7 February 2008

Strange thing about the early slot in the huge city pool is that they seem to test the fire alarms at a set time each day, when there's not so many customers around. So as you make your way through the water in the great emptiness of the competition pool, not quite yet awake, you often get this voice booming from the PA:

This is an announcement for all staff and customers. We are about to test the fire alarms. No action is to be taken. We are about to test the fire alarms. No action is to be taken.

Then a short pause, and the fire alarm itself comes on as promised, which in this case is just a short bell sound followed by another announcement:

There is an emergency. Would all staff and customers please exit the building by the nearest possible route. Please evacuate the building.

I've liked starting the day with this strange contradiction, living between the denial and the assertion of an emergency.

Later at the cafe down the road to get coffee, three days running I came in through the door to find the same song greeted me – 10cc's 1975 art pop I'm Not In Love. It wasn't the childhood song or the words I thought about so much, as the fact that my routine was colliding me with yet another sonic repetition. I had to imagine the cafe owner coming in at the same time each day, switching stuff on and hitting play on the only compilation CD, the same tracks playing through over an hour or so before 10cc came around with its pre-sampler loops and whispering voices, just in time for me to come in through the door.