Aah, the murky mists of my deep blue funk have finally dissipated, I can once again see the world in all its foetid splendour. Why the turnaround? A few reasons really.
Firstly I fixed my bike last night – now it was hardly a mammoth repair job, I just needed to replace an inner tube but for me it was quite an accomplishment. I haven’t carried out any kind of bike maintenance, other than de-rusting and re-lubing the chain last week, since I had a paper round back in school, more than a decade and a half ago. Also I have nothing in the way of tools and one hand secured in a tubigrip to ensure that I don’t do anything stupid with it (like fixing bikes). Back in the day I had a pretty simple mountain bike and a racer, only a few gears each so wrenching the wheels off was a simple task – much more daunting these days with gears, cogs and all manner of springs festooning the frame. After a short struggle I had the wheel off, the old tube out, the new one inserted and inflated and the wheel back in place – ten minutes tops. I walked away feeling like my old man (in a good way!) and with hands so covered in oil it looked like I was wearing tight black gloves.
This makes me happy. I have my bike again which means I can go on a wee spin this lunchtime and burn off the pounds of fat I no doubt accumulated, erm, yesterday. I also feel like I can Do Stuff and will be buying a book on bike maintenance so I can do even more – a good idea given the epic cycle plan for later this year.
Secondly I advertised my old electric guitar on Gumtree yesterday morning and instantly had a ton of emails cluttering my inbox. Most seemed exceedingly keen and were asking about year of manufacture, country of origin, etc. with no qualms about the £200 asking price. The guitar was a maple body 1978 Fender Mustang. Some people reading this may currently be spitting their coffee on their monitors and wondering whether I know what I’ve done – I get the feeling it was worth a lot more than that, especially given the fact that the highest bid ended up being £235. I don’t care though, I really don’t. I loved that guitar, it was a gift from my dad many moons ago and was a beautiful piece of kit but it just didn’t get used and that was a damn shame. Guitars are meant to be played, not looked at and certainly not locked away in storage units where you can’t even do that. It needed some work – the pots were a bit shoddy, there’s a slight warp in the neck, the bridge needs attention, no tremolo arm, many scratches – and I don’t have the skills or time to take care of it. Last night someone got a bargain and they’re either going to spend years playing it or will spend some time lovingly restoring it and selling it on for a hefty profit.
This makes me happy. Everyone’s a winner, I now have enough cash to buy the camera I’m after and get tickets to Waiting For Godot, Supersuckers & Nashville Pussy, Richard Dawkins, the Iron Maiden movie and a random climbing film premiere my workmate is setting up at Ratho. Someone else has a new toy which they can either play with or sell on for more money, just as I did. The world is a better place.
(PSA – My Ashdown Electric Blue 130W Bass Combo is also up or sale if anyone’s interested…)
The last reason for my elevated mood is somewhat more whimsical. I was wondering around town on Sunday morning with some time to kill so I popped into Waterstones, ostensibly just for a look but knowing that I’d walk away with something. I ended up grabbing How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker because I’d been reading far too much fiction in recent weeks and needed something meatier to keep the grey matter ticking over. Last night I cracked it open and started skimming through the intro. Something seemed familiar. I flicked through the pages and paused at a few illustrations. Hmm. Checked the chapter headings.
I’ve read it before.
I own it already.
I was fooled by a different cover…
This makes me happy. The beautiful irony of the book’s title and the malfunctioning of my squishy onboard computer brought the biggest smile to my face. Also, flatmate Paige like that sort of thing so she can enjoy the book and then I can sell it on and put the proceeds towards something I haven’t already bought.
So yes, today sees a cheerier Cannonball. Got spending money, fruity oatcakes, a working bike, a birthday in two days, a gig in three. It’s all good.