A nice man called Huw emailed me and asked me if I wanted a challenge. I pondered this briefly and said yes please, I like challenges. He also asked me if I wanted a free Sony Walkman W Series mp3 player. I also pondered this briefly and said yes please nice man, BRING ON THE FREEBIES.
A parcel turns up for me at work and I eagerly open it and hmm, it’s a nasty plum and gold colour, but this isn’t the nice man’s fault as I didn’t specify a colour and so he either thought I seemed like a plum and gold kind of girl, or it was the first box that came to hand and he just shoved it in the envelope without giving colour choice a second thought. Methinks the latter.
I give it a greater inspection when I get home and it’s nice and light but as it’s wireless and the mp3 player is in the headphones, it looks like one of those bluetooth mobile telephone things, the things that make you look like a dork and as there’s two earpieces on the Walkman, I’m going to look like a double-dork. Ouch.
The next morning I get up bright and early and I don’t mean a I’ve been up drinking and watching Sex and the City all night 10am bright and early, I mean a what the fuck am I doing up at 6am on a Saturday morning kind of bright and early and I take the Walkman upstairs to put some music on it, as my challenge is to compile a playlist that will improve my performance. I was asked ages ago by Phil to compile a playlist and share it with the internet people, but I sort of accidentally didn’t get round to doing it. The absence of any freebies being offered was purely coincidental.
The Walkman comes with a cute little docking station and the headphones magnetically clip together with a satisfying click. This isn’t purely aesthetic, unclipping them turns the Walkman on. According to the instructions the status lamp should start blinking but I can’t see a status lamp, blinking or otherwise, so I reconsult the instructions and it has a handy picture for idiots like me that literally points you in the right direction with an arrow pointing at the lamp but it’s still not doing anything and so I read the instructions again and one of the first things it says is “when you use the player for the first time … the player may take some minutes to be recognised by the computer”. In other words, be patient.
So while I’m being patient I have another look at the instructions as I’m sure I saw on there somewhere that it can be used with iTunes. Yippee. That’ll save me having to a) think of what to put on the Walkman; and b) finding the tracks hidden in the depths of my hard drive. But I can’t find the bit that says I can use it with iTunes and so I try to use Windows Media Player but give up after a while as it’s not happening and I look at the instructions again and yippee, find the bit about iTunes and I need to install the Walkman’s Content Transfer and so I try to do this but it says the installer can’t be installed and so I’m going to have to drag and drop and I go through my iTunes folder to try and choose some music and I’m wondering why the fuck I’ve got 18 Metallica albums and unsurprisingly don’t choose any tracks from any of them and I eventually choose some tracks to take me round my planned 30 minutes/3 miles marshes run.
I set Cedric for 30 minutes/3 miles and cheat by eating some jelly beans to power me through it and I get outside and it’s very windy and I think the dorky headphones are going to come off but they stay nicely in my ears and they’re comfy and the sound quality is great but I’m not sure my playlist is going to improve my performance and first up is Inbetweener by Sleeper that I chose because ages ago I had an idea to write a chick lit novel called Inbetweener even though a) I haven’t read many (if any) chick lit books; and b) don’t know how to write one but Sleeper is always good to listen to and next up is Only Living Boy in New Cross by Carter which I chose because I was supposed to see a band in New Cross yesterday, but didn’t due to having to clean the house in preparation for the letting agent today and which turns out to be good running music, although as I get to the bridge Cedric catches up so I must run faster and next is Cardiacs with In a City Lining, chosen because I spent yesterday updating my Facebook status with lines from it. This has to be the most impossible music in the world to run to, as they refuse to keep to the same time signature for more than 20 seconds at a time and it’s all stop/start but this is partly what makes them the best band in the world ever. The other part is simply that Tim Smith is a genius.
Next up is Graham Coxon with You & I that I remembered kept me on the treadmill once longer than I had planned and so anything that can keep me on a treadmill must be good. And it’s nothing to do with the fact that he’s got that geek chic thing going on.
Just Say Yes by the Cure is a song that makes me happy. I should have played this last night when I was having a major strop because I had to do the hoovering and tidying instead of sitting on the sofa drinking wine and eating chocolate which is what I should have been doing on a Friday night (or being in New Cross watching a band, if you’ve been paying attention).
More Cardiacs, this time Joining the Plankton, which is my most favourite song in the world ever and the song I want played at my funeral. I’ll probably have more than one song but I haven’t thought of any others yet.
Hole start singing Miss World. I really like this song but I’ve never run to it before and I don’t think I will again as it sounds quite depressing. Still, never mind because next is My Delirium by Ladyhawke and this is more like it, up-beat and dancey and just right to give me the final push for the last bit of the run which my Garmin tells me I have 21 seconds left to do and when I finish, I’ve beaten Cedric.
So, challenge completed. Not really songs chosen to give me a push but songs chosen for various reasons, none of which running related. Don’t tell the nice man, he might ask for the Walkman back.
Distance: 3.04 miles
Pace: 9:52 m/m
Up bright and earlies: 1
New MP3 players: 1
Sleeper – Inbetweener
Carter – Only Living Boy in New Cross
Cardiacs – In a City Lining
Graham Coxon – You & I
Cure – Just Say Yes
Cardiacs – Joining the Plankton
Hole – Miss World
Ladyhawke – My Delirium