Tonight we met sessioneer friends Abby and Nick from Santa Fe for dinner. Where did we meet them pre-munch, at Tubitek, the record store, where else? Inside – just me, Olivia and Abby went to buy fake flowers to decorate the wiring in the bathroom, Nick had a work thing. I found two Lemon Twigs CDs, Songs for the General Public (2020) and Do Hollywood (2016). The National’s Sleep Well Beast (2017) and Italy’s Nosound – Scintilla (2016), all for €18 – CDs have become incredibly good value for money.
We walked through the centre of town towards the restaurant, we left Nick outside the café next to the record store, chained to the earbuds by his work call. Before we left, I noticed that the restaurant was playing a song by The Smiths. I saw the owner outside, I said, “Hey, nice choice, The Smiths” (a restaurant in the centre of any popular tourist destination could be playing, well, anything). The owner responded unprompted, “I think, I have the church on this playlist”.
We wound our way through the streets across Aliados where on one side a summer stage is set ready for classical concerts, on the other side, construction for the new subway station, the grand old buildings look down on a changing world that their builders could never have imagined. We walked up the hill towards Trindade and the restaurant, where Nick would join us when he was done. Inside, Boa-Bao delivered.
With the table booked after us, we left for coffee and dessert at the café next to the famous Lello bookstore, we looked through the window and marvelled at the staircase and decor inside a bookshop that charges to get in and boasts queues every day.
Back to the ranch through the late summer night, fewer tourists than the week before with the school term returning, but the cool night breeze that sweetens a hot day reminds you why this place has the perfect climate. In a world where the hottest year on record has terrorised the planet, we have been so lucky here.
At The Archive, conversation with two PhD philosophers stimulates the mind, but alas they must eventually leave as tomorrow they drive to Lisbon. Olivia sleeps, I write and watch the amazing Alcaraz against the formidable Zverev. Alcaraz is the Eddie Van Halen of tennis stars, flawless technique with a dose of magic. He is definitely made of rubber. Spain vs. Germany, with Medvedev waiting in the wings. But you just can’t imagine a different outcome, the final will be Djokovic vs. Alcaraz, Eddie playing himself.