From their second album Recovering The Satellites this song accompanied me through the terrible terrible Christmas of 1996.
I worked like a dog over the holiday season that year. The pub I had been working in had me for as many hours as they could but we were in trouble financially. So I took a second job in the kitchen at a big hotel and a third job unloading containers on the docks for some cash in hand. But it wasn’t enough to keep the electricity meter topped up at all times.
“A long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last”
I regularly woke up alone in the winter of 1996 with a frozen over glass of water next to the bed and frost in my hair. The house was cold and dark so I stayed on the seats in the pub some nights to not waste the warmth of the heated bar. In the odd hours my friends and I weren’t working or hiding in the closed bar we’d make house calls on one another for mugs of tea and doses of optimism.
“The smell of hospitals in winter and the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls, all at once you look across a crowded room to see the way that light attaches to a girl”
I recall my now departed Granny sending me a voucher in Christmas card for Marks & Spencer so I could get myself something. I got a bag of chili nachos and a huge bottle of vodka. I shared it with my housemate Loudun and we got smashed on boxing day and listened to Counting Crows. We talked about how we’d both just broken up with our girlfriends, about how much that sucked. We talked endlessly about that shit. And we talked about our plans once we graduated college and got our own careers off the ground.
“Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m. and talked a little while about the year, I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower, makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her”
And we made each other laugh (the vodka probably helped). Somehow we always made each other laugh. We were both on our arses that year but this has somehow become one of my favourite records because of that terrible dark depressing winter.
The year we lost friends to the darker side, didn’t see our families and froze our arses off in a lousy rented hose with no heating while slaving away in dead end jobs has become a fond bitter sweet kind of memory.
“It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean I guess I should”