I went out and I looked up at the trees in the Marquês square, I’d never seen them so bare, all I could see were skeletal limbs and the silhouettes of resting pigeons. Usually, you can’t see a sky so blue because of the summer growth but it’s still winter and the trees haven’t been fooled into budding yet. That’s not true of some of the smaller trees though that are already in explosive bloom. Today at the centre of the front room, two flies were circling, a signal that tells of lighter days and the drumbeat of spring on the horizon. Today is the last day of January and a shift so early towards a change isn’t a guarantee of continuous dry skies. This time last year it rained for weeks in January and February, this year it hasn’t. I walked past the park benches, there was a lad in a baseball cap looking at his phone, some canoodling teenagers and older men chatting. I wasn’t going anywhere in particular, I’d dropped off the recycling and as usual, wondered why people can’t put the right item in the right bin. I walked to the fountain and made the obligatory stop to look into the spouting jets as if somewhere in the shallow murky waters there may be answers to eternal questions. I quickly moved on when I heard no voices and not yet ready to be inside I wandered towards the psychedelic psupermarket to give the light a chance to dim.
On the narrow sidewalk, I waited for a woman to push her pram past me but she didn’t seem to notice that I had waited. It just made me aware of how unaware some people are of their surroundings. On the train the other day the teenage girls were getting on the train, talking on the phones, not allowing the people to get off. I suppose you notice these things as you get older – litter, cars that drive too fast. The other day on the way back from psychedelic psupermarket two I was walking up the cobbled narrow road that has cars parked on one side always inhabited by various cats on the prowl. A car came up the road so fast that I stopped to consider its trajectory and imagined the animals scattering in fear and was scared for any distracted humans wandering into the road. I noticed that one of his backlights was out. I wonder if these people wonder why they find themselves in bad situations. That carelessness, reckless abandon must only lead to bad situations or am I just in my mid-sixties?
I try to stay out of politics these days as all it does is cause confrontation, exchanging insults, shouting matches and two sides with differing opinions rarely changing their stance. I leave it to better talkers, brighter people than me. I’ll stick to what I’m good at, arpeggios. The snap election in Portugal yesterday returned the standing prime minister and that seemed to be a decent result. D/Dsus 4 is also a decent result.
Late yesterday we watched Episode 4 of David Attenborough’s The Green Planet. You never think of plants as creatures with ingenuity, trickery and a symbiotic relationship with other lifeforms or a brotherly relationship with their species that helps them survive. It’s an eye-opening documentary filled with unbelievable revelations and dazzling cinematography. It makes me want to go back and see all the documentaries that David Attenborough has done through the years. What a contribution he has made to knowledge and wonder, to understanding the natural world and piping it all into our front rooms via the BBC to captivate us with incredible stories, beautiful colours and impossible beasts.
Music today has been the latest album by Lindsey Buckingham (2021). It’s mostly written by him, there’s one co-write with Medicine’s Brad Laner and Jordon Zadorozny, one song written by Michael Merchant for the Pozo-Seco Singers recorded originally in 1965, released in 1966, but who is Michael Merchant? Buckingham recorded it, programmed it, engineered it, mixed it (with help from Mark Needham), sang it, and played all the instruments. It’s classic Lindsey, his voice, his songs, his great guitar playing. If you like this, you’ll love Gift Of Screws (2008) and Seeds We Sow (2011).