the post last week. It seems like time has just zoomed past and landed me here on this island in this adult body. Being on the other side of the world gives so much room to grow and at the same time keeps a certain dose of nostalgia alive, giving people and places from back home an overwhelming sense of significance.
This week marks a strange milestone. Born 2 March 1950, Karen Carpenter (who died aged 32) has now been dead longer than she'd lived. Strange too, my relationship with the Carpenters' music.
Yuletide nostalgia from the BBC - Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart returns on Christmas Day with a special edition of Junior Choice. I remember this well - the only programme that would escape my parents' beeline for the off switch in the mid-70s, when shared frequencies meant accidental exposure to Radio 1.
While all the news reports are focussing on how coal literally fuelled the industrial revolution, how at one point, one million miners were working in pits, how Big Coal is now over and heavy industry all but kaput in the UK, no one is really talking about how coal mining built communities, cultures, families, memories. My memories.
Hearing the completed versions of Too Many Broken Hearts and Especially For You in particular, were moments in my professional life that I will never forget, the door was wide open and I was at the centre of this incredible moment in time. You just knew that something magical was happening. It was very exciting.
Yes, the lo-fi audio quality of the cassette is a drawback, but in in a comforting way, as we grow older and become more battered and bruised, so do our records and tapes. Our music ages with us, and this kind of personal experience, that analogue provides, is exactly what streaming giants should be afraid of.
There's something incredibly sad about hearing someone say they've never heard of Laurel & Hardy. Maybe it's because I grew up with them. They were a big part of my childhood in the 70s and they seemed to be on TV all the time back then. Even into the 80s, the BBC regularly showed the Laurel & Hardy classic shorts on BBC2.
Halloween is like a thing now. When I was a kid? It was a thing. But like a really crap thing? It was more aimed at teens that would come and knock on your door and your Mum would have to scrabble around for a Mars Bar and shove it in whatever Kwik Save bag they were holding.
You're beyond excited that Nineties fashion is 'in' again and discover there is the wardrobe of a Shoreditch hipster stashed in your loft. You knew one day you'd be glad you hung on to that satin slip dress from Snob and those Dr Marten's cherry reds.
Do you remember the Bay City Rollers, Look-In magazine and the ...
I remember watching Shocker on a VHS all-nighter with my cousin Gav. Watching the basketball-induced head explosion in Deadly Friendwith my jaw hanging open. And Scream. God, how I remember watching that, in a packed cinema absolutely fizzing with tension. Watching and wondering just how one guy could get so good at this.
Despite being yet one more Rolling Stones book in a sea of Rolling Stones books, 'Rollaresque' is definitely a one-off.
Growing up, my Dad didn't read to me at bedtime. Instead, he did something far better. He used to make up stories. Freestyle. Freestyle! And I took this completely for granted.
Looking back at all the old photos on display reminded me how simple life was back then, and just how different my own school experience is from that of my children. It's inspired me to compile a little list of things that *actually* happened at my primary school in the 1980's - that would never be allowed today, or if they were, I suspect would be severely frowned upon....
I'm a little bit sad there isn't a bit more photographic evidence of my late teens and early 20s as I was four stone lighter and often went out without a bra on without them flapping around my knees. But I am glad that no one will ever get to witness the time I was was left stood crushed in New Street Station, dumped, weeping under the departures board. Braless and thin.
Albini has a long history as a vehement critic of the music industry. His seminal 1993 essay Stereolab a gentle poke, attacks the industry's coercion of bands into believing they must sign opaque contracts at all costs