Today was the day that all the shops opened, so finally an opportunity to get a butter dish, a padlock, a yoga/exercise mat, and a carved wax parrot, for the first time since January. I had a bit of an early day because I had a sesh with Matt in Brooklyn at 3.30 and today, Mondays, are swim days so I had to actually get up in the morning to get the swim in and be back in time for the sesh. I actually took 5 minutes off last week’s swim time today, I guess I’m getting back into the flow of it and I also imagine that this super slim-lined body might just make swim times quicker. But I just woke up and realised that the days of the concave stomach, the svelte man/boy who could eat two massive pieces of Black Forest gâteau and show no evidence of ingestion, no signs of body sugar attack abuse, are over. It’s pretty hard not eating Portuguese cakes, but I’m managing to do it. So coffee today came cake-free. It seems that if you are going to go and buy an exercise mat you might not want to go from a healthy shop to a cake shop, it kinda defeats the object. I managed my freestyle mile today with ease and really could have continued on, it’s a groove, it’s like playing the bass with a drummer who has a great feel – the jam can go on, but not on the sandwich.
I got back from the swim to two packages today, one a cool Churchhill Garden T-shirt from Andy Jossi in Switzerland and the other the latest Uncut magazine from Lush Phil on the other side of Porto. Isn’t the post great? It’s sad that the only letters you ever get these days are bills. Whatever happened to physical fanmail? Do you remember those pictures of The Beatles with sacks of fan mail? Haha, apparently Ringo used to get the most letters. I wonder what happened to all those sacks of mail. Are they in a Beatles vault somewhere? When we were on tour in Germany last year, Olivia and I went to the Beatles museum in Halle. It was huge and in this little town in the German countryside. But in all these collections we don’t see much of the fan’s physical presence, as in, letters to the band. We see the records, the books, the photos, the memorabilia, the instruments and the music, the handwritten lyrics but what about what the fans had to say? But perhaps it was just thousands of letters saying I love you, Ringo?
On our way back from town at 7.30 PM, we walked past two of the Ladies Of The Day in the usual doorway, one was wearing bright pink. I suppose that now everything is opening up that they are also opening up. “Chuva,” she said, ‘rain’ in Portuguese as the end of a muggy day turned into early evening rain. We just made it back in time for the Liverpool vs. Leeds game, 1-1 in the last minute, Liverpool stay sixth. But all the talk is of Mourinho fired from Spurs in the same week as they are in the cup final against Man City and of course the announcement of the Super League proposal. Arsenal, Spurs, Man City, Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea from the UK, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan from Italy, Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid and Barcelona from Spain. This is going to change football if it happens with talk of players being banned from playing in international competitions as well as their own leagues and European cups. This is the problem when men with billions of dollars own the teams, their priority is money and it has caused great anger. How will it end? At this point, no one knows.
Yes, the cult was there on cue and I’m sure I saw the man with the long hair taking in a giant pizza from his back patio earlier in the day – so there is food after all.
Music today was proggy because Matt was talking about Porcupine Tree and Moving Gelatine Plates – yes, there really is a band called Moving Gelatine Plates. So first I played Porcupine Tree’s Lightbulb Sun (2000), one of my favourite albums by them, mainly because it’s all about the songs and the prog aspect is just what style the songs are framed in. Then I played something more instrumental and jamming by them, Metanoia (1998). Then Matt had mentioned that Steven Wilson, the singer from Porcupine Tree, has a podcast with Tim Bowness from No-Man, a project they have together, and Matt told me they were talking about Moving Gelatine Plates. It’s hard to imagine that on a fine day in April 2021 that somebody could actually tell me about a prog band from the past that I’m really going to like but haven’t heard of. They are French and they made two albums in the seventies, self-titled (1971) and The World Of Genius Hans (1972), then in 1980 they released Moving followed by Removing in 2006. So far and as I write, I’ve only heard Removing but I found a reissue of the first album online in France and ordered it. So a new prog band and if I really like Removing, I’m sure I’m going to love the earlier albums, I’ll listen to the first one later, I hope you do too. It will be great if you like that kind of thing.
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