Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Madonna: When the world was a simpler place...

As I write this post I am aware that I set out to explore the soundtrack of my life and as such the logical place to begin would be back in 1978 (the year I was born). However, I am also mindful that thoughts and emotions are spontaneous and fluid and  cannot necessarily be shaped into a convenient chronological list.

Perhaps it is better therefore to consider this as a box of forgotten treasures in which every item you uncover reinvents a specific place in time.

Just the other day my iPod and I were on a mission to deliver information from my workplace to local residents. As I wandered from house to house carefully ensuring each envelope made it through the letter box and dropped on to the mat beyond, I found myself singing along to Papa Don't Preach and was instantly transported back to 1988 and one of our last family holidays in Bournemouth.

For those of you who don't know Papa Don't Preach is one of Madonna's best known hits. It was released in 1986 and was the second single from her True Blue album, which is where I first stumbled upon it.

I wasn't a huge Madge fan back then, in fact I'm still not really, I just listen to those tracks I like. However, being an impressionable young girl and Madonna being considered a bit riske at the time, every girl wanted to be like her and my mum was none too pleased with my choice in music.

Still, Papa Don't Preach reminds me of a more simple innocent time in my life, when my biggest concern was not to be caught wearing my glasses in front of my friends. It represents the first time I was able to venture out on my own, something that's vitually unheard of these days, and conjures up great memories of building sand castles on the beach, strolling down the prom eating fish and chips and quietly being woken up by my brother to watch the fire brigade tackle a blaze in the hotel next door as my parents slept soundly across the room for what felt like an age.

However, as I said earlier, this was one of our last family holidays and so my memories bare a slight sadness, but we had a brilliant time and it's great to revisit that place in history from time to time.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Allow me to introduce you to my best friend, my iPod...

In 2003, my boyfriend (who would later become my husband) returned from a working trip to the USA with a small silver box that he said would change the future of music.

Of course, being the sceptic I am I completely ignored his claims and despite his constant praise of the tiny device and the increasing frequency with which I spied these little gadgets, I refused to buy into the industry hysteria. Instant access to millions of tracks dating back years and the death of the high street record shop, what a joke!

Fast forward a few years and I have to confess I did succumb to the digital music revolution, the inclusion of video proving too greater a lure for my fickle heart to resist.

These days my iPod and I are inseparable, we go everywhere and do everything together. I'd rather sacrifice my right arm than my iPod and that's because it's not just a music and video player or a portable internet device. My iPod contains the soundtrack to my life, every piece of music that has touched, moved or inspired me (and the memories which these songs conjure up) lives within it, but more than that; my iPod is part of my future.

Every time I listen to a track, wherever I am in the world, I'm not only remembering the first time I heard that song or the way it made me feel, but I'm creating a new memory of whatever I'm doing at that time, thereby creating more memories to be recalled in the future.