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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

Trapped in Tijuana


Fog changes everything and fills my mind with fancy

There I was ruminating in bed, as is my tendency in the wee hours of the morning, debating with myself as to whether I should get up. Actually, less debating, more cataloguing all the things I needed to do on this, my departure day. My plane is due to fly at lunchtime. I need to leave the hotel at 9.30am. It was 6am and I hadn't packed, nor even risen, shaved or breakfasted. Come on, old boy, get up, I said to myself.

Just as I slowly eased one leg out of bed, my phone blinked silently as a message came through. I peered at the screen in my darkened room. All flights out of Tijuana today have been cancelled due to fog - not just in the morning but for the entire day. There is no alternative, I have been re-booked on the afternoon flight of the next day, that is, tomorrow Monday (as you can see I am writing in real time).

Now there is nothing more likely to alter my state of mind than an enforced idleness due to circumstances quite beyond my control. I am overcome by a delicious feeling of opportunity as opposed to the irritation and frustration which can all too easily become our prevalent mood in such moments.

Just think, a whole day in which to do anything I fancy, entirely at my whim and completely off the cuff. I could engage in any manner of activities which are either intellectually rewarding or purely pleasurable, or neither. My only predicament is the sheer choice at my disposal.

The beauty is that this is a gift wrapped in time-piece paper: a whole day, 24 hours of it, all 1440 minutes of them, waiting to be stroked till they purr like kittens, or if it takes my fancy to be abused as I partake of a giant pop corn container while watching mindless movies on my giant plasma screen.

On the other hand I have my guitar slumbering in its case quite unawares of what's happening, beckoning at me not to be neglected. Now would I dream of such a thing? I will, in due course, caress its strings, maybe talk to it softly, and then put it through its paces. Oh yes, I have just remembered there is still that piece I need to learn, and also an arrangement I haven't finished. Last night I gave a jolly good concert, even if I say so myself, but there were a couple of glitches I need attending to, so I should find time for them too.

Talking about last night, I gave the closing concert at the 20th Festival HispanoAmericano de Guitarra
and I hope a good time was had by all

This is a festival which I much admire. Under its imaginative director and guitarist Roberto Limón it has encouraged and presented much new music for the guitar, both solo and in chamber music, a lot of it played by Roberto himself. What's more the Festival presents young talent. This year 15 year old Mexican guitar player
Sergio Bucheli, studying at the Menuhin School in England, played a demanding lunchtime programme with aplomb, displaying an expressive artistic temperament well beyond his years. There were some interesting pieces in his programme which I must look up, maybe I could do that today too?

How else to occupy this day? Well, a couple of hours are speeding by as I write this very blog for your reading pleasure and my entertainment. Then there is that book I am reading. Have I mentioned it so far? No of course I haven't. It is called Remember, Remember (The Fifth Of November) - The History of Britain in Bite-size Chunks. If you are like me, and get your Tudors and Plantagenets all mixed up, this is the perfect book for you. Today I will nail them (the kings), once and for all, so as to converse with confidence about all the Henrys and Richards of our remote history.

That leads me to the pure pleasure part of the day - eating Mexican tacos and pollo al mole, which is chicken in hot chocolate sauce, and is totally scrumptious.

All this is due thanks to the fog and cancelled flight. I am so grateful to the elements for affording me this extra day in my life, and to the airline for its wisdom in cancelling a dodgy take-off. All I achieve today is a bonus, all I enjoy enhanced by its randomness.

Maybe I should feel like this about every day? I will give that some thought too as to how to achieve that. So that's another thing I will be doing later on, maybe after the tacos, to add to all the others - I better go now and get started. Bye.

27th October 2013, Tijuana, Mexico

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