I hope this finds you safe in these complex times. I won’t add to talk about The Virus for now, other than to say Gaelynn Lea’s newsletter musing matches my sentiments.
My partner and I are in self-quarantine for 14 days, having returned from a trip to Portugal and Spain. I have several travel stories to share, and I’ll start with one from near the beginning.
Porto is a gorgeous old city on the Douro River but, as in any city, there are a few dangers that may befall one:
• falling foul of an “assertive” driver on the steep, narrow, cobble-stone streets
• the eternal wait in the queue to enter Livraria Lello, the bookstore that reportedly was the inspiration for Hogwarts library in Harry Potter (we happily passed)
• renal system overload from all the salty fish (glad I didn’t pass – delicious)
• coronary system overload from eating Francesinha (wish I’d passed – disgusting)
• being bowled over by one of the copious construction cranes (this is a city undergoing serious renovation)
• falling off the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, built in in the 1880s, after tasting too many ports in Vila Nova de Gaia
The danger that befell me though was attempting to make a music video featuring me dancing in front of the Mural Coletivo da Restauração, a wall of street art amongst the pillars supporting the Gardens of the Palácio de Cristal. In a burst of excitement I went to execute an impromptu dance move, a little Porto Parkour Pirouette, and came unexpectedly and embarrassingly face to face with the concrete ground.
The impact on my forehead was cushioned by my Granny Funk Crochet beanie (this business is no longer in operation, but I had the pleasure of recording the proprietor sing a few years ago). Fortunately the various cuts and bruises to body parts have now largely healed.
Unfortunately my folly was captured on film, though I’ve been too scared to watch it. Maybe I could submit it to <insert nation>’s “funniest” home video show, where people getting seriously hurt to a soundtrack of annoying sarcastic commentary and canned laughter passes as entertainment. I must admit though I’m rather proud of the photo of the hip to knee length bruise I had on my thigh (msg me for a copy).
So I was put off my plans of collecting more music video footage, including a visit to Panorâmico de Monsanto in Lisboa (turns out Madonna beat me to it anyway). However, I have made a music video to share. It does feature a bald bloke dancing, but it’s not me.