Fish Beach and the tide of memory

Music is the key.

I was at university in sunny Huddersfield. In the grotty cellar kitchen, which would eventually try and kill one of my housemates and where piles of washing up festered till they grew legs and walked out in disgust; on rickety charity shop chairs and a glass table more sinning than sinned against; by the light of a bare lightbulb.

Murder mystery in a box with the best sort of student fancy dress – cheap and hastily thrown on. Homicide on a 1920s floating Mississippi casino. There were feather boas.

Dave, Roger, Jo, Jon, Kate, Vicky: the theatrical clique who defined two whole years of my life, and – some of them – beyond that. I cooked, to the best of a meagre ability. And as they guessed the murderer, Michael Nyman’s Fish Beach on repeat.

One of those moments you witness and tell yourself ‘remember this’. Frame them in your mind and remember every detail, so that when you hear this music again it will be like flicking open a photo album. Like a polaroid, but one that reminds me of far more than what is captured by the lens. The state of the cooker, the old CD player, the laughter of my friends, me watching them, tears in my eyes. A happy moment. Remember it, I told myself.

Remember it.


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