This weekend, my youthful lodger looked at my music corner (below) and commented: "Stuff for playing music was big in the olden days, wasn't it?"
And he wasn't even looking at the admittedly chunky record player, which really is quite olden-days (read more below) but the amp and CD player above. "Yes," I thought, smoothing a wrinkle in my face, "and that's what makes it so brilliant." The equipment was once a prominent and important part of music enjoyment.
So when I saw these new music playing gadgets at Urban Outfitters, I came over all nostalgic...
Crosley Stereoluxe speakers, £190
Isn't this iPhone/iPod dock and AM/FM analogue radio a beauty? Perfect shade of 1950s pistachio green (which would go well with my newly painted stairs). Shame there's no digital hidden amid the old-school stylings (I need my BBC6 fix) but then you can always listen online via your phone, if you have a good tariff of course.
This has a nice bit of function hidden inside its 80s New York hip hop stylings: the flap where you'd once have stuck a cassette will take your iPod, and it also has a remote control. Most importantly, it has two 15-watt speakers. If only it really would play old tapes though... I have two big drawers full of the things that I haven't listened to in years. If, like me, you could do with the real thing – try the Vintage Cassette online store.
Crosley portable Tweed turntable, £160
This gorgeously boxy, totally portable turntable is a bit more modern beneath the 1960s exterior: it has USP capabilities, meaning you can spruce up the sound of your vinyl by plugging this baby into your Mac or PC. Though that warm, vinyl crackle is a big part of a record's charm so I'd be tempted to leave it unplugged for playback – but it will revive dusty old records if, of course, you're old enough to have any dusty old records...