Friday 23 August 2013 Last night had to avoid eating after 10.30 because I was due to have a blood test today. Fortunate that thinking about the radio interview has kept my mind off this. Got up in time to go to medical centre. Took blood pressure there, and just as I predicted it was high at 146/96. I told the technician that it was high and she said, oh that’s not high. We only refer you if you’re above 160/100. (My book describes 140/90 or more as 1st stage hypertension and the doctors in spain regarded that level as worthy of continued monitoring, but maybe the regime here is different.) I explained that it was high TO ME and a reflection of being about to be stabbed. I asked to lie down which caused here some annoyance and she said, I hope you aren’t going to faint because I am on my own today. We started chatting and she seems to be against the concept of scientific medicine. She didn’t seem to grasp the concept of bacteria evolving resistance to treatment, but rather seemed to think that these treatments fail because they aren’t ‘natural’. She doesn’t believe that marg (little saturated fat) is better than butter (huge dollops of sat fat) because ants prefer butter (she says she read a report that ants will not eat marg but do eat butter). I wonder if any other items of her diet are based on the preferences of ants (or other insects) (Urine anyone? – very popular with butterflies.) I didn’t raise these points at the time as she was about to put a needle in my arm and I could feel my body tensing up anyway. Isn’t it odd that such a minor event triggers such reactions from my mind/body? Two hours later I measured blood pressure at home at 117/82 (down from a pre blood test of 146/90 ) (What will the interview do to me?) Pam asked me if it would be okay if she took me to the radio on saturday, but didn’t bring me back. I replied that would be a bit of a problem because it is a long wait as my appointment there is on Sunday. At 4 went to beach. As I danced along I saw a young woman I recognised she was out of breath as she came to my side. “Do you remember me?”
“Yes, of course,” I do remember this nice face, but from where or in what circumstance I have no idea. “My mum… (puff) wants you to.. (inhales) come back because…”
“Have you run here to catch me?”
She nods and inhales again. “My mum wants to see you dance, she’s sent us to get you. You have to come back with us.”
The two black skinned daughters, pretty and I would guess aged 20 and 17 have both run about 600 metres to tell me this. I ask how long they will be there and that I will be back. “Okay, well wait.” I wave goodbye, and then turn back to them and say, “Oh, by the way, on Sunday I am going to be on radio talking about dancing.” The strangest thing happens at these words. The elder daughter’s eyes widen, the younger one looks like she has just felt a cold draught, and then the elder daughter’s eyes go down my body to my feet and back up again. I am being assayed, re-assessed now that I am the kind of man who is interviewed on radio. It was a gloomy day today and tomorrow is forcast for rain only interupted by showers. I headed back without going all the way to sandbanks as I had a family waiting for my return. Two girls of maybe 12 standing by the waters edge were jumping and posing in ballet style so I waved to them and called out that they should dance. One came running over only to say, “I can’t dance.” She then called her siblings who she claimed could, but they were too shy so I danced away. As I came closer to the Chine I saw the pretty 20 year old again, she was leading two small boys, perhaps brothers perhaps sons. I waved, she smiled shyly, I walked over and the boys seemed apprehensive, but she comforted them. I explained that I was going to do some exercises at the ballustrade and then dance near the restaurant. “Okay,” she replied. As I walked away I noticed two white girls looking at me with a look that seemed to be disapproval of some kind. I danced a while and some member of the daughter’s family took some video, but they then left without further contact. (Perhaps my failure to come when commanded was an insult to grave to be forgiven.) As I danced a blonde girl of about 10 who I have seen many times and her two friends came running over. She just stands or sits nearby. When I took a break I asked them if they danced. The blonds girl shook her head but said that the others did. Her friend asked, “How old are you?” and the blonde girl admonished her, “That’s a rude question.”
The blonde girl asks me if I get embarrassed. I say no and she asks me “Why not?” “Are you their mother?” I asked the woman who approached. “She signalled to two children, “Of this collection only, I want to know what music you are listening to.”
“Ah, give me a moment, I am not sure.”
“Wow! Are you that absorbed that you don’t know who what it is?”
I eventually remember, “Ashanti, Concrete Rose.”
She is surprised. I tell her that yesterday it was Toni Baxton. “Oh, really?” She tells me that she saw me here last year and asks how long I have been doing this. She tells me that I am a (can’t remember the adjective – something very positive) dancer. She asks how long I dance for and I say about an hour and a half.
“Is that all? I had the impression that you go on for hours.”
I tell her that after 1.5 hours I am tired and that here at the Chine I am usually out of energy.”
“You are never out of energy, you never stop you just go on and on.” She introduces me to her father who is about my age, maybe a bit younger and who used to be a drummer, but evades talking about it. She announces it is time to go home and I agree so begin walking home.
A young voice calls out behind me. It is the blond girl, “Mum wants to know which you prefer a hot dog or a hamburger because you’re invited to the barbeque.”
“Oh, that’s nice, thank her, but I have to go home.”
I didn’t mention that hamburgers have far too much sat fat, and sausages are not fit for human consumption (oh, but so yummy, fat dribble, dribble.)


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