I felt like I was 112 years old today. I went to bed around 5 AM and got up around 12.45 PM. I’d forgotten to buy fruit for breakfast and just had cereal and a cup of tea. It was the last teabag in the box and there’s only one box left. It’s tough getting Celestial Seasonings tea in Portugal so we have to go celestial to order it and what with all the spaceship spotting and chasing these days you’re never really sure it’s going to get through. I opened up the windows, checked the emails, looked at the news and got myself ready to go to the pool for the Monday swim. I pack my bag the night before so I don’t have another thing to think about when I’m trying to get out of the house on time. I even put the recycling in the hallway the night before. I was soon ready to go. I went into the bedroom and kissed Olivia and headed out with the recycling, the rubbish bag and my classy broken Lidl bag that I take to the pool. I locked the door behind me, walked to the lift (elevator) and sailed down the five floors to the entrance. I checked the letterbox and approached the front door. It was a little tricky to open as both the rubbish bag and the recycling were very full, plus I had my pool bag. I turned the handle and took one step out onto the pavement, the door closing behind me. My next step was a shock because it was then that I realised that I was 112 years old – I was still wearing my slippers.
Since when do I even own slippers? I’ve never owned slippers in my life but moving here in the winter, the apartments have no heating and the wooden floors are cold and I don’t want to wear my street shoes inside. So I bought slippers, it felt really strange doing it but practically I’m glad I did in the circumstances. Psychologically I still have a problem with it. So today when I found myself outside in slippers I felt like I was 112 years old and as I had the rubbish and the recycling and the place to put them was just across the road I decided to drop them off before I went back in to get my proper shoes. That walk across the road was disturbing with the hard ground beneath my feet, no support and the thought that I might be an old man in his dressing-gown and slippers, not sure where he is, escaping the nurse to freedom. I went back across the road, into our building, up in the lift and back into our apartment and quickly changed into my shoes and left for the pool, now a little late. What also bothered me about this was the fact that I didn’t even notice I was wearing them until I made it to the street. I wonder will I notice food stains or more to the point, do I?
So I’m not sure if it was subconsciously or just because I had the opportunity, but today I swam 112 laps. That made me feel very much alive. I walked back from the pool via a different psychedelic psupermarket, I needed to check if this branch had my usual soya milk because the usual one doesn’t. They didn’t and it seems the company has changed the packaging and even a couple of ingredients. No bother, I’m sure it will be fine. I bought some bits and pieces because I was there. The check-out girl was called Inés with an accent over the é and that made me think of my granddaughter who is also called Ines but without the accent (usually, the Portuguese spell it Inês). It’s only now that I realise that I am by most people’s standards an old man, greying hair, fighting to stay fit and thin. Considering the knees, seeing the lines in my face and ultimately careering toward oblivion.
It was a lovely day, cool in the shade, hot in the sun. I put my new key in the new lock and the door wouldn’t open. What’s going on with that? Olivia let me in and I went straight to the fridge, pulled out the big bag of carrots, preceded to peel them all and juice them, adding ginger. All this whilst listening to Nilsson’s Aerial Ballet through the cheap little speakers and the iPod in the kitchen. I watched part of the Spain – Croatia match, had some lunch at the lounge table and commented to Olivia that I can feel this sweet carrot juice adding some days to my life. I missed most of an exciting match in which Spain won 5-3 in extra time but were winning 3-1 till the last few minutes. But I had a cool sesh with Matt in Brooklyn and music always wins. Football, tennis, snooker are to relax, although the games are often quite the opposite. And tomorrow the most stressful event of the year, England – Germany. After the sesh with Matt, I tried to watch France – Switzerland but the worst corporate streaming site in history was stuck on 3 minutes and people all over the net were screaming about it. So I waited and watched an episode of the silliest seventies sci-fi show you’ve ever seen, Star Maidens from 1975. I only knew about it after yesterday’s post when I was talking about the film To Sir, With Love that starred Judy Geeson. She was one of the main characters in this ridiculous show. Suddenly the worst mainstream streaming site began to work again. Really exciting match and again 3-1 to France with 9 minutes to go. 3-3 at full time, extra time, penalties 5-4 to Switzerland, Swiss goalie Sommer saved Mbappe’s penalty, France are gone.
Tomorrow I have a sesh in Australia at midday, gym, then England – Germany, two seshes with Chris in New Jersey and Jeff in Ohio and I can watch Ukraine – Sweden highlights later before French and the blog. If you are waiting to hear from me, I’ll get there before you can listen to the whole of The Colony Of The Slippermen.
Music today was the fascinating Harry Nilsson’s Aerial Ballet (1968). He’s so hard to pin down. A great singer and simultaneously pop, jazz, blues, soul, singer-songwriter, rock, reggae, African, crooner and cabaret. Who can claim all those titles?