April lived up to its name today in contrast to the last day of March with the cliched April shower, couldn’t it think of something original, like a heatwave or a meteor shower or an alien invasion? I was up late and soon after had a sesh with Orlando in Cornwall. New Jersey Brian had to postpone over a family matter so Psychedelic Psupermarket it was.
Have you ever noticed that whenever you go to the shops you always come back with more than you went for? Three psychedelic psupermarkets in three days and the realisation as we enter that period after three months since Brexit, that we do actually live in Porto. We know people in the shops and we’re running out of different ways to walk to them although we did find what might be the one last street we hadn’t been down today. I remember when we first got here, we didn’t know where anything was, what anything was, and we were spending long amounts of time just searching the aisles for the salt. I was able to do a good deed today in Spanish by inviting the lady and her daughter at the back of the queue with one item to the front. She was very grateful and I had a very funny conversation with the little girl, getting her to say some things in English – she’s 9, she can speak to me in English! What I don’t understand is why we aren’t encouraged in England to speak languages more enthusiastically. When you are a kid, you don’t know that beyond the borders of the UK a lot of people (don’t) speak English – it’s the adults that know that and they are so half-hearted about encouraging you to learn because nobody encouraged them and they realised they could get away with just speaking English to most everyone – so much for immersing yourself in other cultures to learn, to grow.
I always wondered about people that weren’t curious about people in their local area who were from other cultures. Why some might persecute them rather than finding them interesting. I see Will Sergeant has a memoir, “Bunnyman”, in the spiel it mentioned the reality of growing up in Liverpool in the seventies and it mentioned the skinheads. Oh my god, there was nothing more antagonistic than the local skinheads. They would chase you, intimidate you and fill you full of fear. Lads like me were targets in our brush denim loons and with our Hawkwind albums under our arms. There wasn’t much obvious racism where I lived in Thingwall because I don’t remember any people from other lands around where I lived. We had one black kid at school but I didn’t know him, he was in another year to me. Also, the first girl I ever kissed (Susan Miller) was black – and get this, I think, the colour of her skin wasn’t really the point.
Moving to a new country is huge, especially when it has a different language but once you have the debit card and the flat, you settle in. I was always interested in the idea of ‘living abroad’ and as I’ve mentioned before it might have come from my stamp collection where every page of the stamp album had the country, the capital city, and the square miles, I can’t remember if it had the population, I suppose that would go out of date pretty soon after it was printed. But having said that the countries became out of date pretty soon too. North Manchuria, Aden, Abyssinia, Belgian Congo, Gold Coast, Yugoslavia, and many more. Travelling and living in other cultures is great – they should make it compulsory.
Something bad is happening in my mouth. It feels like I might be getting an abscess and now I know how to spell ‘abscess’, that pesky ‘s’ in the middle. I remember thinking it was strange to check the spelling of a word in the dictionary because if you couldn’t spell it, how could you find it, and if you could spell it you wouldn’t need to look. Sessioneer Orlando sent me his book, ‘Espresso’, short essays on life and he was talking to me today about needing a good proofreader, it’s quite a task to get all this spelling right, all the punctuation, but I have Olivia.
Music today was partly inspired by my mate Biggles as he sent me a text today from deepest darkest New Malden and told me what he was playing today and asked me what I would be playing before making some suggestions. He was listening to Blackfield and Liam Gallagher and he suggested Roundabout, The Boys Are Back In Town and anything by City Boy! Haha, City Boy! It’s been a while and maybe not today as I’ve run out of time but I did at his suggestion listen to Fragile (1971) by Yes. Before that, I listened to Meddle (1971) by Pink Floyd because I was talking to Orlando about it. But the first album I listened to is right off everyone’s radar, The Alchemist (1973) by Home who spawned two members that went on to more well-known bands – Laurie Wisefield replaced Ted Turner on guitar in Wishbone Ash and Cliff Williams found himself replacing Mark Evans on bass in AC/DC. All great if you like this kind of thing.