Hawaii’s last night, he’s running around like a nutter, jumping high in the air, pretending he’s a crab and stalking us sideways. Flying into empty boxes that we have scattered around the flat for his pleasure. There’s the lid of a jar that he chases after during silly half-hour sessions, an eraser that he likes to paw around the floor and I think that solid piece of something I saw today is an old fossilised piece of cheese rind that he likes to play with. He sits in the sink and stares at the tap when it’s off. He also sits in the sink and gets wet trying to catch the drops. I‘ve never seen a cat so unafraid of water, the other day he jumped in the bath and although he jumped straight out again (it wasn’t very full) it didn’t really seem to bother him. We will miss him so much, I can already feel the pain and I know Olivia can too. But we will be able to put up the new mirror we bought after he smashed the last one, we’ll be able to have the windows open with summer coming and we’ll not have to chase him off the tables, the shelves, the computer and not worry he’s going to knock over the television or my expensive microphone (again). We won’t have to worry if we closed the toilet lid to stop him from drinking the toilet water. We won’t have to stop him scratching the couch or rescue him from a plastic bag. I won’t have him under my feet when I’m trying to feed him and he won’t be meowing for food at midday and midnight. We won’t have scratches on our legs and arms and bite marks on our hands. But we will miss all those things about him because he is an absolutely beautiful animal and we have truly fallen in love with him.
I got a message from my mate Biggles today about how warm it was in London whilst here it had clouded over and there was something of a breeze but it was still T-shirt and shorts weather and as I approached the house after my swim I saw traces of blue in the sky. That’s Portugal, that’s Southern Europe I haven’t experienced bitter cold here as I did in Sweden or in the north of England. Penzance was milder but rainy, I think that the concept of English northerners in their sixties retiring to Southern Europe is pretty common. Although as a musician I will never retire – some do, Robert Wyatt for example. It’s sad to think there are no more records coming from him. The thing about retiring to Porto is that it’s a vibrant city near the sea, the second city in Portugal and although we haven’t experienced it in its pomp, it’s coming if not this summer, certainly the next. The best of both worlds, an all-ages city where you can choose the kind of life you want to live.
Tomorrow, the first of June, I begin my inquiries into moving the archive in earnest to Porto from England. I have to figure out boxes for all the records, the CDs, singles and all the music books. Moving those lava lamps and the skulls, everything needs to be wrapped. I have a guitar trunk in storage for my most valuable guitars but will have to be careful with the bouzouki in its soft case and countless valuable bits and pieces, alebrijes from Mexico and any musical equipment that isn’t road-cased. I have to decide whether to try and find a smaller transport company to take things from the archive to the storage house and then have the bigger company take everything to Portugal. It’s a narrow road to get a big truck down, so perhaps we need two trips or more from Penzance to the storage in Wells in Somerset. Many of my things have been in storage for over 20 years, I suppose that’s being a travelling musician. To have everything here would be amazing, a solid base to move in and out from and a place for all that beautiful musical history that I have collected. Bring it on.
Music today has been the deluxe version of the Bee Gees classic Odessa (1969) followed by 2 Years On (1970). Although in between these two records there was one album where Robin left, Cucumber Castle (1970). (Cucumber Castle was also the last album for guitarist Vince Melouney and drummer Colin Petersen.) In the mood of the day, I went for The Beatles‘ Magical Mystery Tour (1967), one of the greatest Beatles albums.