When you’ve been a journalist for as long as me, you eventually end up receiving every random press release available.
It’s for this reason I know that yesterday was International LEGO Day, how to spot if your cat has a cold, and that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the car radio.
I was vaguely interested in the latter one, though I can’t drive. All journalists should be able to, it’s a prerequisite thing, so this is a confession of sorts. Sorry, The Scotsman.
I flunked my test on three consecutive occasions, aged 17, and I still blame my instructor, who chain-smoked menthol cigarettes and barely spoke.
She didn’t even make a peep when I attempted to circumnavigate a roundabout anti-clockwise. Perhaps she had expired with stress.
Anyway, despite my abject failure, I still love being in the car with music playing, even though it’s at my chauffeur’s discretion and always involves his Spotify list.
Thankfully, the glove compartment doesn’t house any Alan Partridge-esque Drivetime compilations, which would always feature the likes of the late Meat Loaf or Mike & the Mechanics. My other half has excellent music taste, so I don’t have to be a backseat playlist pest, although I do demand the occasional skip.
I have sung my way along the A9 and M8, and hope to one day yodel the length of the NC500. Today, I will be karaoke-ing the A1 to my next restaurant review.
Music on the road will always feel like a treat. That’s probably because, as a child, I was never allowed any pop in the car. My dad was usually at the wheel, when it came to longer journeys, and would play his classical music cassettes at full volume. We’d beg for the Tchaikovsky immersion to stop and for the radio to go on, so we could potentially catch a bit of A-ha or Nik Kershaw. Once in a while, pester power would prevail, but he’d turn the volume so low that Morten Harket sounded like he had fallen to the bottom of a well.
I’ll be turning it up louder this weekend.
NB. If you’re worried about your cat, symptoms include dribbling and a fever.