19 July 2013 Friday Looked at my shoes which are only 6 weeks old, I have ripped the outer sole off one of them, probably from twisting on rough concrete. Never ruined a pair of shoes that fast before. Up late last night dancing at around 2am. Woke up late this morning. Shopped. Lunched. Went to library to do things online. Set-up a twitter account for ‘playAdance'(wanted to be ‘beachdancer’ but someone already has that) and within about 20 mins of trying to use it my account was ‘Temporarily suspended because of abusive behaviour’ My time was up, but seems that I have been cut out of system for sending ‘unsolicited messages’ Huh? I thought that was what twitter was – people sending vacuous trivea that no one would possibly want to receive. Toco Cantar, has a ‘channel’ at google which I knew nothing about, but what having a ‘channel’ means I can’t say. These websites are constantly upgrading and re-configuring, but never seem to work. I stare at them wondering what I am supposed to do and why these are multi-billion dollar enterprises. So having been thrown off for ‘abusive behaviour’ I had dinner – yes I was running that late, and then walked down to beach where I was still digesting so not very keen on dancing. The weather was almost perfect and the need to move took over. A couple of teenagers asked me whhy I do this. “Because I enjoy it.”
“Just that?”
“I love dancing and it is good exercise.”
“Surely, there is a more conventional way to get exercise.”
“Yes, but why be conventional?”
His friend seemed to approve of that reply.
“You’re getting quite a rep.”
They seemed satisfied and friendly. Later a man of about 30 came over. “Hello mate, My mum has a chalet here and told me she has seen you dancing up and down. How far down the beach do you go?”
We chatted aimlessly for a while and then he surprised me with, “I envy you.” I asked him why and I was surprised by his answer. (I expected something like, fitness, or inhibition or maybe dance, but he said….) “Because you look so happy.” Bugger me. Am I becoming a happy person? I agreed that when I am dancing I am happy, that I love doing this. He said that I make other people happy too. (Isn’t that nice?) I mentioned that half the people who watch me think I am insane and he asked me, “Are you?” To which I replied, “I don’t think so.” Then he said, “My kids want to meet you.”
“Next time, I am here almost every day.” I returned to walking and dancing and a small boy ran over to me. “Yes?” I start. “My dad wants to take a picture of us.”
“Oh, okay, where’s you dad?”
“Over there near the ice-cream kiosk.”
“Oh, that’s a long way away. He’ll have to come here, let’s do it another day.”
The boy runs away.
Later I hear someone shouting and I think it is someone abusing me, but I turn and its the boy and the man I was talking to. They have come for their photo. But then he realises that he has lost his phone. The kids look disappointed and their dad looks worried. I try to reassure the boy that we can do it another day. Oh, the pressures of a fan base. Some other girls follow me trying to video me without my noticing. Every time I spin round they try to act as though they aren’t filming. I hold up my hand and make a camera clicking motion. They sheepishly wave. Back at the Chine I am drained again. I see a group of what I take to be Africans as they are speaking some language I don’t know and sometimes english. One of the girls is doing some ‘afro’ style steps. I ask where they are from, Zimbabwe. I ask them, “Would you show me some dance moves?” They respond warmly to this and show me a small foot swivelling step which is a bit like a very small charlston, they show me the African Zombie which is absurd, and some leg knees together and apart stuff, all of which are simple but tricky when you haven’t done it before. Then mom tells me to show them some moves and so the 3 girls and I dance together then they listen to my music to understand why I am dancing so slow. I thank them, they thank me. I go back to doing my thing. A maybe 30 year old woman, her female friend and their two girl children come over. The mother says, my daughters want to dance with you, but the two girls stiffly refuse to do any such thing as they keep their mouths shut and stiffly shake their heads. Mom starts dancing, but the girls will not budge. I say, “If I am willing to make a fool of myself you can.” Nothing. Mom listens to my music. Another woman (50) comes from somewhere and says, “Is it good music?” and then says that she’s been wondering about it for ages. She listens and then goes. The women and girls hang around a while take some video then leave. I continue. There is a couple staring at me from a bench. Probably in 30s maybe 40. Both dark skinned. He is a big guy and the look on his face is not friendly. I am finally worn out and I go to sit on the next bench. I take off the phones so that I am more approachable. He says, “That was so cool.”
In relief I thank him warmly. He continues, “If it weren’t for having a bad knee I would have joined you.”
“Do you dance?”
“No.”
“Being able to dance like that frees the spirit,” he tells me.
I show him my shoe and tell him that I have ripped it apart in just 6 weeks. I relax a while and when I stand to go I tell him that I used to wake up with aching calves and heels, part of getting older and stiffer, but that with the dancing I don’t suffer that, I just ache all day from the exercise. They laughed and wished me well and he said, “Never give up what you do.” I have been back just long enough to write up my diary and it is 10:30pm.

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