1 Febrero 2014 Sabado
It happened today. The second time that someone from an FM radio channel has approached me to participate in one of their events. This time it is Spectrum Radio 90.2Fm (and oddly also 90.8 and 99.5) (Can’t they make up their minds?). They want to do a Beachdancer Hour with the broadcast live from the beach on behalf of local charities. The idea is that participants pay Euro2 to dance on the beach and each will receive coffee and a cake from one of the cafes (I think it is to be Cafe Nostro).
Obviously I said yes. They have asked for a photo of me to be used in promotional material. I told them that I have photos on my blog, but that they need to inform the photographer as I don’t have copyright. Their plan was to do this next Saturday. I said that if they had given me notice I could have promoted it. They suggested making it in 2 weeks time to allow for better planning.
So, I will have to pay money to do something that I normally do for free. That is reverse busking. (It will also use up my entire ‘tips’ received in the last 2 years from over excited spectators.)
This may or may not actually happen.
2 Feb Domingo
Lovely day; danced long time. Exhausted in evening to extent that I could not be bothered to cook and then after snacking felt so hungry that I had to cook anyway.
3 Feb Lunes
Cold night at 2C and only 8C when I went out. Still feel tired, but didn’t make decision about dancing until I was looking at the sea. Cold, no sun, few people. Decided to just do the shopping and go home to rest my poor old aching body.
Oh, forgot to mention that last night at about midnight I put some music on and danced for 10 minutes or so.
Did I mention that someone was annoyed with me? She said, “You told me your name was Peter, but everyone tells me it is (DELETED) Why did you say it was Peter?”
I had no memory of telling her or anyone else that my name is Peter. Did I? There are times when I see no reason why persons I don’t know should know my name. It confuses me if someone calls me by my name and I don’t recognise the person. It makes me wonder if my memory is really that bad.
I wonder how many persons add up to ‘everyone’. (..everyone tells me…)
Some say that my name is Gordon and that my full name must be Peter Gordon, but please let it be known that my name is The Beachdancer.
Of course my fame is about the same as the fame of the staff who work in my supermarket. They are recognised by hundreds of customers who can also read their name tags. Cristobal, Juenco, Teresa, Veronica.. all famous.
4,5,6, Febrero 2014 Martes-Jueves
Most of the week has flashed by. Yesterday, Thursday, I went into the town to take the bank stamped forms back to the council to arrange the direct payment of the local tax. You may remember that I predicted some unknown reason would prevent the bank from processing the forms (no yellow copy or no ‘flugal’ or some other absurdity), but no, it went smoothingly at the bank in that clever, lull them into a false sense of security. In the Council office the nice young lady sympathised with me as she explained that it was too late to accept the forms. Firstly they are about to send out the demands for the payment for waste collection, secondly the forms should have been delivered in December and thirdly they are changing the systems and won’t be able to make any alteration for a month OR TWO. They win again.
Five years ago I opened a new bank account, but the Council would not allow the bank to change the payment details. All the other regular payments were changed automatically (electricity, water, phone etc), but the Council doesn’t allow it. Knowing that it is impossible dealing with Councils I decided to keep the old account open just to pay this tax, but after 5 years I was again lulled into thinking it was time to make the change.
So, when do I have to return to go through this delightful process again, from the beginning? In a month OR TWO. When is that exactly? I reminded the pleasant and sympathetic assistant that in an international study Spain ranks as one of the worst countries for unnessary paperwork and inefficient bureaucracy. (I read it in The Economist). I think that everyone here knows this to be true, but no one seems interested in doing anything about it.
(Of course it is just a matter of degree, it is worse here than in the UK, but the UK is also worse than it could be.)
That consumed Thursday because I walk into town and after not doing anything useful in the Council I went to the street market and managed to get into a minor argument over change which was entirely my mistake for which I apologised and we seemed to part friends. This meant that I didn’t dance, which I missed.
7 Febrero 2014 Viernes
Today, Friday, I did dance and a beautiful day for dancing it has been; sunny and maxed at 17 or so. (Yesterday was overcast and 20C).
A man of about 75 (so he told me) asked me where I trained to do what I was doing and whether it was a recognised activity and what special kind of music we aficianados listen to. We chatted a while. He had asked me which language we should speak in offering me German, English and I am not sure what. Later a woman, seated on a bench at the edge of the beach spoke to me in laboured English without checking if I knew this language. She asked me what music I listened to and when I replied that it changed each day she responded by saying, “Eighty nine?”
This could have been interchange of spy passwords, but I assumed that English was not her native language so I began speaking very slowly with gaps between words. “each… day… it.. is.. different.” After letting her listen to the music she asked, “Did you study ballet?”
Surprised when I told her that I have no training she told me, “But you dance very good.”
(Perhaps she was American?)
And lastly, after shopping, a man asked me, “Were you dancing?” He had black lines down the side of his face where sideburns would be. I wondered what they were and was suprised to hear the explanation a little later.
“Were you a dancer?” he then asked.
He told me that he and his companion liked what I was doing, that they didn’t think I was mad, and even if I were what does it matter; we should all have more fun. “Are you gay?” he asked me. “I wouldn’t care if you were, it’s just that gay men try to dance the way you do, but not so well.” She then explained, “We both dance, but we aren’t very good. He’s got stitches in his face from a facelift he had done just down there,” they point in direction that seems to be a cafe, but which I hope is not where he had it done. “She’s had it done too,” he points out, “it’s not that I’m vain, but I had a jowly look from when I was fat, and it never went away so why not, eh? I’m 70, do I look it?”
“No,” I reply truthfully because I thought he was probably younger than I am.
He then looked at me and said, “You look 48.” I feel sure that he was lying or he needs help with his vision. “You ought to call yourself ‘HH’,” he paused and then expanded, “happy human.”
“Ah, I prefer ‘The Beachdancer’,” I reply.
I offered no further resistance.
We chatted a while longer and the last thing he said to me was, “I prefer talking to you than those anti-humans.”
Reasonable enough to me, who likes talking to anti-humans?
8 Febrero 2014 Sabado
Mostly overcast, windy and about 15C.
As I walked from the super along the beachwalk a group of children who had been watching me walked behind me. I think one of them said, “Hola,” and when I removed the headphones another asked me if I was going to dance. I said, “Si, pero un poco mas tarde.” My plan was to walk back towards the open restaurants because I prefer to dance where there is a possible audience. It is more interesting and I find it easier to summon up the necessary energy when it is more of a social event.
The wind made exercises difficult as I struggled to keep my balance. When I had completed my exercises and began dancing the group of children reappeared and one or two jumped around a bit in that familiar, but hard to analyse , are they making fun of me or trying to dance? manner.
Last week when the DJ from Spectrum Radio spoke to me he said that today would have been the day for their dance event, but then suggested next saturday. I haven’t heard from them so I assume that there has been a change of plan. I arrived very very late at the beach because I didn’t wake up until nearly midday, so I could have missed it, but I assume not.
My final (so I thought) dance station was outside the open air pub whose name I have never really noticed. This has a younger crowd than the grey wrinklies in most of the restaurants and I am always a bit more self-concious or perhaps self-defensive here. Whenever I dance in public I am aware that some one, or some many, may become annoyed by the old show-off prancing around in front of them and decide to show me what they are good at which will turn out to be punching.
When I finished, a woman I have seen before, signalled to me and said something like, “Wait a moment” in english. She stood up and seemed to be using her mobile for something. She asked me what music I listened to. I mistakenly said that today it was Miguel Iglesias. She introduced me to someone and asked him to identify the music. Then another woman who sounded of eastern european origin asked me in what I suppose she thought was English something like, “From nationality which have you come?”
The phrase meant nothing to me when she first said it, but after a repitition or two I told her that I was English. She listened to the music and then sang a few phrases from a hit of last year which came from some eastern european country and had a distinctive rythm and which she assumed I was dancing to. My new companions decided that it was ENRIQUE Iglesias, and having admitted my error I was given leave to withdraw.
I felt that I had been dismissed.
Exhausted I dragged my aching body to the next station, did my final exercises and then danced another 2 songs. Having pushed my body over the edge I am wrecked this evening.
Oh, I forgot… One of these new companions told me, “When you dance here you make us happy.”
So no punching this time.
9 Feb 2014 Domingo
Overcast, windy and sufficiently tired so no dancing.
10 Feb Lunes
Another overcast windy day with some light rain. Went to library instead. On walk home a car stopped, the window rolled down, I said, “Hola,” and the female driver asked, “Has bailado hoy?”
“No,” I replied to the question of whether I had danced today.
“No me gusta y tambien tuve que hacer una cosa,” was my response to the question of there being too much wind.
“You speak Spanish very well for an Englishman,” she replied in English.
11 Feb 2014 Martes
Another overcast cool and showery day, but two days without dancing is as much as I can stand, so I headed to the beach and only stopped dancing when the rain started. I don’t mind the rain on my bare torso even on a chilly day, but the wet tiles scare me. One slip and I could be out of action for a week.
At first I danced with a jacket on because of the cold, but obviously I warmed-up and eventually took off the jacket and the shirt. I watched four young women jogging by and found myself admiring their firm bottoms as they disappeared into the distance.
Nothing much happened, but the jogging women came running back and two of them waved to me as they passed.
Isn’t it awful of me to not remember their faces, but I am sure I would recognise their bottoms.
13 Febrero 2014 Jueves
Two intersting things happened today.
First I was interviewed by the police.
“Buenas dias como estas?” The uniformed local policeman asked me as he approached with his colleague.
Removing my headphones, I told him that I was well and asked him how he was which he did not bother answering. He told me that I had a club of admirers and then he asked me to prove my identity. (Poli bueno poli malo – all in the one poli.) He asked me if I spoke Castillano (not Spanish, you note) and then told me that I am German and that he knows that I have danced here over the years. (Did he assume I was German because no English person speaks Spanish?)
I said that no, I am English and I handed him my old UK driving licence which didn’t satisfy him because being old it has no photo. He asked if I am resident. “No,” I explained that I am resident in England. He stated that therefore I don’t have a DNI (official ID). I said that I did and showed him the number. He then used his colleagues mobile phone to call someone to verify the information. He said, “Es en forma. Entiendes?” which translates as “You’re in form, you understand?” He repeated the comment about my having a club of admiradores, I said that not everyone admires what I do, he refused to accept my protest and I decided to give in to what the policeman said. He stopped the phone call and parted with the phrase, “Disculpad la molestia.” (Forgive the annoyance)
The last time a policeman asked me who I was was when I saw a stranger in the garden in England who turned out to be a policeman. Before that it would have been about 35 years ago in London. During the 20 or so years that I have been visiting Spain and the last 2 or 3 when I have been very noticeable, this is the first time a policeman has asked me to prove my ID. It seems that here in Spain the police have the right to check anyone’s identity at any time and if you can’t show them photo ID they can detain you until they find out who you are. With all the policemen and women who have seen or stood and watched me dance I am a little surprised that it has taken so long to ask me to identify myself.
He was polite and complimentary, but didn’t bother explaining why he asked me for ID.
The second interesting thing is that back at home my phone, as usual, had a dead battery. Okay, that’s not interesting, but when it had been recharged there was a message from John Migan of Spectrum Radio confirming the charitable dance event this Saturday from 12.30 to 2.00.
I had assumed that because I had not received a reply to my acceptance of their invitation 10 days ago, that the event was not going to happen.
Therefore I haven’t promoted it and I have no idea what Spectrum Radio has done. I have no idea what kind of music they will be playing. I will almost certainly attend, but I would have been interested in an earlier confirmation and even in helping to promote the event in whatever minor way I could have. (I had imagined having some printed hand-outs.)
I have switched on the radio in the hope of finding the channel, but have had to move it away from the computer due to the horrible digital interference. Waiting for a station ID to find out if it is the right one.
Oh, no, it’s Bay Radio. So maybe this one is it, er no, Europa. This other one is also Bay Radio. No, can’t find Spectrum. (I had the same problem trying to find Hot Radio in England – I seem to be dancing with the low power radio channels.)
Wondering whether to reply to the text message and what to write if I do. When we met he mentioned that he tends to leave things to the last minute, NOT SO! he has given me a whole TWO days notice.
14 Feb Viernes Dia del San Valentin – no he recibido ninguna carta.
Hardly slept last night. Don’t know why.
What a beautiful sunny day and a bit warm to dance in. I lay on the bench looking up at the white seagulls floating through the blue before finding enough energy to finish my exercises. I’m dancing to new music which I don’t know what it is and not sure I like it much, but it is different and so I dance a little differently. Oh, and I took dance shoes with me which I don’t often do.
A young man asked me, in a soft irish accent, what music I was listening to and I said, “I’m not sure, I think it could be disco or funk and I don’t like it much.”
He suggested that one day he would put on his headphones and join me, so I told him that tomorrow would be the perfect day for that and I told him about the event which I spoke of as fact even though I still regard it as a fantasy until I hear the speakers thumping out some music.
As I walked to my final dance station a sonorous caribbean voice called out my name from one of the bars. I went over to tell her about the event and then finished off before walking slowly home in the 21C warmth.
I wonder what the weather will be tomorrow and if it will be fun.
15 Feb 2014 Sabado
A mainly sunny day and warm at 20C. I felt a little nervous this morning while preparing to go out and while walking to the beach. Is there an event? Will there be many people? Will I feel swamped by a crowd or by attention or am I superfluous anyway? It is odd feeling nervous about dancing in public when I do it almost everyday, but events carry responsibilities and include dealing with lots of people for which I don’t have much experience.
I only really believed that there was to be an event when I saw two large speakers on either side of the open wall of cafe Nostro.
I did my usual exercises and then searched for John from Spectrum Radio to let him know that I was here and to ask what he wanted me to do. He thanked me for coming and said, “No, sir, do your own thing like you always do.” I checked when the music would start and told him that I would be dancing nearby until he was ready. I walked to the side of the neighbouring cafe and moved slowly to the soft warblings of Nelly Furtado. After a song I went back and began dancing in front of the retaurant to my portable music until the speakers started to deafen me with much faster ‘dance’ music. It was a beautiful day and for me it was liberating to be able to take off my music backpack and headphones.
At first there were very few persons dancing, but at times over the next 3 hours the walkway was filled with dancers and onlookers. I herded one or three women who looked like they wanted to dance, but who were not quite brave enough to go for it alone. I steered them to the dance floor and danced around them rather than with them for a while and then left them alone to peacefully enjoy dancing.
I praised a young man who was doing some kind of body popping movements which I can’t do. He tried to show me, but the moves were beyond me. I spoke to a young man and his family on skates and again admired his skill which I would like to have. He told me to practice more.
I am a bit shy about making judgements about what others do, and when I told a middle aged woman that she moved very well I was surprised by her reaction. Everyone likes to be complimented, obviously, but her reply was, “That’s a great compliment coming from you.” (This could be that I am known as a miserable son of a bitch who never has a nice word for anyone.)
She then turned to tell a friend and they both became excited. (It isn’t often that I can simultaneously excite two women.)
Another young man who had started very self-conciously and it seemed to me out of time with the music gained confidence during the hours and ended up putting on an impressive show by the end and he received a merited serious of applause and cheers.
There were a couple of Zumba class instructors there who moved in mysterious ways that I can barely copy. I tried and made a half decent attempt (my opinion), but as with anything that repeats the steps I lost it and got bored.
At one point the music was something based on that Korean fellows ‘gangnam style’, but an English language version. At this point I walked off to take a break. This happened again when they played a piece of music by a band whose name escapes me. These pieces are very popular and had perhaps the largest number of persons bouncing around. The problem is that these pieces come closest to something I could describe as music I hate. I don’t want to dance to it especially not in the style that the music videos have. I find it ugly, but it is very popular.
After about 2 and a half hours I was very very tired. The pace of the music was much higher than I usually dance to. My music tends to have a mix of tempos and a few seconds gap between each song, but today it was non-stop and probably 120 beats a minutes. It pushed me to, and perhaps past my limit of energy. Near the end we had MJ’s ‘Thriller’ which dragged me off the bench and pounded me to destruction and then a version of ‘Mr Bo Jangles’ (I think it was a version sung by Sammy Davis Jnr) which I had to try to dance (sadly I can’t ‘jump so high’ even when fresh), but was so worn out that I stopped half way through.
The DJ announced how much money had been raised and thanked various people including something like, “and I have to thank The Beachdancer for being here moving in the incredible way he does.” I bowed and turned various times to bow in different directions and there was lots of applause. Isn’t that sweet?
I went back to the bench to do my final exercises after which a number of persons came over to me to say various things including, “Can you hold my dog while I go in the cafe?”
I went into the cafe myself to look for John and was greated by two men I did not recognise (although I wasn’t sure what John looked like so one of them could have been him.) We spoke briefly and one of them surprised me by telling me the name of one of my neighbours. (Either I am famous or my neighbour is.)
Then I was approached by the representative of the charity ‘Cancer Care’ who said, “On behalf of the charity I want to thank you for your help.” I asked how much we had raised. She said over 400 euros. I said that I hadn’t paid anything and she replied saying that they should be paying me.
John from Spectrum radio shook my hand thanked me again and said, “Without you none of this would have been possible.”
I can’t really believe any of this because I don’t feel like I did anything other than wear my self to a shred doing something I like doing, but one of the other charity workers had told me earlier… “The whole idea for this event is based on seeing you dance. ‘Dance like no one is watching’ is you. ”
“So,” I replied, “when are we going to do this again?”
They suggested 6 months, but I will be in England, so we settled on May, which will be sweaty. I discussed methods of promoting it including my coming on the radio to talk it up.
Before I left I was asked by a representative of another charity if I would consider dancing at one of their events to raise money for ambulances and I was invited to join a zumba class by the leader of the class who had been wiggling her bottom to considerable effect earlier. I told her that Zumba was too hard for me, but she repeated the invitation for March.
I dragged my aching body to the supermarket to buy lunch and some other provisions and then slowly walked back along the promenade. I also bought some mandarins and a cereal bar for immediate consumption. I had over done the dancing and should have snacked.
As I passed Champagne I walked over to the waitress. We greeted each other in two languages. She asked me if I was still dancing. I asked what the time was. “Oh, we finished about three o’clock I have been dancing since 12 or so. It was an event with cafe Nostro to raise money for charity.”
She didn’t seem to like the mention of a competitor, “I want you to dance outside here.”
I asked her what was her normal language, because she was speaking english with an accent. She’s French. I told her that she moves very well when she imitates my dance. She seemed reluctant to accept that so I repeated the comment. (I thought this from the first time she moved in time with my dancing many months ago – I have the diary entry to prove it.)
It is now 8.30. I have dined and drunk a lot of water. My I was dehydrated even though I drank between dancing, obviously not enough. I should also have had some sugar and maybe potassium (banana or grapefruit or orange). On my wall is the A3 poster for the dance event with my signature printed across it in red “The Beachdancer”.
Oh, I was told that there would probably be something about it in the local paper. (That would be in the local English language paper I assume.) I feel that there is a ghetto system here. Later on the beach there was some kind of political display in which the posters were printed in Valencian (not ‘spanish’ ). Politics tends to be in Valencian here leaving the rest of us ignorant. I have a feeling that Charity events tend to be in English, arranged by Brits, patronised by Brits on behalf of things favoured by Brits. (I could be way wrong on all of this, its just an impression.)
Also I have the impression that the translation on the poster in Spanish isn’t quite right.
It is a very nice poster, but I think it should have included contact details for the charities and a web address for more information.
I am preparing a series of suggestions for future ‘Beachdancer’ events.
So, the big question is, “Will I have the energy to dance tomorrow (Sunday)?”
16 Feb Domingo
Today is overcast with a max of 15C and forcast possible storm later. So the answer to the big question of whether I would have energy to dance today is no I didn’t have energy to dance, but hell, I danced anyway.
A short middle aged woman walked over to me. I slipped off the headphones and said, “Hola.” She asked me (in spanish) if I would do her the favour of hugging her. I hugged her and then asked if she wanted to dance to which she said something like ‘always’ so I put her hand on my shoulder and gently went through a few mildly awkward steps with her.
That’s probably the third woman who has hugged me or in this case asked to be hugged.
At another time another woman walked over to me and asked if I am a dancer. I told her no, but that it is a passion. She told me that she likes the way I dance and I thanked her.
Later two small girls walked over to me, I removed the headphones and crouched down to be on their level. They asked me, “Por que bailes?” (Why do you dance?) Because I enjoy it. The girl told me that I dance well. I asked if they had been here yesterday. They said yes. “Did you see me dancing over there with lots of people?” Yes. “Did you dance?” They squirmed silently so I asked, “A little bit?” and they hesitantly nodded which suggests that maybe they would have liked to have danced, but probably did not. Then one of them told me, “We like watching you dance.”
Today everyone spoke with me in Spanish which is unusual.
I was thinking last night that there is probably a demand for an open air dance activity if it were well organised and promoted. Enough people seem to want to be able to join in, but are inhibited, and many have said to me how they enjoy watching.
I would like to see a once a week event, or perhaps every day. I think I probably need some time dancing on my own so maybe every day would be too often for me. (If they turn into 3 hour non-stop fast dancing like yesterday once a week would be more than enough.)
I was very very tired today such that I spent a while lying face down on a bench waiting for my bodily resources to be eked out by converting some scraps of corporal fat or maybe disolving some muscle. Then Nelly Furtado began singing an almost irresistable ‘…like a bird’ and I was dancing again on my shakey achey legs.
I so much more enjoy Nelly to the ‘dance’ music yesterday.
17 Feb 2014 Lunes
This morning which is overcast and a bit chilly at about 15C lead me to favour having a rest especially as my legs ache and sting from all the dancing over the weekend. I walked down to the beach and started to doubt that I would stick to that idea, but walked on to the supermarket to do a monthly shop to be delivered. They decided that they would deliver immediately and as I would not be at home to take the delivery they gave me a lift home. I chatted to the beautiful young woman who was driving telling her about the dance event and how I am the crazy old man who dances on his own on the beach. It turns out that she studied modern ballet which she doesn’t much like and something else which I have forgotten and that now she goes to classes in Denia dancing Flamenco. “Me encanta,” I responded. At the house I showed her the poster, checked if the Spanish part of it made sense which apparently it did and told the next event, due in May, she should come. She suggested that she would come, but only to watch. I gave her one of my little hand-outs with the web address of the blog which she won’t be able to read because she doesn’t know English and where bo look on youtube.
So that is two dancers who work at the beach (the other one I met was the waitress at one of the bars -ballet and tap)
If I had not been driven back I would probably have danced or maybe gone on-line.
18 Feb 2014 Martes
Another overcast dark day with a wind and sufficient surf that surfers were the only persons down on the beach.
A passing middle aged couple stopped in front of me and he asked, “Vas a bailar?” (Are you going to dance?) I said that I wasn’t sure and that it was a horrible day. He replied, “Pero tu tienes moral” which sounds odd to an English speaker (You have moral), but is meant in a meaning of spirit or energy. “Quiza un poco mas tarde.”
When ‘mas tarde’ came I did my warm-up exercises, but didn’t have any desire to dance in the chilly windy gloom.
I planned to go on-line to check what’s happening in England, email the people about the beachdancer event and update my blog, but walked home instead. (Good job I had nothing to do with arranging the event.)
19 y 20 Feb 2014 Miercoles y Jueves
Both days I was planning to go on line, but after dancing I am hungry and tired and so I didn’t. I was asked to email one of the charities, and I want to email Spectrum Radio about the next event, and I really should check email which I haven’t done in a few weeks.
While I was dancing I noticed a woman some way along the walkway who seemed to be in a hurry to remove her shoes. She did a standing turn with her arms held out in a pose that looked like acrobatics and then she did a handstand and moved her legs, one forward and the other backwards in a 180 degree split. I applauded which seemed to make her jump, she looked in my direction and I pointed to her to make sure she knew that I was applauding her. She smiled and gave me a thumbs-up and then went onto the sand, jumped and brought her feet up to touch her hands. (I don’t know if she was going to do these things anyway, but I suspect that her behaviour was triggered by seeing me doing my thing.)
Today a man was seated watching me for some time. When he stood to leave he threw his arms in the air and did a full turn which brought him close to falling over.
(If they get excited and do something that turns out badly could they sue?)
The big toe of my right foot has been hurting in a strange way for a couple of days. Light pressure hurts, but firm pressure doesn’t. These kinds of pain make me think of small fractures.
21 Feb Viernes PINE POLLEN SEASON
Oddly painful toe not sufficient to prevent dancing on this lovely 20C sunny day with light cloud and white birds in the sky.
Spoke briefly about the dance event. Was told that there is a photo of me with the town Mayor in one of the local papers. I don’t remember either the Mayor or being photographed, but then I am photographed and videoed so many times virtually every day that I don’t always notice it.
I was also told that the Mayor is considering allowing a larger event (seems that anything you want to do in Spain requires permission).
Also told, yet again, that others wished they had the energy that I have which always surprises me as I never feel energetic. Most days I drag myself into action scraping and squeezing the energy out of my tired old body. BUT, when I am in motion and I have some encouragement I start to float until I am so exhausted that some part of my brain finally listens to my body begging to stop.
Went on-line to check email, but couldn’t plug the memory stick so couldn’t do anything more.
My aim is 1,000 persons at a beachdance event with 100 dancing and 10 dance leaders plus a Beachdancer cocktail together with a live radio broadcast and internet streaming. (And why not?)
22 Feb Sabado
Nice day, danced, but felt oddly down. Tired, sure, but emotionally not in a good state. Don’t know why.
23 Feb Domingo
Worse today. Some kind of bio-chemical shift of mood. My mind filled with the small annoyances – pine pollen everywhere, tired, chipped tooth, painful toe, sore skin, signs of woodworm in kitchen door – all things that usually wouldn’t stick so much in my mind, but in this altered state seem heavy burdens. Didn’t go out.
24 Feb Lunes
Not such a nice day because its chilly and clouded up after a bright start. I woke up at 8am feeling much brighter. Decided to avoid dancing due to toe. Perhaps a few days without bashing it would be a good idea. So instead did some chores. Went to bank and dentist.
In the bank, a customer greets me with “Hello, the dance event went well, it had a really nice atmosphere…”.
In the dentist I am greeted with, “My kids love you. We always enjoy watching you dance….”
I had a couple of hours to waste before the dentist could see me so I went to the charity shops (where curiously I bumped into the dentist) and when I went to the cash desk, I was greeted with, “It’s the famous dancer…” we chatted a while and I bought a 2nd hand CD player and 4 CDs for a total of Euro12.
Earlier, in the other charity store where I found nothing to buy, I was greeted with, “He’s the dancer I told you about…” We chatted a while.
Then, out in the street, a middle aged man stopped me, smiled and said, “Your dancing was superb,” (or something like that). I asked if he meant at the charity event. “Yes, but we’ve seen you dance before, it is always a pleasure, and you keep so agile with the exercises you do…”
Back in the dentist’s the receptionist told me that I look so happy when I am dancing and that everyone would like to be so brave.
So happy, and yesterday I was in the shallows of depression.
So brave, and yet, at times, I worry over trivia.
Oh, the dentist’s facebook page is going to ‘share’ my blog. Don’t ask me, I have no idea what that means. As far as I am aware, at the time of writing this diary entry no one reads my blog. (And no one looks at the on-line video and no one follows me on twitter and of course facebook wouldn’t allow anyone to see my facebook page even if anyone wanted to [www.facebook.com/TheBeachdancer – click it and see.) I also have a google+ page somewhere which not even I know how to find.
Prior to the event the DJ told me that I was well known, but that the event would make me much better known. I think that it has not made me much more known, because everyone I have spoken with has told me that they had seen me dancing before. What I think it will have done is reduce the fear barrier from those who had seen me before, but who would not have spoken to the strange BeachDancer. Now they have seen me socialising, encouraging and complementing others and being thanked in public and being applauded by everyone. I can be re-assessed as a proper member of society raising money for charity rather than an outsider breaching behaviourial norms.
I broke the perform-in-public fear barrier just a few years ago, but have not yet broken another more subtle barrier which still limits my interaction with people. I rarely approach or smile at or wave to people when I dance or when I am walking around. This is because I don’t wish to impose on others and do not want to be rejected by those for whom my actions are an intrusion. This inhibition may leave spectators with the impression that I am aloof or unfriendly.
It is very strange that my amusement and means of exercise could lead to my knowing hundreds of people and be known by thousands. Where is this going to lead?
I am not driven by any desire to be famous nor by any idea of making money, but I do like the idea of doing interesting things and I think it would be good if more people danced. Good for physical health, (ignoring my toe) good for mental balance, good for mood (ignoring my now and then drops in mood) good for social interaction and good for the health budget.
With the comments that people make and the apparent enjoyment they feel, I suspect that others could create some kind of BeachDance activity in many places around the world. It is an oportunity for others to take up and when I am on my death bed I can admire what they built and my last words would be, “Ooooh, look what a wonderful empire they built inspired from my dancing on the beach….. I am so happy…
….now sue those ungrateful bastards….”
25 Feb 2014 Martes
Pleasant 14C day with a bit of sun through light cloud. I am still resting my toe, but not dancing along the enticing prom is painful too. My gardener, who claims expertise in feet due to her having walked hundred of kilometres across Spain doing ‘senderismo’ as they call walking in wilderness, has been advising me on what I should do about my toe. Should I be taking medical advice from a gardener?
Chatting with her I learn that there are lots of videos of me on line. I tell her that I have only seen 4 and she tells me that there are many more than that, and that there are discussions on-line about my dancing, but she can’t remember what she searched to find them.
Not dancing means that I had time to go on-line to do chores on all the things in England that are imnportant, but which I let slide as I slide and turn, jump, slide, turn, jump, slide, turn.
Then I tried to email persons who arranged the dance event, but found that the drafts I had prepared were saved in a format that didn’t work. (Oh, I hate technology). I posted my diary for December and January to the blog (Just a teeny bit late as we approach March, but no one reads it so who is counting?) Oh, I think the January posting is probably dated Febuary. (I hate technology). I emailed the radio channel in England asking if they want to hold a Beachdance event if the rain finally stops. I also tweeted about the event which with only 1 follower isn’t going to be widely noted.
Then I tried a search for video using key words such as ‘dance’ ‘beach’ ‘Arenal’ ‘Javea’ ‘bailarin’ ‘bailar’, but only found 1 video that I had not seen before at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxfPbFF5tkI which is an example of poor camera work, because I go out of shot stage left and the camera doesn’t move, but I liked what I was doing and this is the first time I have seen these moves. Video dated October 2013 so now 4 months old and obviously much warmer weather back then. Below this video there is a comment, “I know this guy he is lovely”.
I swear I didn’t post it.
26 Feb 2014 Miercoles
Overcast and cool (about 11C when I went out and maxed maybe 14C). Pine pollen everywhere. Can’t rest any longer. I have to dance. Took dance shoes in my backpack so that I could wear proper sport shoes walking to the beach and then change there to dance instead of wearing worn-out sport shoes that are lousy to walk in, but good to dance in because all the grip has been worn off. Hoped that good walking and proper dance shoes would protect my toe.
Still got this strangely dark mood which finally shifted after about 40 minutes of dance. Videoed as normal. Greeted by a few persons who know me, but whom I didn’t recognise. I wonder if I have spoken with any of them before. Sunless day at the beach, but sufficiently humid that I took off my shirt to dance.
After shopping I looked through a free newspaper that is available at the cash desk in the super market. Page 17 had pictures of the dance event of 15 Feb. It was described as ‘A spur-of-the-moment event’; odd for an event with large plastic signs promoting the charities and a printed poster advertising it. The report goes on to say ..Kicked off when Jeffrey the beach man started dancing on the Arenal….
I have not heard of JEFFREY THE BEACH MAN, is he sleeping rough on the beach? We can add that name to ‘Peter’ and ‘Gordon’ and ‘HH’.
Guys, please: THE BEACHDANCER.
I am emailing the editor for permission to include those photos in the blog.
As I walk home I thought that a woman in a cafe was glancing at me. I smiled, she smiled back. This very rarely happened before I became ‘The Beachdancer’.
I think I may be experiencing a reaction to this change in how people react to me. It is like altzheimer, people say hello to me, but I don’t know who they are. That reminds me of Donald Trump who wrote that he appreciates it if someone says, “You don’t know me…” before saying anything else, because then he doesn’t have to struggle to recall their face. I haven’t yet struggled, I respond and then wonder if I know the person or not.
27 Febrero 2014 Jueves
Chilly night so chilly morning, but sufficient sunshine to be a perfect BeachDance day. Picked up another give away newspaper and saw a photo of the dance event in it. The photo and the text seem to have been supplied by the same source as in the other newspaper with a small edit to the text changing ‘spur of the moment event’ into ‘spontaneous event’ -obviously aiming at a more educated readership.
Had a distant conversation in mime with a chubby blonde woman of about 30 at 150 metre distance, in which she seemed to be encouraging me to dance some more I was explaining that I had finished. She gave a very animated farewell wave.
Gee, tomorrow is the last day of the month. The pine pollen should end within a few days and then it usually turns warmer and I can open the windows for the first time in a while. (The fine pollen dust is extremely difficult to clean. Brushing it sends it floating in the air, mopping it causes it to form streaks all over the floor and it seems to go straight through a vacuum cleaner. Therefore I keep the windows closed in pollen season.) The downside of the warmer weather is that the woodworm eats wood faster and starts to come out to lay eggs.
28 Febrero 2014 Viernes
Overcast day which seemed quite humid so that I danced shirtless. A surprisingly good dance session with a change of music.
When walking home past a cafe a woman I did not recognise waved to me and said, “Hola”. I suspect it is someone I should have recognised, but did not.