For months now, I have been researching record players on line to see if there was one I could afford.
You see, I have a fairly large collection of LPs gathering dust in my Study – and, for the past decade, have had no way of actually listening to them. Long, and somewhat technologically tedious, story which I won’t bore you with…
The more I looked at what was on offer via Amazon and Google, the angrier I got: Turntables like the ones I used to own (and bought for about thirty quid) have become such rare collectors’ items that prices of nearer a thousand seem to be the order of the day.
But salvation comes in the oddest forms! I am a member of a buying and selling group on Facebook, though I rarely use it. Something yesterday – I still don’t know what! – prompted me to click on…
…and there, in front of my disbelieving eyes, was a box record player (brown wood, with a car-like front, and CD/radio capacity) for a very small amount of money. I couldn’t believe my eyes, thought the recent course of antibiotics must have caused hallucinations of the wishful thinking variety.
But I contacted the owner. Her name rang a bell – and she lived but a stone’s throw from the school I used to teach at. I decided to go and have a look!
As soon as I walked into the Living Room, and saw the record player, I knew it had my name engraved in invisible ink upon its chassis!
The lady selling it turned out to be the mother of four ex-pupils (and the mother-in-law of a fifth!) – and, before I had been in the house five seconds, the doorbell rang and another ex-pupil arrived, friend of one of the now-adult offspring.
He recognised me. They tend to! We hugged.
To cut to the chase: Reader, I bought it! I won’t tell you how much for because you probably wouldn’t believe me. A true bargain, however, sums it up perfectly. Nothing I had seen on line came close!
As I walked back to the car, Mrs W. carrying my small car/music centre, who should pop up but the son-in-law (whose older siblings I also taught!).
It was one of those days…
Home, I set my prize and joy up against the Western wall (on a handy box I bought in a charity shop four years ago), switched it on, selected a record – ‘England, Be Glad!’ by St George’s Canzona, as it happens – and, with trembling hands, put it on the turntable…
Oh my God! Such delight! I cried! What a soppy date, eh?
Since then, I have listened to my double The Who album, dipped into Baroque loveliness – and will, ‘ere long, be cranking up The Stranglers’ ‘Rattus Novegicus’, followed (logically, some may say) by Patti Smith’s ‘Easter’… with the Grand Finale being provided by Jethro Tull!
It looks like this – but is brown and not quite as fancy!
I absolutely LOVE it – and it has got the Younger Generation vote too, Lad having pronounced, ‘Cool, Mum!’