Midnight comes and the dark strands of shredded night hang from the sky, caught in the fabric of the universe. The stars still bleed their light and the flat Earth still spins an awkward square in the confused minds of the band of believers that see the truth in the image of an invisible imagined entity yet distrust science as some sleazy untruth perpetrated by liars and frauds. Of course, scientists too are sometimes wrong but perhaps their greatest gift is their need to at least double-check that they are right before they commit. After following the doctrine of Copernicus, Galileo was charged with heresy and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life by the Catholic church, people believe what they want to believe despite the science, like the age of the Earth and how it fits into religious doctrine. Some of us prefer to not believe what we are told until it becomes irrefutable. If it cannot be proven we weigh up the evidence and try to trust and be reasonable about what we’re being told, discerning, clear-headed and light on personal agendas. People talk about a gut feeling, I’m not sure we should always trust such a thing, the gut can be capricious. Surely you should give your opinions a wider berth than jumping to conclusions, not have them simply suit your situation, your frustrations, or possibly unfounded suspicions. If you’ve gotta believe something that has many possible truths, be careful, that’s all.
In the street today, the people were getting on with their lives at various speeds and volumes. Noisy teenagers, quiet old ladies, masked men, all doing their particular version of living. We took the train over to Gaia to buy some chunky Kit Kats at the supermarket under El Corte Inglés but hours later we realised that we had forgotten to buy them. We seem to be heading out at rush hour, our day starts as other’s end. An oblivious teenage girl sat across two seats on the busy train, nobody asked her to move but when a seat by her became free and another girl came and sat down I couldn’t tell them apart, just different hair colour. It made me think how the internet has homogenized the world – those same low-cut ankle socks and jeans that don’t reach the ankles, the phone, the bag, the hairstyle, everything but it’s not a criticism we generally spend our youth trying to fit in. I certainly looked like everyone else at the Hawkwind gig at the Liverpool Stadium in 1974 but it seems that in those heady days of seventies youth that when I went hitchhiking in France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland that younger people looked different in Europe to the younger people where I was from and that was part of the thrill. Having said that I don’t quite remember if the Germans looked different to the French. I do remember the thrill of their languages and how intriguing and exciting it was to be in a place where your language wasn’t spoken.
At El Corte Inglés whilst forgetting the chunky Kit Kats we checked out the women’s floor but it was mostly pricey designer stuff that was still expensive despite hefty New Year discounts. Olivia found a hat that was only about £15 but it was too small, the lady said that there were more like this downstairs but like a family of goldfish we got distracted and forgot about that too. We were on our way to the top floor to look at music and books but they had no music and three small shelves of books in English. Not that three shelves of English language or translated classics wouldn’t keep you busy. I’d read Gulliver’s Travels, Don Quixote, McEwan’s Atonement and a couple of others (they had the book I’m reading, The Cockroach) but there was enough to keep you going between Oliver Twist, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Madame Bovary and Roald Dahl’s short story collection, Someone Like You. Life has been long – have I read Madame Bovary?
Out of the book session we stumbled on the bedding department and I’d been promising my head a new pillow, so we went to check out what they had. A nice man showed me six pillows, starting at over £120 and going down to £30. He pulled out a cover for one of the showroom beds and told me to lie down, placing the pillow under the protective sheet. The first four expensive ones were all too hard, next came what he called a hotel pillow – too soft. I discovered that the cheapest pillow was the one I liked the best, I wonder if that is telling me something? I’ve mentioned this before about going on tour with a decent pillow, well the same applies if you live in one place for a while, gotta have the right pillow, you spend a third of your life with that special piece of equipment enveloping the other special piece of equipment – your head.
Music today has been Carolyn Franklin, Aretha’s younger sister. Carolyn was the youngest of three sisters, Erma, the oldest, also sang and had a hit with Piece Of My Heart before Janis Joplin recorded it. Nobody I know seems to remember Carolyn or Erma, Aretha was the star people know, although Carolyn contributed songs to Aretha’s repertoire. From 1969-1976 she made five albums. All three sisters died of different cancers but Carolyn was only 43 when she succumbed to breast cancer. If you like sixties and seventies style Soul/R&B then this might be for you.