Our last week in Germany before we go to England for a few weeks. We decided not to fly so we are taking the train all the way. We will travel through Germany into Belgium and then through the channel tunnel to London before moving on a couple of days later. I read this story last week about a woman having her seat punched because she reclined and that the rule is you have to ask permission to recline? I have never heard of that rule before. Cattle flying in crunched up seats where the airlines try to cram in as many as they can. Next time we go to the States we’re going with Greta.
Gazing out of the window today at a smokey grey sky, it seems like days like this get away from you, fall through your fingers. They make you think they are not valuable with the dark hues and their drab demeanour. Damp, uninviting, forcing you inside, but outside in this empty stillness there’s real action! The weeping willow in the garden is budding in February. The tree thinks it’s spring. Gerd told us yesterday that at this point every year he has been shovelling snow away from the driveway, but this year, nothing. That deadly stillness speaks volumes about change and an unknown future. What I always thought about climate change deniers is what I thought about the occasional paid doctor that the tobacco companies used to wheel out to deny that smoking damaged your health, that is, why not err on the side of caution? You get the feeling that something might not be quite right, you look at the toxicity of smoke and the damage that chemicals cause and you think it would probably be better to ease up on that stuff, don’t you?
I remember in the seventies when we used to go on holiday that the windscreen used to be covered in dead insects, smashed against the windscreen of our grey Rover 2000 TC (MDM 3D), red seats inside and outside a mess of green blood. Here in the garden I’m missing the birds. Even when there’s food out for them in the cold, they don’t come. I saw a blackbird this week bathing wildly in a metal tray full of water, perhaps this garden is the bathroom and the kitchen is with one of the neighbours, but when the wildlife is disappearing, it makes you worry.
Suddenly, in contrast to the fading light and encroaching darkness, the clouds dissipate and a bright dying sky appears, a last hurrah for the day. A small breeze moves the bushes in the garden and the bull skull looks out from the front wall as if commanding the darkness to recover its dominance. The bare branches of the black barked trees stand out like skeleton fingers against the backdrop of light. It’s fading fast and soon we’ll be wondering about domestic reality, dinner time, cutting vegetables and satisfying the gnawing in the stomach.
More football tonight in the Europa League, it’s nice to relax into writing here, watching some football, the passion of sportsmen and women. Watching some Sci-Fi, by tomorrow we’ll have two Picard’s to watch. I’ve been watching season 3 of The Expanse and carrying my Tony Visconti book from room to room, threatening to open it. I was thinking today about breaking out my guitar, taking advantage of my road-trained fingers before we leave for England and write something musical. The day is never long enough for all the passions, all the responsibilities, and fulfilling all the needs and desires, but we’ll give it a go balancing happiness and success, security and risk, work ethic and inspiration.
Last but not least, I was sent a video this week, filmed by our friend Derek Timbrell at the Banbury Mill on the 8th August 2001. It was of course the concert by Julianne Regan and Anna Ryder and friends.
I was asked to play guitar and as with many things these days I can’t believe it was 19 years ago. You’ll notice on the first song I am playing my Hagström 6 string acoustic, otherwise known as my ‘other’ stolen guitar. I wonder if that and my stolen Rickenbacker 12 string will ever find their way back to me?