I said to someone earlier this week, when they were talking slowly and waffling a bit:

Bloody hell, hurry up. Get to the point, will you. The pips have gone!

They just stared at me. They were in their 20’s.


I vaguely remember pips. Do you? If you are 50 like me you probably will.

And I also remember going to a telephone box with 2p to make a call.

10p was quite a serious call.

2p was quite often more than enough.

As you will know if you are a similar age to me, as one approached the end of a paid for telephone call in a telephone box, ‘the pips went’ (beep, beep, beep…). To tell you to end your conversation.

How many pips were there?

How long did the pips go on for?

And how long did you have after the pips before you got cut off, left hearing nothing but a strange whirring/humming noise?

And were there a second set of pips? Or have I imagined that?


In other important news, I was chatting to a 20 year-old Charlotte at work recently.

A woman was talking in quite a posh, affected voice.

It reminded me of The Speaking Clock:

On the third stroke… it will be 3… 25… and 30 seconds…. beep… beep… beep.

Charlotte though I was taking the piss, as I explained that you could ring 123 and be charged for a telephone call to find out what time it was.

Or to check that your new Timex was right. To the second.

So much is done for us these days.

We worry about quite different things.


Finally, and sadly I am not making this up, Tommy – a handsome 22 year old artist and model was in the Always Wear Red studio this week.

He’s a big George Michael fan. As am I.

So when he spotted a copy of ‘Faith’ he asked if I’d put it on the record player.

I responded that he should. So he did.

Removing George’s debut solo album from the sleeve went quite well. Not perfect though.

We older guys tend to create strange shapes with our hands when handling vinyl. Sliding the record out so it thuds against the palm of our other hand, before dextrously working out how to make an odd vinyl-edge/palm-of-our-hand sandwich in mid air.

Tommy just plonked his thumb and fingers on the grooves, handling the record itself with exactly the same care and attention as the sleeve it lived in.

Tommy popped the record onto the turntable. Then stopped.

Tommy asked…

Does the needle start at the middle or the edge?



I replied.

Does the needle move from the middle of the record to the outside, or from the outside of the record to the inside?

Said Tommy.

I looked him in the eyes and did a ‘dad’ face.

Then, shaking my head, I skilfully and precisely placed the needle into the silent 3 seconds between the end of ‘Faith’ and the beginning of ‘Father Figure’ (which I prefer).

I think I then strutted away in slow motion, chewing invisible chewing gum and – for the briefest of moments – feeling cooler than Tommy.

It didn’t last.


    • Kids these days eh. We had it good… MASSIVE Wagon Wheels. Not like the ones these days. They’re tiny.

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