This is by no means my first recording session with Felix Macintosh and, as usual, at the end of the session she put a wav file of part of the day’s work onto a memory stick for me to take away with me. I had my laptop with me, but knew I’d have to be patient and wait until I was on the train back to Hove before being able to listen to it.
As I arrived at Victoria station and negotiated my way, laden with laptop and guitar, through the crowds, I could hear the depressingly familiar announcement over the tannoy: The 19.16 departure to Littlehampton via Hove has been delayed as a result of an emergency on the previous train at Haywards Heath… Doh! I wanted to listen to my newly recorded song, and I wanted to listen to it NOW!!
Eventually the platform was announced for the 19.16 train, and the mass of weary travellers staring up at the departure board flowed as one towards it, with just minutes now to go before it left and a seemingly unending train to walk the length of in order to board one of the front four carriages to avoid being on the wrong part of the train when it divided at Haywards Heath.
By the time I reached one of the front carriages it was jam packed, with just one window seat remaining. The gent in the aisle seat very kindly made way for me and my laptop and guitar, which I managed to squeeze in beside me after he failed to find room for it between the opposite seats, after gamely scrabbling around on the floor trying to wedge it in. I now barely had room to breathe, let alone do anything involving use of my arms – such as retrieve the laptop and memory stick from the case and finally get to listen to my song…
But I was utterly determined to listen to it by then, and so I DID remove the laptop from the case, and inched it onto the table in front of me, then opened it up, trying not to knock over the open bottle of beer belonging to the woman sitting across from me on the other side of the table. Mission accomplished, I then plugged in the earphones and delved into a side pocket for the memory stick, feeling excited that I was at last about to hear my day’s work. I went to insert it into the USB port on the side of the laptop, gave it a little extra push… and the bloody thing dropped out and fell to the floor, invisibly and irretrievably wedged somewhere under my squashed-in guitar case… DOH!!!!! VERY SAD UNSMILEY FACE!!!
I simply couldn’t cause another ruckus, having already disturbed the entire carriage once as, with my guitar and laptop, I’d bumped down the aisle to the one vacant seat and had the man in the aisle seat crawling around on the floor trying find somewhere to stick the guitar. So I had to just sit there, increasingly worried that the precious memory stick containing so much of my work might never be found, or that I might get off at Hove forgetting that it was down there. I prayed that one of the three passengers sitting around me would get off before Hove so that I could more freely scrabble round on the floor to find the memory stick. But they all stayed resolutely put.
So at Haywards Heath I screwed up all my resolve and, in a very tiny and guilt-ridden voice, said to my kind neighbour, ‘I’m going to have to be a nuisance one more time, I’m afraid…I’ve dropped my memory stick…’ At which point he leapt up again, dear man, and got down on his hands and knees to look for the missing object. When he failed to spot it, I too leapt up, convinced that my worries had been well-founded and that the stick had indeed vanished into the Southern Railway ether.
However, I soon located it – as I suspected, it was indeed wedged beneath my guitar case. I had to practically slither under the double seat to retrieve it, drawing a huge amount of attention to myself from the packed carriage for the umpteenth time on that journey. Once I had sat back down, I promised the still good-humoured gent that I wouldn’t trouble him again, and stuffed the wretched memory stick firmly back into the side pocket of the laptop bag, where it stayed until I arrived back in my flat. At which point I whipped it out, plugged it into the laptop, and FINALLY, several hours later, got to listen to the rough mix of my new song, ‘Love Me Back’. :)
Thanks, Felix – it was a great day, with a gorgeous-sounding result! See you next week to finish off the other two songs!
And thank you my kind and mysterious benefactor for making the day possible in the first place. Your generosity is very much appreciated!