Walking past Café Pereira today, there are now tables outside as lockdown has ended and there’s a regular clientele that I’ve started to recognise along with the different customers of the day. Today a girl sitting on her chair swinging feet in pink sneakers, a man with mirror glasses and a cigarette, the man with the black crash helmet, two black dudes on their phones, one with the most ornate yellow and black jacket you’ve ever seen and football haircuts. One man, always there, beer and cigarette, always alone. I suppose café, coffee, beer, and cigarettes, observing the day, waiting for a friend, meeting for a chat, is as relaxing as it gets. The café sits in the shade later in the day, perhaps in the morning it’s in the sun, I don’t know, I never see the mornings. In two weeks the café will be swarming with Man City and Chelsea fans as will the Marquês park as 12,000 of them head for Portugal. I hope they don’t fight each other, one team has to lose. No second prize, human sports teams find it hard to be in second place, imagine if the losers were jumping up and down singing yay, we came second.
I was speaking exaggerated proper English in the bakery today, one of the guys in there has no English, so I told him ‘very clearly and slowly in a very posh voice that I could help him out’, he just got embarrassed and blushed, it really should be me who is embarrassed as I have no Portuguese. I suppose languages you’ve never spoken or never really heard aren’t the easiest to get into at 63 but if in five years I want to apply for citizenship here I’ll need to reach a certain level – I have time and it’s not like I have no experience with languages at all, it might be much harder if this was your first go.
Yesterday, walking to the pool, there was a flock of pigeons (I so wanted to say A Flock Of Seagulls) flying in a perfect bunch, never colliding and swerving through the air backwards and forwards. Why do we take such incredible acts of skill so for granted, especially if it’s pigeons? I love it when you look up in the sky and see birds in that perfect ‘V’. Hawaii loves the birds too, he sits in the window and marvels as they fly by and watches them closely when they sit on the roof opposite – I guess it’s not appreciation.
Seshes today with Stephen in DC, Fred in Minneapolis, and Noel in Surrey, and before that walking back from the pool, I took a different route and found myself walking past a recording studio with music bursting out. Thank you to everyone that has donated to the In Deep Music Archive GoFundMe campaign so far. The idea is to also bring all the guitars and amps and get my studio gear out of storage, equipment that has been there for 20 years, I have three tape recorders, the Teac 4 track that I recorded In Reflection on in Sydney, a Fostex 16 track that I recorded Rhyme on in Stockholm and a Tascam 24 track that I used in the studio in Stockholm along with a Tascam 32 channel mixing desk. I haven’t seen these items for years. It would be amazing to have a studio, archive, cafe, and living place all in one, then all the sessioneers could record there. We would nip downstairs, take the Rickenbacker 12 string off the wall and bring it upstairs for the recording sesh – I can see it all, Mr Ek.
It’s cicada season and that incredible 17-year cycle and if you’d like to find out a little more about these amazing creatures with a short video like I did go here.
Music today has been the Charisma Records 3-disc Anthology CD, Refugees, 1969-1978, released in 2009. The late Tony Stratton-Smith’s extremely varied label from Brand X to Clifford T. Ward. A lot of forgotten musical treats like The Nice, String Driven Thing, Rare Bird, and Audience. Great, if you like that kind of thing.