Tonight we looked out of the window on what seemed like another quiet Saturday night, apart from the barking dogs, the speeding mopeds, the shouting and the fireworks, the shutters being pulled down and the cheers from an apartment where someone is watching a Portuguese football game. But I seem to be noticing the silences in between and that was what had us lean out of the window and wonder about the stars. We marvelled at the brightness of Jupiter and Olivia broke out her Stellarium to discover which one was Saturn (less bright) and other constellations, Cassiopeia and Pegasus. The contrast between the wonders of the universe and the everyday.
We watch the planes arrive from the left-hand side of the sky. When the planes arrive from the north they always seem to fly past the city of Porto and then swing around and fly back over the city to the airport. It’s a spectacular view of the city, the bridges, the River Douro and the coastline. It must excite the holidaymakers (of which there are millions right now). I suppose it all calms down as September comes and school returns but Porto is a popular destination throughout the year and there will be lots of visitors here at Christmas. It’s nice living in a desirable place.
I was thinking today about how my collector mentality has me collecting books, films, lava lamps, curios, stamps and ornamental skulls. If I was Jean Paul Getty I wouldn’t only have a museum of valuable art, I would also have a less expensive museum, let’s think: matchboxes, cigarette lighters, toys, musical instruments that I can’t play, there might be fascinating teapots, beautiful cars that I couldn’t drive (Olivia could), fountain pens, stereos through the ages, old radios, I’d have them in one massive building in the centre of town for enthusiasts to visit. A museum of everything.
Football today saw a great game between Everton and Forest end in a flurry at 1-1, Spurs only just won 1-0 over a spirited Wolves and an on-fire Arsenal beat Bournemouth 0-3. Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins have made the European snooker masters final, Wilson beat Ali Carter (6-2) and Hawkins beat Mark Williams (6-2). I suppose Saturday is a sporty day but it wasn’t like this, there’s football on all the time and you can now watch all the football games from the other leagues in the world. Sport has taken over the planet, cricket, baseball, basketball, American football, Australian rules, Rugby, you can watch darts, lawn bowls, curling, rowing, speedway, Formula 1, superbikes, cycling, all kinds of athletics – there’s no end to it but then happily there’s no end to music either.
It’s a wonder we have time to eat, sleep and socialise at all, never mind, work, create, read and the other million things that people do. Distraction is the keyword, you have to be really dedicated to your interest to make it work. That hi-res screen is addictive, you can’t stop looking at it, all those colours, all that action and excitement, drama, fictional and real, I wonder if there are more or fewer monks than there used to be?
Music today has been Arcade Fire’s We (2022) that I took the time to listen to, they’d previously visited Haiti and rara music for their fourth album’s musical influence, but it wasn’t for me despite the world going nuts for it – Reflektor (2013) was a leap from where they started. Then I missed their other giant leap, the synth dance-pop record, Everything Now (2017). As ‘We’ progresses, I start hearing Bowie in it – that’s better but however much affection I have for Bowie’s range of styles in the seventies, I‘m not attracted to the catchy synth-pop of Arcade Fire but from track three onwards…something better happens, perhaps it’s producer Nigel Godrich injecting ideas into them?