New year, new mix! As always, it is of the utmost importance that I talk to you through the genesis of this mix, as being the complex creative individual that I am, it is very necessary for me to explain to mere mortals how such a thing could come into being.
December was a busy month for me. For anyone else, the amount of hours clocked up would have resembled an ordinary working week, but it was a busy month for me. On top of the extra DJ slots I was doing, I maintained my swimming routine (in the pool at 7am to do a 2km set, thrice weekly), and got caught in the rain a few times (and not a pina colada in sight). So when Christmas rolled around, I felt suitably frazzled with a nascent headcold working its magic on my nose and throat (my ears were grand, so this meant I did not need to see a specialist). Thankfully it was in the developmental stage for the two days I was at home for the holidays. This meant that I could break the world record for the amount of dinner stacked on one plate (which was then cleared leaving only gravy streaks) on Christmas Day, and then challenge and defeat the previous days feat with the leftovers on Stephen's day. My family are understandably proud of my accomplishments.
Stephen's night was a code red storm, and everyone was advised to stay indoors for its duration. For some reason, I took this as a direct challenge to my masculinity, and decided that me and my van ought to show the storm who's boss. So after an hour and a half of very cross crosswinds, deep skiddy puddles, and the very real possibility of running out of diesel, I made it to Cork in one piece, gloating to myself about how mother nature is my bitch. This is in direct contrast to the amount of Hail Marys I said aloud on the drive down, and how I swore to get a Lady Of Guadalupe custom paint job for my van if I got delivered safely to Cork. This still might happen, as several burrito restaurants have opened in the city centre over the last year, so it's only a matter of time before the Mexican community here opens a custom body, paint, and rim shop.
The next day I awoke to find the storm had stopped, the sun was shining, and my throat felt like two enraged golf balls had taken up residence there. Swallowing a spoon of honey was an ordeal, but fortunately I had no appetite so eating was not going to be a pressing issue. The only thing for me to do was take a leisurely stroll in the crisp sunshine, to get some fresh air and whatever vitamin allegedly hides in sunlight into my system. The great thing about living in the city centre of a small city is that it's impossible to go outside without bumping into somebody you know. This is an even greater thing in Cork, because everyone here is pure daycent and sound. So it was only when I bumped into the obligatory pure daycent and sound somebody that I discovered I had lost my voice. It wasn't even a comical fully mute voice loss, it was a pathetic raspy whisper that hurt like fuck and made the seasonal smalltalk even more poignantly pointless. If you don't know me personally and are unaware of how I normally sound, I'll take the time to point out that the absence of my deeply sonorous Welsh baritone was a huge loss to humanity itself for those few days.
So on top of my sore throat and absent voice, I also acquired an annoying cough. This might lead you to say, aren't all coughs annoying? This one was particularly annoying as it wasn't a deep chesty cough that would result in getting up satisfying gobs of frogspawn for every five minutes of hacking, instead it was just a painful, dry, scraping thing which sounded like a chain-smoking cat unsuccessfully trying to expel a hairball. As if feeling my pain, Greta's glowplugs had given out, which meant she was finding it harder and harder to get going in the cold winter mornings.
So as an homage to the ill-health of me and my van (we're together nearly a year now, so we pretty much constitute a single entity), the working title of this mix was originally: "Cold Morning, Spluttery Start: A Vinyl 'n' Benylin Creation". It was since re-jigged to "Dr. Herringbone Dread's Age Old Funky Cough Mixture", for reasons that are now unclear, but are probably something to do with my bunged up head and all the Benylin extra drowsy I was taking to get me through the day. It's also available on CD, but if you're feeling make and do-ish, the front cover is above and the back cover is below so feel free to print, cut, and glue your own copy!
I finished out the bottle of Benylin and have my voice back again. In a bid to earn some man points I changed Greta's glowplugs myself. This was ultra manly as I cut one of my knuckles in the process, and also got the kind of black dirt under my fingernails that can only be removed with a penknife. (She is now starting no problem and is like a whole new van, just in case you were wondering.)