The great gaping hole in the empty suitcase, yet to be filled. Instead of what I’m going to take, I’m thinking what am I going to forget? I try so hard to take as little as possible because I know I’ll be bringing things back and will need the space and the weight limit is easily reached. I’ve mentioned before that I love a late flight and today’s leaves at 5.05 PM so I don’t actually need to leave till around 3 PM. That gives me time to eat something and contemplate which items I need to discover and take that are hidden from the eye. (I can report that I already forgot my belt and a shirt.) Olivia has left her keys with Gardenia and I have left mine with Hugo so the post gets brought in, the plant gets watered and the guitars are loved.
A quick trip to the airport, half an hour tops. Once there, it’s not too busy but they are already quizzing Olivia about the violin. Ryanair has hawks that check that no one gets away with smuggling an item that is three inches too long and trying to be considered hand luggage, consequently, she was charged 70€ for the pleasure of bringing it on the plane. They had us standing outside for half an hour and one imagines that if it had been raining they wouldn’t be rushing to get us back inside. Luckily it’s Porto and mild although yesterday’s thunderstorms would have grounded us. The flight was what every flight should be, dull, and uneventful. I put on my headphones and listened to The Slider (1972), The Unforgettable Fire (1984), and The Man in the Bowler Hat (1974). I put my sunglasses on to escape the glaring light of the cabin and am relieved when they turn them off to land. Surely it would be better to have the light in the cabin dimmed for short-haul flights, it’s not about sleeping, it’s about relaxing.
The landing was a little bumpy and the lights came on again, I kept my sunglasses on, I hate bright light. The plane cleared, front and back and Olivia then went to collect her violin from one of the middle bins, proving that it really was hand luggage after all. Mild in Germany, we were met at the airport by Gerd (Olivia’s dad) who had driven from Holland and was picking us up on the way home. It takes about 35 minutes from the airport to the family house where we offloaded the bags and chatted with Olivia’s mum and dad till bedtime via Match Of The Day where I saw Liverpool lose again.
So welcome to Germany, goodbye to Portugal for a while, but at least I have my residence card which makes me feel better about travelling, just knowing I have an official card to flash that tells anyone on any border that I live as a resident in Porto. Being English in Europe is a problem if you’re not just there for a two-week holiday, although I imagine getting stuck in summer jams at the UK/France border is common too. Do people still think Brexit was a good idea? Whatever, it doesn’t bother me anymore as far as my residency, but it certainly has caused me massive problems as far as the location of The Archive.
Music today has been the wonderful Stackridge album, The Man in the Bowler Hat (1973), produced by George Martin. They live somewhere between The Beatles, 10cc, XTC, occasionally Sparks, and then add a touch of prog and a slice of folk with great melodies and creative lyric writing. I saw them live once (I think with Dare) at Liverpool Stadium in the seventies. Eddie John, Noctorum, MOAT, Afridi/Willson-Piper, and Space Summit drummer, played with Stackridge in the later years. You may know The Korgis who grew out of Stackridge and had a hit with the song Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime, (1980) covered by Beck, Richard Thompson, The Dream Academy, Yazz, Army of Lovers, The King’s Singers, Zucchero and Vanessa Carlton and the 40-piece Cantamus Girls Choir.