We’ll never be uncovered again

by Maria on February 20, 2006

If there is one firm rule I have in life, it is never to make an important decision in February. (For those in the southern hemisphere, I advise caution in August.) February is the darkest of months, especially in Brussels where we haven’t seen sunshine in 5 months and an outbreak of killer smog is felling 30 people a day, or so they say. In February, the only rational response to circumstances is obviously to chuck in the job and emigrate. Which I’ve done. Twice.

The last time, I held out for all of February and handed in my notice on 1st March – which arguably doesn’t follow the rule, so I’ve had to tighten things up. Now I won’t even get a haircut in February. I thought I was doing quite well this year – not confirming any flight bookings, not picking a dissertation topic, not buying new boots, etc. But then I weakened, went on Amazon and bought some music. The kind of music that’s so embarrassing, the only thing for it is to publicly confess. I’m now the owner of Take That’s Never Forget; the Ultimate Collection.

I have filed this purchase under:

Bands (if boybands count as bands) I Hated at the Time and Now Enjoy Nostalgically (and Not at all Ironically), (see also Foreigner)

Cheesy Cover Versions of Songs that I Much Prefer to the Classier Original (See also Love is All Around by Wet Wet Wet),

Bands I Liked Only Because I Fancied the Singer (I was a Mark Owen fan) (see also Aha, Falco , INXS), and

Albums that Make Me the Annoying Plonker Singing Tunelessly in the Metro, Convinced that Others will Join in at Any Moment and Life Will Be Like a Fizzy Drinks Commercial, Except Cooler.

Ahem. Well, this year’s bout of February insanity has been more embarrassing but less exhaustingly life-changing than in previous years. If you’re feeling fed up and worn out by this endless winter, you could do worse than check out Pure80sPop.co.uk. Or you could make like the rest of Northern Europe and just go skiing (where you will dance manically to a jagermeister-fuelled blend of 5-year old Euro-pop, so there’s no need to feel superior). Or do the French thing and take off to one of your well-located ex/current colonies in the sun. Or Declare a Duvet Day and watch the entirety of a great mini-series.

Any embarrassing revelations / tips on dealing with the late-Winter slump gratefully received.



Ray 02.20.06 at 6:47 am

One problem – you decided that the only rational response was to publicly confess your shame. This decision was made…?


Maria 02.20.06 at 7:30 am

… in full keeping with the February impulse.

Compulsive honesty; a less attractive character trait than you might imagine.


John Quiggin 02.20.06 at 7:32 am

Actually, Brisbane in February is not at its best (litres of sweat from any exertion) and August is beautiful.


Scott Martens 02.20.06 at 7:56 am

Tell me about it. It’s Monday, my coffee machine is broken, the school’s coffee machine is only taking Proton (My balance: €0.26) and I have a quiz tonight on aspect particles in Chinese and another one tomorrow on prepositions in Dutch, followed by an essay on “wat ik bemin en wat ik haat van m’n eigen land.” They’re tearing down the balconies in my appartment block – jackhammers from 8h30 to 17h30. And of course, it’s dark and raining – rain like God taking a piss after a weekend bender. The air is… what’s the word? ongeloofelijk. It’s no better in Leuven right now. And my office stinks like wet floppy disks.

*sigh* And it was my anniversary yesterday. 12 years since I met this weird Californian girl in a German chatroom on IRC. The kids these days don’t even know what IRC was. I’m not only old, I’m old on Internet time.

On with the matter at hand:

Bands (if boybands count as bands) I Hated at the Time and Now Enjoy Nostalgically (and Not at all Ironically): Talk Talk, Les Rita Mitsouko, and Noir Désir.
Cheesy Cover Versions of Songs that I Much Prefer to the Classier Original: Does sampling count? Dannii Minogue’s sampling of Madonna’s Get into the groove with Don’t wanna lose this feeling.
Bands I Liked Only Because I Fancied the Singer : Siouxsie & the Banshees, Basia, Martika. (Okay, I’m a bit weird.)

All from last spring’s iTunes buys. So voila, someone with more embarassing spring music purchases than you.


des von bladet 02.20.06 at 9:23 am

The kids these days don’t even know what IRC was.

The kids then didn’t either, to a comparable extent, and I for one am sick and tired of freeware grot coming with an “oh we haven’t done any docs, just come and ask us on #grot-dev it’ll be fine”.


Simstim 02.20.06 at 9:42 am

I’m still waiting for Gopher’s comeback.


Doug 02.20.06 at 10:21 am

I don’t know what we’ve done right down here in Bavaria, but from about 1 December until last week it’s been nothing but real cold, sometimes with new snow, sometimes without. The Germans call it ‹i>Arschkalt‹/i> (butt-cold), for reasons I am never likely to understand. That means I’ve been able to wear my Belarusian fur hat (file under Purchases Even More Eccentric than Boy Bands) quite a bit, and most weekends have involved climbing snowy slopes.

Normally the European winter grates terribly on my sub-tropical soul, but at least Arschkalt is not weeks and weeks of gray and slush. Anyway, Maria, maybe you could take a decision in January to spend at least a quarter of February somewhere at least as southerly as Spain. (There’s also the sociable approach: When I lived in Budapest, there were enough willing folks to organize Feb Club, with a party each and every night of the shortest month.)


bhagavathy 02.20.06 at 12:26 pm

I will just suggest a technical correction: the equivalent of February in the southern hemisphere must surely be September (the second month after the solstice).



Tim Worstall 02.20.06 at 2:57 pm

“at least as southerly as Spain.”

Wouldn’t bother. We’ve got hail here in Lisbon.


Brendan 02.21.06 at 7:27 am

Sorry I apologise. The people with whom Berlusconi sit in government are ‘post-fascist’. Luckily Berlusconi has now chanted that.

‘Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi strikes a pre-election political alliance with the granddaughter of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

The small far-right political party led by Alessandra Mussolini will now be drawn into Berlusconi’s centre-right House of Freedom coalition – which she quit in 2003 after now-Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini condemned her grandfather.

Mussolini and Berlusconi appeared smiling and shaking hands together before television cameras…’



Brendan 02.21.06 at 7:27 am

sorry should have been ‘changed’ that rather than ‘chanted’ that, although ‘chanted’ does sound better.

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