I didn’t read the news today, Oh Boy. Free to go to the pool, I went to the pool, free to go inside, I put on my mask and free to walk to the changing room, I took off my mask and got changed and headed up to the pool. I swam my mile and more and l left as early as I could because a bunch of noisy teenagers had arrived in the water. In the dressing room, you could see the evidence of teenagers, sneakers in the middle of the aisles taken off and left. I put on my mask and freely left the building where I took it off, I won’t harp on about this but I am free and I wear a mask, as they do in Japan when they catch a cold, civic responsibility, they don’t need to be told or asked, they know they can pass it on and they try not to, 10 out of 10 for effort whether it works or not. I walked on a lovely day to the bakery and back home for a quick lunch before Olivia and I went into the city. We exchanged pleasantries with one of the ladies of the day, who with nothing to do with politics or pandemics is free to choose her occupation, her circumstances are unknown but her pleasant demeanour and her choices are not the business of moral judgement.
Today Porto felt vibrant and alive like I’d never seen it before, the tragedy of the war in the north dulled my own excitement at finally starting to see how Porto was before the shutdown. Now as so many countries are starting to open up, Porto will be flooded with tourists, as the war drags on. People everywhere have this on their mind but their lives have to go on too with the luxury of picking up their kids from school and visiting grandma, they are grateful to be here and not in Ukraine. Porto is known as being a safe city, what a privilege to live in a place like this. I was wondering today how people fight not to wear masks protesting in the streets but they aren’t also constantly protesting against gun violence in America, knife violence in England? A problem that has been escalating out of control for decades. My freedom is far more at threat from being shot or knifed in a 7/11 than wearing a mask to enter it. Every year since 2014-2021 approximately 40-60,000 people have been killed by guns in America according to the Gun Violence Archive. Triggerhappy land.
In the city, we went to pick up my camera zoom lens, but not my camera, it’s not ready yet. They are both getting a service, the first time since I bought them, probably ten years ago. From there we went around the corner to Tubitek, the record store and bought the new Tears For Fears album The Tipping Point (2022), released today, let’s see. From there to the guitar shop to pay for my Orange Terror Stamp pedal, all I can think of is Terence Stamp. Suddenly it was 6.30 PM and I had a sesh with Mike in Chicago, so I left Olivia downtown and took on my Olympic walker persona and headed home as darkness fell.
As I approached my front door I saw the same lady of the day who was now a lady of the night. It was rush hour and cars were slowly moving up the street, stop/start, their brake lights flashing on and off, it was as if they were slowing down for her. As I got closer it was like a scene from a Woody Allen film, a nun appeared and walked past her in my direction. It seemed at one point that they were standing together and as they passed each other, I’m sure I saw the nun bow her head.
I made it home at 7 PM on the dot to speak to Mike. Olivia came home with a coffee for me and a blender, smoothies and pureed vegetables here we come. We had dinner, I ate half of mine and designated the other half for tomorrow night, sweet potato, cabbage, peas, and vegetarian patties. I watched Ronnie’s last game as he made the semi-final of the European snooker championship and we both watched the second half of Southampton – Norwich, no spoilers. Time for the next sesh with Noel in England. Now I’m writing this vaccinated and healthy and free without a gun.
Last but not least, if you send me your ‘research’, start the conversation with, “I unequivocally condemn the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces”, or defriend yourself without comment.
Music today has been Donovan’s Universal Soldier compilation album released on the budget Marble Arch label in 1967. It was the first album I ever bought and seems very relevant today, especially in relation to the opening and the closing track.
Music Of The Daze
(The album is not available on the internet.)