Three sessions turned into one today due to one thing or another, but flexibility might be needed more than anything on the planet Earth right now and so we did other things before and after Chris in New Jersey at 6 PM. So with some extra time, we went down into town for a coffee and to take some pics of anything that looked interesting. So many beautiful ruined doors, strange signs, graffiti, broken down buildings, azulejo tiles, and the occasional one-legged pigeon. I was talking to Chris today about the photographic element of the blog and how at the least it is a documentation of our experience in being here (or anywhere) and this time in the world. If I can release these observations, these essays, in a printed form, I will do that – The Year Of The Virus or To Where I Am Now whichever, perhaps each page can have a link to an equivalent page on the net with the photographs and the music content. In three days I will have written the blog every day for a year.
It was 4.20 PM, it was a quick trip for me as I had to be back for Chris. On the way down to town, we passed the familiar hookers in the doorway, nodding familiarity. A little further down a woman went to walk across a pedestrian crossing and then abruptly pulled herself back as she thought the car coming towards her wasn’t going to stop. Coming from England, cars always stop if you are at a crossing but I’ve discovered that this isn’t the case in other countries. Swedish drivers with their safe culture don’t automatically stop at a crossing (I don’t mean crossings with lights).
Still, years ago not long after I’d left school, I was in Birkenhead walking up from Hamilton Square (across the Mersey from The Pool), I’d probably just got the ferry back from Liverpool. I was walking across a zebra crossing when as I got to the other side I recognised a girl coming the other way who had been in my class at school, it was Julie McKibbon (I think that was her surname) as she stepped onto the crossing and I stepped off it, a car failed to stop and ran her over. I remember seeing her go up onto the bonnet (the hood) because I’d looked back as she went by. She was a very quiet girl, she looked like a doll and I remember her being very pale and fragile. She was down on the ground and I ran back, she was shaken up pretty badly and I reminded her who I was so she didn’t feel like she was surrounded by total strangers. I don’t remember her being very badly injured and the rest of the story fades into the distant past but I remember when she was hit and I remember being on the ground. I wonder what happened to her after that and in life.
I only have one classmate from Woodchurch Sec who I’m still in touch with (Hi Deb). She lives in Australia and I remember that when I first went there I was busking in Bondi Junction and she walked past and we recognised each other. Later I remember seeing her in the crowd at a festival gig we did in the very early days. She’s just lost her Mum, send her lots of love, she was and still is the coolest.
In town, we had a coffee and marvelled at the two women sitting next to us speaking Portuguese so loud that when they left the whole place became serene. Still, it was something else to hear this odd, interesting, and passionate language and to be spectators to its sonic power. The staff almost had our drinks ready before we ordered them, it was a quick visit as I had to get back for Chris. Olivia was going to stay in town, have a look at the vintage clothing store and then go to some of the health food stores for some supplies before lockdown hits on Thursday, they might not close but they aren’t close. Chris and I solved the universe and bonded on Robin Gibb.
Music today has been Robin Gibb’s solo triple CD Saved By The Bell ’68-’70 (2015) which included his 1970 solo album Robin’s Reign. The single Saved By The Bell (1969) went to No.2 in the British charts. Robin had left the Bee Gees, allegedly over an argument with Barry about who should be the lead singer. Whilst Robin made this album, Barry and Maurice made Cucumber Castle (1970) which is why there’s no Robin on the cover art for that album. The hit from this record was Don’t Forget To Remember Me (1970) that also reached No.2. But this Robin Gibb CD collection also has demos, rarities and an unreleased album, Sing Slowly Sisters – essential.