Siv’s back from Boston, she told us about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where she spent a few hours on her day off (see first picture). Sounds like a fascinating place if you appreciate object d’arts and the love of collecting and preserving beautiful things for posterity. Isabella was very rich, she bought paintings by Titian, Rembrandt and Vermeer amongst other beautiful things. The museum is where the world’s greatest unsolved art theft took place. In 1990 two men disguised as police officers stole 13 items including a Rembrandt and a Vermeer in a robbery said to have been worth 500 million dollars. The Vermeer is valued at 200 million dollars alone, the most valuable unrecovered painting in history. But to think, someone somewhere must have it – like my guitar. Do they disappear behind a secret panel into a secret room to admire it privately (my guitar that is)? A 10 million dollar reward is outstanding for information that leads to recovery of the items stolen, a reward of eternal gratitude is the reward for the return of my guitar. It’s wonderful that Isabella left this collection to the public, but being rich in a world full of pain must surely make one reflect, but what do you do, simply help who you can, give it all away, try to influence others to be philanthropists?
Roger Waters seems to have had some struggles with this coming from a family whose father (killed in World War II) was a staunch socialist, as he saw himself get rich and successful in Pink Floyd. How involved do you get in solving the world’s problems as you successfully find yourself able to avoid them. Sing about them? I heard about an interesting difference of opinion between two bands from Northern Ireland during the troubles. Stiff Little Fingers and The Undertones were apparently criticizing each other for singing about the troubles and for not singing about the troubles. Hm. I talked to Gerd (and Siv) today about the Hanau attack near Frankfurt very close to where I am now and although we all know about the madness in this world Gerd suggested that perhaps writing a blog like this might serve better as an antidote to the bad news that is everywhere in this media soaked world, rather than adding to it all with personal outrage.
So with that in mind, todays trip into the local supermarket turned the innocent buying of potatoes into controversy. In the vegetable section there is a tractor, yes, a real tractor. I guess that’s the kind of region that we are in and it isn’t something you would see in the city. So I went back to the car to get my camera, thinking I should get a picture of that. First I got into minor trouble for exiting out of the entrance and then a look of disdain for returning a couple of minutes later, ha ha. Next I thought, ah wine gums, haven’t seen those since the seventies, I should take a pic. Then I saw the irony of ironies, a huge sign saying “Beauty” behind the toilet rolls. Ha ha again. A woman packing the shelves saw me take the pic and told me that I can’t take photos in here. Really? It’s a supermarket. Not the border between North and South Korea. She persisted in German, I persisted in English and eventually she gave up after I told her ”It’s a free country!”. Ha ha, how could I get so embroiled in such a conflict so easily. It reminds me that you gotta be careful out there, perhaps I was one minute away from store security, the police, or some other nasty result.
We were actually in four different supermarkets today, we don’t seem to be able to get everything we want in one place. After supermarket two we were about to get in the car and I noticed an MGBGT drive by and pull into the petrol station across the road. I said to Olivia ‘I’ll meet you there’ and ran across the road to get a pic. The owner (Jan) was just going in to pay and I asked him if it was ok to take a pic, ‘sure’ he said. I’ve realized that mostly people out there don’t mind a stranger communicating with them, but some do, luckily Jan was cool. The car was a white 1973 model, V8. It was really beautiful and in perfect condition, had a German reg, but was right-hand drive. What a great year 1973 was for albums too. Here’s a list.
I felt kind of out of sorts yesterday and today and I’m sure it’s Brexit anxiety. I’ve always loved the idea of being a foreigner and in recent times have never been more scared of my supposed own people. But with Gerd’s advice perhaps it might be best to concentrate on positive things.
So whilst Olivia and Siv chatted I returned upstairs to write and listen to records. I’m presently listening to Galaxy-Lin, Robby Van Leeuven’s band after Shocking Blue. A fascinating musical idea, using mandolins instead of guitars and great cover art. It’s not what you would think at all, that is if you have pre-conceived ideas about bands, artists and music. I generally find that the albums with the bad reviews are the ones I like and of course the other way ‘round. Hm, perhaps I am a victim of my own philosophy?