Saturday 24 September 2022

Trapped in a Room

Welcome to a cloudy but still slightly warm South Manchester, the day after we have returned from a week’s break in Greece. It was really good with lots of sunshine, great food and total relaxation. I feel energised.

There was one casualty though; my trusty iPod has developed a fault, causing me to make a momentous decision. 

I am going to join the youth and subscribe to Spotify.

It’s a really difficult decision as I have a lot of CD’s upstairs (and if you are reading this Mrs PM, I am definitely keeping them). I am going to buy a cheap mp3 player to use for my daily walks and on my travels when I can’t get internet access (like flying for example) but everything else will be Spotify.

I am also going to invest in a new smartphone as my current one is cracked. The protective contraption I bought for it fell apart and became useless. I threw it away, only to drop my phone and crack the screen in my own house about a week later. That happened when I had Covid-19 a couple of months ago. 

I’m not too bothered because it was due to be replaced anyway.

Back to music – it is the end of an era. I will buy no more CD’s and rely on Spotify’s enormous collection to listen to new albums and expand my horizons into that vast database of songs. What I am going to do though is to produce a series of posts next year highlighting my fifty favourite albums from my collection of CD’s, using them as an excuse to drift into any thoughts associated with them. Self-indulgent I know but it will be fun for me.

Anyway – for now, let’s answer some silly questions from Sunday Stealing. 

1. If you were trapped in a room with the person who asked this for 24 hours, what would you do? The answer cannot be romantic or sexual. 

I would spend eight of those hours sleeping. In the remaining sixteen, I would simply chat to that person. What else can I do? Given that this period would be sixteen hours I would try to learn as much about him or her as I could. I hope it’s not you dear reader because you would be bored to death listening to me drone on for hours on end.

2. If you could learn any language instantly, what would it be? 

Spanish. I am trying to learn it at the moment and I am quite enjoying it. At school I studied French for five years and I can still get by with that. French would be my second choice. I also studied German for three years and of the three languages I claim to be able to speak, it is my weakest (mainly because it is the hardest). 

I can also sense that some readers might suggest that I learn English. If you are thinking of leaving such a comment, my reply will be “Don’t be naughty!”.

3. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

I would be completely bored reading just one book for the rest of my life no matter how interesting it is. I think it would have to be one of these vast science fiction space operas that are in multiple parts and stretch to thousands of pages. 

4. Favourite song lyric? 

I have several favourite lyrics and it depends what mood I am in. These keep cropping up:

Nine Inch Nails: 

I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel


Some are born to move the world

To live their fantasies

But most of us just dream about

The things we'd like to be

Sadder still to watch it die

Than never to have known it

For you, the blind who once could see

The bell tolls for thee


Like a blindman, I can feel the heat of the sun,

But, like a blindman

I don't know, I don't know,

I don't know where it’s coming from

Spinal Tap:

When we die, do we haunt the sky?

Do we lurk in the murk of the seas?

What then? Are we born again?

Just to sit asking questions like these?

5. Favourite album? 

That is one of the most difficult questions you could ask me. I have been looking at my CD collection recently as I said above and trying to get the list down to one hundred and then to fifty. I managed fifty finally but I can’t get any lower than that.

Here is one that you will read about from that fifty should you choose to do so. It is called “Hand.Cannot.Erase.” by Steven Wilson. Here is the title song from it.

6. Which time of day would you say is best for you work-wise?

Definitely first thing in the morning. My mind is at its sharpest and slowly deteriorates as the day goes by. I tend to attack the most difficult things at the start of the day, those problems that require the most thought and analysis. I tend to leave the more mundane crap to towards the end of the day. 

7. What do you think people assume about you from first glance?

How did that chimp manage to escape from the zoo and buy clothes?

8. Favourite city that you haven’t visited? 

How can you have a favourite city that you haven’t visited? Surely you need to visit a place for it to become any kind of favorite.

I guess you mean, what city that you haven’t been to is the city you want to visit next?

Well that’s easy. I’m going there next month. Copenhagen in Denmark. I think I will enjoy it. 

9. If you received $10,000 but had to give it away, what would you do with it? 

I would give it to a local charity, one that helped people who are struggling in these times of crisis, partly due to the pandemic, Vlad the Invader’s war, Brexit and Liz Truss’s mad budgetary plans that occurred yesterday. The UK is in a right mess at the moment.

10. What is one book you wish you could get all your friends to read? 

A lot of my friends have a completely different taste in fiction books to me and would not be interested in any of them. I might try to persuade them to read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear though. I had already adopted the concept of habit forming when I came across it, and it takes this concept and runs with it. 

I have found it quite helpful.

11. What is one movie you wish you could get all your friends to watch? 

Again, a lot of my friends don’t share my taste in films either. I would probably recommend something like Inception and tell them that they need to watch it when their brains is at it’s sharpest.

12. If you could create one thing, what would it be?

I would create a novel or a progressive rock masterpiece. I need talent to do both so it’s unlikely.

13. If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be? 

I think it would be a guitar. I am currently trying to teach myself a piano but only because guitars are more difficult.

14. What is your favourite item of clothing?

I don’t really have a favourite item of clothing. I dress for the occasion and just pick clothes that suit whatever it is I am doing - or should I say Mrs PM chooses them.

15. What is your favourite card/board game?

I’m not a huge fan of card games or board games. I usually get coerced into playing the odd card game at Christmas but I don’t really enjoy them. 


Lisa said...

oh my goodness - I totally misunderstood question #1! When I read your answer, it clicked. Oh well . . . .!! I enjoyed your answers today!

Me, Myself, and I said...

You and I gave almost identical answers to the "when are you sharpest" question. My brain starts to fog at about 2pm and I'm DONE by 330. Thank goodness my employer let me set my own hours, lol.

Kwizgiver said...

Like you, I made the leap to Spotify. I have hundreds of CDs that I quite frankly don't know what to do with. I like being able to create playlists on Spotify. It's like the old mixed tapes/CDs I used to make.

CountryDew said...

I never found the guitar harder than the piano (I play both). And once you learn to read music, then it's a simple step of figuring out where those notes are on the guitar frets and how best to apply them. But any music learning is good learning.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lisa,

Not sure if I fully understood it to be honest. An odd question.




Plastic Mancunian said...


Pretty much the same for me.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

I'm just exploring Spotify at the moment. I think there is massive scope for a music lover like me.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

I can read music - I used to play the trombone (bass clef only sadly). Maybe one day I'll start on the guitar.




Roger Owen Green said...

I just can't seem to give up buying CDs. Johnny Cash turned me onto that NIN song.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Roger,

I had heard the NIN one first of course. Johnny Cash's version is better.