One of the things I like about motel rooms is that they contain only the minimum of ‘stuff’. They have what’s necessary, plus whatever I thought so important I had to carry it with me. There’s no surplus.
I have an ongoing battle at home to ditch the junk in my life.
Most recently I tackled the contents of my bedroom, aiming to clear out anything that is superfluous. I have piles of things to give away, sell, send to the Salvation Army, or sort through for disposal. I also have a mouldering stereo where I have to punch buttons repeatedly to make them work. It’s mouldering and barely works, but it does work, and it has line-out.
It came in very handy when I found a handful of home-made cassette tapes. One was a recording of a radio interview of a friend, another a recording of a different friend singing and playing guitar. There’s a recording of a radio interview I did in about 1983 for the school’s radio programme when I was a high school teacher.
And then there’s a tape I made in 1976 and sent home to my parents from Europe when I did my first big OE. I was 20, about to turn 21, and sounded just like the young English woman I was, born in London, brought up in Christchurch, the most English city in New Zealand, and educated at Christchurch Girls’ High School, where ladies (but not me) learned what to do and what not to do. In other words I sound a bit plummy and snobby.
There were things about that tape I had completely forgotten. Apparently I bought the tape recorder in Dubai at the Duty Free shop while the plane was refuelling.
But more important, on reaching London I gathered together my mother’s parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephew and had them say something on tape so I could send it home to my parents. I have the only recording of my now deceased grandparents.
I hooked an iMic into my MacBook’s USB port and selected it as a source in the System Prefs > Sound > Input tab. Of course, I plugged the stereo line-out into the iMic. Then I selected the appropriate source in Audio Hijack Pro and started recording. Once the tape had run through I stopped the tape and the ‘hijacking’.
It all worked surprisingly well. Next I loaded the recording in AIFF format info Fission, where I did some snipping to extract some short sections of audio.
My granddad was a London bus driver, probably around the 1920s. He was born in Islington, London in 1893. My grandmother sounds a little different. She was a factory worker, born in Stoke Newington, Hackney in 1892.
Here are 3 short audio clips. Each is less than a minute long and less than 1Mb in size, and all are MP3s.