It's late at night (After 10pm - at my age this is late, something my younger siblings may find amusing) and I'm listening to Late Junction on radio 3 (surely another sign I have reached a certain age). Through my work-shattered brain, the lobes of which have been jumbled a little more by the introduction of a glass or two of fine ale, something is twinkling and squawking in a rather engaging manner...
...on further investigation the next day I discover the ear/brain teaser goes by the name of Joanna Newsom.
She's playing her new album in the shop right now. Yesterday Marie described the album as "awful" and "like listening to pub drunks singing songs from Annie". I had it on quite loud as I was pottering about before opening. Then I noticed someone waiting outside the shop. I pulled myself together saying things like "only a couple more days then they'll all bugger off and leave us lonely and yearning for them through January" before hauling up the shutters, stretching a smile across my face, yelling "morning".
"Are you open?" says the Austrian blonde.
"Yes, go right in" say I, and she does.
I finish opening the shutters then remember our Joanna is now singing to my first customer of the day.
I'm back in there in a flash but Joanna is the only one screaming (something along the lines of "desire, desire deeeeeeeesire" as it turns out.) I reduce the volume to a more civilised level and wait. A few minutes of happy browsing later the lady comes to the till with a book on soups and an imported book about Rodin with text by Rilke.
"Lovely books" she says.
We pause as the credit card machine checks her financial situation, something I cannot handle. I am forced to make conversation.
"What do you think of this album?" I ask. "I bought it the other day and I'm still trying to work out if it's brilliant or rubbish".
"When I first came in I thought it was lovely. But this song's a bit weird..."
In fact there are only five songs on this album and they are all pretty long. It's the same song as when she came in though quite hard to tell.
She leaves happy.
Next customer is the bloke from Flutes Plus down the road. He doesn't seem to notice the music at all. Phew.
Anyway, what's the point of this post?
What I want to know is this.
Am I just infatuated with this weird woman because the Christmas season has pushed me over the edge? Or is she truly brilliant?
Or have I just spent too long reading A Glastonbury Romance?