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Saturday 5th June

How I love shuffle mode on the ipod. It doubtless knackers your hard drive over time, but what it gives you in return is the chance of being instantly transported back to a place & time you didn’t expect to revisit when you stuck the earphones in.

Tonight was a classic case in point, as the first track up as I came home on the train from London was an obscure track called “Unchain The Night” from the equally obscure 80’s metal band Dokken.

I wasn’t a Dokken fan by any stretch back in the day, but it’s a song that instantly takes me back to my first visit to Edwards No 8 Rock Club in Birmingham around 1988. The song was blaring out of the massive speaker stacks on the 1st floor of the club as me and my mates came in, and the sound was combined with the somewhat arresting sight of young ladies dressed in what can only be described as basques for a night out.

For a somewhat green young bloke whose experience with girls up to that point was less than minimal, this was a culture shock and no mistake. I soldiered on bravely through the evening you’ll be pleased to learn.

Perhaps funnier is where my Mum thought I was at the time. When she asked me where I was going in my leather jacket and Cosmic stretch jeans from Oasis market, my reply of “Edwards, Mum” led her to believe that I would be spending the next few hours standing outside Edwards…the plumbing shop that stood at the bottom of our road. There’s an image for you. Not much Dokken gets played there.

Natalie & I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary yesterday by going back to Grafton Manor, the manor house outside Bromsgrove that held our reception in such great style a year earlier. How nice it was to go there as husband and wife and have a lovely meal together in surroundings that we could properly take in this time around – naturally the wedding day was a total blur and although we knew we were somewhere beautiful, we just couldn’t appreciate it. Could this time, though-just the sort of fantastic time and place I’d love to come up as regularly in my mind’s ‘shuffle’ mode as ‘Subdivisions’ by Rush seems to on my ipod’s shuffle mode. It’s just come on again now. Bizzare.

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