The woods changed during the gig last night. Outside the porthole in the bar, the trees thinned to sporadic thin saplings like a freshly planted orchard. We included this in our routine by improvising something about the outside moving, and us staying still.
The mock orchard gave way to a line of thin elms changing to neatly trimmed grass. With a whumpf that made the room shake, The Kandinsky hit the ground. I spoke to Kurt in the corridor later, and he informed me there are rain tracks positioned to catch The Kandinsky. We couldn’t see the transformation from the stage, but our vessel changed into a full blown steam train at the very moment we landed.
The gig didn’t go very well. The audience was rather distracted.
Nadada doesn’t give you a chance to breath. Picabia was our next stop, only twenty minutes from the woods, past a lake so silver it looked like liquid mercury. Inside swam the mimic seals.
You have to get their attention, otherwise they remain brown lumps of mammal floating on the waterline, or lolling on the rocks nearby. One of the passengers, the woman we picked up in the woods, floated down to them like Mary Poppins sans umbrella. She waved her right arm back and forth, and the seals few close to her pulled up a flipper, and waved back. You can get them to do back flips if you are athletic enough.
Once the mimic seals were gone, we crossed into scenery of rolling green fields, fluffy sheep and cows of many colours. This was the British countryside with the volume turned way up. Finally, we pull into Picabia.
Maybe it was a coincidence, but the second hand on my watch ticked onto eleven at the exact moment The Kandinsky ground to a halt. Near Identical staff in identical uniform and identical smiles waved from through the window, two black and two red circles on the jackets and caps. A similar symbol hugged by a stone monkey sat above the door.
Two hundred passengers (and one mouse puppet) tumbled from our three carriages onto a rural stone station. And though the innards of our vessel are the same as ever before, the chug of steam from the funnel demands that it is boiled water, and not photographs, that keeps The Kandinsky going.
I am writing this from a lovely little cottage with a scarecrow in the garden, vegetables under the soil. I can stay on the ship for nothing of course, but while I am out here, it’s worth dipping further into Nadada. Lisa was right after all.
There’s a lot more to Picabia than peace and quiet. Next week, we will find out more.
Photo by Nicola Guenigault