I’ve been a bit quiet around here lately because I’ve just landed myself a new job in as a technician in a town planning department, and I’ve been in a bit of a panic brushing up on (and learning from scratch some of) the things I will need to be able to do the job.
I ran my own business for a few years, but managed to get out just at the tipping point before heavy depression gave way to a nervous breakdown, and somehow in the midst of this found myself working for the local council.
This was about a year before the recession hit, and I spent a year being mocked for describing how people had simply stopped buying stuff from me and predicting that the mother of all depressions was about to happen. My father was self-employed all his working life and has described to me how he was a day away from bankruptcy several times, so I grew up knowing what recessions felt like, and also that they happen even if politicians tell you that this time they’ve brewed the snake oil to stop it from happening.
The three of us who had been taken on to do the most mindless task ever created by local government were sat just by the toilets, which gave ample opportunity for breaking off what we were doing to chat to people, or “network” as it is known these days according to Mrs H (MBA), and one day I was conversing with a town planner who has since become one of my best friends about music.
It transpired that neither of us had ever met another human being on the planet or any of the other planes we inhabit who admitted to enjoying An Evening With Wild Man Fischer, and certainly never met anyone else who owned a copy, before moving on to discover that both of us owned the record and that it had given both of us a great deal of pleasure, but that neither of our spouses would let us play it while they were in the house. Or the street. Or under any circumstances ever.
A few weeks later he told me that his administrator had walked out and asked if I might be interested in applying to be her replacement. I asked him what an administrator did and he told me he had very little idea, but thought that it was just “doing stuff.” I told him I could probably “do stuff,” so they sorted out the paperwork, and I’ve been “doing stuff” ever since. Before he moved on, we spent many happy minutes singing Larry duets at the start of our working day, until asked politely but firmly to desist by our colleagues.
I have often found myself humming this song since (although to be truthful I often found myself humming it before I became one). John Peel used to play it quite often, and I was always extremely fond of it.
Anyway, I’m not going to be a government administrator any more, but will have to think of myself as on the way to being a planner.
As a leaving present for the gang, I’d like to make a compilation of appropriate songs for planners, and also have some tunes in my head to hum when I’m thinking hard in my new job.
So I’ll start with the obvious: XTC, “Making Plans for Nigel”