A day of odd twists, wonder and frustrations, time escapes me, you might say it’s my own fault, yes it is. Having said that I must have messed around big time between getting up at 1 PM (went to bed at 4.30 AM) and first sesh with Kadeem in London at 4.30 PM. I remember I did sweep the floor:
I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still, My Guitar Gently Weeps
Then there was the trip to the recycling and the bakery where I dawdled coming back as I took in my surroundings in the Marquês square and noticed a man in a coat that must have been too much for the temperature with a cigarette in his mouth exhaling large amounts of smoke and with a large silver cross on his chest. It seems to be an area where people tend to stand around, mozie, and I imagine when the large Café Pereira, the biggest café in the square, is open, there’s lots of this, social gathering, talking, moving on. I remembered that I feel the cold less in this climate, it’s almost like I’m visiting a planet that has a different gravity and although I’m an alien I can bounce around more fluidly, I am in fact fluid, I’m an alien, I’m green fluid.
After Kadeem, Chris in New Jersey postponed till next week through the sheer maddening workload, I told him not to have a heart attack, the music will save you, I should have told him that too but he already knows. So with no other sesh till 9.30 PM with Jeff in Kent, Ohio, I said to Olivia come on, let’s go. “Okay,” she said, “give me ten minutes”, I pottered and then we left. “Where are we going?” she said, “Nowhere, just out, while there’s still some light”. Outside the door, she took something else to the recycling, and I texted Ahad in New York. A few paces down from the end of our block is a narrow street we hadn’t explored yet. From there you could see the back of our place and it led us down a road into a strange narrow cobbled street with a mixture of sixties flats and some oddly placed quaint, old houses in between, and of course the usual ruins. As we came to the end of the street there was a block of three or four houses in the shadow of the newer apartments and one was noticeable as it was as beautiful as it was abandoned. A man came out of the house next door. I was so taken with the house next door to him, I asked him if he spoke English, he said no so I asked him some questions in Spanish that he was happier to answer – but in Portuguese, so first he didn’t understand me and then I didn’t understand him.
But then, he said in English “My wife speaks English” and after he had dialled the number he handed me his mobile phone. She was lovely, her name was Lucy. She spoke English like someone who spoke really well but hadn’t had to for a while. I told her I was just admiring the abandoned house next door, that we lived in Porto and that we were just walking around taking pictures of beautiful things. ‘Did she know anything about it?’, we talked, she thought that the house was 125 years old and that the people had died and she thought maybe it was now owned by a doctor. But then she said, “I’ll try and find out more about it, come back on Thursday, knock on our door and I’ll see what I can tell you about it”. This is why we moved to Portugal. We said goodbye and I handed the phone back to her husband Cássio, their surname Machado – which means axe and he made the gesture of a falling axe.
We carried on with our blind walk, went around the corner and saw the water tower that we can see from our lounge window and then opposite an amazing huge ruined house. I mentioned that I could see it from our window the other day but we just stumbled upon it. I was staring at it for ages but the light was failing. Then a man came and moved his car from in front of the gate and I said to Olivia that we should take a pic there whilst we still have light. As we were doing that, people walked by and then one of those people looked at me and said “Marty?”. I said “What?”. It was a photographer (Julian) who Olivia had been talking to on the expat site earlier, we just bumped into each other in the street. He was super cool, we have mutual friends. He’d escaped England after Brexit too and we were talking about what a great choice Portugal was and we agreed about the people. We chatted for a while and said goodbye, we’ll meet in the coming days. Small world.
We found our way back home through the newly discovered street circling around to the supermarket and taking advantage of being there before having spaghetti for dinner and watching the worst episode of Deep Space Nine we’ve ever seen. Truly terrible. It was from there to sesh with Jeff in Ohio and then the French and last but not least the frustrations of the day as we try to get you the new album, through storms, viruses, delays, and red tape. Thankfully, some have already arrived, and believe me when I tell you we are trying as hard as we can to get you your record or CD, mystery box, postcard, or illustrated lyric, they’re coming.
Thank you for listening.
Music today started off with Best Of Bee Gees (1969), way before disco and falsetto, what an amazing album, I have it but just found a brand new copy of it and have had it sent to the archive where our friend Aram picks them up and takes them down into the archive to meet their new friends. Today was ‘contrasts day’ so after that, I went mad and listened to Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (1973) by Budgie, Olivia thought it was a woman singing at first. A childhood Rock classic, I knew the album so well. Then I really went mad and played albums by disparate acts or were they? Rhye from Canada, an electronic musician who brings others in, two albums, the newest, Home (2021), and Spirit (2019). Falsetto vocals, some kind of electronic R&B with beats I can’t quite feel but beauteous melodies and tones on either side Supertramp’s Crime Of The Century (1974) and Even In The Quietest Moments (1977). Different worlds but easy to listen to – if you like this kind of thing.