Just a quick note to say that if you contributed to the Indiegogo campaign for the new MOAT album Poison Stream and haven’t figured out, haven’t seen or didn’t get your digital download yet, then contact Olivia here: firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you out.
I presume that everybody is aware of the monoliths that have been appearing in different locations in the world. There was one that appeared in San Juan County, Utah, 9 feet tall but soon after it was spotted it mysteriously disappeared leaving a triangular divot in the Earth. Next was Atascadero, a town in San Luis Obispo County, California, where at this point, it is still there but differs slightly in placement and size. Then there is the monolith in Batca Doamnei Hill near Piatra Neamt in Romania which is allegedly the same as the Utah monolith, although differing reports state the size as 13 feet, an example of misinformation that has become so familiar – it’s the same size except for the 4 feet difference? So is the different California monolith a copycat placed there by artistic types? Or are they all artistic statements? Is it the beginning of alien communication and/or reconnaissance missions or is it the mysterious and always invisible Banksy branching out? The alien’s clever trick of making the monoliths both the same and different sizes at the same time is one thing, planting them and moving them unseen another, but how did they get my image from the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra onto the Utah monolith? What are they trying to say? Do they like Rickenbackers? (Nice one, Guy.)
In our bedroom, there are walls that are hundreds of years old. You awake to the sound of the rain outside beyond the shutters that block out the light, but not the sound of the weather. Somewhere inside those ancient blocks, small channels of water wind their way through the construct onto the stone floor, the bedside table, and my book. There’s something real about it, something natural exposing nature’s ability to eventually thwart human endeavour. When we left today, clambering down four flights of painted brown stairs, the hallway between the bottom step and the entrance showed a greater problem where the water has destroyed the ceiling, ripped the plaster and paint off the wall and left large brown stains, indelible streaks that beg for renovation. It’s the story of the city and there is so much renovation going on here. I feel glad to see it like this, the way New York and Berlin used to be in neighbourhoods that have now become gentrified and inhabited by millionaires.
Outside the city was shrouded in an ominous mist, we decided to walk to another part of town, umbrellas at the ready, in search of Quorn. Is it worth traipsing across town in the rain for frozen processed veggie food? Yes, of course, it is, otherwise, I’d starve! Ok, I’m exaggerating but that Quorn cottage pie is something else. The other reason to walk across town on a rainy, misty afternoon with the clouds low is to catch the town in a unique atmosphere, this is Portugal, everyone in the world thinks, Southern Europe – sunny all the time. Then there’s the exploring of the city, going off in different directions, seeing where these winding roads lead. I’ll be posting various pictures over the coming weeks to Christmas as we discover ancient streets, beautiful decay, and the allure of a strange city, one which we hope to know better soon.
We stumbled across a very cool Indie record store, Music and Riots, in a street of cool alternative shops, a health food store, a gallery and others. The record store hasn’t been open long but we met Fausto, the owner, he also has a magazine and he’s trying hard to get the Indie thang happening in Portugal. I noticed a lot of records in there that I have – Weyes Blood, Phoebe Bridgers, Flying Lotus, FKA Twigs, Fever Ray, you get the picture. Also in the street was a clothes shop that had a nice lady, Madelene, who owned the shop, I found the ‘husband chair’ and Olivia looked at some clothes and some jewellery, she bought a horned beast to hang around her neck. She told us we were the only customers all day and like the record store, these kinds of shops are struggling, it’s winter, it’s raining, it’s misty, it’s masks, virus, and fear, there’s not a lot of people browsing.
We took the subway back to the Airbnb, our first time using public transport. It was getting late, it was raining, we thought we should take the easy route home but it was good to get a look at the subway and start to get to know the lines. It had been a longish day, we’ve had a meeting with Mario, the man who was helping us open a bank account before we left. We’d found the recycling and emptied bags of plastic bottles and packaging. We’d climbed endless steps, steep inclines and wheeled our umbrellas fighting the constant drizzle. We were ready for Californians In Space, but first I had French, Olivia had emails and I still haven’t caught up with my emails and my phone fraud is still not solved after two weeks. Life!
Music today was…haha, The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965) and interestingly, now I’m out of the archive and can’t actually play records, my Spotify account could be playing countless wonders that I don’t even own, that’s the thing today, you don’t even need a record collection to play your favourite music. But somehow I’ve been sticking with The Beatles, more because it takes attention and concentration to explore new music and old music you love and know well is a comfort and a familiarity when you are balanced between the old and the new world of your life.