Friday 2 October 2020

My Life in 10 Objects (#10)

I was certainly standing on the shoulders of giants when I commissioned myself to write this homage series; the idea that there are 10 objects I'd run into a burning building to rescue is really nothing more than me storing my thoughts in a safe place so that I can maybe look at them again when my memory maybe isn't as sharp as it is now. Which, in all honesty, is probably why, a decade after I started, I regularly update this journal, this web log. (Without getting too deep here, I'm not afraid of dying; but I am afraid of getting old; there, I've said it. When I look back at my life thus far I often think that much of it happened to somebody else, not me; a version of me, but not the me I recognise through the lens of 2020.)

But I digress. I said at the outset of this project that I would also mention the items that didn't make the cut. Of course I can't possibly list all the trinkets that have come into my possession over the last six decades. But here are a few that just missed the crucial cut off: my paperback copy of Magnus Mills' All Quiet on the Orient Express; my guitar; the bagatelle Santa put in my sack in 1966; a square of my Nanna's sewing; a set of Beatles autographs (fakes, but I don't care); one of my (many) watches; my mother's music box; the mixing bowl I use to make bread. All precious to me, but not as precious as this.

I've wanged on about this band quite a lot around here so, I won't bore you any further; suffice it to say this is my last item and these are the stats.

What's it called? Block Buster!

Who's it by? The Sweet

When and where purchased? January 1973/Grantham Market

How much? 25p

Number of plays? 17,550 in its first year alone*

Has there ever been a better single released since? Hell, no!

Will it be going in my coffin with me? Of course

* That's a very precise number, I hear you say. But I reckon I listened to it at least 50 times a day thru 1973 (less my two week holiday in Ireland). So, I make that (365 -14) x 50 = 17,550.


  1. Was that your first single purchase John?
    I think most of us can remember the name, price, shop (and probably date) of the first single purchase.
    Human League - Don't You Want Me, £1.10, WHSmith (Reading), late December 1981 (that bit after Christmas just before New Year)

  2. 'Without getting too deep' - You did, but I agree, getting old and not being able to remember stuff. Why we write these blogs.

    Funnily enough I was just trying to work out what to do about my 'trashed' Blockbuster post today, as I still have a copy in another format. As you might remember I had to take it down, as I'd revisited 1973 in my Jukebox Time Machine to listen to the music of the day but was threatened with legal action by an American outfit of the same name. I did like the song at the time but I certainly didn't play it 50 times a day for a whole year. That was dedication indeed.

    1. Ironically the man who sang Block Buster! barely saw middle age, let alone old age.
      You should republish your post. I'd like to read it x

  3. Together, this top ten, plus the others you mention above, make a beautiful collage of your life, and what makes you YOU. Really lovely stuff. I'm fantasising that you will leave all the items in an old treasure chest to be buried in a special, secret place after you've gone, accessed only by the directions on an inky vellum map.

    1. Thank you, C. A time capsule you say? I'm down with that! I love the idea of an inky vellum map, too. As an aside, in one of the bars in town, when the guy behind the bar does his track and trace thing and writes your name & number down, he does so using a rather tasty fountain pen. Style.

  4. This was such an inspired idea for a series. Thanks, John. I haven't thought about my 10, but your mention of the Beatles has me realizing the ticket stub from when my mother saw the Beatles in Japan would have to be up there. She gave it to me a few years ago after cleaning house.

    1. Thanks, Brian. This ticket stub sounds amazing! Would you mind sharing it with us?