This Friday starts the celebrations of Saint George/San Jorge, the patron of the town. The occasion is everything but religious. For thrice days the booze and bulls flow as we set our pantaloons free, hail hail hail San Jorge.
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.
A friend died yesterday. His name was Sebastian Perez Cabrera, best know as Chano. He was diagnosed with cancer just a three months ago. I had written about him before. Here http://wp.me/p37Qzz-7D
He used to ring the church bell. Today at 4.00 it will ring for him.
He reminded me of Mick Jones of The Clash. He had never heard of Mick Jones, or The Clash, or anything remotely Punky. He listened to Classical music on a portable radio with one earpiece.
I'd like to leave the last words to John Donne (John Donne (/ˈdʌn/dun) (22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet and a cleric in the Church of England.)
No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
Celia was not singing in front of anybody, including her family this time last year. Now she is unstoppable. This rather poorly caught footage by me is her this week singing to the entire town for Semana Santa. A touching 2 mins, she cried at the end, she wasn't alone.
… and many of them are destined to watch on from the Restricted View seats, or are paid poorly as butt doubles for Noel Edmonds and the like, Thanks Shakey.
Carnival or “Carnaval” is happening in Cadiz as I write this. Why the F#%% am I telling you this? Well, last year my wife and I were parodied for 20 mins by a mind bending performance of men dressed as us, flesh curdling stuff. To add an element of LSD 'ism I joined them when they played all the bars in town over the weekend. I thought I was one of them.
Here is a minute of the opening few verses with subtitles, thanks for video and translation by Clare Lloyd.
Here's a selection of disturbing images. I was confused, even days later. Reality is stronger than any drug.
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.
On the way home I mistook these car seats for cops on a surveillance mission, then deduced that they had probably sneaked off down to the pub instead. Waiting for crime to happen is a bit of a bore around here.