I hang on to the best of the mixed tapes I've received over the years. The very, very best came from a friend I had in Belfast; I still keep it with me in my van though I'm afraid to listen to it now. It is 18 years old, after all, and a treasure.
I remember cuing up all the cassettes I was using to make a mixed tape, calculating how many minutes each song would take so as not to go over the 45 minute-per-side rule (I hated when the tape ended in the middle of the song).
As I recorded each song, I'd write notes about why I'd included it on the tape. I'd decorate the liner to personalise the gift. The endeavour of making a mixed tape was always a labor of love, a task that required creativity and time. Whole rainy afternoons and every feeling in my teenaged self would go into their creation.
Well, 20 years later, and the mixed tape is a thing of the past. I click and drag to create playlists, and burn them on to CDs. It takes minutes, really.
When I reconnected with Nic, I wanted to reignite our shared love of music. I created a playlist for him, and was inspired to recapture the nostalgic charm of the old mixed tape.
Here's what I made! It's a B-side, of course, with blue thread reminiscent of my high school blue ballpoint pens. This CD case is three layers of felt to contain the two CDs it holds. It will be on its way to Wales this week!