I got up late today, missed the first half of a Liverpool game that I didn’t expect to see because last week the VPN didn’t work on this channel. It was just high hopes that it would work this week, and it did but the first half was over, they won 2-0 against Burnley who were their nemesis last season ending a run of 68 games without a loss at Anfield and leading to a disastrous spell. Saturdays are usually days to try and relax with the football and the snooker (the British Open was on this week). In between the live broadcasts a trip to the psychedelic psupermarket on a muggy day, that has you leave in one T-shirt and find another on your return. But it’s Porto so there’s often a nice little breeze helping with the heat. It’s really the perfect climate and having been here since December we know what to expect in the winter months – more rain, but Christmas Day was glorious.
It was market day today but we haven’t quite understood when it is and didn’t get there till late only realising on the psychedelic psupermarket trip. I didn’t find anything in particular, but I imagine if I’d had a pocket full of coins I might have bought an old toy car or an Amália Rodrigues album, but I had no cash and was only really walking around for the atmosphere. Olivia was looking for a mermaid for Ariel’s dashboard and believe it or not she found one. I surprised her when I told her that Ariel the mermaid wasn’t my inspiration for naming the car, despite it being light blue. I was thinking more about what’s a name but also part of a car and I thought about the aerial, so there you go.
The market attracts all sorts of people because it’s mainly a flea market and apart from the man with the sunglasses stall, it’s mainly clothes and bric-a-brac, one small food kiosk and a man on the bandstand playing disco records through the speakers that he’s attached to the trees and connected with ridiculously long wires. Michael Jackson’s Rock With You didn’t seem particularly appropriate for a sunny Saturday afternoon in Marquês square but he’s playing for the public, there’s not going to be a Syd Barrett song, or Annette Peacock. I was thinking how a disco singer can say he’s going to rock with you but a rock singer can’t even suggest that he’d be a-discoing-the-day away.
I was wondering today how my Seagull had fared after tumbling into the sand and doing a video by the sea. All that salty air rusting the strings, sand in the pickup and seashells in the soundhole or hermit crabs climbing in the body and using the whole guitar as a house. I imagine the guitar crawling along the beach with multiple legs, random strings plucked by the rocks and dunes, the wind and the waves whooshing in and out of the body before it crawls out to sea.
Music today has been seventies, eighties, nineties and noughties, starting with Television’s Marquee Moon (1977) which I haven’t heard for ages. Singer/guitar player Tom Verlaine toured with the ex-band in America and I ended up playing guitar on one of his solo albums, The Wonder (1990), although I didn’t get a credit. Verlaine taught me how to play Friction from Marquee Moon. After that, I played Treasure by Cocteau Twins, one of my favourite albums by them. I remember once listening to it on my walkman strolling down a country lane in Capel Seion near Aberystwyth in Wales where my parents lived in retirement. It was quite a contrast to the rolling green hills of sheep and tractors. After that, it was Björk and Debut (1993), her first solo album after The Sugarcubes split. That voice, those beats and electronic sounds but an album full of catchy tunes too. Last of the day staying Icelandic and like Cocteau Twins in an imagined language for the lyrics, Sigur Rós and ( ). I saw them live once at The Eden Project in Cornwall and they were really amazing.