My husband has been having a torrid affair with the garage. I have spent several nights alone on the sofa nursing my cup of hot cocoa* whilst Mr Welly continues his dalliance beneath the flicker of a single light bulb from within the depths of his Man Cave. (*okay I meant wine)
However, I am not surprised by this sudden deviation from evening TV and mandatory G&T; after all hubby is well into his forties now and must at some point succumb to the obsessive tendencies experienced by all male of the species with the onset of middle-age. Extreme road-riding and the immoderate purchase of associated accessories; an obsession for lengthy games of golf and an intense indulgence in car restoration… all curry favour with the afflication that is commonly known as the male mid-life crisis.
But none of the pursuits above have caught his wandering eye… instead Mr Welly’s bit on the side has been the careful and most technical creation of… wait for it… a Boombox.
What’s that I hear you say? Well for those born post 1979, look it up. Wikipedia has a fine explanation with technical know-how on the amplification of sound with accompanying loudspeakers. For me and the rest of the non-geeks out there, the epitome of the Boombox will always be the image of a young chap popping down to the shops, casually carrying an enormous ghetto blaster on his shoulder whilst, as the name suggests, booming out insistent tunes at an ear-splitting decibel causing unsuspecting grannies to keel over into the road.
Living in sleepy New Hutton, I’m not sure what kind of use we will have for this fabulous creation. I love music in the relaxed dinner party sort of way; it’s been a while since I hosted the kind of party which required cheap vodka and banging tunes….
Just the mention of circuit boards and technical blurb leaves me as cold as only a language-lover could be… so I’m just a little bit in awe of Mr Welly’s newly found prowess in the technical department (ahem). Three weeks ago when Mr W purchased an empty wine box from ebay and declared it to be his ‘Boombox Project’, I just nodded in acknowledgement of his new-found madness. But when the appearance of strange technical bits starting arriving in the post together with a pair of enormous Wharfedale speakers acquired from Kendal Sell & Seek, I realized he was deadly serious.
Very soon after our relationship peetered on the brink…
The high-tech mess had now extended beyond the garage to both the dining table and kitchen. To make matters worse I had also been left with a very real trail of misery on my Apple Mac – a glut of incomprehensible electronic retailers were now following my every online move. Adverts from Dotty P and Crew Clothing had been replaced with baffling images of electrical parts and circuit boards… hard times indeed.
But as a good wifey with years of legal husband-grooming skills behind me, I submitted to martydom worthy of a saint and bit my lip – after all compromise is the key to a successful marriage. If my own bête noire lies in the obsessive whittling of words until the wee hours then the least I could do was allow my husband to indulge his inner geek at the same time…
At precisely 8pm yesterday, there was an enormous explosion of noise from the garage. For those in the music-know, it was Justin Bieber crooning loudly his desire (in Spanish) to take things extra slowly. Accompanied by some realistic cave man whooping, it was apparent that Project Boombox was complete. I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief.
So here it is, a strange choice perhaps for my Welly Loves… column but why not? Original and unique, the Welly Boombox is a fine example of artisan workmanship which above all has been made right here in goodl ole Cumbria. To some it may perhaps look crude and clunky but isn’t that all part of its quirky appeal as the home-made polar opposite of today’s quest for tiny invisible sound systems?
With the ugly technical gubbins and mechanical physics from my clever husband’s brain hidden deep within the innards of an old wine box, it’s certainly back-to-basic but sounds awesome. I’m mighty impressed with his creativity too – a Banksy stencil adds some throwback grunge to the exterior and an old Burton snowboard binding doubles-up as a handle thus ensuring its portability and true status as a retro Boombox!
I thought he’d never complete it, that it was a pie-in-the-sky project… I am mighty impressed and proud.
So roll on summer 2018 and with it barbecues and outdoor Boombox beats.
New Hutton is gonna party like it’s 1999. I think I just became a mid-life Belieber too.