A very wholesome and productive day. Work continued on the front door, and although it will never be finished (ha!), it is in a very satisfactory state. New paint, new lock, new metalwork. And M bought a gorgeous real flower wreath, all blues and greens of thistles and other things, which really ties the thing together. It is really nice to step back and feel proud and lucky to live where we do. And I am very lucky that M has such good vision for these things. We can muddle through the process together, but it is down to her that these things get instigated – and finished.

As a treat, we took ourselves to the local museum and art gallery, for the latter part, to see the current ‘Open’ exhibition of art by local artists. It features a variety of mediums including photography, painting, sculpture, video, and others. Even taxidermy. It was a great selection and I appreciated the range of ambition and complexity on offer – it felt very accessible, but also inspiring.

The PA system in Morrisons was playing Fraction Too Much Friction by Tim Finn which was incredibly jarring. What rift in the music/place continuum caused that to enter their playlist? I checked, and although it did chart well in the Netherlands for some reason, I don’t think he had any success here. So what led to it being played in a provincial supermarket? I haven’t yet checked how Morrisons runs its playlists – whether they are store-by-store (I doubt it), or some sort of modern Muzak-style system which blasts the same music to all stores up and down the country (more likely, particularly as I spotted a few weeks ago an unusual antenna array on the side of the building which seems to be for that exact sort of purpose).

My own introduction to this rather catchy little song was via one of the many MiniDiscs an old friend kindly made for me all those years ago. It will have come in the form of a playlist of sort of ‘Split Enz and beyond’ type tracks and artists – advanced stuff. I must dig out those MDs. I revisit them from time to time, and it’s always a joy, from the basic-bitch joy of the tactility of the medium itself, right up to the formative nature of these songs – my burgeoning obsession with little-known music from halfway round the world. And, of course, the effort and care put into creating these playlists, recording the discs in real time, and writing up the tracklistings, often with much extra information and background besides.

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