At the bottom of my digital music library (ITunes) is a fact: somewhere hidden amongst the plastic and wires is 20.2 days of music. This currently equates to 6883 items, i.e. songs. Added to this there are also a number of songs (lots) that are currently dangling their feet from an imaginary cloud waiting for the celestial power of flesh and nail to zip them back to Dell.

It’s a slow process.

The fact that a majority of the collection is currently playing at rain makers is due, largely, to a catastrophic fault on the eight year old Dell earlier in the year. There had been some clues. The old box laptop had been coughing, spluttering and wheezing for sometime before lines began to appear across the screen; multicoloured effects that in some ways enhanced the hypnotic monochrome world of Word. Then the fatal day arrived. I pressed to start and waited for the familiar whirr and bleep. Nothing. The machine scratched at life: echoes of intelligence filtered out from within the plastic walls in the form of sounds that resembled a bicycle tyre on tarmac. After much tapping and shaking a soulless curser appeared, like a blind eye, and blinked from the top right hand corner amid the sea of blackness. I had to face the fact, Dell was gone. The machine had bowed out, declined its seat at the table and taken its leave.

With the death of Dell came a sudden realisation: back-up! In the old days there was always tomorrow and now yesterday, to quote Paul, seemed so far away. With the machine’s passing also went my email, documents, accounts (to show a loss, of course), contact lists, pictures (only work, fortunately), word documents and, most importantly, the music library or to give it its proper title, The Hawthorn Halls. There was also the liberation from social media which, for those of you who have recently received friend requests may have guessed, didn’t last too long.
The Hawthorn Halls had taken eight years to create. Not only that, after digitalising the hard goods, albums and CDs were placed into piles titled ‘Keeper’ or ‘EBay’. My purple seller star was suddenly beginning to seem like an expensive fashion accessory.

With the receipt of New Dell came the sudden realisation that all was not lost. During the festive period of 2011, Apple had managed (I must have been drunk) to get twenty plus pounds off me in return for a piece of cloud. Thank you, Apple. And so began the laborious task of re-down loading the collection. I am approximately half way through so have had to pay for another year of cloud busting but, hey ho.

With the creation of The Hawthorn Halls comes the knowledge that there are songs and artists who I either can’t recall or who I haven’t listened to, ever. So to put things right, I’ve reversed my preferences and started the game of zero roulette. The intention is to share this fun and point you in the direction of an artist or band that I stumble across each week.

This week’s song, which was a single of the week (free) back in early 2009, is Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event. Have a look at their website at It turns out the band are quite big in the States.

Now, how to back-up?