We actually got some decent sleep last night lying in Ariel’s belly. This is the trip of constantly trying to catch up and when we do finally get back to Porto we will sleep for days. Today was the load out of the parked trucks from their much bigger bellies into the storage house. You could see the seventeen and a half-ton truck rise up as the records were taken out, they are so heavy, it may be an issue transporting them not just because of how much there is but because even in a container, the weight of everything from records to road-cased equipment, books and household items may have to be distributed over two containers and that’s going to cost £20,000. Aunty Gwen will be saying, that’s what the money is for. Rather than six months of living it up down at the sushi bar, the theory is that if you have it you spend it or you save it, so having it to invest in something worthy seems like a good reason, a good place to send the money and I’m sure Aunty Gwen would approve. Still, we have to get it to Porto and find somewhere to put it and I really don’t want that to be another storage house, I need to find premises – and quick. Every day it is in storage here is dead money.
I finally got to meet Fred and Gerri Ann today. They are doing a magnificent job of helping us sort the storage out and although there is some kind of light at the end of some kind of tunnel, we will be back again next week to consolidate and have a shipping company come and assess the piles of boxes and gear and give us a final quote to send it all to Porto. That will be one scary day. Fred and Gerri Ann had to stop today and get to Bristol for a Covid test before they leave for the US on Friday. Everything around here was booked up. Americans still have to go through this, I think we no longer need to for our trip back to Portugal in a few days – I hope. We have to leave before the half-term holiday rush, the last chance for people to get away to warmer climes before Christmas madness hit. Before that there is Halloween and the shops are already selling all the plastic paraphernalia associated with the ghouls and the witches but I’ve already seen enough cobwebs this week to last me a lifetime.
Last night before I went to sleep, I walked to the top of the campsite to clean my teeth and stopped to look up at the stars. It was a wonderful sight from a field in the middle of the countryside with a lot less light pollution than the city or the centre of a town. I never see any UFOs though, no shooting stars last night either, no International Space Station that we always see when we are at Olivia’s parents’ house. There were no messages from above, no answers, just the wonder of the universe making you feel like a gnat in the greater scheme of things. It humbles you or should, and I was reading a headline today that talked about the dilapidated violent northern Welsh town of Rhyl. In the seventies, we had a caravan in Talacre next to Rhyl and this once thriving holiday resort is no longer attractive to the modern tourist. But perhaps if the reputation of the town was warmth, friendliness, caring, great service, imaginative, then people would go there again but how do you shake a town out of this mindset that has led to trouble and appeals to no one unless a violent theme park is your idea of a holiday. So very sad and I wonder if the troubled people here could get some perspective by looking up at the stars, walking in the hills or walking on the beach and hearing the sound of the waves crashing into the shore. I guess not, those things don’t pay the bills but it’s not working the way it is either.
Awake at 7.30 AM this morning for a well-earned shower, the sun shone directly into my eyes on a beautiful morning. The surrounding hills, green and lush, were as wonderful as the stars at night – nature leaves you speechless in its splendour, or it should. I exchanged some good mornings with the other happy campers. It seems like the campers are positive people, you have to be, it’s not the Ritz out here, the showers, the space, the toilet are all inconvenient but the perks, that is the beauty of the clear nights and the bucolic pulchritude make up for it. A woman coming into the shower after me said, “I thought our van was small!”
My thumbs hurt. All that grabbing of things, especially vinyl. I’m finding it quite hard to lift heavy things too. Fred carried one of my B&W floor standing speakers upstairs today and I thought I’d follow with the other one but I couldn’t lift it. It was both too heavy and hard to grab hold of with painful hands. Everyone that has helped with this project has made it come to fruition, I don’t know what we would have done without them. So off to sleep, to cure the body with rest and be up bright and early in the morning, not groaning about the early start but looking forward to the sight of the dazzling magnificent sun rising from behind the hills.
Music today has been: