Wednesday, 2 July 2008

[31] It came from the wardrobe...!

As I'm back at my parents' house, probably for the last time in a 'vacation/out-of-term' capacity, I'm engaging in the seemingly Herculean task of clearing out my bedroom. This hasn't happened in any great way for over 8 years.

So, I've been sifting through a lot of stuff from a variety of ages and periods of my life. Today I was working on it from 9am until 9.30pm, when I took 10 almost-splitting binbags full of paper-based detritus to the recycling bank. I think I will engage in some self-indulgence regarding what I found. As the job is only half-done, I might make another as more things present themselves (I am a little worried about some things I'm yet to find).

[There are a lot of photos, if you can't see the detail, I'd recommend clicking through the to picasa album]


1. One of the first things I came across was a brown bag from Malaga airport, full of tapes. This is only 2 years old, when I went on a family holiday. However, I had put certain tapes in there and forgotten about them, namely a mixtape a friend had made in 1999/2000, when I was 13/14. This was one of my first exposures to some of the bands that I would later revisit. The first side is a distillation of Nirvana's b-sides from the Nevermind / In Utero era. When I told the friend about discovering it, he said: 'Glad you were pleased with the tape although I can't say I really give a shit about any of those bands anymore...'. It's a shame, as it's a great tape nonetheless. I can't say I listen to that much Nirvana (or even any of the bands on side B) nowadays either, but this compilation is tight, and is an effective, alternate history of one of the most overplayed, overstoried bands of the last 20 years.

2a. One of the main aspects of clearing / tidying has been chucking out a lot of the magazines that I have collected over the last 10 years. Mostly film, music or video games. Some surprises were in there, however. Such as the 1000th issue of Private Eye (which I don't believe I've bought since). However, amongst these huge piles of magazines, I found 2 issues of the Simpsons Comic, dating from 1998-1999, which were notable because they had submitted fan artwork drawn by Kate Ashwin, who I would get to know a few years later, and who would become my first long-term girlfriend. She is currently doing incredibly well as the mind behind the long-running webcomic Darken. Here's the second piece, from July 1999 (I'm not sure if she'll like me doing this).

2b. I didn't draw when I was younger. I did write, though. The majority of personal stuff I've unearthed and archived are journalistic. A lot of high school journalism of various levels of ineptitude. However, when browsing through the copious issues of Empire hidden in my wardrobe and under my bed, I found an issue from October 2000, which had this:

I thought that was pretty cool at the time, and I didn't even know who Kim Newman was! Now I do, and, well, let's just say I know what I'll use as an ice-breaker if I ever meet him. Side note: I believe I sent another question in here, around this time, that got published, asking 'who has saved the earth the most times?'. I couldn't find it.

3a. To round this off, two pictures showing collections that had previously been split up or mostly lost, now reunited. First up, my comics collection, which still looks smaller than I anticipated.

Nevertheless, it is good to see the Transmetropolitan trade paperbacks all lined up, and my full set of 1988 V for Vendetta issues.

3b. Another collection that has been split up and mostly neglected (through my family's haphazard storage system, primarily) is my console / game collection. I cleared out the big cupboard, and used the central space for a mini museum / diorama of my various consoles (ok, a few are missing, namely the PSX, PS2 and Wii). I threw in a couple of easter eggs in the form of peripherals and controllers for the keen eye, as well as two vinyls (the single for 'Lullaby', by the Cure, and Raymonde's album 'Babelogue'). I think it looks good.

It is strange; I am not a big gaming collector. Most of those consoles on display were donated from family members. My games collection is quite small, especially considering the consoles I have. What I'm worried about is that even though I have found the majority of my SNES, N64 and Dreamcast games, some of the notables or favourites are missing.

Maybe they will show up in the next few days.

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