I was reading the other day about the demise of the Sony Walkman, the trailblazer for playing personalised portable music. When I was growing up I didn't really have the kind of funds to go as high-brow as that so I tended to end up with some cheap knock off from the local market that used four AA batteries rather than two - always a tell-tale sign. Back in the day, I used to religiously tape directly off the radio, trying to ensure that my 'mix tape' wasn't too badly interupted by commercials or inconsiderate DJs.
Well, a few weeks ago I was trawling through my brother's attic and I fell upon some of the tapes that I had put together all those years ago in the late 1980s or 1990s. It was a bit of jolt to the system. Did I really like some of that stuff? But it was songs and sounds that immediately and joyfully brought back memories that had been too easily buried beneath years of work, conformity and cynicism. Were they better days? Probably not. But it didn't really matter. The tapes threw into the mix so many vivid stories, good and less good. The fact that I was able to laugh at some of the more unfortunate memories just showed me that time really can be the great healer.