First day of a new month which began with Liverpool losing 1-4 to Manchester City and Haaland wasn’t even playing. It’s all good, every team has a dodgy season after all. I wasn’t surprised and my mind was in other places anyway as after the game we were going to take the Hofner bass and the Burns 12-string to luthier Jorge for a set of flat-wound strings and a general set-up for both. Jorge has been looking after most of my guitars whilst away and here I am finding two more for him to contemplate. He has a new workshop that he is building too so he’s busy. But who can resist guitars from the sixties?
We were over in Gaia which is the other side of the River Douro from Porto, it’s like Buda and Pest in Hungary on either side of the River Danube except they turned it into one word. In Gaia is a major famous Spanish department store called El Corte Inglés, this from Quora: “Literally “The English Cut”, and it refers to a certain style of tailor-made suit for men. Originally, this chain of mega-stores distributed all around Spain was a humble tailor shop.” It’s posher than the supermarket so one tries one’s best not to buy one’s groceries there unless one has just had a stock market boost, haha. It’s close to Jorge’s place and we went there for that reason. Walking through the perfume department is horrible, the same at the airport, I come out of there with my senses revolting.
Downstairs is a branch of our bank where we went to try and change our address to no avail, the apps don’t do what they say they will. Upstairs from there, we ate at a veggie chain, Wok to Walk, we have to, we have no cooking facilities for this month. I’m not looking forward to eating out every night for a month, not just the cost but as fussy eaters, we want what we want and not what they offer. So it ends up being the same places all the time.
We’d taken a Bolt there with the guitars but we took the tram back over the Douro. It was still light and a hint of blue had broken through the clouds to reveal another dimension, allegedly called ‘Spring’. After a month in the UK with rainy days a staple, I was hoping for the benefits of the warmer climes of southern Europe, I’m sure it’s coming.
At our underground station, Campo 24 de Agosto, which sits in the middle of where we are now and The Archive, there are ruins from the 16th century that they discovered when they were building the station. It’s just parts of walls, rooms, and archways, and what looks like some kind of pool and drainage system. It doesn’t sound very exciting but although it’s small, it’s actually quite a spectacular preservation. On to home in a hotel, strange to be in such a small room when we have all the space of the new place.
Music today has been Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Naughty Boys (1983) as we just got the news that Ryuichi Sakamoto had died. In January, another member of the band, Yukihiro Takahashi, died. I had a period of following both Sakamoto and Takahashi, buying their solo records as well as YMO releases. They are survived in YMO by Haruomi Hosono. I can’t keep up with all the leaving.