Pictures of engines changing hands, but not the actual parts yet. The mechanic in England needs to be sure that the mechanic in Portugal has the correct parts before we have to buy them and ship them to England. The first cylinder head we bought didn’t work despite a conversation similar to this one, so this time we have to be sure. The cylinder head we picked up for the second time did work but was in bad condition, this time we have the opportunity to have better quality parts, the saga continues. “I see angels and aerials in leather and chrome, swooping down from heaven to carry me home”. Ariel concept posts end tonight until I have real news.
Today was ‘day of the dentist’ which made me think of Doctor Who, Series 9, Episode 1, Day Of The Daleks (1972) which starred Jon Pertwee as the third doctor. I don’t know what’s worse, the Daleks or the dentist. Today the dentist fixed my other two broken teeth, that’s four in total, I thought three was enough, but no, it was four. It didn’t hurt today, no nerves were hit but when anyone is drilling in your mouth, it’s just a horrible experience, even when the fellow doing it is nice, how nice he is doesn’t help, how good he is at his job doesn’t avoid the trauma. I’ve had bad experiences over the years, this at least feels like it’s not his first week.
Despite all this, it was a beautiful day – the end of September in Southern Europe and it will no doubt continue into October because it usually does. The rain comes later, but then the spring comes earlier, we don’t get snow in Porto and we get weird Christmas trees, I guess the classic Northern European Christmas tree doesn’t grow here. I remember Christmas in Sydney, it’s strange in hot countries, but I suppose it’s all about where you grew up. How many Australians have never seen snowfall, but then how many Liverpudlians have submerged themselves in the warm and inviting sea on Christmas day?
We came back from the dentist via the krazy hi-fi and radio shop, packed full of old radios, stereo amps and turntables, speakers, tuners, and cassette decks. I’d dropped in the other day and asked about an issue with my turntable, the man said he’d pass it on to the engineer, but he forgot. As it happened the engineer, Paulo, was there, and I managed to talk him into coming to The Archive, so I could show him the issue. He was really helpful and investigated the issue with the needle being too low but in checking everything, balance, the needles, the speed of the turntable, we found an issue with my amplifier on one of the channels, it’s so great having an expert in the house, he’ll fix all these things starting next week.
Music today has been Richard Thompson’s Rumor and Sigh (1991), note the American spelling, I suppose he lives there, but there aren’t many musicians, singers, lyricists, guitarists or songwriters more English than him. The album contains his classic 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, quoted above. He’s an incredible and unique guitarist, a wonderful observational and often dark lyricist and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a few times and even once playing a gig as his support in San Francisco. There are so many good albums and then there are the early Fairport Convention albums to discover, better start now, there’s a lot to get through, including 26 solo studio albums. I once asked him about Nick Drake as he played on Bryter Layter (1971). He said he didn’t remember anything he said, probably because he didn’t say anything.