“The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark.”

It’s been over a year since I’ve been on here, so I thought I should start with an update of sorts to explain my absence before going back into posting analyses.

1. My 2013 Macbook decided to give up the ghost mid-November 2018. I was working one Saturday afternoon and POOF!, the screen became unresponsive. Multiple attempts to resuscitate and change hard drives were to no avail. My brother is expected to visit later this year and will try to revive it. Fingers crossed.

Having suffered major laptop problems in the past, I hadn’t been keeping too much on the hard drive, so it wasn’t a huge loss. Well, until I realized some of my music discovery spreadsheets had only been saved on the hard drive. All those hours of hard work are now lost to the ether.

2. At the time of the Great Macbook Failure, I was also sick as a dog with an undiagnosable cough. I was sick for over a month. I was even absolutely miserable during a birthday trip to Glasgow and Sheffield in late November into early December. Thank goodness I went to visit some of my loveliest friends. I ate amazing food everywhere, finally went to the famous York Christmas market on a weekend, went to two holiday-themed etsy markets, and got to see Ben Lomond in the distance on my birthday, from a pier on a sunny day in Luss no less. Check out my cover photo on Twitter.

3. I got a new laptop at New Year’s. It’s an Acer running Windows 10. So speedy after I upgraded the RAM and hard drive, but the monitor is pretty crap. It’s way too bright, and the monitor problem is a known flaw that I misjudged as something I could cope with. I feel like I’m getting a suntan every time I open the lid. To cope with it, I have to decrease the brightness so my gorgeous photo of the Yorkshire countryside that I’m using at the background looks dark, dull, and sad. Needless to say, I don’t use it as much as the Macbook.

The new laptop has a CD / DVD player, very uncommon among Windows laptops these days. I have been hooking up the laptop to my tv with an HDMI cable so I can watch YouTube on the bigger screen. This has been an odd game-changer. I never considered watching a video I’d otherwise watch on my phone on a much larger screen. Given how bad my laptop monitor is, anything significant like a concert or interview looks infinitely better on my tv than on the laptop.

4. Given the problem with my laptop and some other things going on personally, I decided to turn TGTF to dormant as of 5 April 2019. Going forward and except under special circumstances, we will not be posting any new content. I was a music blogger and editor for over 10 years, and it was time to focus my energies in a different direction. More information on my decision can be read here.

5. Thanks to the kindness of a young velvet rope minder Saturday 4 May at Liverpool Sound City 2019, I met and excitedly chatted with Andy McCluskey of OMD. He was every bit as lovely as I imagined he would be. I am the same age as ‘Electricity’, give or take a few months. I thanked him for everything he has done to bring synthesizers to the mainstream and congratulated him on their 40th anniversary. When he found out how old I was, he gave me a huge hug for my birthday this year. It’s hard to imagine anything else will happen before December 31 to top this moment for me.

6. The following week, Liverpool FC won the Champions League in Madrid, beating Tottenham Spurs. Take that, Harry Kane! After our painful defeat in the 2018 final, this was the result we needed. Go Reds!

7. I started a new job in May. Hooray! I have now been there for 2 months, and I can say without question that putting TGTF on ice could be the best decision I have made this year. Jobs are like juggling acts as it is. But trying to get onboarded at a new place, getting things organized the way you want them, *and* continue with new content at TGTF at the level I would have wanted, and at the same time, would have been impossible.

Right, seven bullet points are plenty. On with the show!

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