From Merrie England

Thanks to the wonders of anonymous FTP (and my meager skills coding with Notepad – the Right Way), I’m typing this to you from the Mumford flat at Fernthorpe Road in South London. I have a bit of free time, as motivating Tara to rise and bathe has proved to be a near Herculean task. We were going to meet Angel at noon, but that quickly became logistically impossible so we moved it back to 2pm. Currently the weather cannot decide if it wants to be rainy or sunny – a dilemma with which it wrangles frequently. Last night I saw Michael Manring play at the Troubadour. Solo bass guitar – bloody marvelous (yes, I type British as well as speak it). Hopefully today I will meet up with Jan Cyrka as well.

Guess what? I bought yet another guitar. I had free time in Dallas before meeting up with Tara, so I stopped off at one of the large pawn shops in Dallas. And there it was, a black Ibanez RG7621 7-string (exactly the same model as I own, but I had mine painted all swirly). The price tag: $150. Mind you I bought my RG a few years ago on ebay for $400. They listed for around $700 as I recall. And if my father instilled anything in me, he gave me a congenital disability to pass up a good deal. So I bought it. No case, so I asked if I could take some tools with the deal. They had a big table full of crusty tools from which I took wire cutters, a screwdriver and a hammer (I needed a hammer for the apartment and I needed the screwdriver in case I had to take the neck off to stick the instrument in my backpack). I then moved on to my rendezvous point at Guitar Center where I purchased a cleaning kit and some strings. I sat in the GC parking lot clipping off the strings and cleaning off the caked layers of finger muck. The guitar was made in 1999, and clearly had not been cleaned since. Eventually we got to the airport and I inquired about closet space for the instrument, and there was room to be found. So naturally I had to surrender my wire cutters and screwdriver to the nice security people. Oh well, they were free. So there I was walking around airports with my luggage and my stringless guitar. And did I mention that British Airways absolutely rules? They have the best in-flight meals and the best entertainment options – multiple movie channels, multiple audio channels. Mostly I listened to the best of REM, the Best of Tori Amos, and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours.”

I went to the Tate Modern Gallery yesterday to witness the last days of the Weather Project. It is an amazing sight to witness, as were the Picassos and Rodins and Pollocks. We capped the day with a fine dinner atop the museum.

Aside from all the things to do and see, I’m mostly just enjoying being back in London. It still feels comfortable and familiar. Maybe I’ll tell you more as the week progresses.