Abril 1 Martes 2014
Mostly overcast and maxed at about 19C. Knee still strapped. Ankle also hurts. Danced anyway. Little contact with ‘my public’. A wave from a waitress who I did not recognise, my name called out in a strong caribbean voice which I did recognise.
Trying to imagine white windows and doors.
2 Abril Miercoles y 3 Abril Jueves
Wednesday was a bit wet and overcast. I woke up late because I had done a silly thing Tuesday night. I watched two movies about dancing, not silly in itself, but dancing until 2 am probably qualifies as silly. These movies, oh there was another on wednesday night all have the same story… person who is fascinated by street dance (either lives in the slums or is a ballet school drop-out) is hugely surprised to find that he/she can form a ‘dance crew’ and win the underground/TV/dance school competition and, at the same time, find true love.
I feel left out as I have not yet won the competition nor found true love.
A few days ago I was watching French TV news about the smog in Paris having reached the maximum risk level for health. I was thinking that this never happens in London, then a few days later I saw that London has a smog not seen since the pre-clean-air Act times. Apparently partly Saharan sand. Today, Thursday, my garden, all the cars and the walkway by the beach – covered in a layer of sand. (But no smog) I heard on TV that saharan sand even reaches the Amazon where it enriches the poor soil with minerals.
Do a bit of writing work to send to various places to try to promote the next beachdance. I doubt that my written spanish is up to the task.
4 Abril Viernes
Weather changed. Windy still, but clear sky and maxing probably about 23C. Danced, but lacked energy. Saw the beautiful assistant at the supermarket, told her ’14 Mayo’ date for next dance. She asked what day that would be. I think it is a saturday and she looked displeased. I asked if that is difficult for her. She said that she would have to check her ‘hours’. I presume she works on Saturdays.
(Just looked on calendar, May 14 seems to be a wednesday)
Told one of the waitresses at a restaurant near the end of my session, and her minimal response seemed to be of not wanting to offend the nutter.
I was planning to send a text message inviting some of the persons I know from dance classes, but I seem to have re-lost the list of their names and phone numbers. I lost the list within a few months of making it, but found it in a stack of papers on my desk. No doubt I then put it in a safe and sensible place, and if only I knew which safe and sensible place.
Forgot my glasses so couldn’t go on-line.
5 Abril Sabado
Warm sunny day,strong breeze. When I was walking towards the beach to dance I saw a couple who I recognised because I danced with them in dance classes about 3 years ago. Oddly I avoided immediate contact, because I wanted to be dancing when I could suprise them. Unfortunately, I did not see them again. STUPID! Now can’t inivite them to the May 14 dance.
While dancing I heard a female voice say ‘hello’. I looked up and felt that it was someone that I had seen before, but could not identify. “We have permission for the dance on May 10th,” she told me in english.
“Oh,” I replied, “They told me May 14.”
“No,” she corrected me, “this has nothing to do with cancer care. This is to raise funds for an ambulance.”
Ah! Bugger! Two charity dances that depend on my appearance within 4 days of each other and in the heat of May. I will probably need that ambulance. (The confusion and clash will get even worse… read on)
She went on to explain that althought the council has given permission, we don’t yet have a sound system and she doesn’t want to use the guy from Spectrum Radio because then other radio broadcasters won’t want to promote it.
She believed that I didn’t have a phone, which is a misunderstanding of what I had told her which is that I don’t carry it and so phoning me is unlikely to find me.
I agreed to text her so that she would be reassured that she has my number.
I kept looking out for my two ex dance partners, but not anywhere to be seen.
After shopping I returned to dancing, which is not what I usually do. When I was outside the Octopus Pub, the manager asked, “Como estas?” to which I replied that I was very well and then I spoke to him about the two dance events we are going to have. His eyes widened as he asked for details. I told him about the one with Cafe Nostro and how the last one had succeded, and that the othe one we don’t yet have a location. His response was, (in spanish) “I would love to have it here, but the place is very small.” I explained that we have permission to dance on the walkway and I explained that the pub would offer a ‘special’ for sale with the money going to the charity, but anything else that is sold goes to the pub. He said that it was a very good idea and that he is the manager but would have to speak to the owner. He gave me his phone number, because I, obviously, don’t know mine.
Later some small boys started imitating me in the usual silly way, but at the end one of them said to me, “You’re the King of Pop,” to which I thought, ‘but he’s dead.’
Back home I sent texts to the charity woman who is organising the event and the pub manager to try to get them to contact each other.
(Unfortunately the area outside the Octopus is not very large.)
6 Abril Domingo
Just remembered that the charity woman had said to me, “You’re name is John isn’t it?” (So that’s John, Jeremy, Jeffrey, Gordon, Peter, HH and of course The Beachman.) What’s my name? The Beachdancer.
A warm night at about 17C and a lightly breezy hot sunny day possibly maxing at 24C. (I can’t be bothered to get up off my sun lounger here in the shade of a Jacaranda tree to read the thermometer, sorry.)
As I walked to the beach I was thinking that this is typical May weather and that it is going to be very hot dancing in our Beachdance events.
When I passed the restaurant that is some couple of hundred metres from the beach I recognised the young couple that I had seen yesterday. I walked to their table, took off my sunglasses and said to their somewhat surprised faces, “Les concozco.” (I know you). I explained that we had danced together in classes about 3 years ago. They started to recognise me or at least fake recognising me. I invited them to the May 14 dance and gave them one of my little flyers which has my blog address on it. I amazed myself in correctly recalling her name after 3 years, but was not surprised that I had no idea what his name was. He left to go to the lavatory (I have this effect on people) I told her that I wanted to see her at the dance because I remember that she is a good dancer. (Which she was, she moved very well. On the other hand he seemed to be at the classes purely to please his girlfriend, which is nice.)
When dancing a man came over with two very young children and he began dancing near me. I removed my headphones and told him about May 14 and gave him my flyer. He and the family are from Alicante and are unlikely to be able to come on that day which is a work day.
Later I spoke with the staff at Estapati inviting them, and also the staff at Mar Lungo.
When I came home, there were two little children in the street, on seeing me the little girl start swirling her two tails of hair and then she span around and smiled at me. I don’t know, but I am guessing that she has seen me dancing sometime. Then, as usual, the dog that lives there wanted to attack me, but it is frightened of me so it comes towards me, barks and then retreats when I walk towards it. I live in the hope that at some point the dog will get bored with this ritual and start ignoring me.
7 Abril Lunes
Another very sunny warm day with a light breeze. Lots to do on-line, but much foiled; first the british government treasury website isn’t working properly, and secondly I can’t find email contact addresses for the spanish organizations that I want to contact. Did what I could; emailed some newspapers and radio channels here in Spain and a couple of contacts for dance in England. Trying to find someone who might like to organise beachdance events in UK. Was planning not to dance, but danced anyway. A middle aged couple from Madrid chatted with me, or at least she chatted with me. After speaking normally to me for some time, she realised that I am English, at which point she slowed down her speech and added broad gestures; obviously we English are known for being retarded.
An entire family videoed me, each person taking his video from roughly the same position thereby creating some 4 or 5 almost identical video clips. A new form of sharing.
8 Abril Martes
A policeman bid me good morning.
So tired this morning that I decided not to dance, so didn’t need to take my dance shoes, but took them anyway, just in case and then I danced. Saw two sets of neighbours and then noticed a big fat man taking photos with a quality camera I walked over and asked, “Hay posibilidad que puede enviarme copias?” To which he said or asked, “English.” So I repeated, “Would it be possible to send me copies?” He reached for a card, turns out that he is a German professional photographer and as we talked he said he has been working here with a famous german rock star. (Did you know there was such a thing?) He wants to send me the photos through facebook, his email address only exists within facebook. (Facedbook is a monopoly that has privatised what used to be free public space.) I explained that I am banned from facebook I gave him one of my flyers and wrote my email on the back. Then I asked him to shoot some more with the sea as background. Then he did a protrait and we were done. Two of my neighbours came over, “My, you’re fit,” my neighbour remarked. “Oh, I’m really tired today,” I replied. “Was that an interview for the press?” he continued. “He’s a German photographer.”
“Oh,” my neighbour raised an eyebrow, “you are going to be famous in Germany too.”
That made me think that I should suggest to the photographer the idea of selling an article to some German publication.
Later, dancing in another station, two children of about 10 years old came over to me, “Do you speak English?”
“Do you dance in Bournemouth?” the boy asked.
I broke into a smile and loudly congratulated them on their observation. “You have won a prize,” I told them while searching for a flyer. “With this you can go on-line on my blog and leave rude comments.” The girl smiled. I invited them to the May 14 dance, but they are only here for a week.
After shopping I was walking back along the promenade where I saw a girl of about 10 dancing ‘street style’. There was a bowl in front of her for coins and a boy hawking key fobs. She was dancing in one of ‘my pitches’. I didn’t know whether to be pleased or if I was under a busker’s obligation to pull a knife on her and warn her off ‘my manor’.
If I had not already finished and if I wasn’t worn out and if I didn’t have fresh lettuce in my backpack that would wilt, I would have been tempted to try to dance, but instead I just waved, smiled and walked by, but then I stopped turned and watched for a while.
The boy ran after me. “Hola,” I said to him. “Puedes darnos una monedita?”. Being asked to give a ‘itty bitty coin’ left me puzzled as I dance in that spot every day for the pleasure of doing it; I find the idea of donating money to someone… it just seems odd.
So was she any good?
She was dancing without music, which is tough. She was quite brave, but I thought a touch inhibited. It was street dance without the more gymnastic parts, but including some knee bend ground work that would cripple me. There were movements and steps that I would like to know. I probably experienced a whimsey of professional jealousy.
9 Abril 2014 Miercoles
Oh, so tired today, not sleepy, just exhausted. Tempted to not even go out, but that would mean no bread. So, go shopping and come home, no dancing today, please! Also dropped the shower gel bottle on my foot in the shower which hurt and drew blood. So, two good reasons for not dancing today.
Unfortunately something else happened; as I packed my shopping into my backpack, the next customer said something to me in spanish about exercise. As often happens in Spanish I didn’t fully understand what she had said, but I replied, “Hoy estoy un poco cansado” (Today I am a bit tired.) She then asked if I would do a little and I replied perhaps a little. Then she turned to speak to the cashier, “Me encanta la manera en que el mueve,” as she wiggled to imitate me. (Literally: I am enchanted by the way he moves.) The cashier smiled and looked at me. I then told the customer about our May 15 dance. She said that she would be away, but that her daughter would be interested. I left and then decided to go back to give her a flyer, which I did. She thanked me and then said, “Aufweidesein”.
So, there I was determined to not dance, because my body is falling apart with overuse, but the idea that I am ‘enchanting’ caused me to dance for about 3 songs – a mere 10 minutes or so. God, I am wrecked.
How odd to have a stranger start a conversation with me and then to announce to another woman that I enchant her.
10 Abril Jueves
Another fairly sunny warm day, but clouded late afternoon with a very light shower. Meant to go on-line, but forgot my glasses so danced instead. For some reason the dancing went very well, or at ledast it felt good. Want to put my twitter address on my bag. It is the only simple web identity that I have; the blog address is too long. Have a vague desire to have some things printed to build an on-line existance. First day in a couple of weeks when I didn’t feel tired, but at 7pm I dozed until 10. Then stayed up until now 2:40 am Friday.
11 Abril 2014 Viernes
Overcast, started cool with spots of rain, but was dry during the day, humid and 23C. Went on line and intended to not dance. This time kept to my intention, just did exercises, shopped and came home. While in supermarket spoke briefly to the assistant who had been told by the woman that she is ‘enchanted’ by the way I move. The assistant was smirking through our chat. Also spoke to the assistant who does Flamenco to tell her that May 14 is a wednesday and not a saturday. She showed no interest.
On-line received the portrait photo that the german photographer took. Oh, my god, I am soooo old. My neck looks at least 80 years old in this photo. Received email from the Red Cross fund raiser saying that Peca2 restaurant may be location of our dance event. I mixed that up with one that I had spoken to, but when I was outside it, I recognised my error and examined the venue. It is large, has lots of outside space at the side and could be terrific. (If it happens and people turn up.) [But it is just 4 days prior to the other dance event].
12 Abril 2014 Sabado
Had a nightmare last night about having my bones drilled without anasthetic, awoke feeling like I was going to vomit and found myself drenched in sweat. Kept telling myself that this would pass, but had difficulty believing it.
Today, some cloud, very breezy, maxed at about 21C, perfect dance day and I danced, but not perfectly.
There are two TV shows of celebs trying to dance. I believe there is a similar show on UK TV. I find these shows completely uninteresting.
13 Abril Domingo
Woke up late and well rested (no nightmare or sweats). Visited by builder friend who brough some estimates for double glazing. Unfortunately they lacked two windows and three doors and so were not really as cheap as they first seemed, but one is lower price than the lowest I had so good work. Will have to get them to requote. He wanted me to show him how I dance. I always refuse. There is something about this kind of request that I don’t accept. Not sure what it is.
As I walked from the house I spoke with my Spanish neighbours (isn’t it odd to write that? Here I am in Spain and I specify that these neighbours are Spanish. Not the neighbours who are English, nor those who are German, nor the Dutch neighbour, nor the Argentian neighbours, but the Spanish ones.) They were walking fast, obviously treating it as an excercise. He was a bit breathless and sweaty. I commented on their speed and then invited them to exercise even more at our dance event on 14 May. They showed considerable interest, but then said that they may be away on that date. [They didnt come]
This meant that it was late to go to beach, but being a Sunday and sunny I wanted to go especially as I didn’t feel exhausted. Very busy. Lots of sunbathers on beach and lots of people milling around on walkway in front of restaurants with a fair number of customers.
Listening to an album that I have not heard before means having to improvise to music that I am hearing for the first time. I am not sure who the group is because the typography of their name is hard to read. It could be ‘The Ramones’ or maybe it isn’t. Mostly loud fast music that is different for me. This meant that I danced up to the title of ‘Loco de Javea’ (Crazy of Javea).
As I walked from one station to the next, I waved to a group of teenage girls on the beach because they had been watching. One waved back, another gave a thumbs-up. Sometime a small child came over to ‘high five’, but pulled his hand away to show he was too fast for me. A few different persons applauded at times. One woman came out of the Octopus bar wielding a coin that she offered me. I held up my hands in the universal ‘No I don’t want it’ sign. She kept thrusting the coin towards me and seemed annoyed that I would not accept it. She walked away and told the manager (perhaps she complained?) He laughed.
A mother and her children fascinated and smiling as they watched me. I thought that I should tell them about the dance event, but didn’t. As a promoter I am a better dancer.
At the end of my session and the end of the walkway (near the Red Cross hut) I was listening to the last track which was a slow romantic type ballard and I did some kind of slow romantic god-knows-what. Football players stopped to gawp.
Videoed 4 or 5 times that I noticed. I now have my twitter address on my music back-pack (that I wear while dancing because it holds the CD player), but I doubt that anyone notices it. I have a desire to have my clothes printed with internet addresses.
It seems odd that thousands of people see me, hundreds have spoken with me, there must be at least a thousand video clips of me, I have been interviewed on radio, I have been in the newspapers, but on-line no one reads my blog and I have 1 follower on twitter. (ONE)
14 Abril Lunes 2014
Another sunny day, mild night at 13C, day possibly going to max around 24C. This weather is warmer and sunnier than normal for April. This is more like a normal May. To a Brit it resembles a memorable summer in England. The birdies are twittering and singing, the breeze tickles my bare legs and I wonder if I should protect them from the sun (my legs, not the birdies).
The house next door is occupied again either by holiday makers or long term tenants. The English owners moved out a year or two ago and now live in a flat somewhere near.
Time for a big shop to be delivered. Decided not going to dance. Saw a couple doing stretching exercises. They were probably in their 30s, he was trying to copy her, but obviously not very agile. I was tempted to join in. I was not planning to do anything, but when they finished I decided to do my usual stretches. Having done that I just danced 1 song and then went to the supermarket.
I assume it is somewhere near Easter now. Lots of customers in the supermarket, but far fewer persons on beach today which reminds me that there is a big local element (or at least Spanish persons from near or far) within the users of the beach.
15 Abril Martes
Last night watched a film about a chinese boy selected (more or less at random) prior to the cultural revolution to train as a clasical ballet dancer. The skills of a few persons who are the best of a large group all of whom have trained all day for 20 years – ah, it is a different world. I watch some of their moves and cannot even figure out what they did.
Yet another clear sky hot day with a bit of a breeze. Went on-line. Red Cross fund raiser wants a photo to turn into a cartoon for publicity and has suggested we both go on Bay Radio. Don’t know how real the radio interview is. Have sent to her stills from my music videos as they are already cartoon like. The German photographer has not yet sent the dance shots, only the portrait where I look 20 years older than I am (and I am old enough in real life not to need an added 20 years).
I told her that I only have 1 twitter follower (and I think I wrote that here very recently). Well now have an extra 2 followers, an extra 2 very interesting followers as they are the tourist authority of Javea and the tourist authority of Calpe.
TourismeXabia has retweeted my announcements on the forthcoming dance events; that means they have sent the annoucements to their 2,000 followers. (Being a follower does not necessarily mean being a reader of such announcements. Could be that no one will notice the tweets.) That amuses me. [I suppose a tweet going to 2,000 persons may be read by 20.] That means I need to send more to get a chance at another 20 each time.
Funny thing, I wanted to find one of my music dance videos. Searched on google and did not get the youtube entries that used to come up, but instead got some site that has hijacked (copied) my dance videos to advertise ‘Russian Brides’ and other sites which I assume are dating or sex sites.
Another site that came up claims to be a tourism information site. It had my dance video ‘Chakung’ on a page together with lots of information and videos about what appeared to be India. Perhaps ‘Chakung’ means something in Hindi.
The internet is a strange place.
Cost of all this on-line activity E2.30.
Went to beach. Fairly busy. More people than yesterday, not as many as Sunday. Probably the start of the Easter (Semana Santa) holiday. Felt a need for a large flag with my twitter address printed on it. Danced in the hot sun to fast music; too fast. Saw a man with a T-Shirt printed with “The Ramones” which is I believe the name of the group playing this too fast music.
A boy came over to dance (badly) while a friend videod the two of us.
When I walked home I past a middle aged couple who greeted me. No idea if I know them.
Kitchen floor wet. About a litre of water on the tiles. Where has it come from? Suspected the washing machine which had just finished a wash. Mopped and moved wet shoes out into the sunshine. Ran a rinse cycle to see if it is leaking. Looks like the drain pipe may be blocked. I will buy some chemicals to put down the drain and then re-test.
16 Abril 2014 Miercoles
The weather has changed, well a little, sunny warm, slight breeze, but the change is that the sky is no longer pure blue, there is a light haze to it instead.
Went on-line, but realised that I had forgotten my glasses so didn’t go on-line. (Lots of things to do, new windows quotes, checking financial info, dance event promotional emails.) Somewhat relieved not to be able to go on-line.
Shopped and then danced. Beach busy, walkway busy. Have my hand written ‘ @PlayaDance ‘ flag attached to my sound system and another attached to my backpack. (When I came home one was missing, probably fell off sometime.)
Lots of children on beach who had left maybe 50 bicycles leaning against the seating.
On my final dance station some ten of so children of about 10 years of age surged towards me with one or two of them jumping and doing a kind of dance that may be their attempt to copy me or may be their attempt to ridicule me. When the music stopped I removed the ‘phones and said, “Hola” to which they said various things, suprisingly mostly in accented english such as, “You dance very good.” & “You are cool”. So, from that I conclude that their dance movements were not to ridicule me.
I told them about the dance next May 14 and drew attention to the twitter address. They went away, I danced a little bit more and then changed my shoes and decided to stroll back along the walkway showing off the ‘@PlayaDance’ for a while. Various youngsters draw attention of their friends or family, muttering something like, “Look! It’s the dance nutter.”
As I picked up my backpack one of the straps tore off. They are so badly made that I often have to re-sow the seams.
On my walk away from the beach a middle age couple greet me. (Do I know them?) I wave back and half smile. Then a man, probably in his 30s wearing a red sport shirt smiles and gives me a thumbs-up. I smile and wave. (Do I know him?)
Back in my street a man whom I definitely do know greets me. He begins by saying that they saw me dancing next to Lungo Mar restaurant. “I said that you must have gone to dance classes,” he tells me in his lovely southern Irish accent.
“I have been to a few, ” I agree with him and then add, “I have given a few too.”
“Ah, I’m not surprised. It is obvious in the way you dance, you don’t just dance, you really dance.”
“It comes with practice, ” I try to explain, “at some point it starts to look good.”
His Spanish wife joins us as I explain about the dance events and invite them to the next one. When I described the event of February, her facial expression changes as she exclaims, “Oh! I heard about that.”
She tells me that she will follow me on twitter. (I am reasonably sure they don’t.)
I feel that I really should have an internet connection. Right now I would probably be on-line 4 hours a day for a few days sorting out things. If only I had time, and could be bothered, to go somewhere to buy whatever it is that I need to be on-line.
17 April Jueves
Where to start? The day started sunny and was not as hot as previous days, possibly maxing at 21C. Sometime, when? Yesterday? Received a phone call telling me that I am going to be interviewed on local radio.
Today went on line and saw email from TotalFM (96.5FM Javea and Calpe) confirming that they want to do the interview and also that they will be supplying the music for the May 10 dance event. News to me as I have never heard of TotalFM. They suggest that I send them outline of what is to be discussed and what questions.
I emailed them asking how much actuall on-air time would we have, so that I can have an idea of what can be covered in time available. I tweeted to various people which I have now forgotten, but the general idea was to try to get more tourist bodies or holiday companies following my @PlayaDance account.
Received email from other dance organiser saying that poster and flyers done and she’ll give me some on Friday. She asks what time I will be at beach; obviously I have no idea so I suggest she leaves them at the venue and I can pick them up the next day, or she can bring them to my house.
Asked local sign shop if they could do me a flag or sign. (Never received reply)
Beach very busy. Some restaurants packed. This is a a one week high season. Saw on TV that hotels are 95% occupied.
I had created a new sign to attach to my backpack @PlayaDance. I wonder if anyone used their iphones to check it out. (There are iphones and ipads etc everywhere.)
Danced quite a bit, got very sweaty, took off my shirt. Nothing happened.
Came home and after lunch I began drafting things for TotalFM.
1) A script to suggest the sort of things we can talk about.
2) A press release for them to use.
3) On air announcements of the dance event.
4) A joint promo idea of a flag featuring their logo and @PlayaDance
Took hours to do. Sent SMS to organiser to check if okay to send directly or if she wants to review and send herself.
My, what a lot of work it has been.
11pm received sms from organiser which seems to say that I can do the press releases directly just copying to her, or maybe I misread it.
It is odd that the restaurants don’t seem to use twitter, maybe they use facebook.
Tomorrow being a religious day, possibly everywhere will be closed. I looked at TV news; men heaving huge statues of the gods up and down streets across Spain. I am reminded that I am in a foreign country.
18 Abril Viernes No recuerdo como se llama.
I can’t remember the religious name for today in Spanish.
Walked down to beach assuming that the cyber would be closed preventing any on-line activity. Danced in the considerable heat. Removed my shirt because it was getting soaked in sweat. A few persons took notice of my @PlayaDance sign. (I think at least one immediately looked it up on smart phones. One passerby signalled to his friends in what seemed like, “Oh, that explains why he’s dancing.”)
Another woman came over to me offering a coin which I rejected. “Es solo por placer?” she asked although now I can’t remember if she asked in spanish or if she said, “It’s just for pleasure?” A father told his children, when I had finished, that the ‘breakdancing’ was over and it was time to go. (I don’t do breakdancing.)
I decided to go into cafe Nostro where I spoke with the manager saying that the charity may leave some posters for me. “They already have,” he replied. When he showed them to me I said, “Oh shit, they’ve changed the date.”
You may remember that the Nostro cafe event is in my records as being May 14. That is 4 days after the Pecados cafe event on May 10.
The printed posters and flyers for the Nostro event say Saturday May 10; that is the same day as the other dance event. Two dance events on the same day, about 200 metres apart in which I am supposed to be dancing in both.
Perhaps I could dance my way (‘travel’) back and forth between the two? As I studied the poster I noticed the time was from 1 to 3, wheras the other event is to be from 11 to 1. That means they expect me to dance 5 (FIVE!) hours non-stop.
I cannot dance 5 hours. (Also, I can’t count.)
For some reason Naomi Cambell is in my head. Its a clip from a documentary about her where she is on the phone to her manager saying something like, “Just because you can book it,doesn’t mean I can do it.”
I chatted with the manager for a while. It isn’t his event, he’s just hosting it. He said that if I do the whole 5 hours maybe I would get into the Guiness Book of world records. (No. I suspect that the dance record is closer to a week than 5 hours) I explained that the other event is to pay for an ambulance, and that I would need one.
He made a comment about my dancing for long periods which was “I don’t know how you do it.” Then he surprised me by saying something like, “In this event you are the main atraction.”
Standing there for a while I suggested that we should make the hours the same in both events and create some competition between the two (especially as each is represented by a different local radio broadcaster) A super-event. Not mine or his to decide. [Later I was fantasising about how a competition between two radios could be a story in itself generating more interest, but now that that seems obvious to me, I remember that it will sound absurd to the people at the radio broadcasters.]
I took away the flyers and a single poster, wondering what I would do with them. I doubt that they will change their dates or times.
When walking home down a cut-through next to the caravan site (el camping as they say here) 3 youths were squatting in the way. This is always potentially dangerous, but I decided to give them a flyer anyway as one of them seemed to be half dancing to a radio. As I approached them one of them said something to me like, “Bailar” (Dance) and I figured that he had seen me before. “Si quieres bailar…” (If you want to dance…) I handed them a flyer. I explained that they could come and dance and that it was free. They thanked me. [They didn’t come]
On the way to my house I put a flyer in the entrances to neighbours with whom I had already spoken of this event. Bumped into one of them and we spoke in spanish and english (he wants to practice english) about the events and the double booking.
Indoors I sent a text message to the DJ for one event (I don’t have any other phone numbers for that event) and the organiser of the other pointing out the error over the date and the impossibility of my dancing for 5 hours. The DJ sent back a message that their event was always to be on the 10th. (I don’t know why I have it listed as the 14th, and it doesn’t much matter how the error arose.) I sent message to both suggesting:
A) One event changes date
B) We have same hours for both and treat it as a competitive super-event
C) I dance less.
If they keep the hours as is I will be worn out and hungry about 1 hour into the second event. If they make the same hours I suppose that I will be going back and forth between the two locations. (That could be interesting.)
I have no idea how this will turn out. I hope that people will not lose tempers.
Spent an hour or two cutting up two of the flyers so I could tape them to my backpacks. When I look at the posters I think they appeal, but that they aren’t very functional. They have the date and time at the top, but the location is in the small print and only recogniseable for someone who knows the beach well. They haven’t taken up my suggestion of putting a web address for more information and although they have added my blog address they haven’t put on the twitter account – exactly where people could follow new information or ask questions. On the flyers I spent time writing it on the back. Also they didn’t take up my suggestion that it should say FREE. It simply isn’t clear to my mind. It uses an expression ‘entrance fee’ when there isn’t an entrance fee as far as I know. Ah, well, it is their event not mine and they are fully in charge. I am just there to wiggle my arse.
19 Abril Sabado 2014
Too warm to dance. First day that I have worn shorts this season. Obviously I danced, even though it was too warm to do so. I am moving into ‘promo’ mode, but the publicity material that I have been given isn’t designed for my needs.
* It doesn’t stand-up on its own, but it also doesn’t fit my backpack or fit on my body.
* It has too much small text and artwork. It needs to have a concise message and direct people on-line for details. It also needs to be BIG so people can read it from 20m distance.
I cut it up so I could stick it on my backpack and on my earphones, but as I move it comes off and sticks on whatever part of me rubs against it.
The flyers are also sub-optimum. I have to explain them and I have written my twitter account on the back.
Anyway, if anyone looks at the poster that is taped to my backpack (as it sits on the ground near where I dance) I speak to them. The first young woman had done a few small dance moves so I spoke to her. She is from Valencia, will not be here in May, but when I asked her to do me the favor of posting something on facebook or twitter, she seemed delighted, went back to he car, brought a camera, photographed the poster and the twitter account @PlayaDance and told me she would publicise it. “Me encanta bailar,” she told me. I appoached a table of young adults (I guess aged about 22). They are from Valencia and won’t be here, but one of them, a young man, said that he would be. I explained about the dance events, one of which will be in the reatuarant they were in. I gave him a flyer and asked the others to tweet or post to facebook, they said they would. He said, “Nos, elegremos ver te bailar” (It makes us happy seeing you dance.)
A young couple, she was on skates, were reading the poster on the backpack. I started to explain. “I’m from Valencia,” she began in the now familiar excuse, but she continued, “I dance Jazz-show style.” I touched her wrist and gushed my love for that style of dance. He’s local. I realised afterwards that they are working handing out leaflets for a new restaurant here. I gave them one of my leaflets. She was obviously very keen on coming and I suggested that she bring her dance class with her and that if they wanted top they could do a ‘show’. I asked them to tweet about it. [She didn’t come]
I think I saw one or two persons look-up the @playadance on their smart phones. A few very small children danced with me, but ran away when I offered them a flyer, so I tracked down their parents.
Another table full of middle aged spaniards who had been watching me, but who tried to hide as I approached them. They were from Valencia. They relaxed when they realised I wasn’t asking for money. I didn’t waste a leaflet on them or ask them to tweet.
I gave leaflets to a couple of waitresses that I know.
I moved stations and came back to do more, which I don’t normally do. This is one of the busiest times of year, and although many here are from far away and will not be around for the events, I feel that this is prime promotional time especially to get youngsters posting on-line all over Spain (I hope).
When I tell youngsters that there will be two radio channels competing on the day, they get excited. (I have not yet told the radios that they will be competing, but I love the idea.)
I want a big sign saying:
“Dance Free Baile Gratis Arenal @PlayaDance”
My last walk back past Lungo Mar (if that is what the restaurant is called) there was a young man strumming a guitar and singing a recent hit. He has a rich deep voice with a groaning emotional edge. I had been sitting about 10 metres away listening to one song, then, he started singing something very familiar and I started dancing to it. A child called out to his dad, “Look at him dance.” When the song ended I sat down, the singer smiled and waved to me and I returned the greeting. His next song was an elvis ballard so I sat down again.
When I thought he was finishing that song I moved to within about 2 metres of him. He had not yet finished so I waited. He was singing in perfect english so I said, “You sing in english so I suppose you speak English.” His awkward response was “Speak English, not very good.” I asked if he is spanish and he confirmed this so I switched language. “Vamos a tener un gran baile benefico…” I explained about the big charity dance event we are having and that I would like him to come and sing at it. He told me that he would like to do that and that he has seen me dance many times. I gave him a leaflet and he said he would tweet me tomorrow (which I won’t see until next time that I go on-line). I don’t actually know if the organisers will what him to perform, but I think it would be nice. (He never contacts me.)
20 Abril 2014 Domingo
Sleeping with the windows open, the air heavy with scent, is a delight.
To pay for this, the gods woke me at 8am, but I refused to give in to them.
I set off for the beach at about 10 and started dancing at about 10.45. Last night I had stuck the A3 size poster onto a molded piece of plastic from an old laundry box. A perfect fit. I plan to use this to better display the poster when I dance. Unfortunately, and expectedly, it kept falling over. It isn’t really big enough if I have it where I dance, and it isn’t very noticeable if I put it closer to the public. A few persons did notice it. Some read it and usually I approached them with a flyer and spoke to them to explain and to ask them to tweet or put something on facebook. My survery so far indicates that facebook is more used than twitter. (Yesterday’s results – Everyone is from Valencia). Today spoke with two French women who had been watching me and were then reading the poster. They don’t speak Spanish and only a bit of English, but the younger of the two said she would post to Facebook (I presume in French). [I don’t suppose that many of those who say they will, actually will.]
A family who turned out to be Brits had been watching, but tried to escape when I approached them. They won’t be here in May, but I asked and the son uses facebook. I gave him a flyer, told him that he has been specially selected to tell the whole world about the dance events and that he can start by using the video he had taken and then writing that he was watching a nutter dance alone on the beach. That made them laugh, probably because it was just what they were thinking.
Two teenage boys were videoing me. I went over to them with a flyer. We spoke spanish. I explained about two radio broadcasters, the two restaurants, that I am invtiing them and would they do me a favour by posting to twitter or facebook. They said they would and they thanked me.
I felt ungainly, lacking in energy and uninspired. I became tired and hungry fairly quickly, decided to do some shopping. I dropped-off my billboard at the cafe asking them to keep it for me for tomorrow. I walked around for a while and then headed home. I should have put the @PlayaDance on the billboard, but I forgot.
I wonder if I will see any activity on-line, reads on blog, tweets, (can’t check facebook). Don’t expect anything, but hope for lots.
I should be giving some thought to buying a ticket to fly to England and other chores which have escaped me now that I am obsessed with getting hundreds of people dancing on the beach. (Last time only about 20 actually danced and 80 attended with others watching for a while. I want to see a crowd big enough to impress. Big enough to make me feel nervous. Big enough that when I talk about future events, everyone knows it’s for real.)
21 Abril Lunes
Another strange and beautiful day. The weather is, for me, perfect. A mainly blue sky, but dotted with white clouds, so much nicer than plain old blue everywhere. A light breeze and temperatures that don’t soak my shirt with sweat. A perfect dancing day, so, naturally, the fates made it that I didn’t dance today.
Up early, down to the cyber, which was closed probably because the person who runs it is a Brit and easter monday is a holiday in the UK, but not here. Went to another cyber which is dark and cheaply furnished. One of the charity organisers wants to meet. When I sent a reply she asks to meet immediately. She is obviously concerned about the double booking on May 10.
I looked at twitter and was a little disappointed that nothing much has changed. One youngster who was probably on the beach at the weekend has sent a message. Perhaps some others will respond during the week. I tweeted the new date and locations for the dance events. (Only have 4 followers.)
Updated blog with same data.
Saw the artwork for the other dance event. Oh bejesus! It is absolutely dominated by pictures of me. I was not expecting that. It also has a little cartoon ambulance and logos from several organizations and a map of where the event is to be. I didn’t have time to study it. Didn’t notice what else was on it.
Emailed various things to TotalFM about interview and possible promotions. Also suggested to them that I record announcements which they can use when they like.
Received email from other charity organiser who has partially misunderstood a suggestion I had made. Emailed to them the information about the double booking.
Doesn’t seem like much but it took a long time. Was interrupted by fund raiser who came into cyber to talk to me. Agreed to meet her elsewhere after I finish on-line. I set up a twitter account for her.
Walked down to beach, hungry. Went to cafe, but she wasn’t there. There are two with the same name so headed for the other one. Passed restaurant where one of the staff waved to me. I waved back and then leaned in where they had removed the windows. I began explaining about the double booking and how it will kill me. He replied with words that I can’t specify but was something along the lines of being delighted to watch me when I dance. (It still surprises me when anyone says such a thing and more so when a man says it.) He then asks me the normal question – what music? One of the waitresses joins me and says something about maybe the music is classical judging my movements. As she says this she raises her leg and arm. I explain that they can read a list of music on my blog and even listen to some of it. As I hand the flyer to her she places her hand on my arm and says, “Que guapo eres.”
Oh, my. This is a woman half my age saying, “You’re so handsome.” That is going to be in my mind for a while.
I walk over to the other cafe, but don’t see the organiser. Ah, there she is. I tap on the glass. “What can I get you?” she asks as I take off my backpack and sit down. “I need to eat,” I reply. She hands me a menu and I search for something that isn’t full of sugar and saturated fats, but I fall prey to a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwhich in a crusty baguette. Plus apple juice.
She is obviously concerned about the double booking and starts a intricate historical description of… I change the subject to what we should do to promote the double event. Everything she does has to be approved by the giant charity. We discuss radio interviews. She thinks that her event will possibly be supported by 3 of the local broadcasters whereas the other event that I am presenting may only be supported by one. (And I thought that having 2 was great.) We shall see how this turns out.
On the poster design I said that I had not expected to be such a dominant feature. (Really, I just expected a single image as a background, but I am plastered all over it.) It is very flattering, but also disquieting.
I had decided before arriving that I would pay for any food that I ordered in the cafe, but she told me that she would pay for the food, because she greatly appreciates all the help that I am giving and that I deserve it because I am very special.
Isn’t that sweet?
Young woman telling me that I am handsome and a mature lady inviting me to lunch because I am very special.
It has just occurred to me that I am a gigolo.
(I await dancing with old ladies who discretely slip me their phone number written on the edge of a 50 euro note.)
(Am I under-pricing myself?)
22 Abril 2014 Martes
Emotional ups and downs. When using my notebook which runs some version of Linux, the display of the contents of the memory stick had copies of all the folders displayed. These appeared to be links to the folders which I had never seen before. I deleted them and everything seemed like normal, but when I went to the cyber and plugged-in the memory stick (which I have done hundreds of times before) none of the folders appeared on the display and so I couldn’t access anything. The guy who runs the place rang his computer guy and the response was the dreaded, “That’s difficult.” Trying to forget about it I went to the beach. (Jumping forward to when I returned to the house, the notebook still displays all the folders as normal. So why don’t they show up on windows?)
Last night I saw a wood boring beetle walking over the marble top of my office desk. The (SENSORED) little (SENSORED). They are in the office somewhere. [I have asked two exterminators for estimates and neither has given me an estimate.]
It would seem that the confusion over the dates is entirely my fault, I will punish myself brutally for this error. (Oddly the other organiser also believes that the dates had been changed.)
The other annoyance is that I had to move money between bank accounts which I did on-line, but have received a printed statement that suggests that the money may have been sent to someone else. I rang my recipient bank in UK, but was told they can’t tell me over the phone. Went on line to check the sending bank, but they don’t say where it went. I know that I checked the data I was inputting and have no doubt (well a little) that it was being sent to the right place. I suspect that it is the confirmation that is wrong, but I will only know when I draw on it successfully or the cheque bounces.
Used twitter to try to get the message out and get others to re-tweet. It is difficult because if anyone gets annoyed at what you tweet you can have your account suspended for sending ‘multiple unsolicited messages’.
Went into Nostro cafe to pick up my display poster and then danced outside in the brilliant sunshine trying to forget these various annoyances. When anyone paid attention to the poster or was videoing me I went over to them to ask if they would like from facebook or twitter and to give them a flyer. Youngsters all say yes, but obviously few will actually do it.
Had an impromptu dance class with about 10 probably 7 year olds, one of whom kept showing off her excellent english which annoyed the others. They are from Valencia (is everyone here from Valencia?) One of them told me that the other one wants to marry me. The other one denied this strenuously. The english speaker repeatedly suggested that we speak in English, but was hushed-up by the others.
Ah, I know the answer to that last question, no they are not ALL from Valenica, the rest are from Germany, or at least the two sofa fulls of young persons whom I talked to were from Germany. They photographed the poster and the twitter address to put on facebook. An English family said that they would tweet. Two english university students said, “You’re going to have a flashmob dance here?”
Yes, exactly, or at least I am hoping that some of these youngsters will be sufficiently interested and have sufficient contacts to make that happen.
A short tubby man, probably from Valencia offered me his hand (not in marriage) which I shook. He asked me what I was promoting so I explained. He listened, said, “Muy bien,” and departed.
An English dad told me that it was, “A great show,” gave me some kind of fancy handshake and left with his family.
A couple, perhaps about 18 years old, who were looking at the poster, replied to my question, “Quieres venir?” (do you want to come) with the universal teenage response, “Nyuug”, delivered with a slight curl of the lip and an expression of disdain.
23 Abril 2014 Miercoles
Straight to cafe Nostro to pick-up my billboard, then danced outside the cafe for an unknown period of time. It was earlier in day and much quieter than yesterday. Spoke to very few persons and gave out few flyers. One young spanish mum, responded to my comment that you don’t have to dance, by clearly demanding that she did want to dance. A young man responded to my question of whether he wanted to come to the event with a snearing derogatory ‘no’ as if the very idea were to awful to be spoken aloud. Two young teenage boys made fun of me by waving their arms and sneering. A german man who spoke no english, filmed me and then told me something in german which I think was complimentary, but who knows? I returned the billboard to the cafe and then went to the supermarket where I saw the pretty flamenco dancer, gave her a flyer and told her of the risk to my health of dancing 4 hours non-stop under the May sun. She thanked me for the flyer.
As I walked away from the beach I saw a woman who I thought might have been the organiser, but wasn’t, then I saw another woman who I thought might have been, and was the organiser. She said that she had just been to the radio stations studio, but it wasn’t there. Apparently the doorman said that it hasn’t been there in a long time. How can this be? (Afterwards I thought that this is especially strange because, their website suggested that they only started about 2 weeks ago. We shall see if the doorman was wrong.) I asked if she had ever heard them broadcast. Yes. So at least they aren’t a figment of someone’s mind.
She has spoken with the spanish part of the charity and relayed to me the possibility that I may be invited to speak on spanish local radio. Ooooh! That is such an interesting challenge. Can I speak spanish well enough to be interviewed? (I find the idea really interesting, exciting and possibly bowel moving.)
I told her that I would defer to her on promoting. Her firm confirmation of that rang with an unspoken, “How dare you even imply otherwise.”
Her posters have been printed, but I may get copies tomorrow via the ice cream cafe that is sponsoring this event. Then I will probably dance in two locations with both posters or alternating them so as not to offend.
This April is unseasonable warm, how a normal May would be. I hope that May is not going to be unusually warm. Today I was conscious of the strain that dancing for 4 hours is going to be in this heat. (In february it was a sunny 18C day. Today, sunnier and 23C. In May it could be more than 25. Serious risk of heat stroke. Back then I danced for nearly 3 hours sitting out one or two songs that I didn’t like and I had no lunch.)
May 10 will be hotter. It starts earlier and goes on longer. It is a big challenge. I must be careful, not just to drink lots of water, but also to cool my body down externally. Maybe I should take a water spray or have a a bucket of water and towel. Also I need to take some light edibles.
Pues, tomorrow I will probably see the new posters (I saw the art on a computer screen a few days ago.)
24 Abril Jueves 2014
Some cloud today, breezy again and not so hot. Went to bank to move money from uk to spain for the windows, but won’t know if that has worked for a couple of weeks.
Went to Peca2 to pick up posters and flyers, but not yet there.
Went to Nostro for my billboard and then danced outside for something over an hour (I think). The gusts of wind kept knocking over the billboard. I danced with it for a while.
Chatted with a few interested persons or groups of persons. I explain what we are going to do, that they don’t have to dance, that dancing is free… and I realise that I am making this up because the organisers have’t really explained to me what they are going to do so I tell people my version and hope that it doesn’t cause any problems. (I regard it as essential that dancing be free. People have enough reservations about dancing in public without putting hurdles in their path.)
I ask them if they use twitter or facebook and I ask them to do me a favour of writting about it.
Of a group of three young women that I talked to, one came back later to ask me if I could recommend a place to go dancing in Javea, any classes of zumba for example. I explained that I have been searching for somewhere to dance, but not having found one I have settled for the beach. I suggested she contact me via twitter and I would let her know if I thought of anywhere, she said that she doesn’t have twitter so I gave her my email address. [She never contacts me.]
A boy came over and threw his arms around widely while jumping up and down. His friends watched and videod. I gave him a flyer.
Yesterday, a couple with a large child in a pushchair stopped nearby. The child climbed out and then very awkwardly danced for maybe 45 seconds and then climbed back in the pushchair. The impression I had was that she had some neurological muscular problem. I wanted to give her a flyer, but they left.
Chatted with a spanish family, adult son with child and grandma. She said that it is a very good idea to lose yourself in dance and to be able to do things without all the fears and thoughts that fill our heads. I told her that dancing isn’t just good for physical health, but also for mental health. She seemed to be in agreement. The dad said he would spread the word. The little girl was too shy to be involved. I told the family that I used to be that timid, and how I would hide behind my mother’s skirt, but now I am dancing in public. !Vaya cambio! (What a change!)
I only give flyers to persons who look at the poster or video me, and then I only let them have the flyer if they seem to want it.
In total I gave out just 5 flyers today.
How strange it is to be dancing and chatting with strangers in a foreign country in a foreign language. I would never have imagined that I would be doing this. What a strange life I lead.
Will these events be successful???????
Small aside: I forget that most youngsters have no idea how to write anything. There I am assuming that they will go on twitter or facebook to write up how they saw this old guy dancing like a madman on the beach and that he is going to do this big beach party thing where everyone can come and dance on May10…. but instead they stare at their smartphone’s blank screen and they have no idea what to write.
Perhaps I should give them printed instructions.
25 Abril Viernes
A very windy night with more rain than we have seen in ages plus intense flashes of light and explosions of thunder. The storms here are scary. This morning still gusty. Went on-line and spent a while on twitter. Now have another 5 followers making a total of 9 which is tiny. Tried to find people connected with ‘flashmobs’ (crowds which form because they have first connected on-line and then meet at a place.) because I want hundreds of people at the dance events.
[The danger in using twitter in this way is that if any of the recipients of my messages dislike having been contacted they may complain and I will get banned again.]
Having spent about an hour and a half on line I was hungry and decided just to shop and go home. Bumped into a skater who I have spoken to before. We chatted, I gave him a flyer. He says he will come with his nieces. We did one of those youthful handshake things.
I went into Peca2 to ask if they had publicity material for me. “Que?” (“Huh?”). I explain about the dance event on May 10. They point to the windows where I see the poster for our event, but what I was asking is whether any had been left for me to pick up.
When I leave I stand in front of the poster for a while, examining it. I am all over the thing. Not sure how many pictures of me there are, but there are lots. Plus a banner “The Beachdancer” plus a signature of that name. I look at it without really believing that it exists. (I only notice later that the two things I asked to be put on the poster, my twitter & blog, are not there.)
How would you feel to see posters advertising an event with your picture on them? It is odd. I am tempted to say, “Who the hell do I think I am?”
26 Abril 2014 Sabado
Down at the beach sometime just before 11, the place was very quiet. The sun-lounger men were putting up the sunshades over the loungers and I thought I should ask them if we can put ads down there. The walkway was nearly empty and the waitresses are cleaning spots off the glass walls before sliding them back to open up the area.
I picked-up my billboard from nostro and then walked along to Peca2 to see if the other publicity material had arrived. “The lady has left…” the waitress said in accented english. We walked over to the bar and she handed me an a4 poster and a wad of a6 size flyers. (A6 happens to be the size that I decided on in my design as being big enough and half the cost of the A5 flyers that I have for Nostro.) I attached the a4 poster to my billboard as best I could with a couple of wires, placed it against the seating and then began my initial exercises.
With so few people being around it was a bit dull and I didn’t even try to give out leaflets. The number of people rises around lunch time. A teenage girl videos me while her boyfriend fakes being the subject of the video by standing in front of her; I test this by dancing away to the side and she swivels the phone to follow me. I approach and ask them if they speak spanish. When I explain and invite them to the events they seem very pleased, possibly from relief that I am not annoyed. Another group turns out to be english and won’t be here in 2 weeks, but seem keen on putting the video and a copy of the poster on facebook. Three young women who don’t speak spanish are from Norway and act very interested. A spanish speaking pretty young woman who isn’t spanish and her irish friend are not just interested and they haven’t only videoed
me… As we talk she says that she had seen a poster in the Cancer Care Charity shop, had taken a photo of it and had read my blog, and wanted to ask me some questions. I can’t remember if she actually asked any.
One of the things I learn from chatting to people is that they don’t understand the leaflets.
After I had finished dancing, some boys whom I have seen many times commanded me to dance. I never obey commands. I explained that I had just finished and then started telling them about the events. “Es ingles?” one of them asked. It turned out that 2 of the 3 boys were english and so we switched between languages. One of them, and separately a spanish boy asked me if I was embarrased dancing in public. I explained that once you break the fear barrier you don’t feel that way, and anyway I own the beach.
I was explaining the events to an elderly spanish woman until I mentioned the ambulance event. She then explained in extensive detail her less than satisfactory relationship with la Cruz Roja (Red Cross), her pension, her husband’s and a few things about her father too. I could share this with you, but trust me, you have more interesting things to do like cleaning hair out of the bathroom drain.
As I danced a man walked by and did a sudden spin. I gave him a leaflet and watched him walk away reading the leaflet intently. I started to think that I knew him. I think he may have been my salsa instructor of 3 years ago.
The man from the sunloungers was standing nearby drinking water so I slipped off the headphones and started to tell him about the events. Then I asked if there was any way we could put publicity material on the loungers. This was refered to his boss who said that the loungers belonged to clients and that it wasn’t allowed. I am not sure what he meant by this.
I saw someone I recognised chatting to two other youg adults. Gave them both leaflets and asked them to do stuff on-line. (I ask almost everyone to spread the word on-line.)
Two english women who won’t be here on the 10th took video and said they would spread word on-line. They are from the Isle of White so I invited them to a beachdance in Bournemouth in the summer.
It is a lovely day, a few fluffy white clouds, a gusty breeze. I amy writing this on a lounger under the shade of a jacaranda tree, listening to bird song and the rustle of wind tossed leaves.
Two weeks to go. How many people will come? How many will dance?
27 April 2014 Domingo
Beautiful day, doesn’t feel hot, some high hazy cloud, breezy, bird’s singing. Being Sunday, I want to make most of crowds on beach. I danced longer than usual and chatted with various people. I don’t talk to everyone, probably I could talk to more, but I like to dance.
Turned around and found a man, almost certainly a Brit, dancing widly beside me. How do I know he was a brit? Because he was wearing a bikini. Big, solidly built man in twenties or earlier thirties in a group of tatoo bearing, beer drinkers, with muscles and beer guts: Brits. (Makes you feel patriotic just thinking about it, oh and some of them were wearing the Union flag which is a bit of a give away.) So, videoed dancing with a man in a bikini. It will be the jewel of my video collection.
Later I walked over to talk to them. (That’s brave, don’t you think?) They won’t be here in 2 weeks time. One asked me what music I was listening to. “Today it is a spanish singer called, Alejandro Sanz.” This seemed to disapoint or confound my questioner. “Oh, I thought it would be Britney Spears,” he replied. (I am still wondering if that has some implied meaning.)
Later talking to a couple who started to look confused. She said, “Poco espanyol”. I asked, “English?” to which they corrected me, “Scottish”. So I told them that I was born in Glasgow and from then on we were committed friends.
A dad and son were looking at the poster. I asked if they spoke spanish to which he replied, “Castilliano!”. I then started to explain that we are going to have two chairity dances, but he cut me off with, “No gracias,” and turned his head away to dismiss me. I thought, ‘Our family likes to keep its mind firmly shut to any form of amusement.’
A group of young women were watching me, so eventually I went over to say that same first phrase. Half of them turned away before I spoke and one of those who had been watching said, “No thanks.”
Two young men possibly about 20 years old who did not want to know made me think how silly of them. The perfect place to meet women and they don’t want to know.
These reactions are the same that I give to people who are trying to sell something in the street. It is interesting to be on the receiving end for the first time.
I approached two Red Cross first aiders who work on the beach. As I began to describe it, they said, “We know, and thank you very much for what you are doing.”
One person I spoke to said, oh, yes I recognise you from the newspaper. Another couple that I spoke to when told that they didn’t have to dance, she replied, “But I want to dance with you.”
Another young woman said that she can’t be there, but asked if there was any other way she could support us. I asked her to go on-line and spread the word.
I met an italian who sells wrist bands that light-up when you move. We discussed using those wrist bands in a night time dance event. He said that he would be interested in letting us sell them with the procedes going to charity. I assume that he wants to do this as a promotional item. He said that he will contact me via twitter. Unfortunately our event is in the day and there isn’t time to do another (or is there?). I asked what they retail for. E5, but he would donate up to 500. He says he will contact me through twitter. [Her never does.]
(There is a woodpecker walking around on the lawn, its crest just poking up above the pathway. A kitten was walking through a little while ago while I was eating. I don’t want to feed it, because then it will adopt me and I won’t know what to do when I go to England. I poured the juices from the sardines onto the path to let the cat eat it while I wasn’t looking.)
One guy who videoed me came back 30 mins later to video again.
Picked up more leaflets just as I had run out of them.
I was talking to two young men about the dance events. When I told them that I doubted that I could dance for the full 4 hours, one of them said (in spanish), “We have seen you, you can do it, you’re in good form, you are a machine.” We parted after a youthful hand clasping ceremony.
This reminds me of being told in a disco in England, “You are a dancing machine and I am liking it a lot.”
I had danced outside each of the venues, returned to the first for more dancing and promoting and then did my end exercises, gave back the billboard and walked home.
How many will come? How many will dance?
28 Abril Lunes
Weather almost identical, touch more high level haze, slightly less breeze. Woke up before 8am which, to me, is dawn. A non-dance day, spent two hours on-line mainly tweeting. Now have 11 followers, which is pathetic, but much less pathetic than the 1 follower I had 3 months ago.
Some of my tweets have been re-tweeted and some marked as ‘favorites’ by some recipients. What any of that really means, don’t ask me.
Received email from TotalFM suggesting the 8th or 9th for my next radio interview. (See how easily I type ‘next radio interview’, which is technically correct, because I have done a previous interview on HotRadio Bournemouth.) It is due to be on the Claire Gingell show from 12 noon to 3pm. Don’t know yet how long I am expected to be there.
Have not heard from the wrist-band man.
29 April 2014 Martes
Woke up early. At beach before 11. Very quiet except for the distant whine of a grinding machine. Wondered if it was worth promoting with so few people. So took the opportunity to go to a hardware store looking for curtain rails to replace the wooden ones which are infected by beetles. Didn’t see anything of interest.
Went beack to beach, picked-up billboard and began dancing. Not much interest from a sparcely populated walkway. Spoke to some old spaniards from a town some distance inland who won’t be here. I didn’t bother asking them to put something on facebook.
Various groups who watch me, but who escape if I offer them a leaflet.
Spoke to two indian looking men sitting with perhaps an eastern european woman. I think they may be kitchen staff.
Two blonde women possibly about 30 years old were looking at the poster so I began talking to them. They are from Scotland. When I told them that we had done a similar dance event in February, one of them replied, “I know, I was there. It was very enjoyable.” She went on to suggest that someone should have announced what the event was and what people were supposed to do. She pointed out that there was a DJ, but he didn’t say anything. She also suggested that there should have been people on the beach telling passersby what was happening. All very good suggestions. The other one then told me that she had seen me, that she thinks we live closeby, and indeed we do. She told me what vehicle she drives and that she thought she had nearly run me over at times. “Oh,” I replied, “that was you.” She is involved in a local school in some way and plans to tell her students about the event. I suggested that they may like to look on youtube searching for ‘Loco de Javea’.
Spoke to 3 small boys who had imitated me. They seemed startled or incredulous that I could be talking about radio stations. (Which reminds me TotalFM is talking to their printers to find out the price of giving me a flag with their logo and mine on it.)
Spoke to 3 young adults. One of the women laughed when I talked about the radio and wanting hundred dancing on the beach. The young man told her not to laugh and said that it would be great. He reacted positively on the idea of spreading the word on-line.
Some others ignore me or give me a stern, “No, gracias.”
Returned billboard to cafe Nostro where I was told that Thursday is a fiesta and that lots of people ‘hace puente’ (make a bridge) taking off the friday as well to make a 4 day holiday. This means lots more people, but from Valencia, Madrid and other inland towns who are unlikely to come back the next weekend. I think I may rest wednesday (go on-line) so that I have more energy (less pain) for thurs-sunday.
On way home talked with two neighbours, gave them the two leaflets and they said that if they are at home on that day they will come.
Gave 8 or 9 in total. Compare to weekend days where I gave 15 each day.
11 days to go.
Estimate Thurs-Sunday(puente) 15/dia + 3 weekdays (will want to rest before sat10th) 8/dia =~60 chats and leaflets.
The total number of persons/groups I will have spoken with is likely to be 120 by the end of the promotion. That isn’t many, is it. (120 is the number of leaflet, the number of persons is higher – perhaps double.) If only 10% come, that isn’t many.- possibly 24.
My tweets have been re-tweeted and probably sent to about 3,000 persons, but I doubt that more than 10% read all the tweets they receive. So maybe only seen by 300. Probably brings 3 persons?
If just one radio interview, I would guess audience 500 listeners. Could bring 5 persons.
Therefore, with luck I may be bringing roughly 30 persons to the event.
Just 10 promotion days to go
30 Abril Miercoles
Another day just like the others. My on-line marketing day. Spent E4 for a 2 hour session of tweeting and emailing.
A local tourist and company promotion website agreed to display our dance info, but I am not sure if they are offering this for free or not.
I sent them a link to the poster art and some copy that they can edit to go with the poster. [I don’t think they ever actually did anything.]
Local newspaper has asked for photo of me dancing here. I didn’t have any but today received one from Germany. I had given up on the German photographer because I have not heard from him for some time, but today not only did he send 1 more photo, but he also likes my suggestion of his writing an article for publication in german. (I sent him an english draft and he has re-written it and translated it into german. I am surprised.) I don’t much like the photo because I am not doing anything interesting, but it is the only one I have here [other than the portrait where I look 80 years old] so I have sent it and a photo from Bournemouth beach which is more elegant.) I so want the 10 May dance events to be successful that I am willing to have personal publicity and photos that I don’t like.
The tourist authority of Calpe (which is a bigger neighbouring town to Javea) has sent out to its 5,000 twitter followers a notification about my upcoming radio interview, only problem is that the day has now been changed.
I tweeted to a german guy who then retweeted to his 200 or so followers, one of whom tweeted that she will come to the dance events. Her tweet had a considerable excess of exclamation marks.
A professional dancer has tweeted the invitation to her 4,000 followers, but I have no idea what countries they are in.
In total there must be about 10,000 persons who have received a message about these events. If the above 1/200 respond that would be 50. (I really have no idea.)
Asked one of the charities if they want to join me handing out leaflets. Then remembered that I only have 9 leaflets left.
After two hours on-line I felt that it was time to go. So I headed towards the beach, but just to shop rather than to dance. As I walked past the parked cars a women who I did not know greeted me in English, “Hello, we have been in contact by email.”
Now that is fame. She knows me by sight and can link me to an email whereas I have no idea who she is. She explained that she is my contact at TotalFM. We chatted briefly, I gently pushed my idea of their doing a duel with SpectrumFM. She took out her diary and we booked my interview which is to be 1pm Wednesday May 7 (and not the 8th as has just been tweeted to 5,000 people). That is on the Claire Gingell ‘Midday madness’ show. (96.5 in Javea and Calpe)
I prefer the 7th because it gives an extra day for them to decide to have me back for another interview.
and so April ends.