Once upon a time, I started a music degree. That was during a Labour government when tuition was free and banks would throw money at you.
The Kenwood HM-332 Micro Hi-Fi Component System is a decent sub-£200, pre-9/11 stereo with AM/FM radio; typical but for its unusual slide-loading auto-reverse cassette deck. As well as RCA, it has an optical jack so you can copy your CDs to MiniDisc. Its 30W speakers pack enough punch for a medium-sized get-together with friends. It has a back-lit display panel and its remote control requires two AA batteries.
You’ll notice I’m using present tense. That’s because this champion soldiers on, connected to my computer, making sad warbling noises just as well now as it did the day I brought it home.
My dad bought his stereo from the same shop. It’s a hearing aid place now. I broke into his flat after he died and found he’d hidden close to two grand in one of the speakers and that’s what the police found on me after I was arrested for burglary.
Dad was hoarding his money as he was terrified his disability benefits would be stopped and it’d all be clawed back. This is a not uncommon paranoia among those receiving benefits.
I’m still waiting to hear about student finance. Borrowing twenty grand a year from the government just to get people to read my nonsense may seem insane but it’s totally in character.
Before I’d finished the first year of that degree, I took the loans and ran. I worked in a wintery forest in Denmark, then I went and fell in love. I spent my first 9/11 in Copenhagen.
Record shops were cool places back then. Even to watch those first dominoes fall.
I just bought an espresso machine.