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Dire Straits. Just look at them! How could any self-respecting pre-teen think such a band was cool? No wonder I groaned to the high heavens and rolled my eyes whenever my dad put Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits on the CD player.
Without me realising it, this album came to signify a sense of safety and belonging that went along with sitting down with my family to eat a meal. Gradually, our parents gave my brother and I the freedom to select our 'dining music' - the music that would accompany our frantic feeding times. Time and again, we would bashfully choose this CD - Dire Straits, whom we'd once so derided, had somehow become our favourite band.
Now that I'm living on my own, an apparent 'grown-up' who's but a week away from that quarter-of-a-century milestone, I'll freely admit that Dire Straits blasts out of my laptop speakers more often than not these days. When I'm stressed or feeling sad, listening to the dulcet tones of Mark Knopfler and friends brings me right back to those family dinners on rainy Sunday evenings, surrounded by the most important people in the world.