Leonard Cohen, Snorremans, etc
It’s spring in Holland, and if you aren’t aware, that is truly great news.
Truly, truly, truly. I don’t know if it’s the pandemic or a regular thing, but the Dutch people in our courtyard are going in on their gardens this year. Our downstairs neighbor, I say only 10% resentfully, hired a guy to do her plants and cacophonously power wash the stone tiles of her garden for a solid 7 hours straight the other day. I give her only 10% of my resentment because she is wonderful, buys the wood for the wüdbürner, and puts up with our singing and music making with zero complaints. So no hard feelings, downstairs neighbor. Get your garden right, okay?!
I’m grateful for her and everyone else’s work, because when we open up our terrace doors (a sentence that as a New Yorker I just … giddily still can’t quite wrap my head around?! sorry still not over the terrace let me get back on focus here) we are met with birds chirping, fresh air and perfect smells. Take, for example, this flowering pink magnificence just outside our window.
Spring is my favorite season, and it’s been kind of a bummer, because I haven’t been able to bike. Remember that “minor” “I’m fine” bike injury I had a few weeks ago? It turned out to be a meniscus tear. Woof. The meniscus, I now know, takes ten million years aka six weeks to heal, so I have been sitting. And sitting. And sitting.
Two benefits to a meniscus tear, though:
1) The album is getting written / demo-ed a lot more
2) We’ve been really seeing our neighborhood, which, it turns out, is spectacular.
But my favorite part of my neighborhood, by far, is the neighborhood cat. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know about this cat. If you don’t, we need to talk about him.
I discovered this little bobi on our first morning in Holland. He seemed like any normal cat. He was black and white. He seemed to “live” across the street. He was fine. Then, on the literal first night out of quarantine, he started following us. He stayed by our side for the entire 20 minute walk. Every time I thought we had lost him, he would gallop up under five or six cars and resume his gait with us. It was so charming that I wasn’t quite sure if he was real. See below.
To my delight he was not a Ghibli-esque figment of my imagination, and I have chronicled his adventures ever since. He basks in the sun like a Greek God. He climbs up enormous trees. He has a habit of jumping into the air for no particular reason, as if possessed and/or pulled at the top of his back by an enormous invisible hand. He’s hilarious.
Lately, he has taken to climbing on cars. This is a new phenomenon for the little bobi. It deeply entertains me and deeply confuses the neighborhood. For a while, it seemed, he had a penchant for the classics. He never went for the Porsche or the Mercedes; instead, he opted for a sensible Saab, Volkswagen or Peugeot.
Then the other day, he changed his tune. Little bobi is a Vespa man now.
This was such a sassy and perfect choice that I decided it was time to name him. He probably has a family and a name, but we’re going to pretend that isn’t the case. I posed the question to my Instagram and Facebook followers, and we crowdsourced a bunch of names. I’m partial to three suggestions: Henk, Sammy, and Snorremans.
I don’t understand the name Snorremans. It just reads absurdly to my American eyes. I love it so much. Which makes me think… it might have to be his name. Wanna know the best part? Tisha Smit, the epic bassist I told you about last week, told me that Snorremans is a nickname, actually. It means … roughly …. (are you ready?!)
PURRY DUDE. As in a dude. Who purrs.
To make things even better, many of my glorious Dutch followers sent me audio clips teaching me how to say Snorremans, because the internet is a magical place. Here are two of my favorites, for your listening pleasure:
These audio clips brought me so much joy. I miss voices. I miss picnics. Normally mid April we’d all go to Central Park and I’d make us a pie. You know what I mean? You bring the cheese. No bleu cheese. I will not discuss this. I understand. You like bleu cheese. You think it’s really great. You think I’ll get used to it, even like it eventually. I will not get used to it. Please do not bring it to the picnic.
In all seriousness though, I can’t wait to see humans again. Until then, since I’ve gotten a little far from music in the t-talks, here’s a cover of a Leonard song that I filmed while José was making breakfast. Nothing better than my little baby Yamaha reface with a tasty delay and the sound of breakfast.
See you next week,
ps: if you’re new here or have been perusing but unsure you wanna join the community, the below helps these go straight to your inbox like the letter they’re intended to be.