Well, I felt sorry for Nipper, always sitting and listening to his master's voice so patiently. So after lunch with Dave Laing, who supervised my PHD and whom I occasionally meet for lunch and gossip, I went to HMV to search the racks for music to pep up my collecsh.
£30 later, I has a couple of sopper-dooper Northern Soul compilations (I'm listening to one now, King Northern Soul Volume 3). This isn't the best Northern Soul compilation in the world but it's beating the January Marking Blues.
I'd hoped the young chap at the desk would be grateful for my contribution to his continued employment, but he wasn't, and I realised how naive I'd been to imagine that he had anything else but redundancy on his mind.
I've been marking pretty much all day; the conveyor belt keeps rolling and like the Henry Ford of academia, I fit the nuts and bolts of correct grammar and scholarly quotations to their essays before they trundle off into the distance to contribute to their owners' academic journeys.
I made bread this evening, punching the dough like a seasoned boxer. That helped a little, as at this time of year I get zilch exercise and was having trouble with 'there' and 'their', if you know what I mean. The bread was not impressed and emerged from the oven as solid as a leather boxing glove as if to mock my efforts to thump some life into it.
This is a great track! Popcorn Charlie by Charles Spurling; it'll go on to my playlist labelled 'uplifiting'. The Northern Soulsters always sound so lonely; the songs are usually plaintive and the singers struggle for freedom, embedded as they are in strict bashy beats and trumpeted at from all sides by blasting brass; at least they have the harmonies charging in to the rescue from time to time!
I like loneliness in music. I used to like that in a lot of the tracks that John Peel played. A lonely bloke or girl, singing deadpan about something quite miserable, broadcast in the late evening when people who could afford it and who had friends were in the pub being jolly.
Most of the time, I lived alone in a bedsit in Willesden with only my reflection in the window pane for company and all my worldly possessions stuffed into a cardboard box under the bed. I probably had this in common with Peel listeners all over the country!
I think this Northern Soul is making me glum...