Have you ever had one of those days when you just wake up in a bad mood? When nothing will lift the cloud that hangs over your head? When you are just like a grumpy old bear all day?
That's today for me.
I sat at my desk and tried to work. But my mind wondered. Then I got an email from someone who I had been doing some freelance work saying that I they would not renew my contract as they were making cuts. Grrrrrr.
Suddenly I didn't feel like work. Maybe the charity shop challange would cheer me up. I have a ten pound note in the pocket of my shorts. But where were my shorts? As I looked round the house I heard the washing machine. My tenner was getting laundered. Grrrrr.
Into the car and off. I decided to go to somewhere where I have always found interesting thing. Sunny Suburban Surbiton.
But no sooner had I got onto the A3 then the traffic ground to a halt. I pulled off the road and tried a back route and got completely lost. Grrrrrr.
Finally I made it into Surbiton, parked the car and set off. As I got to the first charity shop I pulled out my camera and noticed the red battery light. Suddenly I remembered my wife telling me that the battery was almost flat. Must listen to my wife more. Grrrrrrrr
Apologies for not having any more photos.
So off we go with the challange and starting off at the Children's Society
In one corner there is a plie of vinyl. Mostly classical and Johnny Mathis but I pull out John Keating with the Synthesiser Orchestra. But I leave it - largely because I'm feeling grumpy.
I decide that I will only get stuff I like/want. I'm sick of buying crap that I only have to offload a year later. I make a pact with myself that, even if I have to search all day, I will only buy good stuff
Next off to a favourite spot of mine. The Fircroft Trust. I've found some interesting disco and punk stuff here in the past.
It has some friendly and chatty staff and today was no exception. One of the people started to talk to me about records, asking me what I liked and was clearly in such a good mood that he didn't notice that I was in the world's biggest grump. He brought out a pile of 78s for me to look at and asked me if I was interested in Johnny Mathis as they had just taken in a complete set. But he let me had these for £2.50
From top left to bottom right
Pigbag - Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag
Pleased to get this on the first pressing on the Y record label. Always liked it
Billy Taylor - I Wish I Knew
No prizes for guessing when this was released. You all know it
The Jam - Absolute Beginners
Another well-know 45
The Virgin Prunes - Twenty Tens Their first record. An EP of four tracks, the title track is a great moody, gothic PIL-esque number. The rest makes my head hurt.
Strawberry Switchblade - Trees and Flowers
Produced by David Balfe and Bill Drummond, with Roddy Frame on guitars this is soft and gentle and lovely
Howard Devto - Rainy Season
A bit like Magazine - its got Dave Formula on it and a bit like Japan and Eno - nice
A good start I thought but nothing came from any of the other shops. No man should have to go through so many Johnny Mathis records
I had hoped that Surbiton would provide everything I needed but alas it was not to be.
So back in the car and off to New Malden - home of Korean restaurants and shops and a number of charity shops I'd pulled some good stuff from in the past.
They were having a two for one deal so I came out with:
Bauhaus - Ziggy Stardust
Not sure why doomy goth-mongers Bauhaus chose to release a Bowie cover as a single. It doesn't do them or Bowie justice. But the B Side is a killer Eno track which I love
The The - Heartland
Used to have this at school. Love it still
Nothing in the next shop
But my luck was about to turn.
Lurking behind some Johnny Mathis records I found these:
Elisabeth Waldo - Realm of the Incas
I love a good bit of exotica me and this is very good. I have no idea if this is the sort of thing that the Incas listened to - but I doubt it. Part orchestral pop, part pan-pipes, part Spanish guitar. The first track even has some Morricone-like whistling. Result
Dr Who- The Music
Always wanted the Dr Who theme music and now I've got it. The more 'modern' 80s stuff isn't as good as the earlier stuff
Wendy Carlos - Switched on Bach II
Who doesn't like Wendy/Walter Carlos on Moog??
All for the princely sum of £3
Now I've spent a fiver
Next door is:
And it was here that I found
The African Unity Band - Uhuru - The Freedon Drums of Africa
On Saga so you know its an exploito-fest. Claims to be Highlife but it isn't really. But I am liking it very much indeed
Various - Film Hits of 1976
Bollywood film music. You'd pick it up for the cover alone. Unfortunately having listened to the music the cover is the best bit
Each was two pounds. So we're now up to the magic tenner
And Mr Grumpy returns to Expury70 who is smiling all the way home
The CSH wins again