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Yesterday, Emi and I were over in Wakefield visiting my mother and taking her to the supermarket for her weekly shop.

Bumped into Malcolm Place in the supermarket, one of the few people still around from my childhood on Conistone Crescent on Eastmoor's estate, one of several council estates in Wakefield.

Malcolm is six years older than me so was thought of as one of the 'bigger boys' by those of us a little younger. But I remember Malcolm well. He lived with his parents in the next small block of flats to us. These were not high rise flats, just two story, house-sized, each block containing four families, two on the ground floor, two on the upstairs floor.

I was three, I think, when my parents and I moved there from my grandma's Marriot's Buildings address. (Which would make it 1951.) We were the first family to live at 28 Conistone Crescent. The flat was brand spanking new and smelled of fresh emulsion paint and freshly sawed and prepared woodwork. After the Victorian gloom of Marriot's Buildings, with no bathroom or inside toilet, it was like walking into a bright, shiny future.

I was very happy there, playing out 'till dusk with the neighbourhood kids, particularly with Bronwyn Jackson, a girl who lived upstairs from us with her parents. Bronwyn was a little older than me but somewhere in the middle of the age difference between Malcolm and myself.

It was good to see Malcolm, albeit briefly. It's fairly rare to bump into him like that, but he always makes a fuss of my mother and seemed genuinely astonished when she told him she'd just celebrated her 90th birthday.

Today I finally found time to check the mastered 'Auditoria' album. My engineer buddy John Spence had sent me copy master discs to approve at the start of last week but I didn't find time to listen through to them until now. Despite the problems we experienced with the faulty DAT machine the mastering turned out well and the triple album sounds really good.

It's strange listening to it all back as a single entity now. Previously it was a 'bit at a time,' but hearing it in its completed form and in an unbroken flow is a revelation.

I'm always super critical and will find lots of things, (once an album is completed,) that I'd like to change. To a certain extent, that is the case here, but I think the plus points far outweigh the minus ones and I was pleasantly surprised by my positive reaction to the whole thing.

It's a very rich feast though...I would recommend that listeners don't attempt to take the entire three discs in in one listening session. Just enjoy one disc at a time, allowing it to sink in.

It's one of those albums that will grow with repeated listenings, some of it is easy, some of it challenging, but all of it will be satisfying, over time. And now back to some video creation for the 'Plectronica' event...


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