Enero 1 2014 First day of new year.
I got up very late. What variance my awakening is displaying.
And a lovely sunny pleasant day it was.
Dancing today I noticed a small girl standing nearby with one hand outstretched towards me. I waved to her, but she seemed to want something else. I danced over to her and put a finger near her hand. She clasped my finger, released it and then ran over to her young parents.
It was the same girl as yesterday (the one who did something like breakdancing and who posed upside-down)
Danced a lot. Didn’t have the backpack because shops closed for holiday. There were around 500 persons on the beach or promenade. I think they were there to see the swimmers brave the ‘cold’ which is not so cold when compared to the northern european masochists. Seeing me added to their list one more new year’s nutter.
Enero 2 2014
Cool cloudy dull day with light showers. Stayed-in. One of the fluorescent
tubes in the kitchen needs replacing- bink bink bink – I am surprised how annoying it is to have the light flashing & clicking randomnly. I prefer to switch it off and work in the gloom than have it flickering. Tried removing the faulty tube, but the two seem to be wired in series so that without one the other doesn’t work.
3 Enero 2014
Up late again. The hardware store will be closed for siesta by the time I get to the beach so can’t buy a replacement light tube. Will have to endure the bink-bink-bink flickering light at least another day.
Today is another beautiful day, and even more unseasonably warm weather. Lots of sun, some cloud and about 18 C after a very mild night. Even the staff in the supermarket commented on how nice the weather is ‘se parece de Semana Santa’ (‘it’s like Easter’) which is probably not what a Brit would say as the weather today is more like summer (or at least late spring) in England.
When I went out I quickly returned to change my clothes, removing the thick shirt and T-shirt and putting-on a thin summer shirt instead.
This shirt is sufficiently thin that I kept it on (but undone) so that I don’t get so much sunshine on my body. Exhausted and just going to pick-up my backpack when some 4 children came over and formed a class ready to dance. Not wanting to disappoint I danced one song and tried to keep-up the quality before collapsing. Fortunately a parent turned-up, the children ran over to them and I was able to escape. However, I think some of them must go to dance class because they applauded before leaving which is very ‘dance class’.
I note that I have not posted my diary for one or two months. That’s what happens without an internet connection at home.
4 Enero 2014 Sabado
Saturday and too lazy to go out. I read that people are inundated with data these days. Really? Inundated with trivia and drivel perhaps. Apparently there are classes to teach people how to cope with masses of communication and constant messages. It is a different world to the one I choose to inhabit. My phone hasn’t rung in more that two weeks. I haven’t checked email in – er – not sure how many weeks maybe only two maybe three. (I really should check it soon.) Have only glimpsed a few headlines recently. My German neighbour tells me that the weather in England has been severe, so I then felt obliged to watch a few minutes of UK news on satelite.
Surprised to read that the average American worker has 2 years more schooling than the average European worker and some 20%? more of them have university degrees. They also work longer hours.
American and European companies have spent roughly the same amount on new technology, but the American companies have used it to improve their productivity (by re-organising work and reducing the number of staff) whereas the European companies have not benefitted from the investment (presumably because they can’t re-organise or sack staff).
Also suprised to read that in America museums have had more vistors than cinemas and sports events combined.
5 Enero Domingo
Sunday danced, but don’t remember it. Oh, a small girl being carried by her mom is waving to me. She is the same one as a couple of days ago.
6 Enero Lunes
Public holiday here in Spain (and for those of us on the old religious calendar it is the proper day to celebrate Christmas or more exactly the myth of the wise men giving gifts brought from China to the baby Jesus. In Spain these are three Kings although nothing in the bible refers to kings or how many persons came.)
Fairly busy at beach, but not as busy as New Year’s day. When I was wiping away the sweat a young woman who was sitting some 20 metres away,called-out, “Ven” (pronounced exactly like the English name ‘Ben’, but which is the command, ‘Come!’ ) I walked over to her and her two friends and said, “Hola, buenas dias”
She responded and then asked, “Cuantas anyos has bailado para bailar tan bien?” (How many years have you danced to dance so well?)
“Muchos,” I replied.
“Das clases?” (Do you give classes?)
“He ido a algunos.” (I have been to some.)
She dances salsa, her friend says very well, but she denied this. Her friend said that dancing ‘da varguenza’ which is odd because to me it translates as ‘dancing gives shame’ but I guess it is used to mean that she feels self-conscious when dancing.
Funny, is it not, that I go over to these women when commanded ‘Come!’, but I did not accompany the woman of a few days ago who was suplicantingly signalling for me to accompany her. Why the difference? Could it be something to do with one being a pleasant looking middle aged woman and the other a pretty 22 year old? Surely not.
I think I slightly over-stayed my welcome before returning to dance.
Today was another very pleasant clear sunny sky day with a slightly lower max temperature of about 15. Comfortable in a thin shirt.
Bought fresh bread from a corner shop and walked slowly home.
Lost in the mists of my failing memory. No idea what I did this day.
A more normal JANUARY 15C sunny day. The place nearly deserted after the end of the holiday period (which ends Jan6) I heard applause as I removed the headphones to wipe the sweat off. Where was it coming from? There didn’t seem to be anyone near. Ah! There they are; a couple in the fron seats of the car parked nearby. Then, as I bow to them, they go wild with waves and thumbs-up signs.
9 Enero Jueves
Phoned library to renew books which I am not reading very fast. The book “2020” is an attempt at predicting the economic and political future which has the bad luck of having been written in 2007 and saying nothing about an imminent collapse in the mortgage based banking system and its deep recessionary consequences. The author is doubly or triply cursed for using Ireland as a success model for othe small countries to follow and to often repeat how Northern Europe can produce such world dominant tech companies such as Nokia. Oh, and he assumes that by 2012 USA will be importing gas from Russia (Ooops a big fracking error there.)
He does worry, as do all comentators about the rising demand and cost of health care as more old people request very much more expensive treatments which require massive diversion of effort into health care. Oddly, the idea that what cannot be afforded will not happen, does not occur to these authors. There are loads of things that ordinary people would like to have, but can’t afford. At some point we will simply face the fact that we can’t all have £50,000 a year of health care unless we are all earning far more than £50,000 a year.
It will be harsh, but we old folks simply will not get the CAT scans and hip replacements and transplants and chemotherepy if it costs more than some limit.
On the other hand there is no obvious reason why we cannot spend a very high portion of our income on health care if we want to. Two hundred years ago in Britain when we used to spend 90% of our income on food no one could imagine spending large sums on travel or entertainment, but now that we spend only 4% on food we spend more on heating than on eating.
Dull, cool, overcast and a ground dew. Went shopping, but the promenade was wet and the day unappealling and the place deserted that I went to a cyber to check email and then to a charity shop to look through their CDs for sale. Picked out 14, listened to a few moments of each and bought 11 at 1 euro each. They need washing and probably only one or two will be enduring pleasures.
At the sea front there have been, for the last few weeks, two workman repairing one of the restaurant roofs. They have watched me dance at times and have laughed and called-out something that I never heard. Today, as I walked past, I looked up and was greeted by one of them with a tool in each hand hitting them together as if applauding. I waved and then bowed and the other waved and they both showed signs of felicitation and respect. (Isn’t that nice?)
Chatted with a couple of neighbours where I bitched about the change in the weather and was reminded that in America and Britain people have been killed by the severe weather. (I believe it was the famous Adam Smith who wrote that hitting your thumb with a hammer causes you more concern than hearing of the death of the entire population of China.) (Or was it Benjamin Franklin? Quotes are so much better from a famous person – so said Winston Churchill.)
Which reminds me. One of the women I talked to said that she knew that I am famous on the internet.
(As far as I am aware I am not well known on the internet. Far more persons have seen me in real life [guesstimate 10,000] than on-line [<500] and more have spoken with me [<200]than have read my blog[5?].)
I have received emails from french retailers, in french. Who has given them my email address? Extra difficult finding the link to ask them to stop sending when everything is in a foreign language.
Also received an email saying “Sure, send me the MP3”. Still wondering what that refers to.
10 Enero 2014 Viernes
Last night discovered that I have wrecked a CD of Kylie Minogue which I have been carrying in my back pack just in case I need to change music. It got wet and the booklet stuck to the CD. Removing the stuck on bits took off some of the surface of the disk. It works in parts. I remembered that I had seen another copy of the album in the shop earlier that day so I went back today, but could not find it. The seem to have some more disks, which is unusual; they rarely have new ones. I will have to look again soon.
My weather record which I keep each day of temperature and sky condition has a couple of days missing. Today is overcast again and max of about 15C. My bedroom which I don’t heat feels very chilly and is also 15C.
The beach area was empty and desolate looking, but I haven’t danced for a while and so I had to. The music is one of the newly bought CDs; Kate Bush warbling and screaching in some very strange undanceable songs and two or three that I could dance to. The odd music made me move a bit differently. A cold dark day, so dark that I had no sunglasses, but still ended up stripped to the waist and wiping off the sweat.
Even when the place seems deserted some video is taken of my efforts.
It is amusing when walking past the few restaurants that remain open, to see whispers and heads turning – or is it my imagination?
11 -15 Enero 2014 (Sabado – Miercoles)
Mixed weather, some days overcast dreary and other days partially sunny and upbeat. Today (wednesday) was predicted to be full of rain, but turned out bright although fairly cloudy and a perfect dance day except that the beach area only had 15 persons walking about. (That was an instantaneous count, the total flow may have added up a lot more, but 15 was probably the maximum at any one time.) I find these deserted days far less interesting to dance.
A few days ago, while I was walking in the urban area near the beach a white haired possibly 70 year old hobbled towards me leaning on a walking stick and asked me in English, “Do you do yoga?”
I am slowly adapting to the idea that complete strangers address me as if they know me, so I replied, “No,” as if this were a normal conversation. He seemed surprised as he confirmed, “You don’t do yoga.” I felt that the interview had terminated and so I walked on.
Today as I walked away from the beach, through the seating area of a cafe, a woman of perhaps 50 something waved to me. I smiled and continued walking although I did doff my headphones in case she wished to say something.
A workman said something to me in Spanish which I did not catch. “No entiendo,” I said to which he replied “No entiendes?” and then said what I think may have been “You need to learn Spanish.” It is odd how often my brain fails to recognise Spanish words. Often words that I would easily read, but I don’t hear them. He then said, “Bailes muy bien” (You dance very well.) Now that I understand.
16 Enero 2014 Jueves
Cloudy with light showers which started when I arrived at the beach. Really deserted today. More restaurants closed. Had to find shelter under the awning of a closed restauarant to dance in the humid cool slight gloom of a sunless day. Felt bored because I was dancing without any audience (well a small number of startled passers-bye). Didn’t stay very long.
Watching ‘Restaurant Impossible’ and ‘Kitchen Nightmare’: how many people who have no experience decide on a whim to buy a restaurant and then find that it doesn’t work. They go deep into debt with no idea what they are doing wrong.
Some observations: The TV Chefs are very keen on fresh ingredients (they claim that fresh is cheaper than frozen as well as tastier). Very keen on cleanliness. Keen on small portions. They like to put the meat and vegetables in a vertical pile instead of (the old fashioned) side by side. They like to change the decor putting bits of old wood (recycled so must be good) and sheets of metal in place of anything they classify as old fashioned or tasteless. (All to be ripped out in 10 years time as being old fashioned and tasteless.) They like salt and pepper and seem to add them to everything.
17 Enero 2014 Viernes
A beautiful clear sky with max temperature of about 14C. So much nicer than yesterday. Danced to exhaustion which didn’t take very long as I started a bit tired. Two young men outside a bar saluted me with their drinks.
Went to the dog pound charity shop and bought 5 CDs. Two of which are spanish pop which I don’t often see for sale second hand. Now have about 12 albums that I have not yet listened to (or danced to).
Back home I had no energy left for any activity so I snoozed after lunch and then watched more restaurant reformations.
The forcast for tomorrow is back to overcast with showers.
18 Enero Sabado
Forcast wrong. Danced this sunny saturday.
19 Enero Domingo
The grey weather with some rain has now arrived and so I stayed indoors and processed the mail that had been forwarded to me from England. Various numbers in accounts did’t tally with what I thought they should be and this caused me to break into a light sweat. After a few hours of trying to figure out the discrepancies and a phone call everything okay.
20 Enero Lunes & 21 Enero Martes
Yesterday was an uneventful dancing day, but today was unusual. A middle aged woman in a group of two married couples (I assume) showed some response to my dancing so I danced over to her, offered my hand, she placed her hand in mine, I turned her than lifted her other hand to my shoulder and we slow danced around for 30 seconds of so, a couple of turns more, she said some word of appreciation which I don’t remember but was something like, ‘fantastico’, I kissed her hand and she left with the other 3.
Later another woman who had been sitting watching me came over. “Hola,” I said. “Hablas Espanyol?” she asked. “Un poco,” I replied. Then she suprised me by asking me if I smoked. I assumed that she wanted a light, but no, she explained that she wanted a cigarette. She then asked me why I was doing this. She told me it was too cold to be in just a shirt. She asked me what I do after dancing. “I rest.”
“And after that, what do you do?” She asked. t some point she understood that I go home and rest and that’s all that I do to which her response was, “You have a house,” and then she added in English “I don’t have house.” She returned to the bench, but not for long. Just long enough to have a conversation on her mobile phone and then to return.
On her return she stood near my backpack which was on the long bench some metres from where she had been sitting, and pointing to the backpack she asked me, “Do you have a dog in there?”
“No,” I replied wondering where that question came from.
“When will you go?” she asked.
Assuming that she had tired of my presence, I replied, “In a few minutes.”
“In a car?”
She held up her mobile phone, looked at it and then told me, “Oh, I need someone to take me to see my father.”
Then she gently waved her phone and asked me, “What’s your phone number?”
I truthfully replied, “I don’t know.”
“You have a phone?”
“Yes, in the house.”
“Don’t you want to talk to me?”
She took this badly. “Oh, thanks,” she said ironically and with emotion.
Little does she know that not only do I not know my phone number, but hardly anyone else knows it and in a normal week I received zero phone calls and make none.
I find it so odd that a complete stranger would expect me to give her a lift and exchange phone numbers. (No doubt my view would be a bit different if she had been an attractive woman, but I would still find it odd – but then who asks if someone has a dog in their backpack?)
Enero 22, 23, 24 (Miercoles, Jueves, Viernes)
Un pero feroz (A fierce dog) came running, growling, snarling towards me across the tiled promenade. The dog’s desire to attack me meant that it paid little attention to its footing and was sliding across the tiled floor while continuing to snarl at me. The owner restrained it, but did nothing to teach it to stay calm in the presence of a dancer.
Enero 25 Sabado
An unusually warm (18C) but overcast day. I changed the music and headed for the beach. While dancing I was approached by a small young blonde woman who works as a waitress in a nearby restaurant/bar. “Do you speak English?” she asked and then appologised for bothering me. “We watch you when you dance and my friend wanted to ask you something, but wasn’t brave enough so I said I’ll go and talk to him.”
“Why do you do it? We know that you don’t ask for money.”
“Because I enjoy dancing.”
“Did you study dance at college?”
“I have been to a few dance classes, African, Bollywood, hip-hop.”
“And that’s all? I’m impressed. I dance, but I couldn’t do what you do.”
“Dance in front of people?”
“So what do you do?” I asked.
“I do ballet, tap and contemporary and I dance in shows, but in shows we practice the steps, but you just dance, it’s obvious that you are just doing what you want.”
“I can’t remember steps. The thing I hate in dance classes is when they say, ‘And now from the top’.”
“And you can’t remember what you did a quarter of an hour ago?”
“Mmmm. So what can you teach me?” I asked.
“Nothing, there are too many people here. What kind of music do you listen to?”
“It varies. Today..” I place the headphones on her head, ” it is very soft and slow and is going to be hard to dance to.”
She returned to her work and I to my passion.
(Oh, I forgot. She had told me a couple of times that I dance well, and she used the following phrase: “It is interesting to see someone dance like that at your age.” I don’t know if this refers to the style of dance or the old age physical near miracle of it all.)
Various people viodeo me. One or two even acknowledge my prescence.
No dogs attacked today, which is good.
In the superemarket I found flavoured low fat yogurt with just 6g of sugar per 100g. This is less than half the normal level. I hope that it is edible.
One of the beggars outside the supermarket looked uncomfortable and was clutching his left arm. I asked how he was and then said that he looked like he was in pain. He nodded. I sympathised without saying anything about it looking like a heart attack.
Reading in The Economist how easy it is these days to set-up an internet business because so much is available ready to use and even free that basic services can be put together at minimal cost. Makes me wonder about reading-up on what’s available and thinking if I have any idea of something that could be usefully done by a server. The problem is that I generally can’t think of anything that I would want a server to do for me.
Spending some evenings coding instead of watching TV or playing a computer game would be a reasonable pastime. I feel that I would need to find out how to code for smart-phones.
To do that means spending a long time on line doing the research which isn’t very practical as I don’t have an internet connection.
26 Enero Domingo
A sunny warm sunday. About 300 persons milling about near the beach. That 300 included 4 or 5 pain-in-the-arse english children of ages ranging from about 7 to 10. One of the little boys kept charging towards me like a suicide attacker, muscles tensed and emitting a cry of rage. This set the scene and even the 10 years old girl became agressive. They decided that I probably wasn’t English and so they practiced their limited Spanish, calling me ‘loco’. When children get into this state they seem to find it amusing to run up behind me to touch me or hit me. As I turn very fast they tend to fail in their attempts. I tried to explain to them that it was dangerous and that they could get hurt. As usual they eventually tire of taunting the mad man and so they left. I must check in the pharmacy if they sell some spray child-repelant.
Other than that it was a lovely day.
27 Enero 2014 Lunes
An even wamer day (maxed at 20C), clear blue sky and the beach area virually deserted with maybe 30 persons walking around. Most of the restaurants don’t bother opening at this time of year and many of those open were empty.
A bit boring not having an audience, but such a lovely day deserved some effort even though I felt tired.
A few days ago a young man was standing videoing me within about 4 metres and so I danced over to him, and began dancing around him, spinning a lot as I orbited him and he turned to follow me until he stopped turning and he said that he was getting dizzy.
I left the windows open to air the house on this unusual January day.
It is now 4pm, I have closed the windows, and I feel snoozy and very relaxed as I sit in the last of the afternoon sunshine which will soon fade away as the sun drops behind the trees. Time to move to the carport to get the last of the rays.
28,29,30 Enero 2014 Martes,= Miercoles, Jueves
The last few days have been normal cooler days after a brief very warm spell. I have started dancing onto the street furniture in my own version of ‘parkhour’ (I think this is what they call jumping on and over street furniture and up and down walls.) Obviously I am not that energetic or athletic, but it is amusing. (At least until I slip and injure myself.)
I thought that today was wednesday, and so I planned a trip to the street market for tomorrow, but this computer claims that it is Thursday today, and not wanting to make an enemy I have accepted its version. So, no trip to the market, but today is a bright sunny day which when I went out was about 12C. Light shirt and a jacket. I felt like dancing, which I don’t always. Down at the beach very few people, but I had a good session with music by Enrique Inglesias. It is the first time with Enrique and I was very pleased although some tracks are not to my taste, many are just perfect. (Ironically I can’t dance to the ‘dance’ music tracks.)
It was one of those joyfully perfect times.
I seem to have forgotten virtually everything else in life as I become absorbed in moving to music and then recuperating from the exhaustion.
What have I forgotten? An important something or someone?
Dance junky. Waiting for my next fix.