The last Saturday before Christmas is traditionally the time when preparations for a bounteous, plentiful celebration are in full swing. I have myself just been to the shops and returned with two large bags of sprouts.
This is also the weekend where any of us will be climbing the rickety stepladder to the loft, sticking our balding and greying pates into a sticky mass of spider webs and fibreglass insulation, reaching out in the manner of geriatric moles for the box with the Christmas decorations in and hoping it won’t be the nesting place for mummified rats or worse.
But there is more than this to Christmas. Were we to reach just a little further, just keep our faith and reach out into the darkness, our searching fingers would feel the warm and silky softness of the black bin liner in which the stash of 1980s VHS tapes was stored, and in which, in the intervening years, generations of small furry mammals and spindly arachnids have found a home.
In just one such stash, only this year, Elisabeth Malmborg discovered a rare Studio Pop interview which Sproutology hopes to bring you early in 2016. There are Sprout recordings still to be found. Somewhere, someone has the Roland Rat performance or the Norwegian “This is Your Life”. But time is short, and each year the adhesive sticking the magnetic particles to the plastic substrate gets weaker. Eventually all we will have is a pile of oxide dust. Not even I can be bothered trying to restore that.
In some cases, incidentally, there is also the box of cassettes. In one particular case, there is a box of cassettes containing the 1986 Red Wedge Performance recording. You know who you are, Studds Ramrod, you big tease.
So since you’re up there, have a look. Before someone else does and declutters them into a bonfire.