Let's talk about music. You first, because my taste sucks. No, really, it does. Is music important in my day-to-day life? Honestly? I'd have to say no. I don't own a radio (other than in the car). My iPod, purchased to listen to an audio course I was following, has lain dormant since its completion about two months ago. I put music TV on about twice a year if I'm doing housework. Doing housework is almost as rare for me as putting music TV on.
That's not to say I don't like music. Give me an empty house back at my parents', and I'll happily plonk away at the piano for an hour or so. I even have perfect pitch. Go me! But the last CD I bought was over a year ago, and I haven't listened to it more than once. I will make an exception for when someone makes me a compilation... this will get played in the car, and occasionally I will find something that I love. So, when that happens, do I go and buy the album? No. If anything, I go and buy the sheet music.
I took a year out between school and uni and did (ah, the heady days of youth) listen to Radio 1 back then, to and from work. Zoe Ball in the morning, Mark and Lard in the evening. I grew out of Radio 1 shortly before leaving for uni, switching to Radio 2 (to which my car radio is generally tuned even today).
But for that one year, songs from that year more than at any other time in my life, evoke such a strong sense of being 19, being free, and everything being new. Some of them are rightly (or wrongly) forgotten (Hepburn's I Quit, Alice Band's Nothing on but the Radio). Some are hailed as classics (The New Radicals' You Get What You Give, Blink 182's All the Small Things, Britney Spear's Baby One More Time).
But most have dawdled into a general late-nineties' consciousness. These days REM's At My Most Beautiful, Sixpence None The Richer's Kiss Me and Robbie Williams' Rock DJ for most people are just part of a year's tapestry. But I will always remember how I crashed the company car to U2's The Sweetest Thing and, through tears I erroneously tried to wipe away with the windscreen wipers, left my final day at work (nothing to do with the car crashing, honest) to Macy Gray's I Try. And however naff it might be, I cherish the summer memory of driving my Astra, the window down, the seatbelt too hot to touch, singing along, top volume to the Corrs.
I can see you laughing. I did tell you my taste sucked.