I once declared that "buying lots of records is like masturbating in public". I don't think anyone in the room understood what I was trying to say, and they didn't press me to explain my strange metaphor, which was probably just as well, as I'm still not totally sure what I was talking about. That was several years ago, during the zenith of my student record buying frenzy, but last Saturday, as I returned to my favourite record stores in my old uni stomping ground of Nottingham, the feeling returned once again. Things have changed in the last two years though, and now I can afford to buy a few records a month without feeling too guilty. So since there was little new material that appealed to me, I tried to tie-up the loose ends of 1998 and bought:

 

Air - Moon Safari
Arab Strap - Afternoon Soaps
Audience - I Know Enough
Beck - Mutations
Belle & Sebastian - This Is Just A Modern Rock Song
Cha Cha Cohen - Freon Shortwave / Street Soup
Divine Comedy - Fin De Siecle
PJ Harvey - Is This Desire?
Jack - Steamin'
Lodger - A Walk In The Park
Magoo - Swiss Border Escape
Magoo - Holy Smoke
Magoo - Vote the Pacifist Ticket Today
Placebo - Without You I'm Nothing
Portishead - Roseland NYC Live

 

The evening was spent drinking and eating in an old church which has been converted into a damned excellent pub. I'd forgotten how much fun going out in Nottingham is, I should try to return more often. The other clientele were pretty gorgeous - I never really believed all those "stats" about Nottingham having the cutest women in the country (and lots them), but returning after 18 months absence highlighted it all.

The fun wasn't even spoiled by a fire alarm going off, which everybody ignored until 10 minutes lter when the fire brigade turned up. A few of us went on to the Cookie Club, where I danced badly and wailed along to The Smiths, which must've looked a little incongrous given that I was in the seated area rather than on the dancefloor. But hell, I had fun, and drank far too much. They played The Pixies, and all the other top tunes that caused my ears to ring most Wednesday nights during my second year. It all seemed to fly by, and we were in the cab back far too soon.

Back to a student house, still active at 3am, with the inhabitants struggling through past exam papers - OK, so some aspects of the lifestyle I don't miss too badly.

Sunday, inevitably, was spent nursing a hangover.

"02:12" - not the sort of LCD display you want to see when you wake up on a Monday morning, especially when you find yourself unable to get back to sleep. I think it came from the awareness that I had to get up early and travel far in inevitably heavy traffic - and all to listen to management giving a few speeches which were unlikely to be of interest to me. Not the best way to start the week, I guess.

Now, then. Wednesday evening. Sitting here, in West Yorkshire, having actually spent a day or two earning a living. A vaguely unpleasant necessity of life, but I'm on holiday Friday, so there's only another day to go. No parties this weekend; I've got the house to myself, and I'm gonna make the most of it. Relax, listen to the new records, and finally (hopefully) get round to updating the website.