Hard News by Russell Brown


Brimful on the 45

This morning 20 years ago, I left my squat in the Elephant and Castle for an unremarkable train journey of great importance. I was travelling to Reading to uplift my first computer: an Amstrad 512k SD.

A small discount on the purchase was a perk of a job I'd left six weeks before, to tag along with the Chills in Europe and, I told myself and others, write a novel.

A delay in the process had worked out nicely. The day the computer was ready was my 25th birthday. I recall a feeling of satisfaction at having bought myself a tool. I felt older and a little more in control of my destiny.

The novel, which was really more like tracts of impressionistic non-fiction, never got finished, but the attempt was character-forming. Nearly every morning I got up early and wrote on that computer, with its single floppy drive. It was a useful habit.

And now it's 20 years later and I'm 45 today. I have work. It's interesting, fulfilling work and it pays, but there's no goofing off for the birthday boy. My blogging will be light this week. Rest assured that, come the end of the week, I aim to misbehave.

In the meantime, perhaps you'd be kind enough to complete this survey on your role in the future of television, which is connected with some of the work I'm doing.

Then you can watch a clip of some New Zealanders in London finding new and captivating ways to open bottles of beer. I find it oddly heartwarming.

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