February 6th, 2006

smiling, pandababy

come cuddle closer, don't you dare to answer no, sir

I got three albums yesterday. One was the new(ish) Metric album, which I wanted to get before Christmas but then didn't, as part of my remarkably selective "I won't buy anything unnecessary for myself until February" plan. And while the Metric album is pretty good, I'm afraid to admit that I'm much more thrilled with the two less hipster-ish albums I purchased today, in, of all the dreadful places, Past Times. Yes, the shop which almost managed to destroy my love of Charles Rennie Mackintosh thanks to its schlocky bastardisation of his beautiful designs. The two CDs I purchased there, as part of their two-for-one CD deal, were a collection of '30s dance numbers called, imaginatively, Shall We Dance and the even more imaginately titled Forties Favourites which, well, does exactly what it says on the tin. I bought Forties Favourites because I somehow don't have a recording of 'Moonlight Serenade', which I think is the most romantic music in the world. I don't even know why - there's more passionate music, there's much sexier music, there's more poetic music, there's more profound music, but there's something about 'Moonlight Serenade' that just makes me swoon and always has. I absolutely love it.

And I bought the other one just because I love that sort of music. I've spent the last two days taking dancing breaks and prancing about the sitting room to 'The Continental'. Well, what's the point in knowing how to tap dance properly if you don't break out the time step now and then? It's brilliant. I was slightly obsessed with the between-the-wars years when I was a kid, which is why I have always been terribly sad that my dreadful mane of hair can't be cut into a decent bob (believe me, it's been tried) and why I was probably one of the few eleven year olds to know what year the Charleston was the hottest dance in the world (1926, if you're interested). It all sprang from my infant love of books from the '20s and '30s, from the William books to P.G. Wodehouse, but it extended to the clothes (the hats! THE HATS!) and of course the popular music. I've always been a huge Fred Astaire fan, and when I was a kid I had a fantastic album which I have since lost which included some of his finest moments - I was particularly fond of 'The Wedding Cakewalk', which I've sought in vain for years - if anyone knows where I can get my hands on it, do tell me.

So thank you, Past Times. You may be full of hideous tat and bizarrely jingo-istic huzzah-for-the-British-empire memorabilia which your central British management might want to reconsider trying to sell in Dublin, but you've given me an excuse to do the Charleston....
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