Sadly our Canadian trip is off. Anekdoten’s shows in Quebec are not going ahead because the festival is not going ahead. War, pandemic, and the worry about the viability of shows in this climate are the reason. This also means that the show Olivia and I were playing in Montreal is also not going ahead. Swedish dates are still on, Poland is still on so far but hundreds of thousands of refugees pouring over the border from Ukraine could put it in doubt, the repercussions of war. Spain is still on but the mood is back to the cold war of the seventies with talk of nuclear weapons, megalomaniacs/creatures – same thing.
I walked out of the house into a sunny day with a chilly wind and felt the cold oxygen on the back of my throat. I walked on the sunny side of the street as the shadows were cold and gravitated towards pockets of sunlight, areas that weren’t obscured by apartment buildings. At the pool/gym I talked to Vera on reception about how to avoid the Friday teenager chaos from two o’clock and came to the conclusion that getting there at midday was the only option. Vera commented that as someone that makes a noise for a living she was surprised at how far I would go to avoid it. Avoiding screaming teenagers in a swimming pool is worth the effort.
Inside the gym, the machine that was killing me on the first day is now only causing me pain – I suppose that’s progress. I met Elzo in there, a Cape Verde native who I’ve befriended. Thiago, lifeguard from the pool, was in there too. I’ve told Thiago I would teach him a new English word every day. So today he asked me, “What’s the word of the day?”. “Improvement,” I quipped but of course, he already knew that word – he was in the gym! Ricardo, one of the trainers, arrived with a box that he’d just bought with two jacks to jack up his car so I passed that word on to Thiago, you never know when you need a word like that and he didn’t know it. I wonder what it is in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese?
I went to the psychedelic psupermarket and picked up some celery, strawberries, papaya, honey and iced tea for Olivia, not too heavy today. I was just cruising along in between the showers that poured down whilst I was in the gym, enjoying the sun and the icy breeze when bang, out of nowhere, the diamonds arrived in my eyes. I’d slept well last night, I’m healthy, eating well, swimming, gyming and this happens. I was halfway home and still had to go to the bakery but when I passed by it was unusually closed. I made it to my street and walked past an old woman with a stick who I always see. She’s friendly and seems amused at the fact that we keep running into each other in the same place and that we’ve begun to recognise each other as locals.
I got inside, the aura in my eyes was like an amoeba in a sci-fi film, I threw down my Lidl bag, yes my Lidl bag, my usual bag broke as I walked out the door. I rode the aura with a 500mg paracetamol and hoped that it didn’t give me that irritating dull headache that usually follows, although I’m also always grateful that the bad migraine days are seemingly over. I usually drink a coke for the caffeine, but those days are also over. As it happened it passed and caused me little trouble but a muscle in my neck is still hurting so maybe that’s what caused it.
At 6 PM I had a rehearsal sesh with Nicklas, guitarist/co-vocalist from Anekdoten where we both reminded each other of the multiple parts in Shooting Star from Until All The Ghosts Are Gone (2015). After that we watched Ronnie lose to Ricky Walden in the Welsh Open and here we are ready for bed to avoid the teenagers.