I woke up today feeling somewhat emotionally drained after all the fuss. All those hundreds of messages plus the fact that it was the first night out ever in Porto and that was like travelling to another planet – actually sitting in a restaurant was strange. Then there was losing my Aunty Gwen, my daughter Signe having another child in the autumn – double grandfather. The inevitable moving of the archive and all that entails. The need to learn my music programme and find a way to set up a studio here around the archive – lots to think about. Then there was swimming and gym five days a week and my body needed this weekend to recover and a whole lot of other issues, some to share, some not. Lots of sessions, lots of music being played all the time, and those songs, well, they affect me too in all different ways. The completed projects I’ve been working on need a strategy to get them to your ears. Lots to think about. I’ve reached a point in French where I know lots but the lessons aren’t “The cat is on the table” anymore, they take some concentration, brainpower. So I’ll be doing some simple Duolingo Swedish, Portuguese and Spanish too because the lessons are easy and I can mix easy and hard whilst learning lots and keeping the language learning a priority in my life – Swedish grandchildren, German wife, live in Portugal, nearly a year of studying French. The problem will come when I’m 340 days into those other languages. Also, I keep on staring at the books on my shelf and thinking how nice it would be to read one of them, Anais Nin, Ian McEwan, Graham Greene, Albert Camus.
Sessioneer Matt has been telling me that I have to see the Swedish film Aniara, Naomi from Louder Than War tells me I have to see The Dig. Olivia wants to see Help! and A Hard Day’s Night and there’s that new French series Lupin. Then there’s the movie theatres opening, the museums and the art galleries reopening and then the music venues will be reopening and how great would it be to see some Fado (traditional Portuguese music)? On the subject of what is happening out there in the streets of Porto, you could hear a lot of noise out there today. Loudhailers and chanting and it was going on for a long time before I went out. When I finally did make it to the door to the street I was greeted by a massive demonstration, I guess there were thousands of people. It was a protest against corporate takeovers and the loss of government services, it was noisy but peaceful.
The market was on again today in the Marquês square and we managed to find some 1€ bargains, a small plastic triceratops, the real ones were much more expensive, a stegosaurus ring that went over two fingers, a cheese slicer with a tacky Dutch scene on the handle and the cutting part in the shape of the traditional Dutch headgear, sooper tacky. A sci-fi belt and a locust bean cake, which is actually carob, I love carob. I looked at a copy of Ten Years After‘s Cricklewood Green (1970) but it was 20€ and not quite in good enough condition despite it being an original Deram copy of the album. Lots of clothes and bric-a-brac and apparently there are a few markets in Porto but of course, they are often early – I suppose we would go and check them out before we go to bed.
Man City managed to lose 1-2 to Chelsea at the Etihad today, not good for Liverpool but Liverpool did beat Southampton 2-0 at Anfield. The Championship is done and Norwich and Watford are promoted, play-offs with Barnsley, Bournemouth, Brentford, and Swansea for the last spot. Not looking good for Fulham and West Brom, Sheffield United are already relegated from the premiership. And what has happened in Sheffield? Sheffield Wednesday also going down to League 1 from the Championship. That’s the football news.
Music today has been the sixties playlist again, just simply because it is irresistible but then I listened to The Hollies‘ Butterfly (1967), some of you might know Dear Eloise but otherwise, it’s a classic Hollies catchy record, sometimes twee (second track Away, Away, Away) and sometimes psychedelic because it’s that era and sixties bands are getting out of their suits. Maker is tabla and sitar, Pegasus is a fantasy, complete with neighing. A mixture of the past sound and the present future, very Beatle influenced, the clothing is something else. Wishyouawish sounds like Simon and Garfunkel meets Harpers Bizarre. Side 2 starts with Postcard, Charlie and Fred has horse hooves, both sixties-sounding songs, the album has strings, brass, harmonies, acoustic guitars, and super catchy songs. Try It has weird sounds and along with Elevated Observations is back into psychedelic territory. No singles were released in the UK from this or the previous album Evolution, also released in 1967. The penultimate Step Inside has the classic harmonies and the last track, Butterfly, has a beautiful complex string arrangement. The US version of the album Dear Eloise/King Midas In Reverse omits Try It, Elevated Observations, and Pegasus and adds King Midas In Reverse. This song was classic Graham Nash. It was his last album with the band. Really great if you like this kind of thing.