What is that strange liquid falling from the sky? The yards at the back of the house were wet and the sky water was coming down in waves. I let it fall and watched some news to give it some space, but as I got up and decided to leave for the pool it poured down. I watched from the window, Olivia asked me if she should call me a car. Nah, I thought, it’s only water and I have a brolley. I ventured out, it seemed that a lot of people had been caught brolleyless as the rain poured down. They were standing in doorways waiting for a break in the deluge which actually wasn’t that long in coming. By the time I got to the pool, only my feet were wet and the shower had eased. Tânia and Catarina were on reception and there was no queue so I paid my monthly fee and headed to the changing room only to find the horror of the firemen’s clothing hanging on the pegs.
I don’t hate firemen. In the pool they’re very disciplined, they get two lanes and have an instructor who often makes them hold their breath underwater. It’s not the pool part of them being here that’s the problem, it’s the changing room part and having been in there once before when they have swarmed in (despite what Ernst says), it’s rather intimidating being surrounded by 30 naked Portuguese firemen between the ages of 21-28, ranting and raving after an hour and a half of their instructor keeping them quiet and ordering them about, training them for their difficult job of saving people from all kinds of disasters.
They must have got into the pool just before I arrived because after 4 PM they were still there. I was trying to take it easy, and I’d done a fractured half-mile of backstroke, breaststroke, kicking with a float, and stretching, thinking I was about done. But I was trying not to get into the changing room at the same time and they just kept on lingering at the pool, so I started swimming again and swam a half mile of non-stop freestyle, ending up doing seventy lengths and consequently now my body is reminding me that I have muscles.
T-shirt watch only gave me one Metallica T-shirt today, but then it wasn’t really the weather for it, having said that it was cooler but not exactly cold, winter on the way I suppose. I didn’t expect people to be wearing Echo & the Bunnymen coats.
Music today was The Associates’ Sulk (1982), inspired by yesterday’s Billy Mackenzie solo version of Wild Is The Wind. The album starts on the second track for me, perhaps there’s something 1982 about the opener but I wish it was as good as the title, Arrogance Gave Him Up. Alan Rankine seems to be in charge of the music but he can’t help what year it is. Although this gets in the way for me (it’s always the drums in the eighties bands), the second track ‘No’ is magnificent as are the two singles Party Fears Two and Club Country which not only feature Mackenzie’s amazing voice but also ex Cure bassist Michael Dempsey‘s amazing bass playing. Bap De La Bap, Gloomy Sunday (known as the Hungarian suicide song), Nude Spoons, Skipping, and It’s Better This Way have a vitality that’s hard to ignore. Mackenzie was a one-off as a singer, one of the greats, sadly for most people a forgotten great who they haven’t actually ever heard of. He died by suicide in 1997 at the age of 39, RIP.