Houdini lives in Porto. Ok, that’s a gross exaggeration, but I’ve had a problem with my padlock for the locker at the pool. So for a year, I haven’t locked it and then Filipe who works there said I should, blah blah, I’ve mentioned this before. So, now paranoid that someone might steal my steam-powered phone, or the keys to a house where they don’t know the address or my wallet with 5€ in it, I decided to start using a padlock. I’ve had one in my bag for months but never bothered with it. So I dug it out and somehow Olivia remembered the combination (polyglots understand numbers). So I used it, it worked, no problem. And then I did something that pressed a function and unwittingly locked it and it wouldn’t open with my combination. So I went back to the shop, admitted to being stoopid and told the man perhaps I should just have a padlock with a key, even though when you swim you have to ask yourself, “What do you do with the damn key?”. The man in the store looked at it (he speaks really good English and is really nice), he couldn’t open it and he said he’d give it to his workmate who was standing right next to him. The workmate went into the back of the shop and two minutes later came back with the padlock open, showing me the combination that I had inadvertently changed (two numbers were randomly changed). How did he do that? There’s a million potential combinations. I wonder how he’d do chained up in a tank of water?
It was chilly today and pools of water appeared in the Marquês park after the overnight rain (or the morning rain that we weren’t awake for). The stark pigeon tree looked particularly uncomfortable but maybe not if you have an ass full of feathers. The target bench under the tree was a gooey mess of pigeon poop and rain and I wondered again why the square keepers don’t move it to the circle around the fountain where on the other three sides there are two benches whereas the side closest to the pigeon target only has one. It’s a little mystery that confounds almost as much as the news tonight that our Portuguese PayPal account has been randomly closed down. So sessioneers, it’s back to the UK address and sterling instead of euros for seshes (through PayPal Me). Sorry about that but what can you do with robots? Pigeons don’t have these kinds of problems.
I had a sesh tonight with Fred in Minneapolis and when I said cheerio, on the spur of the moment on a cold night we decided that we should hit the psychedelic psupermarket. But first, today I got a message from Alan in Massachusetts telling me that in the sixties there was a club in Boston at 590 Commonwealth Avenue called The Psychedelic Supermarket (they obviously weren’t stoned enough to realise that ‘Supermarket’ could be spelt with a ‘p’). It opened in 1967 and was around for two years. Grateful Dead played there, Country Joe & The Fish, Moby Grape, Cream, and local Boston psychedelic bands (rabbit hole). When we got to our psychedelic psupermarket there were some arguably psychedelic vegetables and there was even music but it was very definitely 2022. I’m not sure what gave it away, probably the same things that give it away in all countries, sports clothes, mobile phones and the haircuts – all better in 1967-1969.
Last but not least in the pool today I met both Guru and Hugo, fellow swimmers. I shared a lane with Guru but he was gone by the time I did my 70. I talked to Hugo after the swim, he left except he also left his swimmers hanging off a cabinet, so I rescued them before the cleaner got to them first. I’ll return them to him on Monday, ironed.
Music today has been Stackridge‘s The Man In The Bowler Hat (1974), released in the US as Pinafore Days, after my mate, singer/songwriter Edward Rogers in NYC, reminded me what a great album this was (produced by George Martin). I managed to see them live in the seventies at Liverpool stadium. Eddie John, who plays on MOAT’s Poison Stream, Space Summit’s Life This Way and Noctorum’s The Afterlife, played with them from 2007 – 2015. Eccentric and uniquely English from the West Country. Brainy and melodic, wry and comedic, talented tunesmiths and musicians, love it.