Old Skool

I have been reliving the past a bit over the last day or two. These wholly unconnected events happened entirely by chance, but I felt them worth documenting because it brought back some decent memories and made me think about how my life has changed since those memories were made.

It started with a kiss an earworm: The 2002 track Stay Positive by The Streets:

I ain’t helping you climb the ladder
I’m busy climbing mine.
That’s how it’s been since the dawn of time.

that crept up on me one morning in the kitchen, like a beagle hoping for some cheese. I have no idea where it came from (the earworm, I’m all too aware of the beagle’s history), but it selected the soundtrack for the journey to and from work yesterday.

And the memories came flooding back. This was one of the albums that I used to listen to (on my minidisc player, nogal!) on the journeys from Oxford down to London to see my girlfriend (the same one what is now, happily, the long-suffering Mrs 6000). And suddenly, I was there again: back on the Oxford Tube on the M40 – weridly, very specifically at the Lewknor turn off.

At that time, I was living in Headington in Oxford with two really dodgynice… nice, but dodgy scientists. It was a bit of a lads’ house – we had standards, but if I’m completely honest, they did vary in height depending on how lazy we were feeling.
A typical evening in would be a microwave dinner, some red wine and several (or more) games of the latest FIFA release (probably 03). That is, of course, apart from Friday evenings. Friday evenings were given over to Dirty Sanchez on MTV. Now, if you haven’t heard of Dirty Sanchez, I’d advise you to carefully consider your options before looking it up. This was a UK series which took the nastiest and most dangerous bits of Jackass, and somehow made them worse. It was puerile at best, and downright offensively vulgar for the other 99% of the time. Here’s the wiki page, if you really want a starting point.

Last night, with Mrs 6000 unwell in bed, I was left to entertain myself (careful now). Ironically, it was actually as I was looking for my FIFA (15) game in the DVD drawer that I saw the 2005 box set of Series 3 of Dirty Sanchez. My fingers were pretty tired (careful now), and I was already dreading the injury news ahead of Fleetwood Town’s FA Cup first round replay with Hereford United, so the box set seemed like a good idea.
As I put it on, I was in two minds. Would I still find it funny, or had I outgrown it?
Well – maybe my results were swayed because I was consciously being analytical, but probably somewhere between the two. Not much of it made me laugh, but at the same time, I did find myself entertained. And at first, that was a bit worrying. But still quite fun – it seems that maybe I am still hanging on to a bit of my youth, and that’s no bad thing.

And then there was this morning. After an early morning trip into town to pick up some new kit (more of that to follow in due course), I found myself heading to work, breakfastless. And yes, there’s the office park canteen, but – guess what – it’s very much an office park canteen. So I made a last minute stop at the local McDonald’s drive-“thru”, and picked up the Sausage and Egg McMuffin meal that was standard for early mornings opposite the Regent Street campus of the University of Westminster (it’s still there), back in the day. It was my first one in SA, and I’ve been here nearly 12 years.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it tasted pretty much the same as it did back in the late 90’s. And that – much like musicians continuing to produce the same sort of music that made them popular – is no bad thing. It’s not going to win any Michelin stars, but it did stop me being hungry for a few hours. Job done.

The thing is, while I enjoyed being transported back to those halcyon, carefree days with their lack of responsibility and restrictions, I don’t really miss them. Sure, they were fun, but I didn’t realise back then how unfulfilling they were. That’s not my fault – things change as you get older: your needs are different, your goals aren’t the same, you need more stimulation from some things (carful now), less from others.

Put it this way, things may not be perfect right now, but me now would rather be me now than me then, if you see what I mean.

So I guess you could call that progress.

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