A disappointing day of letdowns and a wild goose chase. The idea was that after playing in Spain with Anekdoten, we would continue north, drive through France, go and see our friends Arno, Virginie and Tim, then head to England, go see AAE Andy and Lisa in Folkestone, seventies friend Biggles and his wife Colleen in London, meet up with Mohamad for dinner with him and his wife Zeinab in Soho, see sessioneer Noel and possibly even see Dare and Nicky in Somerset, Boydy and Trish in Bristol and possibly even drummer Ed. All this seeing and hanging and chatting and catching up with friends would all revolve around us getting to the storage house and having a truck arrive from Portugal and have us supervise the load, next stop Porto. 36 hours before we leave for Spain, the trucking company who haven’t been in touch for eight days, told us they couldn’t do it. Everything remains where it was in England until we can come up with some sensible cost-effective way to move everything here. The VAT into Portugal was going to be huge, plus the shipping cost, perhaps it was dumb to agree to pay out a lot of money anyway, perhaps we need another plan.
So today I went for my last swim before we leave which I took earlier and happily had a lane to myself for the whole 72 lengths. Afterwards, I went to the psychedelic psupermarket where I met Olivia who showed up with Ariel fresh from her health resort. New shockers, tyres, a new exhaust, a radio and various engine parts changed, the list was long and it wasn’t cheap but we are now MOT’d and have a reliable vehicle. Now with these reliable wheels, we were able to go on our wild goose chase. In lieu of bringing everything archive, musical and personal from the Somerset storage house we were driving to Matosinhos by the harbour today to see premises. At this point, we didn’t know there was no point. Not that it mattered, when we got there we were told that we wouldn’t be able to have music there because the woman upstairs didn’t like noise! Haha. So we never actually saw the premises, we just met Fernanda, a lady in her eighties who owned it and her younger friend Elisabete. They had a sweet shop in a deserted street, it was all very bizarre but they were nice enough and they had a friend there from Mexico who we spoke with (in Spanish) who was really nice (their kids were playing together). At least we gave Ariel a bit of a run.
Back home I wallowed in disappointment for an hour until I eventually snapped out of it and we watched Elementary over dinner and plotted. We are still going to make the journey and we are going to try and rearrange the storehouse so we take up less space and bring the monthly bill down, I hope to be able to bring back some things, amps, guitars, books, lava lamps, skulls, anything that might be tricky to move in a big truck. Plus going to England will mean I get a stamp in my passport showing I have exited the EU/Germany which I don’t have at the moment. Portugal still hasn’t given me my resident card which means Germany treats me like a non-EU resident. On the way into Germany from Australia, they gave me an entry stamp as an alien, on the way out to Portugal there’s no exit stamp because both the countries are EU. This means it looks like I‘ve overstayed my time in the EU in German eyes. I haven’t because I’m allowed to be in Portugal for as long as I like as a resident, but that doesn’t matter in the world of bureaucracy.
T-shirt watch complied with the rule and exposed two more Pink Floyd T-shirts but there was also the first Slipknot shirt. It makes you realise that people generally want noise, hip or epics to be represented on their chests. Not so many contemporary artists and why do I never see a Nick Drake shirt? I must see if I can buy one, or what about a Tim Hardin shirt, a Roy Harper shirt, a Robert Wyatt shirt, a CAN shirt or even a Bob Dylan shirt, or is Dylan too intellectual for a T-shirt? What about a Nick Cave shirt? I’m looking forward to seeing what Londoners are wearing, I bet it’s not Suede shirts or FKA Twigs shirts if such a thing exists.
Music today has been an odd mixture, a lot of noise shared with some subtler titles, Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967), Steven Wilson’s The Raven That Refused To Sing (2013), Pink Floyd – Meddle (1971), Muse – Will Of The People (2022), Moody Blues – Seventh Sojourn (1972), and Def Leppard – Diamond Star Halos (2022). Cream was the first today and I never tire of Disraeli Gears.