Thursday, 7 August 2008


Well, first up I'd be more than a little tempted to just play that Guillemots song again and claim it somehow as my own. But I won't, I'll work a little - songs evoking a particular place, I can do better than that, I can triangulate myself precisely in time and space...

Finally, finally, it's the bold move away from home. A new life, a coming to adulthood, independence and freedom. I drag a battered old rucksack down through the town, those last looks around, familiar haunts and still unknown corners, and I get to the bus station. I find a seat at the front on the top deck and as the bus pulls out onto the Broadway and starts to take me out of town, and as I can now look down on it all as we pass through for the very last time, I hit 'play' on my walkman and 'Ceremony' comes on, the first notes flying out as we turn into the street and start to pull away. 'Notice whom for wheels are turning' and it's me, they're turning for me and taking me away. The music is grown up and harsh and serious, strident and purposeful and deliberate, the lyric is delivered with a passion for belief and certainty and with conviction. It was the perfect soundtrack to that perfect moment.

And it's all a lie.

I've told this story a fair few times, and I've told it to myself an awful lot of times, but it's complete bollocks. It's so good, though, so right. If I was making a film of 'me going off to university' that's exactly how it would be, well, didn't I tell you about it? That's just how it was. Perfect, eh?

Actually, actually, well actually I went on the train, with a friend who was going to the same place. And I lost my ticket in London (er, I'd been on a train before. And I'd been to London before too, was born there, lived there for quite a few years. still...) and then arrived and nearly drank myself to death in rank amateurish fashion (nothing unusual about that, the unusual thing is that it's something I haven't done for a while now) and spent a farty term being a farty little kid who hadn't really grown up and didn't do any work but didn't do much else, talk and sleep and drink and listen to music, and who went home early, so very early, back home to the family for Christmas, and spent a long long break at home and who then, finally, finally, the bold move back to university after christmas, the walk through the very familiar after that lovely long holiday thank you very much town to the bus station, the seat somewhere on the coach (certainly not at the front upstairs, there wasn't an upstairs, it was a coach) and my new prize possession, the album I'd seen some other cool kids listening to towards the end of that first term... and the bus pulls out... and I press play...

New Order - Ceremony mp3

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