A Year In Nadada: Week Fifteen- Done To A Tea

I wanted to tell you more about Picabia. So let me start with what tapped on my window this morning.

Last night’s gig finished well into the early hours. I played an impromptu open mic in a pub with sky blue beer. The knocking on the window pulled me from a thick fog of sleep, and I thought I might still be dreaming. Even after three months Nadada is hard to comprehend.

The monkey wore a chef’s hat measured to perfection for his tiny frame. By his side was a steaming cup of tea the perfect shade of brown. His little knuckles hit the glass again and again. Despite my concerns about hygiene, I staggered over, and popped open the window. My manners wouldn’t allow otherwise.

The tea was perfect. Even though there wass no obvious teapot to judge the distance carried, or no guarantee if or when I would start drinking, the temperature and strength were spot on.

With a curt bow, the animal scampered away through a landscape standard only in Picabia. Every facet of the English countryside fights for space without care or consideration of design. Bowling greens lead onto the crumbling turret of a castle, supported by an oak tree leading to a field of cut grass.

The real difference to back home is the monkeys. They pottered up branches and clambered masonry, carrying cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, cups of tea identical to mine, gin and tonics with ice and lemon that never spilt, and the odd full English breakfast.

It’s weird how this is turning into an animal right’s blog,  but there is no cruelty here. I wouldn’t drink a cup of tea made by an animal.  These monkeys are simian in looks alone. Underneath synthetic skin there are thousands of polished wooden pistons, powered by a steam engine no bigger than an apple. That’s why some people call them blast monkeys. They may look like jungle beasts, but a walking cuckoo clock tapped on my window this morning.

The blast monkeys and more are explained in a welcome manual you receive in your room. This is a leather bound book, that looks at least a hundred years old, but tells you how the lights work, so I don’t think it is that old.

Back out exploring tomorrow. No more late night gigs. I am taking The Butter Mouse with me, to a stone circle up in the hills. They says the atmosphere is strange, even for Nadada.

The view from the top of the turret in Picabia. Photo by Nicola Guenigault. 

The view from the top of the turret in Picabia. Photo by Nicola Guenigault.