Gina Leishman

Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, and Singer

December 1st, 2015, Menorca

Back on the island, to my beloved finca… It seemed that I brought winter with me… they’ve had an endless summer, and it was glorious the day I arrived (nov 20th) – I even threw myself in the sea for a quick baptism (really cold water!), the surest way to feel that I’ve truly arrived – but the following day the temperature plummeted, the wind and rain started – oh yeah… but with both fires going we are very cozy, and after 5 days or so it broke, since when it’s been glorious – crispy cold nights, days of hot sun at midday, but cool air, perfect for gardening, and hiking… I did the front garden the first week (how lovely to see the earth again!), and got through most of the fig garden this week before my joints demanded that I stop – I can’t get out of bed in the morning, and my shoulders scream at me 24/7… not to mention my back and hips… crap, I say, and double crap… I’m not ready for this… so much to do…!

the week in cotherstone before coming out here was fairly productive in terms of getting ready for the build (converting the potting shed), but the weather was filthy (again, it broke as I arrived, they’d been having a beautiful autumn) and I got no walks in except down to the river and back most days – tho’ that was pretty spectacular a couple of times – we had lashings of rain and things were flooding all over. I didn’t see it in full spate but high enough, and the high tide marks of flotsam and leaves were astonishing… Mary Matthews hosted a great dinner (at my request, kind and generous spirit that she is), with them and the Robertsons and a couple of artist friends of hers – she seemed genuinely happy that I’d asked her to do it, thankfully! so much fun… also a good evening with Mark and Mary – dinner and the village panto! No sign of Sam – he’s truly gone, I fear…. I can only hope it’s to a good place… que vaya bien, querido…. I miss you, and keep you in my heart… you got to be a wild animal, a real cat, and I cannot regret that…

October was full of good things – a splendid Wau-Wa gig at Barbes – the 2nd in less than year, mirabile dictu, which meant we actually had time to learn a couple of new pieces, not just try to remember the old ones… both of them from Mahagonny, of course, my beautiful obsession: the Alabama song, finally, (an arrangement of the songspiel version, much the more interesting); and a version of Essen for Rinde, including the introductory “first comes eating” – all very satisfying… then on to BAM, for weeks of ER and William Kentridge – good company to keep… ER was very well received, and glowingly reviewed in the NYT – except that once again there was no mention of the music… hey ho, plus ça change… I wish them well… I heard Kentridge lecture at the Studio School (riveting), saw his piece at BAM (a glorious mess) and finally saw his production of Lulu at the Met (gilding the lily – I had to go back a second time to actually hear the music, I was so busy LOOKING the first time – not good, altho his stuff is wonderful, always). Good dinners with friends, and walks, and lunches… chi gong in the park most mornings…. We had the Westbeth Flea Market before I left, and I have signed up for meal deliveries in the building… life in westbeth… have also booked a kamikaze concert here for january…

and then there was paris… jesus, man’s inhumanity to man is incomprehensible… I took part in the Climate March here in menorca on Sunday, with Bett and Manel – there were about 250 folk, pretty good for this little place, and manel was good company, very knowledgeable… felt good to put one’s feet where one’s mouth is…

postscript… later, about to leave… two great hikes with Angela, bits of the cami de cavalls – the first from Favaritx to Es Grau, and a week later from Cala’n Porter to Son Bou – wonderful… and two great purchases – a new wood stove for my room, and a new mattress for my bed – a warm, dry room and good sleeping at both things devoutly to be wished for at this stage… and 3 really great weeks with sis – such a good time we had together – thank you…