3rd Week of lockdown ginger. It has rained for most of it, so it would have been pretty quiet out there anyway.
Here I am on the roof in the rain waving at the other end … and of this, some sunny day.
Ok, so Carnaval has just ended. It was a transformative experience for me. Two months rehearsing every night on a diet of booze and cigars, so no change there. However this was team work, 10 men and me, creating a 26 minute kaleidoscopic homage to artisans of the past. I now have a huge bunch of new chums.
The unwritten rule is you drink & smoke for 10 minutes, argue for 5 minutes then play for 15 minutes, repeat for three hours.. However the rule broke down and the equation got seriouly warped, you do the mathematics.
I may have been the first person from outside the town to have played in the Carnival, possibly in the whole of Cadiz, but who cares? I did it and loved it and have many injuries to prove it.
Here I am receiving an award, probably just for turning up.
Yes they are men.
Photos and video courtesy of Clare Lloyd
I can be heard throughout but can be seen coming front stage during the segment starting at 16mins which is a couplet about me being their new drummer/bombo. Oh Lordy yes.
Everybody Dies. Some sooner than others. I went to the funeral of a friend yesterday. I will miss him. It was an incredible send off. I hope he would have been proud of us.
So here he is alive again, a few seconds in the life of a life well lived.
One of the many good things so far this year has been not having to vote for any of the bastards in the UK. However I did vote this Sunday at the local Spanish elections and we are now Socialist, that's all well and good but I refuse to ever wear open-toe sandals.
On the 25th of February a local man walked into a bar. I was propping up the counter. He was holding a guitar. “I need to sell my guitar,” he said in Spanish. The barman, who is a lovely friend of mine and a great flamenco guitar player tried it and nodded in approval at the price, so I bought it on the spot.
There was however another reason I felt compelled to buy it. The TV news in the bar had just announced the sudden death of Flamenco Guitar Revouloutionary Paco De Lucia. I had hoped to see him this year. The two incidents, be they coincidental or not, have since led me on an exploration into this complex soulful music. Here's a snap of it in the studio I am building.
There are a couple The Doors in the background
Song written and performed by Paco and I think he looks great too.
Olives are horrible there is no doubt about it. If you like them you are lying to yourself. I like them. I am lying to myself but they taste better if you do. Here in Dandylusia we eat lots. There is a strange custom here of not eating the last one, they call it the Olive of Shame, shame on you if you eat it. Leaving it means you are not greedy, and it applies to everybody sharing the plate with you so nobody nabs it, they nab the penultimate one instead. Pretzel Logic. I often wish the'd only serve one.
It doesn't happen too often thankfully, given my propensity for frequenting bars of notoriety, that I get into an unresolvable disagreement with a fellow fool. Thus it was last Saturday that a gentlemanly disagreement compelled me to turn a chair over a chap of minimimilist logic. He left quickly.
I usually remove my hat before embarkation, as this usually signals to any fellow wrangler of my unhappy intentions, i.e. To instill a firm understanding of “The Gooobye Look.” He shall be hearing from my Tailor!
Mark Twain is often quoted lazily; “Truth is Stranger than Fiction”, well is it? A truth is after all another form of fiction, time tends to reveal and render known truths as poppycock: The world was flat, and that was a true.
Why am I talking this jibber jabber? Well this weekend I went to an Andalusian Carnaval. I had imbibed enough booze to ensure my total enjoyment of the endless incomprehensible monotonous songs. After twenty minutes I started to eye the exit, then something quite startling happened. On the large raised stage appeared a man dressed exacly like me, then on walked another, and another, and another. These bearded replicants then summoned from the wings a series of men dressed as my wife. They then burst into a song mixing truths with absurd fiction into a surrealist tapestry based on the scant knowledge they have garnered about our lives, like the Daily Mail does.
The audience of around two hundred people laughed all the way through, which might have been humiliating had I understood more than two of the words … our names. The lyrics to Carnival songs are sung at breakneck speed and are dense in layers of comedic reference to past Carnival songs and the “Goings On” in the town. I have the libretto, and am now studying it with a strong sense of trepidation.
None of these people are actually me or Catherine.
To be parodied by so many tremendously well oiled lunatics was a huge honour, I thought I was the only parody of myself. They were far better at me than me. As the Carnival stretched on over three days I decided to join them, the audience seldom noticed which one of us was truely me and which one was fiction, and by Sunday evening I was also having serious doubts.