Interviewed for BBC Radio 4

A journalist approached me as I danced on the beach and asked if I was interested in being interviewed.

“Sure,” I replied.

A few weeks later I was sitting with her with a woolly headed microphone and portable recording equipment in a covered area on the promenade of Canford Cliffs beach being asked a string of prepared questions. This lasted about an hour. Then there were still photos and some video of my dance.

She suggested that it would be written up as a website piece in the BBC website.

A few weeks later I received an email from her telling me that the piece had been broadcast the previous day.

What had actually been broadcast was the journalist talking about me for some 5 minutes on a magazine program called From our home correspondent  on BBC Radio 4 broadcast nationally in Britain and available on the web too.

Just prior to that broadcast, the local newspaper The Bournemouth Echo published an interview with me that they had done 18 months earlier, but which they only published now.

It is amusing.

 

 

Advertisements

1 July 2014 Tuesday

I have a problem with two TV ads that are running currently. The first is for
Kinder chocolate which says that it has been designed for children with more
milk and less cocao. So how do I know if my children are the kind who have less
cocoa and more milk?

The other ad tells me that what my toddler learns after the first year will
affect THEIR future: how is my toddler going to affect THEM and who are THEY?
After breakfast, went shopping and then down to the beach. I did my exercises at
the end of the small pier using the stainless steel ‘ballet barre’ that the
council built for me and then: ‘Pum’, the batteries went dead and I realised
that I had not brought replacements. Well, I would feel silly dancing without
music so I just walked the beach and came home for lunch.

After lunch I was jumpy at not having had my dance fix for the day, so I headed
back down to the beach at around 4 and danced through to 6 or maybe later. The
sunbathers had all gone, but were later replaced by paddle boarders who stand on
rafts and move about with long paddles which seems to me to be about as painful
and pointless an activity as can be imagined (so says the crazy beachdancer) and
there was a highly organised game of throw ball football like game with goals
that they brought with them and assembled on site. I suspect that they were
trying to hit me with their ball, but they weren’t very good shots and I was a
moving target.

I was being videoed by multiple persons and then when I turned around I saw what
must have been a school outing or some 50 or so youngsters of maybe 14 year olds
who all stopped to watch me. One boy ran over to dance at my side, but
chickened-out and ran back to the group. I signalled for them all to join me,
but they preferred to watch and video. When I stopped I bowed low to them and
they applauded and cheered. When they left it was a bit less interesting and I
was fading fast.

I had danced long-time and returned home relaxed and ready to rest, but it was
time to cook dinner.
2 July Wednesday
No idea what happened Wednesday. I think I went into Bournemouth town, but that
could have just been a dream.
3 July Thursday
Woke up at 5 am damn it stop doing this! Got up and did chores, felt too tired,
but not tired enough to go back to bed, played a game for a while then went back
to bed and slept until 12 noon. Got up feeling wrecked and more or less did
nothing all day because I didn’t have the energy to go out or tackle anything
useful.
4 July Friday
Tried to pick-up email on wifi, but so slow that it only gave me the subject
lines so I went to the library to read them. More nonsense on a long running
dispute, more vagueness about something legally important, and a thank you note
from my best friend for my help in sorting out something that shouldn’t have
happened to her.

Then when I was back home and thinking about whether I would dance today I
received a phone call telling me that my best friend is in intensive care
unconscious with failed kidneys and probably about to die.

I dined with her last Sunday. I could see that she was stressed partly because
her dog has been moribund for a very long time and she thought it was now time
to end his life. Not just that, but in her confusion and stress she had been
persuaded to sign a finance agreement for a loan she didn’t ask for and didn’t
want. I think she believed she was signing a mere bank regular payment order. I
had assurred her that we would sort it all out and not to worry. She told me
that I am a very good friend and that the time she has known me has been the
happiest time of her life (I claim no responsibility for her happiness, just
that the two happened at the same time.)

Her unconscious body was found next to her dead dog. It would appear that she
had a visit by the vet to end the dog’s life and then… I don’t know what
happened, but she is probably dying as I write this.

She used to be the person to whom I sent these diary entries by email before
editing them and putting them on my blog.

 

5 July Saturday and 6th Sunday
Just getting through the day, choking up every so often with tear in my eyes.
7 July Monday
Went to library and was amused that the man sitting at the next computer, who
clearly understood very little of internet access, was asking a member of staff
how to find out how to dance. I could not keep from chatting with him. He
explained that in an hour or two he was off to a local hotel for lessons in
waltz and that he had been told that on the internet you could watch lessons.
“Look, I have my shoes,” he told me while taking a dance pump from his bag. I
suggested that he googled ‘dance tutorials’ and he asked me how to spell
tutorial.

Later, I went to the beach where I felt a great sense of release and calm
dancing. I think the worst of the grief has passed, but I am still a bit teary
at times.

There was a mass of young families in what was almost an encampment on the
beach. I was dancing down near the restaurant and I noticed small children in
the distance imitating me, making fun of me or throwing themselves around or
trying to spin around and falling over. Later some of them came over and one
said, “You are a very good dancer. You should be on Britain’s got talent.” I
said “Thank you very much.”

“What are you practicing for?” another asked.
“For fun, just for fun.”
“What music are you listening to?” They formed a mass on the other side of the
stainless steel barrier just like at a concert and they listened one at a time
to the music on my headphones, some of them raising their hands to indicate that
they were next. When their curiousity was quenched they left.
I walked over to a bench to sit and I asked a woman who was sitting on the bench
if she would like to listen.
“Oh, yes!” she exclaimed.
After listening she began talking. “I have seen you dance on the beach before.
We call you ‘the dancing man’. What is your name?
She told me that she finds it very relaxing to watch me dance. “I wish I was as
agile and had that much energy. I couldn’t last 10 minutes.”
We chatted about a wide range of the kinds of things you chat about, how
beautiful this bay is, the proper weight for a house cat, how most people seem
to spend all their time being annoyed about something like windfarms, how being
out and talking face to face is better than the internet and facebook (that
shows our age doesn’t it?) and how, as a nurse, she spends all day using a
keyboard. (How nursing has changed, I though it was all about hospital corners
and bedpans.)
A friend of hers arrived. “This is the man who dances on the beach,” a comment
that meant nothing to her friend who obviously lives a sheltered life. My new
friend the nurse then explained, “I’ve watched the beachdancer many times, and
now I have talked with him.”

8 July Tuesday
Dull rainy day. Went shopping, updated diary and read newspaper. What an
exciting life I lead. Oooh, some excitement- a heavy hailstorm and then alarms
going off around the building, probably from the impact of the hail.

9 July Wednesday
Last night watched another of those photocopied movies about the dancer who
forms a dance crew and competes in the big competition. As always one of the
characters has an exam or interview on the same day as the dance – oh, dilemma
what will they do?  And guess how it ends, go on guess… well it will spoil
your enjoyment to know that they all end exactly the same way: 1) Love triumphs
2) The dancer triumphs 3) The one who has the conflict resolves it by running
from one appointment to the other.  Sorry, ruined it for you.
The lead in this one was very pretty and wore lots of low cut tight tops, so who
needs a story? But, I am going to moan anyway. With all that talent and obvious
dance ability, what they actually did disapointed me.
Today it was cloudy with sunny intervals and I went down to the beach instead of
going shopping which meant I really needed to go shopping afterwards to buy
lunch, but I was so very relaxed after dancing myself to a wreck that I had to
search through cupboards and fridge for bits to eat. Bad boy!
While I was resting after dancing, one of the lifeguards asked me what today’s
music was. I said hip-hop and let him listen. I was amazed that he correctly
identified the artist (whose name is a mystery to me right now even though I
just a an hour ago checked the album cover to check if the lifeguard was right.
He was. Spot-on. He even gave me some history of when that artist was at his
peak and his collaboration with the artist whose name I do remember ‘Ashanti’.
He told me that on Wednesdays (today) they have a generator and music down at
Canford Cliffs while they play football. He invited me to join them. I would
love to, but first I am done for today and second that’s when I normally cook.
Maybe next week.
The coming weekend we have polo on the beach (the real thing with horsies). The
enclosure was being built today at Sandbanks. Must try to get there this year –
I always forget.

10 July Thursday
Nice day, shopped and then went to beach and danced. I looked towards the beach
huts that are along the promenade at the land side (obviously) of the beach and
there was a young woman possibly about 20 years old imitating me. I turned
towards her and did a few steps which she repeated. This was fun until the music
stopped. I waved, she waved back. I blew her a kiss.
When I worked my way back to that position she was no longer there. Oh, I missed
her.
I wasn’t feeling very energetic or well co-ordinated, but I did my best.
Back at the Chine I was exhausted and only did a little bit of an en-core before
heading back home to eat and do some paperwork.
Late in the evening the phone rang and this time it wasn’t a pre-recorded sales
call. It was a relative of my best friend (you, remember the one who is in
intensive care.) To tell me that now she is dead. The relative and I chatted for
an hour or more about a wide range of things. It helped him. We both choked-up
now and then. He has a lot to arrange and things to worry about. I offered to
help and told him that he can call anytime if he needs someone to chat to. Other
than the news, and some grief, it was a very pleasant chat.

11 July 2014 Friday
Woke up early. Shopped, had lunch and went to beach. When I walked back from
getting some water an old guy, seated on the sand under a big umbrella made some
wiggly dance moves and called out, “You’re the dancing man,” in a half
questioning tone. “I am indeed,” I replied.
“You were here yesterday and last week and a year ago,” he continued.
“And two years ago,” I replied.
He told me that he liked the fact that there are people like me doing
interesting things. “You dance all along here to Sandbanks, you move forward
then back a bit and forward again, you bring a smile to people’s faces.”
We chatted for some time about a range of silly things from back pain to tattoos.
When I returned to Branksome Chine I did a brief en-core whilst being filmed by
a guy who was trying to look like he wasn’t filming me and I was reduced to near
exhaustion such that when I returned home I felt very sleepy at about 4pm and
lay down and then woke up at 8pm. I was too hungry and tired to cook.
I am an old wreck.

12 July Saturday
Was there a Saturday this week?

13 July Sunday
Beautiful day, small clouds and lots of sun. Danced along beach heading for the
polo enclosure, which it will turn out is being dismantled because the event is
over. So missed it again.
On my way a young man of about 20 years walked down to me. I took off my
headphones and said hello. He told me I danced well. I asked if he had been here
before, he said that ‘they’ had just come down. “So, you haven’t seen me before.
I am well known here. So where are your friends?” He pointed to a large group
lying on the sand. “Do you want to come over and meet them?”
They started to listen one by one to the music on the headphones until one of
them produced a plug-in battery powered speaker of a type that I recognised.
(The english photographer who did my beach photos had told me about them, even
giving me a link to where they were for sale.) I plugged it in and said that I
should buy one. One of the guys and one of the girls danced a little bit with me
and I gave them one of the ‘I danced with the beachdancer’ wrist tags. “That’s
so cool,” one of the girls said.
Farther along the beach a younger blonde girl (maybe about 15) came towards me.
“Excuse me..” she said with the sun glinting on her teeth braces, “What music
are you listening to?”
“Hello, I replied, “that’s the question everyone asks. Do
you want to listen?” I proffered the phones which she took. Her friends were
watching and so I held up the phones and asked if they wanted to listen. They
listened and they chattered a while. I told them about beach events in Spain and
how I wanted to do something similar here. They said they would come and then
they went before I could offer them a wrist band.

When I reached the large circus-like tent enclosures for the polo I was looking
for someone to ask whether it was still being prepared or whether it was now
long gone. I saw a young woman who carried a walkie talkie and a Poole Borough
insignia. She confirmed that I had missed it and said, “You need to dance along
the beach earlier.”
My response was, “I forget that everyone knows me.” Then I explained about
wanting to do a charity beach dance event and she said. “I know about your
events in Spain, the beach guards told me. You need to speak to that woman,” she
explained pointing to someone who looked very busy.
I briefly explained the events to the manager inbetween her running back and
forth directing drivers to not go or to go and speaking on her radio. I told her
that I would give her a web address where she could see more details. “Oh, can
you go into the office and leave it there for me?”
“Sure.”
I went to the office and greeted the man behind the desk with the name I had
just been given. I explained what I wanted to do and he said, “Are you the
dancing man?”
“Yes, that seems to be what everyone wants to call me.”
“Well, its what you do. I have seen you and I am pleased to meet you.” He
extended his hand to shake mine.
When I danced my way back along the beach, the group of girls waved and I
went over to give them a wrist band. On coming closer I noticed two or three
adults nearby watching. “Are you the parents?” I asked.
“Of some of them,” the man replied.
“Well then I will talk to you.”
I explained about beach events, that the girls said they would come and that I
had just spoken to the beach managers who seemed interested. I gave him the web
details. He said that his daughter was the one who fisrt spoke to me and that
she was a good organiser.  I went over and spoke to the girls and they confirmed
that they would come to a beach dance event. I told them to connect to the blog
and use twitter.
Lots of people say they will, but few do.

14 July Monday
Another sunny warm day, but so far all I have done is shop eat and update this
diary.
15 July Tuesday
Went on line for chores, shopped, ate lunch and then headed to beach instead of
doing more of the chores. Bad boy!
Very few people at beach, but I danced until tired. A small scottish accented
boy asked me what I was doing and then told me that a girl had danced behind me
and her mother had taken a photo and that it was funny.
“Which girl?” I asked. He pointed her out. She was maybe 7 yrs old and began
dancing like me and then in a street style. Damn the little show-off, she dances
better than I do. Seven years old, my arse, she has at least 15 years training.
Later during my ‘en-core’ a guy with phones glued in his ears started dancing
by my side. I had the impression that he didn’t speak English. When he finished
I went over with one of the beachdance wrist tags. “Do you speak English?” I
asked and was surprised when he and the woman both said yes.
I gave him the wrist tag which seemed to amuse him and we chatted a while. He
is, or was, a DJ. He got out his iphone and wanted me to listen to a mix that he
had done. I started to listen, begged him to turn the volume down, and continued
to listen until he told me it runs for 45 minutes. He gave me a questioning
thumbs-up and I confirmed it, but just between you an me, although I could dance
to it, it isn’t really my kind of music.

She was and is a dance teacher at
Pineapple Studio in Covent Garden which is the place I wanted to go to some 30
years ago, but never did. She and I chatted about styles and West Side Story and
the joy of dancing. I think I out-stayed my welcome as usual. She described my
dance as ‘Freestyle with technique’ which sounds amusing although I don’t know
what it means. She listened to the music I had which is by (oh, god what is his
name? Last name Webb, I think. Just checked- Simon Webbe’s album ‘Sanctuary’) and
she suggested Robert Thicke. “Do you know him?” she asked. Yes, I did, but not
the piece of music she played for me on her iphone. I liked it very much.
They left and I continued dancing until hunger and the nearly setting sun drew
me home.

16 July Wednesday
Went on-line at the lovely little Canford Cliffs library where I updated my blog
for the month of May – I am just 6 weeks behind schedule, I overheard the
librarians talking to a reader. When my time on-line had expired I went over to
the desk. “Were you talking about old people being taken advantage of?”
“Yes, we were.”
“Then I have a story for you.”
“Oh, dear will it make me cry?”
“I think it may because it made me cry.”
I then told them the story of how my best friend fell into signing a loan
agreement when she had no need of a loan and had not asked for one, but merely
thought she was agreeing to pay her car insurance by monthly bank payments.
We moved on to talk about saving horses and then adopting or being adopted by
cats. I mentioned that my best friend’s cat needs a home. The librarian gave me
her phone number because she has a friend who wants a cat and was thinking of
taking a rescued cat.
I walked home through the beautiful neighbourhood with its mature trees and
shrubs, had lunch, read some of a book about the history of television in
Britain, shopped and then walked down to Canford Cliffs beach because I had been
invited to go by a lifeguard who had told me that they had music there while
they play football.
I was tired and it was time for me to eat, but they did have music. Almost the
only time that I am uncomfortable about dancing in public is when the audience
is active fit young men. Football players running about aren’t the ideal I have
in mind when I dance in public. I can’t help but feel inhibited because I
associate sport with fear and humiliation; and young men with danger.
The lifeguard who invited me waved. He and the rest of those not playing were
sitting in the shade of the cliff, but I was standing nearer the sea in the last
of the evening sunshine. A little later he walked around the pitch to chat with
me. He’s studying to become a paramedic. Another of the lifeguards came over
then two young women arrived and said hello to me. They are also lifeguards. I
told them about some of the things that have happened while dancing and also
about the beach events in Spain. They told me that I should have a facebook page
and that they would all ‘like’ it. (When I did have a facebook page no one
‘liked’ it.) Three of them drifted away and I was left chatting with the very
pretty, very young woman who aked me if I had children, a wife or anyone at all.
“So, you are all on your own?”
Does this mean that she is planning to rob my flat? (After the chat with the
librarians on taking advantage of the elderly what else could motivate someone
to ask me that?) On the other hand perhaps she plans to fix me up with her
granny.
“When you dance along the beach people come up behind you and imitate you, but
they have no sense of rhythm. I particularly like it when you dance around our
flags.”
She told me that in future when I dance on the beach I should call in at the
guard’s hut to say hello. The sun had gone behind the cliff and I was starting
to shiver so I had to leave what had turned into a surprisingly nice interlude.
A few minutes later I was dancing like a beachdancer possessed on the flat
recently uncovered by the falling tide piece of the beach. I was inspired by the
fact that a beautiful young woman had been interested to chat with me and
complement me on my dancing. Oh, the power of a kind word from a beautiful
woman.
Back at the Chine I did my exercises and then kicked sand over the concrete ramp
so that I could dance on it, but I was hungry and felt weak. Nevertheless I
danced a while. A woman who has spoken to me before, one of the team of throw
ball players came over saying, “I have to know what you are listening to today,”
and on that her other team members (all male) came over saying the same thing.
She listened for a while and I asked them to identify who it is. “Oh,” she
squirmed, “that’s, oh who is it?” One of the others listened and his friend said
with a touch of disdain, “You’re not going to know.” They all listened and then
handed the phones back to her. “Is it that bloke from blue?” she suggested
tentatively.
“No,” they responded, but I exclaimed “Yes!” amazed that anyone knows this type
of thing.
“The black guy,” she added.
“Yes, his name is Simon Webbe. I am so impressed that you can identify him.”
One of the guys complimented me for my dancing and I told him that I want to do
a dance event on the beach. He suggested that I come to their competition on the
beach in August (8th & 9th ?). I asked if he wants me to be their team mascot.
They told me that I should wear one of their T-shirts when I dance.

What a social whirl today has been.

 

17 July Thursday
Danced along beach until a girl of maybe 17 years came over to me from a group
standing in the shallow water. She started dancing next to me for a while. I
stopped and asked her if she goes to dance classes. She told me that she used to
practice the routines by some group whose name I have forgotten. She listened to
the headphones for a while and started dancing again a few inches away from me.
I told her and her friends about dance events and they said, “we’ll come,” but I
have heard this before.
Near Shore Road I stopped to drink some water. A woman said something to me. I
removed the headphones. “What?” I asked.
“Don’t stop,” she replied.
“I have to drink…”
“I was just saying that I wanted to dance and then you stopped.”
“Oh, well sometimes I have to stop.”
She told me that I make her happy. (Isn’t that nice?)
She is a physio and we chatted a while about lots of things until I had
out-stayed my welcome.
Back at the chine a woman asked, “What’s the music today?”
I replied, “Simon Webb”
“Never heard of him,” she barked then sat down and ignored me.
18 July Friday
Woke-up at noon. Oh, dear, that’s not a good sign. The exhaustion builds up
until I sleep through most of the day. Went on-line to do some chores, someone
whose face I recognise is now following me on twitter, but I couldn’t remember
who she is. On the way back home I walked past a middle aged couple who were
half smiling at me. I said hello and the woman asked me, “Are you the man who
dances?” We then chatted a while. They told me that a friend of theirs had shown
them a video of me on his phone and that I am intriguing. She told me that I am
incredibly fit and energetic. (She didn’t see me this evening utterly destroyed
by exhaustion) They told me that they will be sending texts telling people that
they have met me.
Went home, had lunch at about 5pm and then headed for the beach where I was so
tired that I went nowhere and could barely jump about. I took lots of breaks
when I just wanted to snuggle up and snooze and then tried to dance some more.
Kept shaking my head at how I felt totally lacking in energy.
A small girl was staring at me when her mother was trying to get her to come
home. I gave a little wave. She jumped about in a dancey sort of way. I did what
she was doing. Her mother smiled. The little girl reached into her beach bucket,
took out a shell and held it out towards me. I nodded. She stood rock solidly
still. I asked if the shell was for me. I walked over and took it. She then
turned and walked away with her mother.

19 July Saturday
My legs ache. Best not to do any more today. Went to library where I contacted
the British Heart Fund about doing a beachdance event on their behalf. They said
‘sounds like fun’ and then suggested that I do it and get the people of
Bournemouth involved. Well ‘duh’, as they used to say. You can get a few people
to throw themselves out of an aeroplane or a few hundred to throw themselves
into a cold sea, but no one is brave enough to dance on the beach.
Had lunch sat down in front of computer to waste a few hours on this stormy dark
day, but the sun came out and I went to the beach.
As I danced along two young teenage girls came down to speak to me. First they
wanted to hear the music, then they asked me if I was a professional dancer and
if I am paid to dance on the beach and then they asked me if I can make them
famous. “Could you give us a shout-out on Twitter?”
A what?  Apparently a ‘shout-out’ is to announce and attract attention to
someone or something of interest. They go to classes of ballet, jazz and
Lyrical. Those happen to be the subjects that the teacher from Pineapple studios
teaches.

The batteries ran out and I could only find one replacement. I think the other
probably fell out when I gave the girls a wrist tag. Frustrating when I have no
music.  (A few days later found the other battery on a chair at home.)
I walked back to the Chine and saw the beach warden who I had met at the Polo
event. (She of the ‘everyone knows you’ reaction when I spoke with her.)
In our long and enjoyable conversation I discovered that the lifeguards and
beach wardens relay by radio the fact that I have returned. “We all know you,
but we don’t see you for months so its news when we spot you again.”
“Ah, that’s because I am dancing in Spain.”
We talked about the Tango, testosterone & tourists, rugby, regulations & then
the little girl from yesterday appeared wearing fairy wings.
Her mother said, “She’s you biggest fan,” which is ironic for such a little
person.
“Did she give me the shell?” I asked to clarify who she was.
Having that confirmed I went over, asked if she would give me her hand and I
twirled her around. She smiled and I waved goodbye to her and returned to the
attractive beach warden who said, “You’ve made her day.”
She told me that all the wardens and lifeguards agreed that they would not be
brave enough to do what I do. (She actually said, ‘didn’t have the balls’, but I
don’t want to offend my readers with such vulgarity.)
“There’s something about expressing the emotions that you display when you dance
that society doesn’t let us do,” she told me, much to my surprise.
She also told me that they had watched me for ages and that one of her
colleagues had decided that he was going to speak to me, but then when I started
dancing again he decided it was best not to intrude. Eventually he had caught me
in a resting moment and had chatted with me. She went on to explain, “He said
that he didn’t know if you would bite his head off, but afterwards he told us
that you were a very nice bloke.”

20 July Sunday
Fairly busy on the beach. Bumped into the radio presenter who interviewed me
last year. He seemed stressed when I began talking to him. I asked if his day
job has been busy since the law relating to it changed and he explained in some
detail that the answer was yes. I told him about being approached by local radio
in Spain and the charity dance events. It happened that I had photos with me,
but he explained that he had to go because his wife was ill.
Back at the Chine I saw a pair of sunglasses that someone had left so I took
them over to the beach office where I spoke with the woman from yesterday, but
she was busy or otherwise not interested in talking so I went back to dancing.
I felt rebuffed, but worse than that my knee started to hurt that evening and
continued into Monday.

21 July Monday
Right leg strapped-up no dancing today. Went on line, replied to two tweets from
girls who had probably seen me in the last few days on the beach. One turns out
to be of the two who asked me, “Can you make us famous?” a day or two ago. It is
hard to know for sure, because neither of the new followers bothered to tweet
anything. I recommend you send something like, “Hey beachdancer we met on the
beach today.”
I sat reading a book lounging in the overcast semi sunshine in the garden until
about 4 o’clock when I decided that I could just walk down to the beach but
definitely NO DANCING.
Did stretches down on the concrete groyne and then walked along the sea shore
definitely NOT dancing, until I started to do just a little bit of semi-dancing.
As I passed Canford Cliff a familiar couple appeared, it was the FANTASTIC,
SMART, BEAUTIFUL Can you make us famous? girls. They told me to describe them as
FANTASTIC, SMART, BEAUTIFUL, so I have done my assigned task for those
FANTASTIC, SMART, BEAUTIFUL girls.
Then turning back somewhere past Canford Cliffs I stopped to do more stretches
and noticed two teenagers nearby saying something like, “Excuse me..” I took off
my headphones and the boy asked “Can we join you doing your yoga?” to which,
naturally I responded, “I don’t know, can you?” (Its that grammer thing, you
know.)
I showed them my ballet style leg extension and knee bend exercise whish is one
of the things I find tough to do and they fell over. We chatted. He used to do
ballet (and football and lots of other things), but has given them up for GCSE
reasons. She doesn’t dance, no not at all, but says she bounces her head from
side to side. She called her friends and I was suddenly surrounded by 15 year
olds. One of whom does ballet and then later admitted to also do tap. She
happens to be a potentially stunning looking platinum blonde who, if she goes
into any form of entertainment could be a star. I gave the boy the web address.
When they finally got bored with me they left and the boy said, “You have
inspired me to take-up dance again.”

Back at the Chine I was wondering if I had done too much and then went ahead to
make sure of it. While dancing three youths came over to dance or perhaps to
make fun of me. After a few moments I stopped and told one of them that what he
was doing was interesting and would he show me how to do it. It was a very fast
footwork action with little else, but hard to understand because of the speed.
Standing with feet apart one leg moves behind the other in the air and then some
kind of jump and then the other leg moves behind. Very repetitive, but I wanted
to know how. He showed me slowly. “That would take a lot of practice,” I said.
“It took me ages to get it,” he said.
His friend said something like, “That’s fucking ace.”
I couldn’t do it.
“We’ll come back for a dance sometime.”

The couple who are promoting handball (a football like game, but without the
kicking) were packing away their goals and other kit. I went over to talk to
them. She said, “Those lads had come over to make fun of you, but you handled it
very well. Do you get a lot of that?”
I suppose that I do. Boys often start out by making fun, but because I am
seriously interested in dance and in encouraging others to dance, they usually
change their attitude when I speak to them. It isn’t me ‘handling them’; it
isn’t a trick; it is that I want them to enjoy dancing.
As I chatted to the handball couple, three male youngsters on bikes stopped and
greeted the guy very loudly. Clearly they knew him. This distracted him from
answering or even noticing that I had asked him about his team. Then suddenly
something that I said caused one of the youngsters to shout out, “You dance!”
“Yes, I dance.”
“He dances, he’s SWEET.”
To an old man like me it is very odd having a young fellow call me ‘sweet’. I am
guessing this is youth-speak.
The other two then started imploring me, “Show us some dance steps, go on show
us.”
I made excuses about having finished which was true, but I also don’t much like
performing to these requests. The first lad then blurted out, “He stands on a
man and dances…” which was a slip of the tongue which caused even greater
interest. “What? You stand on a man?”
I gave them the web address so that they could see for themselves that I don’t
actually stand on a man and dance.
I was just saying that it is odd being famous because strangers…
“Do what I am going to do,” a man’s voice said to my side. “I have seen you
dance here in that fantastic, impressive, stylish way and I just had to say
hello. I am born and bread local and….. I speak non stop like a storm gate
opened with the sea surging in… “(He didn’t actually say that last bit, but it
would have been true if he had.) Over the next 10 mins or so he told me his life
story, admitedly in abreviated form. He then apologised for speaking too much
and headed for his daily swim. Oh, and during his monologue he hugged me.

At which point a beautiful and elegant blonde woman accompanied by two exquisite
small girls approached to ask me the very familiar question, “What music do you
listen to and is it Michael Jackson?” I let them listen and we chatted for a
very very long time until they were probably desperate to leave. One of the
girls does ballet and jazz and tap the other does modern street which seems to
imply that there must be a classical street. Turns out that mom knows Javea in
Spain and has been going there about as long as I have and knows the name of the
beach where I dance. The girls aren’t just pretty and well spoken, they are
obviously smart. I say this not simply because one of them told me that I am a
good dancer.

Today was a very nice day, especially taking into account that I was definitely
not going to dance.
22 July Tuesday
No, seriously, NO DANCING today. My knee still hurts and I should rest it. In
addition the day was killer humid and I didn’t much like even sitting outside in
the shade. Much more comfortable indoors. I read a while then went to the
library where I discovered that Bournemouth Libraries have banned my blog.
(So I was banned twice from Twitter, still banned from Facebook and now
Bournemouth Library)
I asked their technical department why and was told that most blogs are banned
because they ‘could’ contain pornography or racism. This seems excessive banning
several million websites on the possibility of being offensive. They looked at
mine and un-banned it.
After about 6pm the air seemed cool enough to go to the beach BUT NOT to dance.
I only did two songs worth of dancing because I really do want to rest my knee,
but also because the talkative chappy from yesterday came over, greeted me by
name, shook my hand and filled in some of the detail about his life that he had
not had time to tell me yesterday. It was getting dark by the time he decided to
stop talking and start swimming. (My knees thank him for preventing excessive
dancing.)
A fire engine with lights flashing came down to the beach and drove along the
promenade. My guess is that a beach hut was on fire.

23 Wednesday
Leg strapped-up no dancing.

24 July Thursday
On-line saw someone’s video of me with a comment by some passerby; “Prize twat
of the first magnitude.” I was so touched, because I had only hoped to be a twat
of the third magnitude.

Went to beach late due to steamy hot weather. Walked along the beach. A woman
did a few dance moves and asked, “Where have you been?” I explained that my knee
hurts and its hot. I then told her about the above Prize.
Later, practiced a few moves and started to walk back. Had to go pee and when I
came out a guy said, “We have enjoyed watching you dance over the years…” We
chatted for a while.
Back at the sea front two mature women started talking to me. We chatted a long
while. One did classical ballet and the other reminisced about discoing in the
70s and 80s. She said that she did a sketch of me. They said we should have a
dance club and that what I do is a social service. I was too cautious to enquire
what kind of service I provide. She also advised me to build up the muscles in
my arms. (In a fair fight I think she would win.)
Back at the chine I was now feeling less heat stressed and more energetic so I
put some effort. Videoed as usual and watched by persons whose thoughts were
kept to themselves. One small group of children spent a lot of time giggling and
waiting to video me while hiding that they were waiting to video me.
A little later while I was dancing one of their number came over and danced
nearby. Some of the others also tried but ran away when I noticed them. The girl
moved well and did a good pirouette. I took off the headphones and congratulated
her. She got spooked. I handed her a wrist band which she took back at speed to
her friends. My thought was that they were laughing at me and my silly wrist
band.
They returned en-mass and when I spoke to them one of them said, “You dance
great.” On asking me something I explained how everyone knows me, that I have
been interviewed on radio etc. They seemed unimpressed by that but, commented
that I was very brave. Then when I had sat down they came running back to ask
for an autograph.

25 July Friday
Overcast and in the early evening heavy rain so no dance on the beach, but after
dinner I went to the terraces outside Pavilion Dance studio because there was a
Bollywood open air dance class. I had missed more than half of it by the time I
arrived. I looked inside reception at the various advertising and I picked up a
leaflet entitled ‘Dancing terraces’ which had a picture of a class doing
bollywood. I thought that the man in the centre of the picture looked very
familiar. It was me.

Bumped into the talkative man from Branksome Chine. His grandson who is 5 years
old was performing in a street dance event.
For some reason that I can barely figure out I didn’t join-in the class. I just
watched and tried to understand the moves. It wasn’t very inspiring, but a few
bits I would like to know how to do.
There is something about dance classes, especially these open entry classes,
that doesn’t appeal to me. There is the feeling awkward because I don’t think I am doing the steps very well and then there is the forgetting of everything because you do something new that displaces what you have just done. I want to do it well, but a lesson probably needs to be 15 to 30 minutes of monotonous repetition followed by a long break in wich you don’t dance.
At the peak there were 40 persons dancing including maybe 8 males, but only about 80 watching. I assume the reason why they have 40 whereas my events in Spain only had 25 is that Bournemouth is a bigger town and there were thousands of people out and around.

It over-ran and finished at 9.30 which gave just 30 minutes before the
fireworks. I walked down to the seashore next to the pier and did some stretching exercises. A young woman joined me, asked what these exercises are called and then attempted to do them with me. She could do a sideways splits which impressed me. She left and I began dancing in the dark, illuminated by the
street lamps and glow from the buildings. Two teenage boys joined me doing some
very modern disco stuff. Then a few children danced. A young woman ran down to
dance with me while her friend videoed. She went away and then some minutes
later when I changed dance style she returned for more video. When I stopped two
groups of young men were shouting for me to continue, but it was nearly time for
the fireworks so I had finished.
“Oh, go on, we want to see you dance some more.”
A girl of about 17 said to me, “You’re a great dancer.”
“Oh, thank you,” I replied emotionally.
“You have inspired me,” she added.
“Do you dance?” I asked.
“Only in my bedroom.”
“I dance there too, but also in public.” I motioned with my hand as I looked
along the pier, over the crowd on the beach and across the promenade where there
were probably 2,000 people in total, maybe more.

After the fireworks I was called over to a small group of two young men and a
woman. (Probably in their twenties.) One of the guys offered me some alcoholic
drink mixed in a Fanta bottle and the other offered me what I think was a
spliff. “No, thank you.” They were Italian and complimentary. They asked me to
dance more, but I told them it was time for me to go home. They told me that I
was a ‘big man’, but they realised that this probably wasn’t the right English
word and I don’t know what they meant.
26 July Saturday

Steamy. Reading a book about the Arab Spring written by a BBC journalist. Then at 4.30pm went to beach. Oh, my legs ache. Stretched for longer than normal and danced less than normal. Waves from one or two people on the beach. Then two adolescents came running over and started dancing with me. After a short while I took off the headphones and congratulated them. “For dancing with me you both get a prize.”
The girl’s eyes widened, “A prize? I like prizes.”
I struggled with my shoulder bag because I have recently repaired it by taping a new lining inside and this has not been a complete success. Eventually I retrieved the box that had the wrist bands. They seemed pleased. He said something complimentary about my dancing, but I can’t remember his words. At which time a man approached from another direction to speak to me.

“I teach media studies and you have inspired one of my students to make a music video, could I take a selfie with you?”

The idea that I have inspired someone to do something creative delights me. I gave him a wrist band also, but pointed out that he doesn’t really deserve it because he hasn’t danced. We chatted for some time about dance, video and people’s reactions. He told me he would get me a copy of the video and give the photo to his student.

This raised my dance to another level for the next ten minutes or so until I was worn out. I was so tired and achey that back at the Chine I only did one song and was very conscious of the smell of barbeque as the weakness from hunger stopped the dance and I walked home.

Back home in the evening TV is playing 50 R’n’B tracks each too dance-calling for my poor wrecked body.

27 July Sunday
No idea what happened.
28 July Monday

Danced on beach. A group of about 10 teenage boys came over to jump around with me. I took off the headphones and they asked if I could teach them to dance and how do you become such a good dancer. I showed them my favorite Bob Fosse step which I realised later I had taught them wrong. I told them that the ones who had danced would get a prize. When I gave them their ‘I danced with the beachdancer’ wrist-band, one of them said, “That’s sick.”

“That’s sick,” from the tone of voice appears to be a youth compliment, but I could be wrong.
They then decided to have a dance-off in which two of them compete and I was to judge who had won. Their enthusiasm made up for their lack of dance skills. One was willing to make a fool of himself and the other risked breaking his neck with some gymnastics. When they finished I should have declared a drawer, but I awarded the win to the one who did some big dance move-poses.

They shook my hand and left.

At Branksome chine some very young children asked me to teach them something so I showed them how to turn in a slide-slip kind of way. I think I did it wrong.

 

29 July Tuesday
I think something happened, but I can’t remember the day at all.
30 July Wednesday

Went to Bournemouth gardens because I had read there would be a Samba band at the bandstand, but there wasn’t so I went to the pier to see if there was anything happening and there was. The Bluejays were playing on a very large stage in what used to be a car park and prior to that a swimming pool. They play 1950s rock n roll Billey Hailey, Buddy Holly, Elvis etc. Not my favorite era at all, but they were good and the area in front of the stage was at times filled with 70+ year olds dancing like teenagers. (Well, like teenagers with athritis). There was one woman who was in huge demand as a partner. It seemed that husbands were ignoring their wives in order to take turns dancing with her, and if I knew the steps I might have asked her to dance too.

I felt out of place, but after some younger persons began dancing in a modern style I could resist no longer and started jumping about. I suspect this was not welcome amongst the old rockers and bizarely a small boy seemed to be very annoyed by my dancing; he gave me a foul look and threw his arms around like he was trying to sweep my away.

When the music had finished two young woman who were walking past me said, “Nice dancing.”
“Oh, thank you,” I replied with relief that no one was saying that I had spoiled things. “I felt a bit out of place because I don’t know this style of dance.”
One of the women reacted with surprise, “No, we came over and got interested because we saw you dance.”

The musicians had gone off, changed into modern beach casual and were putting away their instruments. The speakers were playing modern music and I was lightly stepping around for a while, before walking away. Some minutes later a dark skinned mature adult walked up to me. “Nice dancing,” he said while offering me his hand. “My son said, Dad look at the guy in the hat.”

Back in the gardens there were lots of people walking or sitting. It was candle night where hundres of candles in bottles in various designs are lit around the gardens. I started to do my stretching exercises and after beanding over backwards a young woman said, “Do that again.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Oh, go on, just do it,” she instructed while signalling to her friends.
As I leaned over she made quiet noises reminiscent of hip-hop or rap music. She told me that her friend is organising some kind of dance event and that I should take part. She left as her friend arrived. A beautiful young black skinned woman who probably had no interest in my taking part in anything, but based on what her friend had said I was interested. I still don’t really know who she is or what the event is, but it is connected with Pavilion Dance. We chatted at cross purposes for a little while. I gave her my web details in case she wants to contact me, but I assume that she does not.

Then I heard a drum being played by a man seated on the other side of the stream which attracted me toward the rhythm until I danced to the beats.
31 July Thursday
Went to pier again where the Robbie McIntoch band was playing. Not my favorite kind of music. I wanted to stay away from the speakers to protect my ears and so I went up the stairs at the side of the fly-over which lead to a balcony area at the side of the stage with a nice view of the sea and hills & looks down on the audience. I noticed that the glamorous and popular dance partner of yesterday was seated near the stage again today. She looked at me briefly. Today she was not dancing.

I stretched on the balustrade and danced around a little bit, but the flooring is very high friction. A couple of youngsters came running up the stairs to dance with me, but the music stopped as they arrived and they went away again.

Later I went down to the back of the very small audience, far smaller than yesterday. I started dancing. A young olive skinned woman in her twneties came over to me, “Nice dancing,” she said.
“Would you like to join me?” I asked.
“Yes, I would.”
We danced side by side, not really dancing together for the next song. I looked behind me and five others had lined up behind us dancing.
She turned to me to say, “We are attracting a crowd, its infectious.”
“I hope that the next song is a bit slower, ” I said and she said, “I hope so too.”
“Were you here last night with the rock n roll? There were lots of old couples dancing.”
“Oh, I wish I had been. I am on my way to Portugal from London.”
The next song was very very fast and I went wild.
That was the final song. A young man came over to talk to her, to say goodbye and then he shook my hand saying, “Good dancing, have a nice night.”

A middle aged woman walking hand in hand with a small girl approached. “We enjoyed watching you dance.”
“Oh, thank you.” I looked at the girl and asked, “Did you dance?”
“No,” she replied and the woman said, “But she enjoyed watching you dance.”

When they left the young woman told me, “If you ever come to London I would like to hear from you because it’s nice to know someone who would like to go dancing.”

As she didn’t tell me any way of contacting her, I have to assume that London has become much smaller and cosier since I lived there.

I told her a bit about dancing and that someone tagged my video on youtube as ‘Prize twat of the first magnitude’ when I was only expecting to be awarded third magnitude.

She said, “Why do people make fun of you, is it just because you enjoy life?”

I gave her a wristband and then said goodbye, but we bumped into each other a little later and I thought we were both going to accuse the other of stalking.
Tomorrow it is a jive band. Do I want to go? It is also fireworks night and 7-9 is salsa. What shall I do?

 

 

1 June 2014

At last, a bit of sunshine sufficiently attractive to dance on the beach. My first time dancing at Branksome Chine since returning to England a few days ago.

Adjusting to English sand after months of dancing on the tiled promenade of Arenal Beach Javea in Spain was difficult. I stumbled a few times as my feet caught in the sand when they would have slid over the flat tiled surface.

A girl in neoprene splashing in the surf gave me a thumbs up and then shouted, “Good dancing.” I awkwardly bowed to her – I am having trouble with my balance in the sand.

When I came back to the Chine I danced for a while on the sand covered concrete, before being approached by one of the lifeguards who has recently returned from Australia. “We were talking about not seeing you around, but now that you are here we know that summer has started,” he told me.

I told him about dancing in Spain for charity and that we should do a beach dance here on behalf of RNLI (the lifeguard and lifeboat service).

We talked a while, he told me that seeing me makes them happy, and I mentioned my two favourite insults. In his reaction about how some people are never happy, he explained that one holiday maker came over to the lifeguards, and pointing to the beach, complained about the poor quality of the sand.

 

2 June 2014
Poor weather, poor me.

Trying to use a Blackberry (phone) using wi-fi. Sometimes it works and sometimes it says that there is no SIMM (which is irrelevant, but apparently the Blackberry disagrees)

 

3 June 2014
A sunny spell let me dance on beach, but I felt weak and clumsy in the sand. After dancing on the concrete which ripped off the sole of one shoe I was approached by another lifeguard. “I heard that the dancing man was back,” he said. He told me how he had seen children over the years who started by making fun of me and then had copied me and finally had danced in one of my impromptu dance classes. I told him about doing a fund raiser for RNLI.

After talking with him a car door opened and a woman said something to me that I couldn’t hear. On repeating I recognised what she was asking. “Are you a dancer?”
“I dance,” I replied, “if that qualifies.”
“Did you study ballet?”
“No.”
“Ah, so just modern dance,” she deduced. We chatted for sometime about dancing and her passion for it although her health prevents her partaking.
4 June 2014
Overcast with showers and a bit cooler.

5 June2014
Nicer day. Shopped and used the supermarket wifi to check my google+ page where there is a new dance video which I watched three times. Went to beach mid afternoon. Strapped my left knee and danced along the beach. Turned to find some 6 or so youngsters who had run down to dance with me just as the music stopped. One of the boys said, “He just wiggles his arse,” which, although partly true, I like to think that it somewhat underestimates my choreography. The two girls were more complimentary.

This weekend there are all-day dance events down at the pier at Bournemouth, outside my favourite dance studio. I hope that my knees survive.

 

6 June 2014

Day started with the end of overnight storms. Went down to pier and was surprised to be invited to join a dance class. I had believed that today was all exhibitions by dancers.

There were two instructors and they almost outnumbered the participants. I was, the first to line up and for most of the time the only male and perhaps the only adult. The steps had my knees begging to stop within a short time, but what usually makes me walk away is being asked to do one step that I have not yet mastered and then another which I can barely understand leading to a third that I keep getting wrong. What I enjoy is mastering one bit so that it enters my subconscious and I no longer have to think about it, and only after that going on to another step. My way would be extremely boring, but I would remember what I learnt. The pretty young dance instructor kept begging me to come back, which I did, and at the end she came over to me to dance with me ‘freestyle’. I would have liked to have done what I supposedly just learnt, but however much I would have liked to have learnt the steps, of course I had not learnt anything.

We chatted briefly about dancing, she invited me to her class in London at http://www.uchennadance.com and gave me her email ino@uchannadance.com and I gave her my blog and twitter address.

I bumped into ‘Frenchie’ who danced with me at the beach last year and who had his class of children on display doing a street dance routine.

I spoke with the manager at Pavilion Dance about my charity dance events in Spain and the desire to do something here. He said that Bournemouth Council are not keen on allowing events on the beach and that Pavilion have already booked their next summer events.

I watched the youngsters (from 5 to maybe 35) spinning on their heads and windmilling like mad. I noticed that when they do their piece that the others show no support, give no praise, and don’t even move to the beat of the music. (In fact much of the acrobatics is out of time with the music.) There is camaraderie when they meet, but nothing during the ‘dancing’. It is more like a competition where good performance by the other is saddening rather than something to celebrate. What they do is impressive, but although I would like to be able to do it, I don’t want to do it.

Small boys want to do it because it is big, jumpy, exciting and show-offy, but little girls and their grandmothers prefer what I do – They’ve told me so.

One woman asked me how many years I have been dancing (perhaps a polite way to ask how old I am – By the way the dance instructor did ask me, after spending the whole session calling me ‘sir’) I replied to the first by telling her my age and to the second saying that the years must add up to a lot. She said something nice about my dancing and I countered that by pointing-out that I can’t do what these youngsters do.

Her reply was, “I prefer what you do…. it’s the classical training.”

I love that.

A young woman who was walking past me as I stopped dancing, said, “You should never stop.”
I looked at her and explained, “If I don’t I will simply collapse.”
She smiled as she added, “You’re making a lot of people happy.”

Isn’t that nice?

Meanwhile, when I dance next to so many teenagers and persons in their twenties who are doing things I could never do, I always feel that they are on the edge of bursting out in laughter at the old old man doing such odd things that only have the slimmest connection with their style.

Although, Frenchie had said something to me like, “I saw you earlier really grooving.” (Do people say ‘grooving’ or have I dragged that out of the past?) Not only that, but the dance instructor, when we were chatting about dance asked me if I gave lessons. (or did I imagine that she asked that?)

My brother arrived in the afternoon when I was fading after dancing for a few hours. Oh, that reminds me, these youngsters don’t dance anywhere near as much as I do. They tend to do a short sprint of moves and acrobatics and then they sit still, looking bored, while the others take their turns. By contrast I just keep going on and on and on and on……..   and on.

Walking the 2 miles or so home along the beach I was feeling worn down and at home I sat catatonic for some time before writing this diary and making dinner.

Tomorrow lots of open air classes down at Pavilion Dance. I hope I will be mobile.

Oh, my aching feet, my poor battered knees, and for some reason my arms ache too.

 

8 June Sunday

Very unenergetic this morning. No physical desire to go to the dance classes. After lunch and a lot of lying about doing nothing I woke up and walked down to the beach to dance. Glorious day with a lot of holiday makers on the beach. Some kids ran behind me and then ran away each time I span around.

Had enough energy to dance reasonably energetically, but I noticed that some moves, that I used to do, were not forthcoming.

A guy came over to tell me that he admired what I am doing, but what is it?, what is it called? and where do you learn it?. I explained that it is just what I do, I don’t copy anyone or anything, it is just what I do. He was very interested and asked a lot of cerebral questions to which I had no answer. We parted and then not a lot later he returned to clarify some points. (Perhaps he is planning a thesis ‘On avant-garde dance and the pursuit of happiness on the beaches of modern Europe’.)

He was puzzled by my comment that my mind is blank when I dance, because he felt this conflicts with having an emotional response to the music. Having clarified this point he left and then returned again with some more questions while apologising for his lack of questions. “Normally I would have more questions,” he assured me.

He also told me that I look a lot younger when dancing and seen from a distance.
Ah, so very true: I am best seen from a distance.
9 June Monday

Mixed day, lots of sky changes, some sunshine. Watched Sonya Neks in her studio in Moscow and out in a park dancing with some 10 or so girl dancers. I do like her work. Made me want to dance. Went to beach and danced. Greeted by the DJ who interviewed me on HotRadio last year. The beach was otherwise almost deserted. Watched Sonya again, trying to see what she is doing. How does my dancing compare? (I have no idea, but I like watching her.) I left a comment about her work for her. Also received a video link from a Japanese dancer to whom I gave a comment a few days ago. The previous video caught my attention because he used his hands to tell the story of the song, but the latest video is just body popping-street-slowmo. It doesn’t do anything for me although he is good at it. I danced back along the street as I came home.

Oh, chores to do, need to go to the bank, do shopping, do a tax return and lots of other stuff that I can’t be bothered with when I want to get dancers together and jump around to music.
10 June Tuesday, 11th Wednesday 12 Thursday

I didn’t know it was Thursday today. The days have been a blur. I danced today and I am wrecked. I danced yesterday and I suppose I danced Tuesday, but have no recollection of that day. Who stole my week?

Today was glorious weather with a clear blue sky so unusual here in England and so remembered as normal back in Spain. Have been watching Sonya Neks (Moscow dance teacher) with her ‘High Heels’ corps of young woman dancing AGAIN.

13 Friday – no recollection. Saturday – a blank. Sunday Danced, waves from group sitting at a beach hut. Later dined with a friend, tried to understand the mystery of an ipad that wouldn’t use wifi and used a laptop to watch dance videos on-line until the battery died, which ran out of energy far sooner than I do when dancing. Google have sent me an email telling me that I can have a personalised web address for my google+ page. That would be good, but every time I click on their ‘Get address’ button I see ‘Ooops, something went wrong’.

16 June Monday
Beautiful clear sky, quick shop and then to beach. Dance passed Canford Cliffs, big wave from group far away on beach. Videod as usual and then in the middle of dancing and floating, a familiar face asking me what my favourite type of music is to dance to. “I don’t know.”
“What music do you usually listen to?”
“If you look on the blog there is a list,” I snap back as my delightfully empty mind is being pulled back into conversation over my trivial pursuits; it doesn’t matter what I prefer to dance to, I am of no importance in the great universe.

What I like shouldn’t be what you want to find out; decide what you like instead.

If you see someone happily dancing on the beach, if you like watching, even if you admire the skill or the bravery don’t imagine that the person you see is worthy of deep study. He is just a person who likes to dance.

When I returned to Branksome Chine, my interlocutor had followed me back and he was now sitting watching as I did my ‘encore’. A mother with a small child began dancing nearby and so when I had finished I went over to them and gave her one of my small ‘I danced with the Beachdancer’ wrist bands. I chatted with her for a short while and then left, giving a wave to the seated, but now silent inquisitor.
19 June Thursday

Woke up frightened of things; damn it! sleeping should be banned. Sure that the computer had told me late last night that it was Saturday. Damn computers, they should be banned. Decided to change the extractor fan in the bathroom because it has been noisy and continually going on strike. Measured the old one in metric and found that the hardware store sells them in imperial; but guys Britain went metric more than 30 years ago, didn’t you notice? The old one had screw holes 14 cms apart and the new one is only 14 cms wide so it isn’t going to be that easy.

There are only two wires to connect in the extractor, but the cable in the wall has 4 wires. Do I try randomly? Not a good idea. I tested the brown wire to see if it is live (using a test screwdriver that I have just bought) and it was live so I connected that and the blue wire: nothing. I changed the blue wire for the black one and miracles it worked and worked and worked – even when switched off. Does it have a delay timer keeping it on? No it does not. So I retested the wires and found another live wire. I also looked at the old extractor which had three connections L,SL, N . I guessed that SL stands for ‘switched live’ and so I swapped the brown live wire for the other live and now it worked, didn’t work, worked, didn’t – just like it should when the light is on, off, on, off. (I feel so proud.)

Worn out from the stress of that I had lunch and then headed to the beach where I wore out my body to the same extent. Returning home I barely had the energy to cook dinner.

Was videoed a few times at beach including by two teenage girls who followed me along the beach. A wave here and there, one woman applauded slowly (probably because her arm was bandaged. I can only guess that she may have been a victim of peer pressure, tortured for applauding madmen on the beach.)

I waved back at a lifeguard, but then looked behind me in case he was actually waving at someone else. As I turned back he pointed to me and laughed. Did that mean, “Yes, I was waving at you,” or, “No, not you, fool!”

Lifeguards should be banned.

A warm sunny cloudy day reminiscent of May in Spain.

Watching an advert for guide dogs for the blind, I imagine the same video, but with a voice over by a dog saying, “I became a guide dog for the blind, it’s my way of giving-back for crapping on a beach and blinding a child.”

Would that work?
20 June Friday, Saturday and 22 Sunday

On Friday I woke up at 4am; not the bleary-eyed, go back to sleep kind, but the bright awake, jump out of bed kind. So I did just that, then did housework, then some accountancy and then went to the supermarket at a time when there are boxes of goods everywhere being put on shelves. Back and it was till fairly early so went to Canford Cliffs library to return a book and use the internet. The system there wouldn’t let me view the ONS statistics for rpi so I downloaded them to look at later. Did a tiny bit of dance walking back along the beach and came home for lunch. My belly started hurting and distending. I think I may have eaten a small amount of rotten chicken. Went to bed because I felt uncomfortable and woke up again at 10pm. Finally went back to bed at nearly 2am which would have been a 22 hour day if I had not fallen asleep during the day.

21 June Saturday
Feel okay again. Danced without much passion or sense of fulfilment.

22 June Sunday

Received tweet from a dance school troupe saying that they would be interested in dancing at a beach dance charity event if it is a good cause.

Danced on beach, was applauded and videoed as usual. Back at Chine doing my encore, a young man with lager can in hand danced at my side for a while.  I continued to dance after he had gone back to sit with his friends and then, a little later, I went over to give him an ‘I danced with the beachdancer’ award. He invited me to sit with them for a while. We chatted about various trivia.
One of the attractive young women said, “I didn’t think you would be able to put two words together.”
I didn’t respond.
“The way you move, you know? You’re surprisingly, er well spoken.”
Her friend added, “Posh.”
“Yeah, posh.”
The friend who is a pretty 24 year old with a text about love and being broken hearted tattooed between her bikini asked me, “Do you know that you are on facebook?”
“How do you know he’s on facebook?” the other girl asked.
“I looked,” she explained and then to me she said, “You’re an item.”

I explained that I have been banned from facebook for not being a real person and one of the younger members of the group said that her surname which is also a normal English word caused her to be banned too.

I explained about charity dance events and he said he would come. They offered to share their barbeque with me and also offered me a spliff. I thanked them but declined both.

I felt strangely comfortable with these young adults who while offering me illegal drugs were concerned about lighting their barbeque because it isn’t permitted on the beach.

Having well out-stayed my welcome I returned to my stage and danced a couple of songs more before returning home for dinner.
23 June Monday

Always a surprise to see the beach almost empty again after being crowded the day before. I didn’t have much passion in my dance when I reached Canford Cliffs, but got some extra ‘oomph’ back at the Chine.

As I danced a shaven headed young man with his ears full of music came running over to me with his fist extended. We touched fists and he shouted, “Respect!”, did a couple of big dance movements and ran off.

In a break while I was trying to watch a video explaining the choreography to Jason Durulo’s ‘wiggle’ a mature lady came over.
“Can I just tell you that your dance is very good?”
To which my thought was, “I don’t know; Can you?” but to which I replied, “Oh, thank you very much.”
She asked if I am a dance teacher and then told me a little (actually a lot) about herself and then about her delightful, happy, adult son of whom she demonstrated considerable pride. As she explained his occupation, his sunny disposition, the fact that at 35 he lives with his mother I started to think, “Oh, my god, is she trying to set me up with her son?”

 

30 June Monday
Oooh, a week gone and no entry in my diary. Tried to update my blog, but the library where I use the computer wouldn’t allow me to. (Their computer said that the website ‘certificate’ wasn’t correct and that for security I wasn’t allowed to sign-in to that website.)

I received marketing leaflet from a bank saying that they would pay me interest and switch over all payments from existing bank. So I went on-line and was told to read three files of terms, then instead of letting me do it on line the website told me to phone, so when I phoned I was put through two annoying and seemingly endless processes, the first was security and the second was various government warnings and repetitions of all the terms that I had already read and noted. Then when that 20 mins was completed they asked me for my debit card number for my existing bank account. “I don’t have a debit card,” I replied.

So that was the end of that.

Twenty minutes of my life sucked down the phone utterly pointlessly because of all the crap the bank has to check and warn me about before finding out if the action is possible.

With so much security and consumer protection will anyone be bothered to ever DO anything?

I danced maybe four days out of the last seven, which isn’t very many. Maybe I am loosing interest, getting old, getting bored? Perhaps I have been spoiled with all the charity dance events in Spain and the radio interview (and police raids?) so that just dancing on the beach is a touch dull?

Today some young woman walked down about 150 metres to video me, laugh and then burst into dance, but without responding directly to me.

Oh, I remember we had some rain which is one day when I had that reason for not dancing.

In Spain my new windows were not delivered when due and are now some 3 or 4 weeks late, but that gave time for much of the woodwork to have poison slopped all over it to try to kill the beetles inside, or at least give them a bad headache.

I watched a music video (hip-hop/rap) and figured out one of the steps which I have been throwing into my improv on the beach.

Today danced from about 4pm to about 5pm and I felt wrecked at the end.

So, June is over. I have been in UK 1 month and feel like I have never been anywhere else. Spain and all those activities could just have been a dream.

May 1 Dia del trabajador o algo asi Jueves

A holiday. Had to stay indoors for the morning because the double glazing man came to measure. Very old world and subject to error because he sketches and scribbles measurements on the back of his printed computer generated estimate. One error was to believe that he had measured a door as being just 1.5 metres high, which was actually a window. At the end I asked him for a printed version which I could sign and agree. “Hombre eso es mucho trabajo” (Fella that’s a lot of work). So he has no intention of re-printing the estimate with the exact dimension or details of which way the windows are to open. Nor does he have contracts to sign. I ask how he wants to be paid and he goes on endlessly about NOT wanting cash. NOT that I was going to offer him cash, but this is Spain and so he assumes that I have ‘black money’ (cash that has not been taxed) and that I want to use it. Obviously I don’t. I want to know if he would accept a cheque or if he would insist on a direct bank transfer, “Hombre me questa mucho cobrar talon” (Hey, man it costs me a lot to cash a cheque)

But he wants me to go to his shop tomorrow for something or other and I am too lazy to do that so I sit him down, get him to write on the original, but wrong, estimate that he has received a cheque as a first payment & I gave him a cheque for 3,000euros. I have to hope that his scribble ends up producing the right size and type of windows. (I am not fully confident on this point as his estimate had windows 10cm smaller than the measurement I had given to him which he had scribbled in his great book of scribbles.)

As a comparison the boiler maintenance man puts all data into his smartphone connected to the company’s computers. His measuring equipment connect without wires to a portable printer to give me a copy.

Lunched and went to beach. No chance of going on line due to holiday. Picked-up billboard and danced. Fairly busy. Spoke to a couple, explained dances and when I explained who was involved she said, “and everyone knows who you are.” Spoke to two other women and as I started to explain she said, “I know I saw it on facebook.” I asked where and she said ‘Javea connect’ or something like that.

Then I had to endure the bitter contempt of a Dutch woman who not only hates seeing me dance when she is eating, but who asked me repeatedly, “Do you know that everyone thinks that you are stupid, that you are sick in the head and that you are pathetic.” I assume that she was making such an effort out of her sense of public duty to protect idiot mentally ill persons such as myself from doing self-harm. After enduring this for a while I decided not to invite her to the charity dance event and instead I simply said, “Go away,” and I returned to dancing without being able to hear her departing comments.

I am not thick skinned. Everything anyone says to me affects me, but fortunately this kind of rudeness is rare. For each unpleasant comment there are 100 nice ones.

A Spanish speaker of about 25 was videoing me, I danced over to him and began to describe the events. He asked if I minded being videoed and he excused this intrusion by saying that he had to video me because I was ‘autentico’ (authentic). I have no idea what being ‘authentic’ implies, but his smiles and his grabbing of my hand seemed to be enthusiastically friendly (actually it seemed fanatical).

I ran out of leaflets for the Nostro event exactly as I predicted. Still have some for the other event.

I approached a group of guys seated near Peca2. Their immediate reaction was mildly hostile. As I usually do I started in Spanish, but then asked if they speak Spanish. One said no, another asked if I spoke Japanese and then spoke to me in what I assume was Japanese. I apologised in Spanish saying that I can’t. Then asked if anyone speaks Spanish or English. One of them took pity on me and replied in Spanish. When I explained they seemed to change attitude and became mildly interested. One put his arm around my shoulder and said, “At first we thought you were mad.”    I explained that if they search on youtube for ‘loco de Javea’ they will find me.

There was a table full of dinners watching me. I walked into the restaurant and held out two flyers. They struggled to grab them from me. I left.

I walked over to a table of 3 at Peca2. They looked nervous. I started by telling them to relax because I am not asking for money. I explained and asked if they wanted the flyers. They took them. I asked them to tell others and to follow on twitter.

In general I only give leaflets to persons I have first spoken to and who seem to want the leaflets. But how many will come? 1% 10% 20%? Very small numbers.

Heard some teenagers whispering as I walked past them something like, “Its the dancer.” So I spoke to them and invited them. Saw a girl do some kind of small dance routine so I gave her a leaflet.
2 May Viernes

Spent two hours on-line which cost just over 4euros. Designed and Printed out what will be wearable banners of @PlayaDance. Asked the owner of the ‘cyber’ if he would put the artwork for one of our posters on all the computer screens as wallpaper. He said yes. I wonder if he will. [He never did] Sent ideas for on-the-day DJ announcements and a draft for after-the-event publicity. (The last event got publicity after the event but with distorted information and nothing useful. So I plan it ahead of time.
I tracked down all the Spanish language regional newspapers and sent them a Spanish language description of what I am doing. Can’t mention charities or radio or restaurants because that would need approval of each which would take weeks. Don’t expect much to come of that.
Checked twitter and sent some messages including a corrected date and time for my interview on TotalFM. (They are considering my idea of a joint promotional flag, but if they do it probably be too late for event.)

Picked up billboard and chatted to manager of cafe for  a while about how many customers he wants to see in the place to make an event seem worthwhile and what response he gets from handing out leaflets. [When offering a special discount, and the marketing is done by chatting with people while giving discount cards he had 70% of the cards being presented in the cafe. I found this astonishing, but I didn’t ask what the offer had been – perhaps it was irresistible.]  I told him what I have been doing and the response I have had.  It occurs to me that as 2 persons have said that they already knew about the events and I have spoken to about 200 persons, that this is a very rough indication that 1% are aware

Went dancing/ Lots of people from Madrid, here for ‘el puente’. I am convinced that the posters I have been given are nearly useless. They just help me to identify persons who are vaguely curious or interested.

I was chatting in Spanish with a French woman. I told her about the insults of yesterday. She said, “People who say such things are usually very unhappy.” The she told me, “You are a happy person.”

Oh, reminds me that yesterday I was talking in English with two women, one of whom asked me about my dance history. I said that I have only recently been dancing like this in public, to which she added, “Compared to dancing on stage.”

Spoke to, I don’t know how many persons, but gave out 12 leaflets.

I have invited staff in my local supermarket. One young man there seemed excited and thanked me. He said that he and his friends would come. [They didn’t] I walked over to the beach cleaner, thanked him for his work, explained that litter can make me slip and injure myself and then invited him to the events. I invited my neighbour’s handyman who said he will come with his wife. [They didn’t] I am curious how many turn-up.

I bought a baseball cap and told the owner about the events. He was confused, perhaps he thought I wanted him to make a donation. He agreed to have a poster, but I don’t have any posters.

In the supermarket I skimmed through the free newspapers on the off chance of a mention of our events. Two newspapers had nothing, but third time lucky – RoundTownNews has me in a quarter page photo (the photo that I did not like, but the only one I have dancing in Javea) together with an article that covers three of the related ambulance appeal events. I am described as ‘the mysterious beachdancer’. I had hoped that they would print my twitter handle. Also the photographer wouldn’t be very pleased at the lack of photo credit (I had suggested they give credit). [I picked up 2 copies of the paper even though I don’t like the photo.]
May 3 Sabado 2014
Weather cooler and very comfortable. Woke up at 7am which changes my day. Did housework in the coolness of this (to me) night time hour. Went to log-on, but found that I had left my glasses in the house so went to beach at 10am. Very quiet with some restaurants not yet fully open. Hardly anyone walking about so I decided to buy some glasses and then go on-line. First picked up another 15 leaflets at Peca2, not enough for the week. Wanted them to move the poster which is on the wall behind the counter and put it on the glass exterior of the cafe, but didn’t push them; don’t want to annoy anyone. Starting to be demanding and critical of how things are organized, but don’t want to annoy anyone as they probably organise better than I do.

As I walked along the palm-lined street that runs from the beach to the fountains, a man started dancing in front of me in an oriental almost belly dance way. I smiled and chuckled going directly into my pitch for next Saturday’s event. He is German and did not really understand. I handed him a flyer, “Ohhh!” he exclaimed realising that there was an event. As we spoke in a knot of English and Spanish half sentences he said to me, “Please, never change.”

I don’t think he was referring to my socks.

The cyber has not yet put the poster on the start screens of the computers. Nothing interesting on-line. Searched on twitter for anyone even tenuously connectable to a beach dance charity event and than I tried to find something that they had tweeted sometime on which I could put a reply.
 
There are Deejays with 100,000 followers. One of these, his every tweet is a reflection of how wonderful he is. I am trying to piggy back on these 100,000 followers. If only I can think of something sufficiently interesting that he re-tweets it. No doubt it would have to contain fawning praise. (Makes me think that it is worth spending an hour trying to draft a sufficiently -damn cant think of the word – comment. ‘obsequious’?)

Picked up billboard, sat and ate mandarina and a cereal bar then exercised and began dance. The beach proper was fairly busy, but the walkway not so.

A group of teenagers were watching intently from the beach. I held up a leaflet and pointed to them and then to the leaflet. They waved back. I indicated that they come. Two of them did. I gave them the sales pitch and then gave the leaflet. Tried the same with another group and they cowered and ran away. Later tried again with a more mature group and they indicated that I should come to them. I pointed to my shoes and they pointed to their bare feet. I shrugged and continued dancing.

A young man came over from another group, leaned over the bench to try to read the billboard. I went over and pitched, but he said he would not be here next week (so many weekenders here). We chatted for a while. He was impressed and a touch jealous at the idea that I don’t work and that I spend my time dancing on the beach. I handed him a leaflet and asked him to take it to the mature group for me, which he did.

Spoke to a few others who won’t be here, some said they would put something on facebook or twitter. One woman said she definitely would come. [I suspect that she did not come.]

Only gave out 6 leaflets. Have 24 left. May last to Mon or Tues. Absurd to be in the final few days, when people are most likely to respond and I have nothing to give them. Tempted to print something myself.

4 May Domingo 2014
Same weather, glorious. Went to Nostro to pick-up billboard. Chatted with manager for a while about restaurants and the ‘Kitchen Nightmare’ programmes about running kitchens.

Outside, sat on bench to do warm-up exercises and change shoes. A woman, brunette maybe 30 came over. She started to tell me that she has a friend who dances on beaches. I asked to be put in contact with the friend, then I spoke about our events. She told me that when she watches me dance it brings out the best in her.

“Oh, it is lovely to be told that,” I replied with emotion. As we spoke I told her about the ‘stupid, mad, pathetic’ insult. Her response was, “She was talking about herself, seeing you brought out what is sad in her life.” We continued chatting for a while and then she said, “May I hug you?” I put up no resistance. She was there with a child and a man, they are from Slovakia. Later I saw her showing the leaflet to others.

A very young couple who were filming me turned out to be English and going home that day, but they asked for a leaflet to leave in the villa for the next people. He turned to his very pretty companion and said, “What is it that you always say.” She smiled and responded, “A dance a day keeps the doctor away.” I also smiled and added, “That is my hope.”

More persons going back to Madrid ‘despues del puente’ (after the bridge). One said he would think about coming back.

When talking, if I don’t see interest, I go back to dancing, but if they stop and listen intently I continue. Many seem moved and impressed by the description that I give them which is the combination of free to dance, okay to just come and watch, but if you buy something some of the money goes to local charities and then I specify buying a new ambulance for the local town and help for those who have cancer. They often seem moved and even if they aren’t going to come they often say nice encouraging things. I ask them to tell their friends and announce on twitter or facebook if they use them.

I probably should talk to more people, but I get lost in the dance much of the time. Today handed out 10 leaflets, but spoke to more than that. I may have to print my own leaflets for the rest of the week. Only have 14 left which is probably 2 working days distribution. Just 5 more promotional days. Plan to rest Friday and on Wednesday have interview so maybe only 3 dancing promotional days means need probably 10 more leaflets. Assuming that I survive the event, what will I do to fill in my time afterwards? -planning the next one I suppose. Want to do in UK and want another in Spain in October.

Someone asked if I was promoting a dance academy and another said that if I do lessons she would like to come.

A small girl asked the usual Spanish, “No das verguenza?” (don’t you feel ashamed) and then,  “Y si se rien de ti? (and if they laugh at you.) I shrug indifference (Obviously when people laugh at me I don’t like it, but you have to accept that doing anything notable will result in some people making fun of you.) The other girl says, “Me gusteria ser asi.” (I would like to be like that.) I try to explain to her the trick to achieve this, which is to start with small actions in friendly places where no one is going to laugh at you and little by little you overcome that fear. She didn’t seem to believe me.
5 May Lunes
Slightly more cloud, fresh, lovely day. Planned to do lots on-line, but forgot to take the plug-in memory and also forgot my reading glasses. So went straight to beach. The place is so EMPTY this early Monday morning. It always surprises me after the business of a national holiday. Little point in trying to promote to an empty beach and my body is a touch tired after 4 days of intense effort; so I went to supermarket to do my final large shop of the season which I hope will last me until I fly away. In the supermarket a pale, white haired gentleman did a couple of dance moves and spoke to me in a kind of Spanish. A couple from Swansea who chatted with me for a while and mentioned an English entertainer Bruce Forsyth for some reason that was not apparent to me. (I later realised that he is the presenter for some kind of dance show/competition on UK TV. The type of dance show that features persons either famous or not who don’t dance trying to do a dance routine. For me the antithesis of what I want to watch.) My new friend mentioned that he saw my picture in the local newspaper and that he had seen me dance many times including last year. As a note of the usefulness of being covered in a local newspaper he had no idea that we are going to have a big dance event on the beach – precisely the point of getting coverage in the newspaper.

I have heard that I am known by another name: The dancing man. (So that’s The dancing man, John, Jeremy, Jeffrey, Gordon, Peter, HH and of course The Beachman.) What’s my name? The Beachdancer.
Having decided not to dance I went to the 2nd hand shop run by one of the charities which has arranged one of my dance events. “You’ve not been well,” the woman on the till tells me. “Oh, that’s news to me,” I reply. “You haven’t been able to dance, will you be okay on the day?” she asks. “Oh, that! I injure myself all the time, yes, I am okay.” She smiles and adds, “See, we care about you.” I then brought up the surprising fact that they don’t have a poster on display for their dance event that I am presenting and promoting.

She comments, “There’s another dance event the same day, ” she touches my forearm, “not connected with you.” Another assistant with a grim look on her face tells me, “They clash.” I correct the first woman by saying that the other event is connected with me, but I had no idea that they would be on the same day.” I feel that I may be judged a traitor for this.

What I don’t correct is the idea that ‘they clash’, although at first I thought like that, I have completely adjusted to the idea that 2 events on the same day is synergistic (I have waited years to be able to use that word).

It makes me wonder about marketing. Here is a person connected to one of my dance events who has not noticed that she doesn’t have a poster, they think I may be ill, and she and her colleague are unaware that I am dancing also in the other event even though my name ‘The Beachdancer’ and photo are plastered all over the other event’s leaflets and posters. (They haven’t seen them or they haven’t made the connection. I suspect that they haven’t seen them.)

She tells me that maybe their other shop has a poster. “They often forget us,” she explains, “I’ll phone to get another poster, don’t worry.” (As far as I am aware there are no more posters. I wonder how many were printed and who paid for them and where they are.)

It makes me want to create a marketing plan and budget for future events. (Plus redesign the publicity material.) I may not get any opportunity to do this or be capable of doing it better than the charities, I am after all just the guy who wiggles his arse.

Tried to borrow neighbours portable computer to do on-line work in the afternoon, but although they probably would have lent it, it seemed like such an imposition that I told them not to worry about it, that it didn’t matter. (I don’t like imposing on people, I don’t like borrowing things.)

Slightly exaggerating what it is like telling strangers about an event goes something like this:

“Next Saturday we have two dance events on the beach for charity.”
“Oh, when is that?”
“Next Saturday.”
“Today?”
“No, next Saturday.”
“Saturday, eh. So whereabouts would that be?”
“Here on the beach.”
“When?”
“We start at 11 in the morning and go through to 3 or 4”
“11 until 3 in the morning.”
“Midday, 11 am, 11 in the morning through till 3 in the afternoon.”
“Tomorrow?”
“Saturday.”
I then explain which cafes are involved, what charities we are raising funds for, how we raise funds, how you don’t have to pay, and then they say, “We won’t be here Saturday we are going home today.”

The difficulty of getting such simple information across to people is one of the reasons why I make no attempt to explain how one of the events raises money. It is written on the poster and has been explained to me, but I still don’t get it and regard it as impossible to convey. With the other event I haven’t heard what they have decided to do. Therefore I have told people something which is simple and may or may not conform to what happens on the day.

I walked the 60 metres or so to the charity’s other shop where they do have a poster. I pondered for an inordinate amount of time whether I should take the A4 sized poster that is taped to my backpack and get a photocopy of it. The effort of pondering this wore me out so I went home.

I am curious to know what marketing is being done or has been done, how many leaflets and poster were printed at what cost, what has been done on-line. Do these events mostly depend on the normal supporters of the charity turning up or are outsiders brought to the event? The majority of the persons I have spoken to on the beach spoke Spanish, and of those who preferred English, many spoke it as a 2nd language.

I am not an organiser, but…

Ah, forget about it, I settle down on a sofa on the terrace and fall into a snooze until a bang awakens me. Ah! I have forgotten that the shopping is to be delivered. I run to the kitchen, call out, “Olah” then go to the front door and explain that I was in the garden. It’s the beautiful Flemenco dancer who has brought most of the shopping but has forgotten the frozen veggies. I tell her about the interview, she says she will try to listen to it. I don’t mention that she won’t understand much as it will be in English.

I feel that after all this activity and amusement that I may crash after Saturday. I sooo want the events to be successful. I want them to be sufficiently good that all parties what to do more events and, I have a secret dark desire….

I want the events to be noticeable better than the February one and in case that is just attributed to it being May instead of Feb, I would like the first event to be at least as good as the second. This is ego and a desire to see my efforts bear fruit. What I fear is that after all this effort the first has no one or so few that it disappoints.

The Feb event, I did not promote because I was not sure it was for real. About 80 were recorded by the cafe as attending (tracked because they bought the beachdance special) and my count there was never more than 20 dancing at any one time. The promotion was by the charities and the DJ. I have no idea what they did. I don’t know if they have done anything differently this time, but I have been on-line, retweeted to thousands, in the paper, promoting on the beach and will be on radio. What will the result be? Nothing? Trivial? Moderate? Masses? I have absolutely no idea.

To the charity organisers this is just another little thing when they have loads of such events in their calendar. The media treat it as something worthy of mention, but not newsworthy. I see it as a fantastic event that if only it gets sufficient coverage will become a tourist attraction and have restaurants and others clammering to be involved. That is what it already is to me, if only others start to see it equally.

I may end up disillusioned. I may go back to dancing in my ‘stupid, mad, pathetic’ way. Only 4 days to go.

 

6 May Martes
Up early and out while air still cool. More cloud made me wonder whether I should put on long trousers. Went in shorts and as I reached the gate I realised that I didn’t have music with me. Jeez, Beachdancer without music, what is the world coming to? Went back.

On-line with a list of things to print and do, but my sense of ‘get up and go’ had gotten-up and gone. Wavered over whether to bother printing things out. Struggled to get multiple versions of a very simple text message onto an A4 sheet suitable for cutting-up and giving out when leaflets run-out. Printed out description of event and something to display on the day. Forgot to print more ‘I dance with the beachdancer’ tags. I bought rubber bands because I want to give dancers something that they can wear as a memento. (It’s silly and cheap, but may work.) Received email from one of the organisers, she is going to talk with the radio station TotalFM about who is doing what on the day. I was sitting at a computer terminal in a cyber about 300m along the same road so thought I may as well go see, but first I had twittering to do. Denia tourist authority is now following my tweets so that’s Calpe,Javea and Denia. (Here and the next two large towns). Number of followers has increased to the still tiny number of about 22, but that is up from 1 in the last month. Compare my 22 with those of a DJ with whom I have swapped messages who has 100,000. A few of my messages have been re-tweeted (re-sent by the recipients to everyone who follows them. If I can think up clever, witty, stupid or rude things that people want to re-send there is a possibility of more people becoming aware of our charity dances.)

Only 3 days to go.

Doing these print-outs and all this twitter work took about 2 hours. I bought elastic bands which I had to ask for in English because I didn’t know the name in Spanish. I asked and they just say ‘gomas’ which is ‘rubbers’. (I could have said that.) Then went to the studio.

The organiser was chatting with the manager, “And there he is,” one of them said as I came up the stairs. We chatted about the event. The radio has printed out my suggested announcements for the day and will use them as a script. They gave me various logo stickers to use or give out. Then I was taken into the studio to meet the presenter who would do the interview tomorrow. (I write ‘studio’, this may bring to mind something glamorous, which in the case of the studio at HotRadio in Bournemouth would fit the image you probably have, but here, DIY shed built inside an empty and undecorated office would be a better description. RadioShoeString.) But on the radio dial what difference does office decoration make?

The organiser will probably give me a lift on Thursday to dance at the market to promote.

Went to beach which was so quiet that I gave up on dancing after about 30 mins because so few people walked past. Some small children spoke to me in what may have been Dutch or that mixed with English or maybe some made-up language. I gave them a TOTALFM sticker which pleased them so much that they tried to get into my bag to steal more. (The power of radio).

Went to supermarket for bread and to pick-up the food that they forgot to deliver yesterday. Told staff that I am being interviewed and they told me that I had already told them. Oh, bugger, boasting again. Walked back along the beach, saw my favourite waitress, chatted with her told her about interview, gave her a TotalFM sticker and the time. She said she is having people over that lunch time and will put the radio on. I told her it would be in English, “Better,” she said in English, “the others will understand it.”

“I hope that I can talk as well as I move my arse.” She smiled at my joke.
7 May Miercoles
Lightly overcast which makes a change after so many identical days. I think I had an attack of bossiness today. I try to restrain this tendency, but sometimes I can’t keep it in. Probably caused offence. I am sooo keen to make these dance events super successful that my passion leaks out and my desire to organise the way I think it should be organised boils over. I don’t know how far I went, I don’t know if I actually upset anyone, but it is possible. But first…

Went on-line. Printed some more of the little ‘tags’ that I plan to give out. For some reason this printed out on 4 sheets instead of one, splitting some of the images in a way that is unuseable and costing 4 times as much. On twitter there had been some reactions to things that I had sent. A grower of olives in Dorset re-tweeted my surprise that there was such a thing as a grower of olives in Dorset. More amusingly I had complimented a dancer that I had seen on google+ and invited him to our beachdance. Turns out that he has an agent; they are both in Los Angeles and the agent has tweeted the important news that his client has been invited to perform in Europe. When I watched his video, I felt what people tell me they feel when they watch me. (Watching real dancers delights me, but also makes me feel pathetic.) (So that is one out of the 3 -stupid, mad, pathetic…. let’s move on to stupid…)

Picked up the billboard, but had no plan to dance because the interview on TotalFM was due within an hour. Did warm-up exercises and then danced just a itty bitty (without putting on dance shoes so it doesn’t really count). Then went to supermarket, sat for a while then headed to studio. Stopped outside to sort out my things. Walked up stairs and felt apprehensive, so I put my things down and pirouetted on the shiney floor tiles while some office worker walked by trying to ignore me. The studio door was locked and no one answered the buzzer. I waited a short while. A large man, with a small key, came to unlock the door to let me in.

This is office space of about 30 sq metres (small) with a sound room built of unpainted wood on one side and a couple of office desks strewn with stuff and more stuff on the floor. The walls have half been painted. They have only been on air for 8 weeks and looking around, that comes as no surprise. The charity organiser arrives with the station manager a little later. The presenter is trying to set up a mic stand, but is having problems. The techie is trying to sort out the communications link which if he does not there will be no interview. The organiser has changed what she wants to say and has a printed script. I glance at what she is holding in her hand and I think, oh that is way too long.

They struggle with the computer-printer link to get me a copy which I don’t much want. They give me a copy of what I had emailed them weeks ago, which was a guide to what we might say, I scan it and then ignore it. I ask if we can have a recorded copy of the interview. “Sure,” I am told. “Mp3?” I ask, “could you email it to me?” “No problem, we have your email address because you’ve sent us loads of emails.” I detect a negative tone suggesting that I had sent far too many emails.
 
The comms link is fixed. We go into the small sound booth which has two wooden kitchen chairs for guests, a desk covered in various junk, a computer sitting under it with a flashing broadband router and other cables and bits of stuff randomly hanging around. My foot, when I sit is against the PC, the carpet is caught under my chair, the chair is the world’s most uncomfortable chair, the mic stand is broken and too low, the soundproofing doesn’t keep the outside noise outside. I drop the ‘script’ on the floor as I have no intention of using it. I place my 1 sheet of reminders under a coffee cup full of pens so that it doesn’t fall on the floor and so I don’t produce rustling noises – (if that were to be the least of the problems). We start, or better said, they start. I am prepared for a lively chat with lots of silliness, but the first prepared questions are to the organiser who gives deeply worthy replies which are being read and sound like they are being read.

I am drifting, looking at the disorganisation, the piles of stuff, the unkempt cables, the ‘glamour’. Then the door opens and man rushes around to point to something that the presenter hasn’t noticed. He leaves. That at least broke my drift into boredom. The interview so far in which I have said nothing is so worthy that it would tranquillise an elephant. I want to interrupt, but I don’t because my ad-libbing could throw the organiser and may annoy her. The man comes back in, this time with more urgency. As far as I can tell the computer has taken over the broadcast and whatever had just been said was not broadcast. (I know from experience that software schedules everything and the presenter is supposed to watch the screen to know when to stop talking – the screen counts down to the moment when it will play an ad or music – the presenter takes over in-between.) The impression is that the presenter is not paying attention to  the software.
The man points to things and the presenter shrugs. “The ads have kicked-in,” he explains. The presenter doesn’t know this, why?

This cubicle of wood and foam is about the size of a bathroom. Three of us, a computer and a mixer are all warming it up well and good. I am sitting in a chair that is torturing me and having to lean over a microphone at the wrong height. This is not how it is meant to be. At least now I am going to be asked a question. As I talk, the man is looking worried. He’s outside signalling to me to get nearer the mic. I try, but not to his satisfaction. He comes in, takes hold of the mic stand and pushes the mic in front of my lips, grabs my hand, places it on the stand to hold it close and then he leaves satisfied. So now, I am in a chair that is torture, leaning over, holding a mic-stand to keep the mic almost touching my lips, and now I am supposed to speak in a happy excited warm way about our wonderful dance event.

I had rehearsed. I had several stories ready and catchy sayings which I hoped would be delivered in the same easy jokey style that we did at HotRadio in Bournemouth. It didn’t turn out that way.

I managed to use “Arenal Beach -it’s within reach” which I planned to use as a regular comment that if you can hear this broadcast, arenal beach is within reach and another “Saturday 10th of May at midday” , but God knows what I actually said and what part was broadcast and whether I was audible. Oh, yes… After the organiser read her worthy 3 hour speech (okay it wasn’t literally 3 hours) My opening comments were… “I am delighted to be here and to be part of this worthy cause. It particularly impresses me that I can help this very worthy cause, help raise money for a new ambulance, simply by wiggling my arse.”

The presenter replied, “Can we say arse on radio? Wiggle your derrier?” I then added in terrible spanish something like, “Que solo tengo que meneo el culo”. I blame the chair, the bending over the hand held mic-stand, the man signalling to get it even closer to my lips, the heat, the boredom, the sweat forming on my back, the time of month, the phase of moon and the international anti-dancer conspiracy for this not being my best interview.

I tell some quick stories about insults (blot on the landscape, stupid, mad & pathetic) and I tell some of the compliments. The presenter tells me that she dances in the aisles of the supermarket. And then it is over.

Not surprisingly the presenter doesn’t think that the computer recorded the interview. “It was recording, but I think it stopped.”

The presenter tells me that this was her first interview. Cruelly I reply, “It shows.” (I really should not have said that, but ignoring the fact that ads are running and that we are not on air while believing that we are… well it shows. I assume that if I am back for an interview for our October dance she will be silky smooth.)

I leave the joys of the sweatbox and talk with various crew. “You shouldn’t use headphones that bleed so much sound,” I tell them as if I knew what I was talking about, and the man (whom you have met before) tells me that the mic doesn’t pick-up the sound. This surprise me because in my home studio my mic does. We talk about geographical coverage and their plans to decorate their office with local photos.  Although it is called TotalFM I think of it as Radio Shoestring.

And that is the glamour of being on local radio.  I wish them well. I wish them proper mics on cantilevered stands, more practice with their software, and above all else, I wish them comfortable chairs.

Having sweated and partially fluffed my lines and been frustrated and concerned that having been on radio is utterly pointless I said to the station manager, “Before Saturday I would be very happy to come back,”and then, as if I were taking responsibility for every error, “I am sure I could be more entertaining.”

The look I was given told me that I won’t be back.

I have arranged with the organiser to give me a lift tomorrow into the old town where I plan to dance because it is market day and there will be thousands of people. That will be a tough gig and I am not sure that I am brave enough to do it, or if I am brave enough whether I may get arrested.

I am feeling the stress. I so want these two dance events to be bigger, better than the last one. I have no idea if they will be. So many things seem to me not to have been done optimally.

The first event in February I did nothing to promote other than agree to allow the use of my photo. I turned up on the day without being sure it was even a real event. I enjoyed it, lots of other enjoyed it. The charities and the cafe got a big enough return from it that they were happy to do another and I was approached by a different charity to present their own beachdance event. Up to that point I had done no promotion.

The new charity didn’t have the manpower (womanpower) of the others and so I became more involved. The first group gave me leaflets and posters first so I began giving these out on the beach because I wanted to see the event grow from its initial size. The first group didn’t ask me to do any promotion and didn’t seem interested in any suggestion that I had whereas the second charity reacted very positively to my suggestions and involvement. This is all a lot more interesting (and stressful) than just turning up on the day. I have such a commitment to their success that it will be emotional seeing what happens. (I may break down and cry on the day.)

I hope the two are sufficiently busy to make further events happen. I want one every month. I would like it to grow to be a recognised tourist attraction.   3 days to know.
8 May Jueves
Up early, bit concerned about dancing at the market, but actually my mind woke up wondering why the exterminator companies never gave me an estimate for treating the woodwork for wood boring beetle.

I spent a while last night reminding myself that my life does not depend on these dance events being hugely successful. Even if no one turns up I will be there dancing to a DJ playing music just for me. If it just has a few people it means no more such events and another ‘failure’ in my CV, but so what? (I almost convinced myself and then I put on some music and danced 15 mins or so before going to bed.)
Will they come? (Oh, during the interview when the organiser was talking I heard her say that the talent contest she is organising has no contestants yet with just 3 days to go and that she may go to Benidorm (major tourist town on the coast here) and bring back a busload of drunken Karaoke singers to compete.

“My life does not depend on this”  Repeat until effective.
8 May Jueves

Up early again. STOP IT!
Picked-up and transported into the traffic packed Javea on its weekly market day. I had planned to dance in front of the post office, but my driver suggested another spot which turned out to be covered in market stalls. We parked and I headed to the main market, walked around it, considered dancing in the seating area below some large trees, but decided that this could annoy the persons seated there and the ground is rough, uneven compressed sand. I moved and then spotted the large step-like smooth surfaced structure between the two levels of the market. ‘Perfect,’ I thought erroneously. First there was a disabled, wheel chair bound,  accordion player near the place, and I feared that he might launch an attack to protect his pitch. (Militarily he is classified as light infantry.)
I danced anyway, but no one noticed, so I moved to the other side of the stairway, only to find that I was outflanked by another disabled accordion player. (Obviously they have superior intelligence.)
I danced anyway, but hardly anyone noticed.

I suppose the problem is that in the market people are occupied, some are selling, some are buying, some are picking pockets. This compares to the beach where everyone is bored.

I saw a policeman approaching, a stall holder looking from the policeman to me and back, the rising expectation of an arrest. I put my leaflets back in a pocket (I have the posters on display on plastic supports.) The policeman is standing still next to a trader. I hop and bounce down the steps towards him to say hallo and to explain what I am doing, before he decides to interview me, but when I am close to him he is in conversation with the trader and pays me no mind, so I bounce back up the steps, get my leaflets out and continue dancing. The policeman continues on his rounds.

I went back down and talk to the traders to tell them what I am doing. They seem impressed by the idea, but not being local they won’t be coming. I walked over to an Indian looking youth who is a trader and explained to him, after asking if he dances ‘streetdance’. No, nothing. I invited him and gave him a TOTALFM sticker and a leaflet. Later I went to talk to him again. He seemed interested in learning how to dance. “No das verguenza hacer este?” “No,” I replied and explain about breaking the fear barrier. I tell him that dancing is all about practice. “Practice what?” he asks. I tell him to watch dancers on TV and try to copy them in front of a mirror in the bedroom. He’s not convinced. He says something like, ‘Okay in the quite of your own home, but here? How can you do that?’

Now I am adjusted to the mood of the place so I am dancing my way up and down stairs to approach people who don’t really want to be approached especially not by the dancing madman. When I have said a couple of sentences some people relax, it is almost visible, then they become intrigued and then some of them become moved.

A European family, from I am not sure where, went through these stages, starting with a small step backwards in fear, but ending with thanks and a signal that the daughter will want to dance.

A possible mother and son, the son with earphones and a refusal to acknowledge my presence, the mother listening to my Spanish and responding in Spanish. I then say, “Are you English?” She smiles. “I could have told you all that in English.” I give her a leaflet, but she will be taking visitors to the airport that day. I went back to dancing, but noticed her beckoning me. She explains that she has a website dealing with something in Javea and that she will put the event on that. She takes a photo of me to go with the announcement. I thank her, but I have been told many times of what someone is going to do, but don’t.

I talked to two teenage girls, an elderly couple from somewhere who, when I explained that we would buy an ambulance asked me, “Why?” That was one of the toughest questions I have been asked. Oh,jeez, what the @%*# do I know, I just want you to come down to the beach and dance.

Dancing in the market was no better a promotion than dancing on the beach, but less pleasant for me and farther to walk home. It could have been better if we had a team and a big sign. But I think that it gives exposure to people who don’t frequent that beach.

I think that a proper promotional plan would include the market and the port area at least once, but with signs that explain and persons with leaflets chatting with passersby.

I went to the library, renewed the book that I don’t have time to read, explained what we are doing, invited the librarian and left some leaflets (there is only tomorrow for anyone to notice them). I went on line to check twitter. A local woman who I don’t know has registered on the blog. That is a first. (If you are reading this  Bienvenido.) A few more persons are following @PlayaDance. I think the number is now 30. At least one is a local who tweets in Valencian which I barely understand. She seems to be a member of the local emergency rescue squad.
Having responded to or searched for useful ways to respond to those tweets by others, I then opened my file of prepared tweets and cut and pasted them to send off.

Shopped and then walked home.

I am unreliably informed that various people involved in the two beachdance events are annoyed at various other people involved in the two beachdance events. It may be that they are all annoyed at me for promoting the other event, when I should only be promoting theirs. Both events were initially agreed on Feb15 with some 5 minutes separating the first and second agreement, but back then no dates were mentioned. On Good Friday (or Goofy day as I just mistyped it) I saw the posters and realised that they were scheduled for the same day. Both events have publicity featuring pictures of me together with my name. Does anyone really think I would not promote both? (When I was at TotalFM I tried to avoid mentioning the other event – connected with a different radio broadcaster, but it hurt to do so.)

Being a loner I don’t have much practice at ‘office politics’ or in this case radio and charity politics. (I am half interested to hear the complaints)

I have been given two cartoon images of an ambulance to wear during the first dance event. I will have to figure out how to do this.

I receive no information at all from the team behind one of the events and close liaison with the organiser of the other event. (Have I offended the first group or do they assume that I don’t want/need to know?)

Only 1 day to go. How many people will come? Will it be a success?

Composing tweets to send tomorrow, if I get on-line.
9 Mayo Viernes
Woke-up absurdly early; it has to be something to do with the excitement, I sat at the notebook computer writing something to send to the 3 charities and the 2 radio stations. I had heard some comments that seemed like some of the people involved were annoyed at others because of there being two events. Exactly what to me seemed a huge potential advantage is seen by others as a conflict. This is what I wrote and sent:

“Much to my surprise the two dance events agreed back in February turned out to be on the same day.

After the initial shock and worry, I discovered that the public loved the idea.

In more than 200 face to face conversations with people on the beach or in the street I can assure you that it would have been a brilliant idea to have the two on the same day, if it had been someone’s idea.

As both events were inspired by my dancing, both feature my photo and my artistic signature, ‘The Beachdancer’, obviously,’ I want both to be successful and I have spent my own money and about 100 hours of my time in promoting both events.

I am delighted to be able to support your charities in this way and look forward to helping you with future fund raising charity dance events.

See you tomorrow.

The Beachdancer”
(I couldn’t send it to one of the radio stations because I have no contact address for them.)

Spent about 90 mins on-line, twitter and google+. I am starting to understand the power of these software, but they take a lot of work. Again, for things that have to be local these international social networks are not ideal – I have a contact in Russia who is unlikely to come dance tomorrow even though he tells me he would love to. I have a photographer who wants to come, but he is in America – he says he will come to the next one.

Compare that to the effect of announcements on the radio. The man who runs the cyber told me that he had heard an ad on the radio. “Do you remember what it said?” To which he replied, “That something is happening tomorrow in Arenal.”

This triggers another thought, why do radio stations want you to know them by name?

The venue for the second dance does not have a poster on display. Why? Because the one he had he gave to me for my billboard and no one gave him another one. He tells me that everyone is on facebook and so they’ll see it. Well, in my 200 conversations I had the impression that maybe 40% had someone in the family who used facebook and maybe half that who used twitter. But even if they use it, doesn’t mean they’ll see where you put your ad.

The staff tell me that they are not looking forward to tomorrow; they expect to be very busy and would rather sit and watch. I go past the other venue and just say, “See you tomorrow” to the manageress.

As I walk back along the beach I see two members of staff from EstapaTi whom I recognise. I walk over to say hallo. As we talk I realise they know nothing about the event tomorrow even though I had mentioned it to them about a month ago and given a leaflet to one of their colleagues about 2 weeks ago. So I explain and give them leaflets. She, who I have mentioned before, young blonde and if I remember correctly from Slovakia says she will come and dance. [She doesn’t come]

Oh, forgot, was told that first dance we will also have a zumba instructor whose going to do 2 songs and may be bringing some of her ‘girls’ (synonym of ‘old ladies’?). I think I have seen her before, blonde, pretty, about 35, super fit with abs that any man would desire (desire for his own belly that is), but could be someone else. [Either she didn’t come or it was someone else]

Did not take dance shoes, deliberately wore non-dance clothes and managed not to dance. I want to let my body rest and would like my mind empty and calm because tomorrow is going to be physically and psychologically demanding.

Also curious to see which event is better managed, which attracts bigger crowd and how much money they collect. I hope some photographers will take some appealing photos. So want impressive images for future promotions.

I suggested to TotalFM that they record some interviews with people at the event for future publicity. Don’t know if they will do it.
So how many will come?

 

10 Mayo Sabado

Woke-up at 6.30 which is 2 hours earlier than I needed. Managed to doze until just after 8 which is is still an hour earlier than I want to get up today. I don’t like having lots of time to fill in when I have something to do at a specific time. Need to leave house about 10 to get to Peca2 before 11. Not taking wallet, but have a spray container of water in case I overheat, and I am taking a fancy cowboy style wide-brimmed hat with gold flecks and a ‘pony-tail’ consisting of my twitter address @PlayaDance which I printed out together with two other copies attached to the arms of my shirt. Probably they will all fall off or I will turn and they will whack someone in the face. (One did fall off, but was put back) I have fruit and cereal bars and I may take my MP3 player to try to get some interviewed reactions recorded on it. (Didn’t record anything. Too busy dancing.)

I feel almost exactly the same as on any other day when I have woken up too early. My thought is that if no one turns-up it will be like a normal beach dance day for me except that I don’t have to wear headphones. If lots turn-up it will be more interesting. My life does not depend on this.

My shirt also has two cartoon ambulances on it, one on each breast pocket. I will have to take them off before the second event.  (Forgot to take them off before going to second event, but took them off a bit later) I would wear insignia of the other two charities, if they wanted, but don’t want to cut-up the poster I have because I want it as a memento. I would like to know that there will be photos and that I will get copies, but I don’t know this. (At event they offered me a T-shirt, but I said that I will get too hot.)

In a couple of days I will be able to think of normal chores again such as weeds in the garden, muck in the house, and flying back to England; or will I be planning and negotiating more beachdance events?

   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, now 5pm. I danced for 4 hours and survived. In the second two hour dance at Nostro I sat out maybe 4 songs and in the first I sat out a couple or three and the ‘zumba girls’ took over in those periods. That worked well. At the end of the Nostro event a policeman took notes. I joked, “Has he come to arrest me?” but this went down badly with the DJ. “Has someone complained? I asked. Apparently, yes, someone had complained about the noise and the talk is that there will be a fine of maybe Euro200.  The staff were distracted and the DJ was clearly annoyed. Hope they don’t fine me. Prior to that everyone was happy. Both restaurants did good business; I asked and both they and the charities want another event.

The cancer charity thinks it was very bad having the other event the same day and that those who gave to the first were not going to give again to the second BUT, on questioning, they raised more money than they expected. I spoke to the owner of the first restaurant and he was pleased with the day and is happy with my suggestion of another in October.

I was disappointed by the turnout. All that on-line activity, all those chats with people and leaflets. I did recognise one young man as being the guy with a woman in the market that I mentioned above. He came to both events, sat quietly on his own. I spoke to him a couple of times and even offered to introduce him to the red cross girls. After 3 hours of sitting watching he joined in when there was a dance leader (one of the zumba girls). It was obvious that he dances. I gave him a ‘I danced with the beachdancer’ leaflet attached to a rubber band. (I gave out a few of these.)

But let’s start at the beginning. I got to Peca2 far earlier than I expected at around 10.25  The DJ was setting-up, the manager from TotalFM was ‘managing’, the organiser was ‘organising’ and I was stretching. Various young women in Cruz Roja t-shirts arrived. They had collecting tins. Two woman in ‘zumba’ clothing were seated with some children. It was too early, the music had not yet started and I should rationally have waited, but after changing my shoes I started dancing to my own music. Then the speakers kicked-in. I took off my headphones, put away the over the shoulder bag and then changed my hat. This is the first time I have worn the cowboy hat with the gold flecks. (Later one the zumba girls asked me, “Where did you get the hat, it really stood out” I said that I had bought it some time ago, but had not been brave enough to wear it before.)

So, there I was, the only person dancing for some considerable time. (nothing novel in that) After a while I encouraged the Cruz Roja girls (teenage or maybe 20 year olds) to start dancing. They gradually relaxed and one of them I complimented because she moved well doing something that I don’t know how to do. A guy was taking video. I approached him to ask, but he spoke neither Spanish nor English, but one of his friends spoke english. I was asking to be sent a copy. He and a woman later began dancing so I gave them one of my ‘I danced with..’ bracelets.

Here’s the thing that disappointed me. With so many people saying to me that they would come or showing great interest, and with so many face to face promotional chats, leaflets and on-line efforts the number who I could claim to have brought there is at least ONE, but I can’t be sure it is any more. Many of the people who come are ‘the usual’, persons who know someone in the charity and they come to show support. But the restaurant looked much busier than normal. At the peak of the dancing in the first event there were 25 persons dancing. Maybe 40 inside and another 40 watching outside, plus two ambulances. Oh, they played mostly the music that I had chosen or at least music by artists on my playlist that I had supplied to them. At the end grown-up Spanish members of the cruz roja came over to thank me. The DJ (who, I believe is part owner of the radio station) also thanked me. [It is odd to be thanked.] The last thing they did was announce that the other event was about to start. That was nice of them, they didn’t have to do that. I didn’t have time to say goodbye to the organiser as I was due at the other event.

The second event did not yet have music, so I ate some fruit. Then started to dance when the music had begun. I don’t much like the playlist from this DJ. Maybe next time I can get it changed a bit. (Although if they get fined will there be a next time?)

The zumba ladies (‘girls’ may not be the proper term) also moved to the second location as did some of the spectators. I was feeling weak at times during the second 2 hour dance session.

One of them said to me, when I was sitting down eating fruit, “You are supposed to be dancing, we are only here for you.”

A very old English lady danced with me far too much and at times she made me take her walking stick, which I then danced with in fake ‘hat and cane’ style until she faltered and demanded the return of the stick. She also cringed every time I span around because she feared being knocked down.

Young girls seem to want to do everything as a chorus copying some dance leader. They try to copy me, but I do too many things and change from one to another too fast. That is where the zumba ladies are so good. They get 20 girls dancing at the same time while I dance around them or take a rest.

At the second event (Nostros) 3 or 4 men danced. I gave them ‘I danced with the beachdancer’ bracelets (I write ‘bracelet’, but they are a printed piece of paper attached to an elastic band that you can wear around the wrist.) One middle aged guy was sufficiently happy with this that he had his wife photograph him standing with me. A young mum asked if I would let her photograph me with her 5? year old son, but he was too shy even though, she told me, he makes his mum sit with him to watch me when I dance on the beach.

At the end I was sitting at the bar drinking another half litre of chilled water, chatting to one of the zumba ladies (who incidentally isn’t an official zumba lady – who would have guessed there was such a thing) when a 30 something well built guy interrupted us to say, “Hello, I just wanted to meet you.” He shook my hand and that was about it.

Someone at sometime came over to buy me a drink, but the barman was supplying me with all the water I wanted (my own bottle already consumed). I guess I drank about 2litres and could have taken more.  I ate 2 mandarins, a banana and 3 cereal bars then bought a forth. I could have eaten more.

The DJ came over to the second event (as did the owner of the first venue- videoing everything). That DJ thanked me again. The cancer charity lady thanked me and we discussed the clash of events. There was an implication in her comments that I have some blame for this. Although I only realised the clash a short time ago on Easter Friday, I was informed earlier, but had not noticed it. But, even if I had noticed it, I had no control over the dates. Nevertheless it seems that both events were financially successful for the charities and the venues. (So did the clash reduce or increase the success?)

I have sent text to DJ asking to be kept informed if there is a fine, because I am inclined to contribute something towards paying it (a bit, not all of it).-[This is when I imagined a total fine of 200 or so…]

It may be that my leafleting had a 1 or 2% success rate. (1 person confirmed as coming from leaflets and I gave out roughly 100.) I was hoping that having spoken to the people and having got lots of apparently interested responses, that the turnout would have been higher – I was guessing up to 10%. Maybe we should change the leaflets to feature the reasons for coming. Or maybe I am nuts when I think that this kind of event has a demand. (but I feel that it should be immensely popular)

I suspect that twitter messages have more like a 0.1% response rate. (Went to about 10,000, but many recipients not in area.)

What am I going to write on twitter next Monday?

Other comments: “No point in having a dance event without you. You’re the star.” – from one of the zumba ladies.

I was so busy dancing or resting or eating or drinking water that I didn’t really communicate much. Last February I think there were more passersby, the walkway was just busier. Why?

Just received text from DJ saying that police came back in evening and stopped the live performance and threatened to close the cafe. He thinks it will eventually turn out okay.

 
11 Mayo Domingo

Slept till 10. Joy of joys, not only did I survive 4 hours of dancing, but I just have a low level of aching muscles, nothing important, barely perceptible. Decided to go to beach to dance, but forgot to take my dance shoes. The result was that I only danced a bit and I ripped the sole off one of my sport shoes. (I don’t know my own strength.)

On the way, as I passed a small cafe, the owner gave me a wave for the first time and a young boy ran after me to ask in Spanish, when the dance was to be, “Ayer,” (yesterday) I replied. He relayed the information to his family. I went over to tell them how happy I was to have danced 4 hours and to still be alive. This amused them.

I walked back to talk to the owner. I told him about the police and Nostro. He told me about the police and his sunshades. The man sitting next to him asked my age. I told him. “Increible,” he replied. The owner told me that its not just that I dance, but that I dance so fast and with my arms flying about. “Everyone knows you, you dance every day and you don’t annoy anyone.” (Not true, not true and not true.) I told them how odd it is to be internationally locally famous and how having complete strangers talk to me like they know me makes me think I have altzheimer. “Because they all know you,” he said. We chuckled and I left.

I danced a little and then went into Nostro. I announced that I am happy, because I danced 4 hours and I am still alive. They smiled, but they are not happy.
I sat down and asked the manager what happened with the police. Apparently, when they came back they were looking for other infractions. “They will find them even if there aren’t any,” the manager explained. “Tomorrow we have a meeting with the technical office and we’ll find out what they are going to fine us for and how much. It’s the mentality here, if they keep annoying tourists they’ll just end up with picking oranges.” The police have told Nostro that any beach event needs licensing from Alicante (large city some 100km to the south) and that the local council has no authority over the beach area. Nostro liked the event and would do another, but can’t if they are going to be put through this kind of inspection and probable fines.

Nostro like the idea of a properly licensed BIG event which includes lots of restaurants. (They like lots of restaurants because they assume that it was one of their competitors who complained to the police.)

The 2nd event was no noisier than the first. Both used the paved walkway in front of the restaurants, but I suppose that no one complained about the first. The first event was for a very Spanish Cruz Roja, which may make a difference, but the future of these dance events is now at risk.

On the other hand if this pushes all involved to co-operate, and to get more Spanish involvement something very good could come of it.

One of the staff asked how old I am. He swore, but I can’t remember what word he used, but I said that that is what I say whenever I see my reflection in the mirror. He asked if I have my eyes closed when I dance. I said no, but I didn’t think to mention how difficult it would be to dance with eyes shut.

I sent a text to the organiser of the other event as this news threatens all future beachdance events.
12 May Lunes

Another sunny warm day. Still affected emotionally by the legal process.
Went on line to buy ticket and probably bought one slightly earlier than I otherwise would have, induced by the distaste I have for what has happened here.

Visited by the double glazing window man due to simple misunderstanding over the meaning of ‘desmontable’ (dismountable). Something simple that I had suggested that I was told was impossible, but now that I explain it he agrees it is simple.

Chatted to another bar manager who said that some restaurants lodge complaints over anything against other restaurants.

The owners of Nostro are with their lawyers. I went in and chatted with a member of the family to show ‘solidarity’ as they say. I wasn’t involved in any part of the management of the event, but I am very associated with it as the ‘star’ of the event.

Told the staff at Peca2 what I had been told about he events at Nostro. They were shocked. I danced for a while trying to forget all this silliness.

I like having these events. I like being useful.

Now have just 16 days before going back to England. Had received email from a dancer and his agent in LA keen to know more about these charity dances and whether they would be paid if they did one in LA. Also received email from someone asking me when the dancing starts and in which bars. Not having an internet connection means my reply was just 2 days after the event.

Now have 30 ‘followers’ on twitter.

I expected that after the dance events I would feel the anti-climax, the let-down. Several weeks of talking to strangers (something I don’t normally do), having a purpose, now I feel mildly annoyed and vulnerable. The thought crosses my mind of being arrested or being handed a notice of a fine. Our minds bring up the possibility of this drivel. 
ROCK N ROLL – what entertainment venture doesn’t get raided by the police?

Treated bamboo that is growing around pool with herbicide. Immediately feel like I have poisoned myself too.

 

13 May Martes
Overcast to begin, but clouds broke-up later. Went to beach where the place was deserted and the sky still dark. Saw the DJ, sat and chatted about the legal clouds. Amazed that the potential fine for noise is Euros 6,000. I have no direct knowledge of the events. What I have been told, which may or may not be accurate, is that the organisers relied on a spoken comment that the event would be okay, rather than getting it in writing. In Spain everything is in writing, stamped and preferably in multi-coloured triplicate. (I have the impression that it doesn’t matter what the form says, just so long as it has an official looking stamp and you have the correctly coloured copy.) The assumption is that there is a bit of embarrassment within the bureaucracy that a perfectly permissible activity may be fined for a procedural oversight and that the event was for charity. Nevertheless, the owners don’t yet know if they will be fined. SIX THOUSAND EUROS.
The manager seemed in a better mood today, sufficient for us to chat about future events. The irony is that the venue is subject to the fines, even though they don’t organise the events. (The political dispute over who can give permission – the council or the regional coast authority continues unresolved.) We do a ‘youth handclasp’, it seems like we are swearing eternal devotion, and I leave.

The sky keeps changing and is now warm, birdies singing, and I am happier, because the people at the cafe and the organisers are less stressed.

A couple, who I swear I have never seen before, greet me as old friends. (Better than old friends treating me as a stranger.)

 

14 Mayo Miercoles
Overcast, moderately heavy rain that we haven’t seen in ages. The earth needs more of this. Danced at home.

15 Mayo 2014 Jueves
Sunny cloudy, breezy, low 20C. Very nice weather for humans. On way to beach I was told by a Spanish woman speaking in English with a Scottish accent, “You are a fantastic dancer, I love watch…..” her voice faded out as her male companion steered her away. (What male companion wants to hear his lover praising another man?)

Forgot reading glasses so did not go on-line. Have left it late to change delivery address for The Economist. Could mean that I read the May 24 edition in October. Now that I don’t have dance events to promote, I am back to having a very laid-back attitude to internet. During the promotion I want to be online afternoon and evening, but now don’t feel much pull. Theoretically I could use the time to build-up on-line connections for future events, but the lack of any obvious response to my efforts over the last few weeks is not encouraging.

If people are already in the area, many will stop to watch a dance event and a small number will join in, but it seems that very few, very very few, will come specifically to the event. I am wondering how to change this. Can I find those few keen dancers who will make the effort and who would then attract others? This is a social phenomenon, and ‘social’ isn’t my thing. I don’t know how ‘social’ works.

Beach very quiet. Danced a while. Oh, the anti-climax, I knew I would feel it, and I do. Although the beach dance charity events were nowhere near what I had hoped, and were much more like what I expected, they were more fun than dancing alone and unconnected today. (But only a bit.)

Just thinking about publicity cost-effectiveness or ineffectiveness. If an A6 leaflet (quarter of an A4) costs 5c each and brings 1 in 100 to the event that person has cost Euro5 and needs to produce more than E5 in donations. I suspect that publicity doesn’t pay. Perhaps one needs to locate a number of base supporters (those keen on dance or keen on charity support) and keep them happy to return to each event.

Why don’t people turn-up in large numbers to a beach party? Is it that they assume it will be something rotten? Did they not hear about it? Are people just not interested? Was the publicity incomprehensible?

If I could figure out how to get lots of people dancing at the October event, that would be an achievement.
16 May Viernes

Cool morning with big clouds, but warmed-up later and the clouds dispersed. Went on-line. Told that the mayor has announced his version of the Nostro permission/fine on facebook. Unfortunately, I can’t access facebook as I am banned from it. I suspect that his version will be not be looked on with warmth from those facing the fines.

I have no direct knowledge of what happened as I was not involved in the management of the event, but I feel affected by it. I feel sufficiently affected by it that today when I was dancing and I saw a policeman taking video of me, I stopped dancing and did stretching exercises until he went away. I couldn’t help but feel, that I was under surveillance.
17 Mayo Sabado

Being the wimp that I sometimes am, I went to the beach in long trousers and without dance shoes. I talked to my favourite waitress who was horrified by the potential fine. Then the dancin6g waitress spoke to me about it and she already knew the amount and was equally annoyed. I told them that it has taken away the pleasure of dancing for me. “Oh, no!” they responded. “Don’t let it do that.”

I went into Nostro to talk to one of the owners. He explained that with fines here it could be a year before they know if they have been fined or not or they may never know for sure. It just hangs in the air until someone gets around to delivering the demand. I told him how this has taken away my pleasure in dancing and how being filmed by a policeman the day before spooked me.

Listening to my story he commands me: “Don’t stop doing what you do.”  We swapped stories of officialdom’s ability to mess up our lives.

His story was that one day when working a drunk came in and began annoying various customers, the owner guided the drunk off the premises. Later the police arrived because the drunk had complained of being punched. The police required the owner to prove his identity, and because he did not have proof on him, he was arrested and taken to the police station until they could check his ID.

As I was leaving I said to a group of persons that I know, “They haven’t arrested me yet.” One of them replied, “They can’t arrest you. You haven’t done anything.”
“You don’t have to do anything to get arrested,” I respond and then talk about the fine. They are suitably shocked, but of course no one really cares when it doesn’t affect them personally.
They mention video on-line of Americans being arrested for dancing near a federal monument. I have been told about this before. One doubts that this can be true of America because it sounds like Afghanistan. (How innocent.)

One of them who, it turns out, does classes in Tai Chi and self-defence held in public spaces tells me that I should continue dancing, that many people are drawn to someone who has such confidence…  I interrupt to say, “And now I lack that confidence.” He continues that he has been approached by the police who checked who they are and why they are doing what they do. His parting words to me are, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

As I walk along the beach towards the supermarket a middle aged short woman speaks to me in Spanish asking me if I am going to dance. I tell her sadly not today because I feel a bit depressed. I explain about the charity event and the fine. She is livid. She is animated as she describes her disbelief that someone would fine a charity event and that some people are only interested in themselves. As she says this she gestures with one hand as if putting food in her mouth.

Two women walk past, one says, “Buenas dias”. No idea who they are.

Outside the supermarket I see a tramp who has not been around for a week or two. I say hallo and ask him where he has been. He smiles and nods. I say to him that he doesn’t understand, and this he understands as he shakes his head in reply. His face has a number of cuts on it, he is dirty, but he usually salutes me, calls me ‘sir’ (actually senyor) and seems pleased to see me (probably because I treat him politely), sometimes he grabs my hand to shake it while grinning (which makes me remember to wash mine as soon as possible)  and I am reminded how goddam lucky I am to have the life I have even though wood boring beetles are coming out of the woodwork, my hopes for well attended beachdance events are on hold and I am ‘on the lam’ from the law.

(This is my moment of living up to the title ‘pathetic’. I have the confidence to dance alone in public and risk being punched by yobs, but I imagine being detained by the police for some kind of ‘public disorder’ charge or for being responsible for the music noise of last Saturday and that wrecks the pleasure of my life which currently pirouettes around dancing.)  I don’t like being such a coward.

Is this prudent or pathetic?

This too will pass.

18 Mayo Domingo
Light shower. Overcast for most of day at a mere 17C then the clouds broke and the temperature rose to a normal 23C. Stayed at home. Played video game, then read in garden, in the evening watched a typical modern movie which consisted of hundreds of persons being shot, stabbed or other-wise murdered by the pitiless good guy or by the pitiless bad guy, and then late at night I danced for a while.

 

19 Mayo 2014 Lunes
Breezy, some cloud, about 23C max. Nice weather. There are people lying on rented sunloungers under rented sunshades on the beach. Some of the cafes are 25% occupied and others empty. It is late morning and I am not sure if I will dance, but I have my shoes and I do my exercises and then, yes, I dance. There are no police. I manage to forget my background anxieties and I get lost in the movement for a while. I tire, do my end exercises, do just a little more dance and then to the supermarket.

I am thinking that this summer I should take some dance classes. Or watch lots of dance video. I have a desire to learn some new stuff, even though I know I dislike the feeling of being awkward and stupid that learning new stuff entails. (This has been stimulated by watching -on my google+ page – a Russian female dance instructor showing steps and explaining them in Russian.)
20 Mayo Martes
Partially cloudy warm day. Shopped and visited the charity shops connected with the dance events. Not recognised: how soon they forget.
21 Mayo Miercoles

Yet another sunny day, with strong wind gusts, probably max around 26C. Took book back to library, used computer there. A comment I had placed on the above mentioned Russian dance instructor’s video got her sufficiently peaked that she replied (in Russian). The Google system is impressive because a single click translated her response into English. “Why beginner’s class?” is what she was asking and the only problem is that I don’t know the answer to that. If I had an internet connection I would probably try to do some of the dance steps or routines that Google+ has allowed me to watch.

The system has some elegance to it. If you can find another user who puts stuff (that is of interest) on his/her Google+ page, it is possible to tell google to let you see anything that that person puts on Google+ in future. This is done elegantly by the new content appearing on your own google+ page. The downside is that there is far too much content and so your page becomes infinitely long and you scroll down and down to see what is on it.

 

As with all these ‘social’ websites, you can stare at a blank screen wondering what you are supposed to do because there are no apparent instructions.

On twitter now have 38 followers, but what am I going to tweet about now that I don’t have dance events to promote? Maybe I should try to find dance crazy people around the world or nearby.

Just over 6 days left in Spain.

The Economist sent me an email agreeing to send the newspaper to my UK address, but the email was addressed to ‘Mr Chdancer’ which leaves the outcome in doubt.
22 May Jueves

Another mainly sunny, breezy, warm day. Went to beach intending to dance. Chatted with a Brit who has a shop near the beach. We swapped stories of bureaucracy and arbitrary enforcement of possibly non-existent rules. (A tourist was fined Euro200 for cycling through a red light, and not having any cash, her bike was confiscated. But the bike was a rental.)
We both comment on how quiet the beach has been this May after a widely reported high hotel occupancy around May1. He adds, “Yeah, today you don’t have much of an audience, Geoffrey.”

Then spotted some old friends sitting in one of my favourite cafes. I squatted until the pain of doing so prevented further conversation. I was told by one of the women that her son and a friend had danced with me some years ago, before she knew me.

I chose to dance away from visible police. I had noted one standing in one of my usual dance stations, his gaze flitting from parked car to car in what I assumed to be a bored hunt for infractions.

Although the place appears unusually quiet for May, there were enough people taking video of me and among them was a man with an expensive camera with a large lens. When he and the woman with him passed by I asked if he could send me copies. I spoke Spanish and then he replied in slow and difficult English. His reply was that it was impossible. I thought he was telling me that the camera used film, but then I thought maybe he was saying that he had filmed me, but no it is stills and digital, but at 20Mb per photo he didn’t want to send them by email. “It is a professional camera,” he explained, to which I, cheekily, replied that all the photos I have were taken with professional cameras (True, irrelevant, and he didn’t understand me anyway.) The woman suggested to him that we take more photos tomorrow, smaller, and that he email them. I tell them not to worry. He says, “You dance very well.”
“Thank you,” I reply. She says, “We saw you last year.” He adds, “You are on youtube,” and as I nod, “you know.”

I wonder how or why they found me on youtube.

It was a good dance session; I got my ‘happy’ back.

As I pass the Brit shop owner, I say, “I have danced and not been arrested, so I am happy.”

I should be doing at least three things that are pending as I am only here for another 3 working days, but I can’t be bothered to do them. God, my ability to let things slide is impressive. And instead of doing those important things I am looking at a wisteria seedling that is growing in a yoghurt pot: what am I going to do with it as I will not be here to tend it? (Isn’t it odd the things we treat as important. It is the first time I have figured out how to get a wisteria seed to sprout, so it seems important.)

 

23 May viernes, 24sabado, 25domingo

Friday danced and also Saturday, but Sunday woke up with pain in my hip which fortunately passed, but when I arrived at the beach I felt so calm and lacking in desire to dance that I did my stretches, sat a while, bought some bread, walked along the prom feeling wonderful, and then went home. The beach is fairly busy this Sunday.

Some of the things pending have sorted themselves out without my intervention, but had to contact the gardener because I forgot to pay for April and need to pay in advance for the next few months. (The end of April had a public holiday and then with the dance events I forgot. Only realised a few days ago when I found the already written cheque still in the chequebook)

The month of May has been close to perfect weather (if one ignores the drought). Almost every day has had sunshine, breezes and temperatures around 24C with mild nights. I saw a recent photo of Bournemouth pier with black clouds, rain and low temperatures – ah, something to look forward to as I return on Wednesday.
26 Mayo Lunes

Another identical weather day. Danced, but still wary of dancing when police agents are nearby. I waited until two of them walked away before starting again.

A woman, blonde, slim, maybe 45 or 50, Spanish came over when I was doing my end exercises. She asked if I spoke Spanish and then explained that she has seen me dance, she asked if I made a living from dancing (as she asked she slapped the back of one hand onto the palm of the other in a signal of payment). “Why don’t you have music that everyone can hear, I would like to hear what you are dancing to.” I explain about dance events and fines to which she responds, “The police are thieves.” (She is not the only person who has said this to me.) She volunteers the idea that if I had audible music perhaps I would be fined. I shrug.  When I told her about the dance events she replied, “With just you dancing?”
“No,” I reply, “we had 25 persons dancing.”
“When will the next one be?”
I reply that we had planned in October, but now I am not sure.
We talk about dance classes and she tells me that she paints and sometimes goes to classes, but doesn’t much like being told how she should paint.
She says goodbye and disappears onto the beach.

It is funny how women come over to talk to me. (Or insult me.)

27 Mayo Martes

Danced, but can’t remember anything because it is now several days later and I am in another country.

28 Mayo Miercoles
Danced, but possibly should not have done so as it is the day I am due to fly to England. I should have gone on line to check my flight has not been delayed, but forgot my glasses so danced. Got back for lunch and then very very busy getting ready to go. Driven to airport and danced in the terminal near gate 31 on an irresistibly shiney slippery tiled floor (oh, the slide of it). Videoed by amused travellers and then they weren’t quite so amused when I boarded the same ‘plane with my T-shirt damp wth sweat.
In England chatted to taxi driver who turns out to be from Afghanistan and who fled when the Taliban took over. Very interesting, made the drive seem short.

29 May Thursday, 30 Friday, 31 Saturday
Went into Bournemouth and picked up details of dance events from the dance studio. Quite a lot happening especially next weekend with a street dance festival. Danced a bit late Thursday night, but weather so grey and chilly and damp that I have not danced on the beach yet. Slowly adjusting to the gloom, chill and greenness of England.

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?”
“Yes.”
“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.
Not enough.
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.

1 Marzo 2014 Sabado

Overcast cool morning. In a better mood (no idea why). Bumped into neighbour who some time ago had suggested that I would be appearing in the local newspaper. I told him that his prediction had now come true.
Saw other neighbours who told me that they had seen my photo in the papers and asked ironically if they were still permitted to shake my hand.

My neighbour pointed out that the newspaper called me Jeremy which is wrong. The newspaper did indeed get my name wrong, but I think they called me Jeffrey. So, Peter, Gordon, Jeffrey, HH and now Jeremy.

What’s my name?  The Beachdancer.

Waved to a few strangers in restuarants who signalled the question of whether I was going to dance. Have the feeling that one of the strangers was someone I know, but not sure.

Should have gone on-line, but didn’t.

Got wet in shower walking home.

Watching events in Ukraine.
On Russian TV: Fascist mob paid by West taken over Kiev and threatening rest of country. Russian troups to protect Ukraine.
CNN: Russian land grab threatens world peace.
Response from Kiev – Russia has invaded Ukraine.
The silliest thing is that new government decides to remove Russian as an official language of Ukraine thereby slapping russian speakers who are most of population in east of country. Not surprising that the easterners then worry about what else may be done to them especially as they watch Russian TV which is full of propaganda about facists threatening the stability of the country and, at any moment, going to appear in a town near you causing mayhem and murder.
Oddly the western press doesn’t discuss the ‘facist’ nature of the new government nor do they explain the above Russian point of view. Therefore Russian actions seem a shock.

2 March 2014 Domingo

A beautiful sunny day with a breeze. While dancing I heard someone saying in Spanish that if they found out what music I was dancing to maybe they would be able to dance like me. They were probably in their late 20s or early 30s. I let each one of them listen to the music in turn. “Not what I expected,” was the general reaction to the music. This was at the Octupus Tavern which is a pub with seating on the beachside of the building and often has a small crowd standing at the side too. It is a younger place than most of the restaurants, but the music they play does not appeal to me. They asked if I could dance to the music being played. My reply was that it did not appeal. Someone decided to change the music to the BeeGees singing, I think it may have been ‘Night fever’. I said that this was music from my youth, but that I don’t find it appealing, that the rythm is too simple and repetitive. The bar tender came out, asked me if I would like some water, and then asked what music I liked. He listened and said, “I don’t have anything like that.” Later he played the Robert Thicke recent hit whose title I don’t remember (Red lines?)and I danced to this. It makes a difference to the audience when they can see that I actually move in time with the music.

We chatted a while, one woman asked if I am a professional dancer and another of the women said that she almost wants to dance (she wants to, but is too inhibited), but is interested in coming to the next charity event. We all chatted a while and then I moved on to my next station.

I acknowledged a middle aged women who was watching. This gave her the confidence to approach me. She is Iranian, but lives in a part of London that I knew well. She asked if I am dance for money, and on being told not, she asked if it was just to dance or for exercise. I said for both. She parted saying “We’ll talk again.”

A young spanish girl said to me, “Bailes?” which is an odd question (“You dance?”) I reply that yes I dance and she asks me the second standard childish question, “Why?” but instead of the standard answer (because I enjoy it) I ask her why she rides a push scooter to which she replies “Porque si” (“Because!”). This isn’t much of a conversation. She asks me if it ‘gives shame’ (Dar verguenza which I guess means Do you feel embaressed) I explain that once you have broken the barrier of fear it is easy. She doesn’t seem to like this explanation because she repeats several times, “Que verguenza” (What cheek) and “Que fuerte” (How strong). I am not sure if these were being used in a positive or negative sense.

About 20 minutes later the Iranian’s prediction came true. “I talked to you a little earlier”, she explained. “Have you ever been paid to dance?” “No,” I replied. “Would you be interested in being paid to dance?” This caused me to pause a while. “What do you have in mind?” She explained that she had a friend or friends who run some kind of promotional something or other and that she thought that they would be interested. She asked for contact details so I gave her a printed web address and an email address. She asked for a phone number, but I don’t know my phone number. (This is probably nothing. Someone thinking that someone else could be interested. I am always interested in doing something that involves dance. Being paid isn’t much of a motivation.)

She also said, “It must be wonderful to be able to move the way you do.” To which I replied, “No, you just think about the things you can’t do.”

(That reminds me that I have often said that it must be wonderful to be able to sing well.)

3 March 2014 Lunes

Finally went on-line and did most of the things I was supposed to do. This left me no time to dance even though it was a lovely day at the beach. Now, as I type, in early Tuesday morning the wind is howling through the trees. On-line I got a web version of the artwork for the poster and I requested copies of the newspaper photos. I have emailed HotRadio in England about doing a similar event.

4 & 5 March 2014 Martes y Miercoles

Yesterday is a mystery, but today went on-line to check UK tax on pensions plans. These details were impossible to find within the hour I spent searching for them.

That didn’t leave me much time to dance, but I danced anyway, because it was a glorious sunny warm day. The Arenal was almost deserted. Didn’t dance until exhaustion, because I was hungry.

Oh, I took a few minutes to search for video. Found one with the title “Loco de Javea” (Javea madman):

I am not keen on being ‘Javea Madman’ when, surely, I should be ‘Bournemouth Madman’, but this video is a somewhat different dance style to the others- very slow and twisty which merits inclusion in my blog. (It had had 3 views when I looked at it.)

Received email from a charity asking me if May isn’t too hot for a dance event and whether we would need some shade. I replied that it is hot, that I would be drenched in sweat, but that I do dance in May and that another charity (which runs the local dog rescue pound) held a zumba event a couple of years ago in (I think) May. I would much rather an event in March or April. May tends to be about 25C and the midday sun is brutal.

Javea Madman’s toe is much better now.

Ah, a flashback to yeterday. I danced. Later in supermarket I saw the assistant who does flamenco and so I picked-up one of the newspapers to show her the photos. She showed polite interest, she recognised the town mayor, she agreed that we should have more dance events.

At this time there has been a kind of revolution in Ukraine and then another kind of revolution in Crimea which was part of Ukraine. The details seem vague and the statements from Putin (means little prostitute in spanish) are other worldly. The well equiped, identically uniformed and obviously disciplined armed forces deployed across Crimea are said, by the little prostitute, to be Crimean miltias nothing to do with Russia. Wow! Very impressive for a self defence militia that no one knew existed.
I wonder why he wants deniability.

I guess that at some point he will give a secret order and the ‘self defence forces’ will melt away. Will the local puppet government stay?
Why do I care? I don’t know, it just fascinates me to watch revolutions. (I hope it doesn’t come to spain. We have huge unemployment, corruption and an elected somewhat authoritarian government.)

(Should America announce that they never invaded Iraq – it was just local self defence forces?)

6 Marzo 2014 Jueves

Another beautiful day. Woke up too early. Planned to go on-line, but the beach was calling. There was a photo shoot on the beach with two young models shivering in bikinis. Odd that they shivered while I sweated dancing. This competition from the photo shoot didn’t prevent several persons videoing me, but one of them, a young man with an elderly woman in a wheelchair was far more interested in me, for reasons I can only guess at. I gave him a wave which seemed to please him.

With fashion models to impress I danced long time, but I don’t have any evidence of impressing them.

The pine pollen season is coming close to its end, but the bamboo roots have been spotted in the lawn where they will have to be ripped out.

(An American journalist at RT ‘russian news tv’ quit live saying that she was tired of broadcasting propaganda and knocking America. That is what RT seems to me, although the knocking America part doesn’t bother me much; the stories seem true, but always about bad things never anything good. The propaganda seems so raw and currently absurd that I wonder who it is for. Reminds me a bit of Fox News, but even more extreme.)

Hypocrasy everywhere in the statements from all sides in this event. Russia is doing what it and America (and China) have often done, using forces to control what happens in countries nearby or wherever it wants to. (Not to mention Britain and France and, before I was born, Germany)

My own take is: A corrupt authoritarian superficially democratic government seeing a similar government overthrown by street protestors wants to do anything to make that overthrow painful and unsuccessful to discourage revolution at home.

Oh, I saw on RT the most outrageous propaganda this evening. As you may know someone leaked a recording of a UN envoy telling Ashton (The EU something or other) about who did the shooting in Kiev. The RT version was to play just a carefully selected part which was somnething like:  “…increasingly becoming known that the shooting was by the protestors”

When the version played in the west is longer starting something like: “When I was in the square I was told by a doctor there that there is a rumour which is increasingly becoming known that the shooting was by the protestors”

Meanwhile the EU has castigated Russia by officially announcing that it is ‘Naughty’ and threatening to call it ‘Very naughty, in deed’

Ukraine, which gave up nuclear weapons in exchange for territorial guarantees is a good lesson for Iran and North Korea.

7 March Viernes

Sunny, but a lot cooler and breezy. Would have been a perfect dance day, but went on line. Wasted a lot of time trying to find a supplier of a herbicide to be used on the bamboo. I know the product and can find it for sale in UK, but couldn’t figure out how to buy it. Couldn’t find a supplier here in Spain even though I know that the manufacturer sells here. Will have to try again. Received copy of photo from newspaper, but was surprised that actually taken by one of the charities. Have put on blog ahead of receiving permission (They told me the whole event was inspired by me and dependent upon me so I assume they will give permission.) My email to the DJ who organised it bounced back. I uploaded some other stuff to the blog. These things took nearly 2 hours and cost E3.80, at the end of which I was hungry. I stood in the street for a while to feel whether to dance or go home. I went home listening to a CD of David Essex. He doesn’t have much of a voice and the production seemed basic. Pleasant, but dull and not likely to inspire dance.

8 Marzo 2014 Sabado

Another clear sky with a temperature of about 17 after a cold 5C night. Fairly busy on the prom and some people on the beach. I have put the David Essex on the shelf as not very dance and have changed to a new CD by who the hell knows. Much more dance, but the track I currently adore is a rendition of ‘Halleluya’. I was doing some kind of fake ballet to this. God knows what I looked like, halleluyah!

Tried to dance part of the time in the shade because the clear sky sun is exhausting.

When I had finished jelly-legged, I changed my shoes and still listening to that track found myself dancing a little more.  Some music simply inspires.

In the supermarket spoke to the pretty flamenco dancer. I told her that I had just finished dancing and that my legs were like ‘gelatina’. I also told her that I had found another video of me titled ‘Loco de Javea’. Her response was that she would look for it.

As I walked back I felt someone squeeze my hand. “Hello, nice to see you.” We chatted a while and she told me this typical story about Spanish bureauocracy.

“A friend was planning a party at home with a live band. Someone suggested that she should apply for a music licence. She went to the Town Hall and was directed to the relevant department where she waited in line. At the desk the civil servant found the relevant form, asked for all the details, filled it in, stamped it and then put it away in a drawer. She asked for a copy so that she could prove that she had a music licence. The civil servant refused to give her a copy.
Why?
The civil servant explained that a live band at home does not require a music licence.”

Walking past a group of youngsters on skateboards I overheard one say, “Oh it’s the dancer” I gave them a wave. (Actually I think he said, “Oh shit its the dancer”, but I don’t like to soil my fingers typing rude words.)

9 y 10 Marzo Domingo y Lunes

When I reached the beach area on Sunday there were hundreds of runners in what appeared to be some kind of marathon. Had to cross this horde to get to my exercise bench and than I realised that if I did my standing exercises there I would get knocked down by the rush of humanity. Therefore I did my exercises on the wooden ramp. Then had to make a break through the advancing groups of runners to be back where I could dance. Something wasn’t working when I danced and it took about three songs to realise that I was still wearing my fully soled sport shoes which were gripping the floor to well. In the crush I had forgotten to change into dance shoes. I did a lot of standing on the spot running steps (seemingly running while not going forward) as my small tribute to the marathon. When the last of the runners had passed there was an ambulance following at the rear. Then I had the place to myself. Wore myself down.

Monday I was sure that I would not dance. My knees feel strained from yesterday, my feet are sore and I lack any sign of energy. Down at the beach I decided to do my agility exercises and then just slipped my dance shoes on in case I want to move to some slow music and then I danced for a while, strapped my right knee, moved to another station, felt exhausted and just tried some experimental moves while watching my reflexion in the glass walls. Definitely tired and lacking in motivation. Walked to the end, did final exercies and then danced to slow music for another 2 or 3 songs. Only videoed once or maybe twice.

Drained, relaxed, happy.

11 y 12 Marzo Martes y Miercoles

Tuesday I was so worn out and generally achey, especially my knee, that I stayed home and read. The weather was overcast and cool.

Wednesday was also overcast and when I was ready to go out there was a shower. Went to library because of weather and the books were due back. Went on line to check email. Disappointed that no one has emailed me about dance and the herbicide company hasn’t told me where I can buy it in Spain. Spain seems particularly poor in internet activity. Not having any obvious chores I looked at my google+ page and was pleased by all the dance related photos and videos now connected to it. Pointless of course because I can’t tell you the address and pointless to me because I am so rarely on-line that I don’t take the time to look at it. I should put a link to it somewhere, maybe.. not sure what the purpose is.
(Discovered that the web address is a secret that only google knows.)

13 Marzo 2014 Jueves

I thought it was wednesday today. These diary errors occur when I break the dance rythm. No, it is apparently Thursday. Went to supermarket. A young woman who works in ‘Peca2’ waved to me as I passed. No idea who she is, but I waved back.  The walkway at the beach still wet from morning shower, but found a section sufficiently dry, which, by chance, was outside that restaurant, but saw no more of my mystery woman. A dark overcast sky, slightly rough sea, some breeze and cool enough that I had my jacket on for a song or two before getting warm enough. Eventually down to T-shirt. Moved to another station between Champagne and Octopus. Danced to a frazzle, then did final exercises. A Frenchman passed by, waved his arms and asked, “C’est fini?” to which I replied “Casi”. He laughed. (I realised after that ‘casi’ which is ‘almost’ in Spanish is also ‘broken’ in French) I danced a more, changed shoes and then danced just a touch more before walking slowly home. Good session.

A small girl on a push scooter came over and asked me something in some language and then said ‘Deutsch’ to which I replied, “Ich spreke nicht Deutsch.”

There weren’t many people around and so I was only videoed by one or two.

14 Marzo Viernes

Overcast and cool when I went out wearing a waterproof jacket in case of rain, but warm enough to take it off and take off my shirt after shopping. Felt a lack of energy such that I would love to have the energy that others tell me that I have. Found some energy after a few songs, from whence it came I know not.
There was a school class on the beach seemingly being put through physical activity uner supervision by two or three teachers. They showed little or no interest in my bouncing around.

When I finished I changed my shoes, put on my T-shirt and then danced a bit more while putting on my shirt.

Calmly walked towards home, but was flagged down by a woman seated outside a cafe some 300 metres from the beach. “Do you speak English?” she asked. “We have seen you dance and I would love to know what music you listen to.”
She was with a young man and an older woman. The young man said, “We have seen you dance oodles of times.” The older woman asked, “Have you ever been a dancer?”
“No,” I replied, “It is just a passion. I have danced for years, but in public only a few years since I broke the fear barrier.”
The younger woman responded, “That is what I admire about you.” Then she added, “When you dance you look so happy.”
I gave them my blog address and where to search for video. I think I may have outstayed my welcome just a touch.

15 Marzo 2014 Sabado
Weather changed, gloriously sunny without being hot. Maxed at about 17C at my house, probably more at the beach. Danced long time, videoed as usual, waved to familiar waitress in one restaurant who responded out of politeness, said ‘Hola’ to waitress in another bar who responded with a big smile and some question that I didn’t hear, I think she may have been interested in talking, but nothing came to my mind to say; I really am not a natural socialite.
On walk home strapped my right knee; it has a weak point which hurts.

Last night thought that I should replace the windows. The wood boring insects are pushing me in the direction of having plastic windows. The next weeks will show if I make the effort to get quotes or not. Not knowing what to do about woodworm causes me many hours of discomfort. As they show up in new places I have the woodwork sanded down to remove the woodstain and then painted with insecticide. The sanding is expensive. This treatment doesn’t irradicate but probably ameliorates. Beetles still come out of the treated wood, but probably fewer than would have without treatment. Then, next season, they show up in some other part of the house. The most expensive event will be if they get into the expensive furniture.

16 Marzo Domingo

Oh-oh, my knee hurts in a specific spot. Strapped it up again. Didn’t go out. Turned my mind to all the chores instead. It is going to be hard the next few weeks trying to sort out windows and bug killing as well as other UK chores. Saw a number of dead beetles on the outside of the living room window. So that window is infected. They are probably everywhere by now, or is that just paranoia? Plan is to call the specialists to get idea of cost of extensive treatment and hopefully to get a better idea of problem. I simply don’t know how much effort should be put into this. Am I doing too little, too much, roughly the right amount?

Meanwhile in Crimea of the large number of persons who have voted probably nearly all have voted to become part of Russia, which is interesting when a year or two ago a public opinion survey in Russia found that the vast majority of Russians wanted to leave Russia.

The Russians in Crimea seem to believe that it was always Russian when the historians say it was Tartar (moslems apparently famous for dirty teeth?) until Russia broke its word and took control. Most of the descendents were deported by Stalin and have only recently started to return.

I don’t suppose anyone else much cares (except for all the other ex-soviet countries with large russian populations. Which makes me wonder about the safety of London or Bournemouth with their Russian residents.)

Lovely day today. The sprinklers were on for the first time this year. Another annual chore is checking them and fixing the leaks.

17 March Lunes – Ay, que calor.

Monday and my appointed tasks begin. Rang for a double glazing quote and was surprised that the phone was answered in english. This threw me for a moment because I couldn’t think of the english for ‘presupuesto’ which I ended up saying in ESpanglish “I want a presupuesto” to which she replied, “You want a quote.” (Yes, that’s the word ‘quote’ or maybe estimate.)
Second call was busy. Went on line to find other suppliers. You know it is very difficult to find local suppliers of anything using google. I found a supplier in Venuzuela and Mexico more easily than one nearby. Many local traders are listed in on-line directories but there is no way to contact them. Did email a couple of suppliers, or at least I think I did, but don’t know where they are and didn’t write down their names.
There are commercial listings where you can say what you want and the website sends the enquiry to its subscribers, but the pages of terms and conditions put me off using them. (Probably there is nothing bad in those terms but I can’t be bothered to read so many pages and feel uncomfortable using it without reading.)
Also searched again for a local supplier of herbicide ’roundup stump killer’ Ah, yes Venuzuela again.
The manufacturer of the product can’t be bothered to tell me where to buy it. My local ‘viveros’ (garden centre) told me today, “No,” and they can’t order it for me either. In the UK Homebase and Amazon sell it, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it sent to me.
Received email from EKA charity telling me that I am in their promotional video. Not worth seeing. In it I am talking about dancing with the young man who was doing the ‘body-popping’ at the Nostro dance event feb15. They confirm that they are trying to create another event in May. Received email from the cancer charity telling me that from the point of view of the average couch potato that my energy is amazing.
Strapped up my knee, but decided to do just the stretching exercises because my knee is not up to the stress of dancing. Glorious sunny day with the restaurants open for the spring season and with their glass walls retracted to make them an open space, oh dear, who can resist the call of the fresh air, sun and the milling strangers. So I danced and sweated and fortunately my knee didn’t give me jip (is there such a word? gip?). A woman being wheeled by in a chair applauded and I bowed, actually I think I curtsied. That was the only feedback plus the usual videoing looking and ocasional pointing. So nothing unusual or interesting… yet.
Did a big shop to be delivered and didn’t have enough money to pay for it. I offered to pay by card but this was waved away as they decided to let me pay on delivery. Unfortunately I won’t have the right change when they deliver.
On leaving the super market three teenagers sitting at the outdoor table of the cafe next door greeted me with big smiles. I waved and smiled back while they called out ‘Dance!’ I took off the headphones and said “Me acabo” (I have just finished). ‘Dance! Estoy grabando. I’m filming,” one of them said in spanish and english. I smiled again but ignored the commands.
About half a kilometre inland I passed some 10 or so young girls of probably less than 10 years of age. They started shouting, “Bailar! Bailar!” I waved to acknowledge them, but continued walking.” “Quitar esas cosas,” one shouted and then asked the others, “Como se llama esas?” (Take off those things.. what do you call those things? I assume she was refering to the headphones.) Fortunately they didn’t mob me.

18 Marzo 2014

The winter is over. Another glorious day. Feel much better than I felt a week or so ago. Something to do with the illusion of being in control (asking for quotes on windows and bug treatment – plus hopelessly trying to find where to buy herbicide?) Went on-line to try to do these things without achieving much. How come the sellers of double glazing don’t have websites that appear on google? How come no one wants me to know where to buy herbicide? Now that I am planning to do stuff I want to get it done and NOW! This compares to my usual attitude of letting things slide for 3 months before putting them off a bit longer.

Was so hungry after being on-line that I had to buy something to eat before being able to dance. Checked in supermarket when they would deliver. They wanted to deliver faster than I could get home; they agreed to delay delivery. I paid the money I owed them.

Danced without incident. Some small children became excited and tried to turn around like I do, but they soon became dizzy and found something else to occupy their attention. It was very warm. The area is moderately busy today Tuesday and also Monday, which is a big difference from just a week ago. Nearly all the cafes are open again after the dead season.

Last night I watched France24 news channel where a professor of politics in Crimea was exchanging insults with a writer for the Wall St Journal. The Crimean called the western news absurd propaganda (just what I think of the Russian news) and acussed the Journal man of talking like as someone from the Soviet era (just like I think of the Russian statements).

I am half expecting the Ukrainian government to send unmarked troups into eastern Ukraine to protect the Russians there and to call them local self defence forces. I also expect America to deny it ever invaded Iraq, that the troops were locals who had bought their uniforms from Army surplus stores.

Well, a vast number voted to become part of Russia. That’s democracy? Well, the ballot paper didn’t give a choice of staying part of Ukraine, the Ukranian TV channels were blocked before the referendum, anyone advocating not being part of Russia was intimidated, no debates of the topic were carried out, the streets were dominated by armed men in favour of Russia, Russian music was played at the polling stations and they allowed Russians whose only ID was a Russian passport to vote. (Oh and the ballot papers were not folded which means how you voted was visible to all.) Mmmm, that’s democracy Putin style.

Are people actually surprised that Putin has accepted the plea of the Crimeans to become part of Russia? (It is impressive how fast politicians can pass laws when they want to.)

Western TV news vs Russian (today):

Western Reports (CNN, BBC and France24)
Unmarked soldiers believed to be Russian Army stormed a Ukranian military base. Automatic fire was heard and a Ukranian officer was shot in the neck and died. The Russians retreated.

RT (Russian TV)
A Ukranian Army officer and a Crimean defence force member were shot and killed by sniper fire from a nearby tower block. The sniper is believed to be a member of the extreme right that was involved in similar sniper fire in Kiev.

Unbelievable? Both reports cite their source as being members of the Ukranian military base and the same press service. Exactly the same sources.

Meanwhile Russians love their strong president and young men in Ukraine are enlisting to protect the motherland.

Now that Sudentland has been reunited with Germa…. oops.

Japan has decided to stop telling school children that there are some little islands whose nationality is disputed, now they will be told that they are Japanese. This is seen in Japan as increasing national pride.

And so we drift toward what?

Meanwhile America announces SEVERE sanctions which seem to be nothing more than not issuing visas to a tiny number of persons who don’t want to go to America anyway.

I expect a high chance of a shooting war in Ukraine and a lot of fear in ex-communist countries. (I am not planning to enlist, even if the part of Spain near here that wants a referendum on leaving Spain suddenly joins Russia.)

Just one more time: Who in their right mind would choose to be part of Russia?

Hah! Fascict thugs, who are members of parliament, film themselves slapping around and roughing-up the manager of the state TV company because he broadcast Putin’s speach and the street celebrations about Crimea. These thugs then stated that they were right to do this because they were at war and the TV broadcasts were treason. How happy the Russian media will be to finally have some proof of their ‘Kiev is run by Nazis’ propaganda.

Meanwhile France may actually be about to elect the National Front in local elections across the country.

19 Marzo Miercoles
Went to ciber, but closed. Supermarket also closed. Must be a public holiday. Cooler and a bit cloudier, but still nice.
The promenade was busy and the cafe’s nearly full.
Danced long time. Videoed as usual. Both knees strapped due to pain and during the dance I damaged something else. Pain in my groin. Kept my knees strapped all evening. Hope the groin strain isn’t severe.
Phoned other bug killers and left message as not open.

20 Mrazo 2014 Jueves
Forgot to take memory stick so didn’t go on-line. The change in number of persons near the beach tells me that yesterday had been a public holiday.
Groin and knees don’t hurt much, but too tired to dance. Decided to just do stretching exercises and then to walk home, but after doing the exercises I danced anyway. Big wave from waitress at Champagne.
Some child said something which sounded like, “Mira es el loco de javea,” but I probably imagined those words.

On my way home, just outside ‘El camping’ (campsite) a man on a bicycle said something to me in what sound like English. I removed my headphones and we stared at each other expectantly. He probably hoped for a reply while I waited for him to repeat himself. Finally, he gave in and said, “You’re not dancing.”
“No, I have finished.”
“You’ve done your bit for the day,” he confirmed in what sounded like a London area accent.
He asked a few of the normal questions. The statement that surprised me was, “You’re famous, I saw you on Facebook.”
“Facebook? Where?” I asked because, of course, I am banned from Facebook.
“Was there some kind of thing at a cafe?” He asked.
“Yes.”
“You know the Mayor? You are on his Facebook page.”
I found that mildly surprising. We chatted a while longer. He told me he would like to be able to do what I do. He asked me if I went to discos. I told him that I rarely go and that it is odd because I am as old as most of the others’ grandparents and even odder than youg women come over to dance with me.
His reply was, “That doesn’t suprise me.”
Odd, because it surprises me.
His parting words were, “You’re famous.”

21 Marzo 2014 Viernes

Another nice day, some thin cloud, about 18C max and sunny. Too tired to dance and I want to save my energy for tomorrow. I went into Nostro where the barman shook my hand. I asked to use the lavatory and then chatted with him about more dance events. He was unaware of the Mayor’s facebook page (and I couldn’t find it as I am banned from facebook). He wants to see more events and thinks every 6 weeks or maybe monthly would be good whereas I want them weekly. He told me that 20 persons had been expected at the event, but that we had had 80. That’s more than I thought. His number is of the persons who bought the charity special of cafe and croissant for Euro2 which went to charity. He wants the whole of the beach area dancing.
Having chatted I couldn’t resist dancing a while, but just 4 or 5 songs.

This evening a bug man is coming so I have to figure out what to ask. Also received another estimate for new windows and doors. Still no news on herbicide because the email address for rounbup looks like it is going to bounce.

What a coincidence that a week after becoming annoyed at discovering that UK pension funds are a pointless trap, the UK budget changes all the rules. They are probably still pointless, but now it may be possible to escape from them.

22 Marzo Sabado

Overcast and cool when I went out wearing a rain jacket due to the dark sky, but there was no rain and the temperature rose to about 18C.
One of my neighbours wants to cut some over hanging branches of one of my pine trees. I assumed that the persons with him were professionals and so I left them to it.

While walking through the orange groves, a woman walking with a dog, smiled at me as she jigged around and moved her arms in dance movements. I don’t know who she is, but she obviously knows me. My mind was trying to choose a language, but instead I just smiled and mumbled some language-like sounds.

At the beach the place was nearly empty in the overcast coolness and I discovered that I had not brought my dance shoes. The sports shoes I walked in have a lot of grip and so I hesitated about dancing in them and only did two songs.

Later I walked past a large family group, the small children seem to have recognised me. They whisper and sneak looks. (Or am I imagining this?)

Walking home after shopping a middle aged couple greeted me in English with a smile and “Good Morning.” Do I know them? I have a feeling that I may have met them, but I don’t know.

Back home much of one side of the pine tree is now on the ground. I hope that the tree doesn’t fall over from being imbalanced. These guys don’t appear to be using safety harnesses.

Last evening the bug man who came was a ‘technico’ as they say here (that is a person who does the work) rather than a salesman. This meant that he would tell me lots of things that salesman don’t mention, but this included detailed stories of treating different kinds of insects, which were mostly irrelevant, but even more irrelevant details of which towns the houses were in, what county those towns are in and how nice or not the central plaza of those towns are. I know a lot more about cockroaches than I did, but they have no relevance to the wood boring beetles here.

He looked at the can of the insecticide that has been used on the woodwork here. He told me that it is a general purpose insecticide and although it is sold under the name ‘matacarcomas’ (kill woodworm) it isn’t specifically for killing carcoma. The professionals use a different chemical. What I have used is what you get if you buy retail, but he tells me that the professional chemicals can only be bought if you have a licence.  He said that if he treats the wood it can be forgotten about for 10 years. That would be a lot better than what I have done so far, because carcoma have continued to show-up in wood treated just a year earlier.

What I don’t know yet is how many thousands it is going to cost. I will probably have all the antique beams treated (some 30 or more) plus the doors and frames that have already been treated and the door in the kitchen that has new bore holes. My guess is 3,000.

(Just saw a mouse or maybe a shrew running around in the empty swimming pool. Have now rescued it.)

23 Marzo Domingo

Beautiful clear sky, quite brrezy day maybe peaked at 20C. I have been told that this has been the dryest winter in 150 years. Certainly we have not had any of the really heavy storms that are normal. Went to beach and danced long time. No special events, little waves from waitresses, children amused, middle aged women giving me the eye while ignoring their husbands. Bought fresh bread for lunch. Looked in telephone directory for supplier of double glazing in the area – nothing.

24 Marzo Lunes
Sunny day at 19C. Knee hurts. Went to library and shopping. No dance.
I phoned a double glazing company in a town near here and was asked, “Why don’t you email the details?” I didn’t bother pointing out that the company doesn’t list its email address on-line, only its phone number.

It amazes me that most of these firms only have a listing in on-line directories which don’t include email addresses. Why on earth don’t they have some kind of website?

25 Marzo Martes
Sunny morning, but became overcast and with a wind it feels chilly at 17C although maxed at 20C. Danced with most of the area empty. Videod as usual. Went to shop to buy newspaper and was asked by the smiling female assistant, “Has bailado o vas a bailar ya?” I answered that yes I had danced already and so was not about to dance and that I was injured. I lifted my leg to show the strapping around my knee.
I wonder if that shop assistant remembers that I asked her 3 years ago whether she knew of anywhere that I could go to dance. At the time she looked at me as though I had suggested something perverted.

26 Marzo Miercoles

I have a feeling that the clocks may have changed, but I haven’t seen any proof yet. We had a small rain shower last night. It has been windy since last night and today’s sunshine between clouds can’t compete against the chilling effect of the wind, but still a nice day.

Isn’t it odd that the news story in which there is no news (the airliner which has gone missing) is the most popular news story. When we don’t know something there is a rush to fill the absense of knowledge with any crazy imagination. Why do people need to create imagined false news rather than just saying, “We don’t know, but in time perhaps we will.” (It took 2 years to find a previously ‘mysterious’ lost airliner.)

Knee still hurts and with an empty beach, I only danced a bit, maybe 20 mins at most. Nearly hit by cyclist.

27 Marzo 2014 Jueves

Sunny, breezy, cool. Received email from charity organiser to tell me that they plan our next beachdance on 14 May from 1 to 3. That will be hot. Didn’t tell me the location. I told waitress in one of the cafes and she said that she wanted it to be outside her cafe. Received email from a local free newspaper saying they would run a piece about beachdance, but they requested a photo of my dancing alone, which I don’t have.

Knee still strapped. Danced for some unmeasured time. I think less than an hour. Barked at by dog; owners do nothing.

28 Marzo Viernes, 29 Sabado, 30 Domingo

Uh, now what happened friday? No idea. I think the weather poor and my knee hurt, so I stayed at home. Saturday was overcast and not very nice at all, but I went dancing on a nearly deserted beach. Sunday started with light rain from an overcast sky which left me unmoved and indoors which, at least, gave my aching knee a bit more of a rest.

At some moment during the last few days they slipped it past me, the swines: I switched on the TV and the programme times were an hour later than my clocks.

31 Marzo Lunes
Confirmed by my radio controlled clock that all my other clocks are one hour wrong. Lovely sunny morning. Went on-line to check email, download the estimates for windows, send a copy of the dance poster to the local newspaper, ask the organisers of the next dance where it is to be held, and annouce it on twitter (as I only have 1 follower I don’t think it will have much effect) (I think there is a way to connect it to other groups, but last time I did this I got banned from twitter.) Have asked for a printed flyer that I can hand out to promote the dance. The organiser tells me that they only promote 3 weeks prior because people forget. Today is 6 weeks before event.

When I came out of the ‘locutorio’ (where there are phones and internet connections) a middle aged man, who was walking with a dog, signalled to me. I stopped, removed my headphones and said, “Hola.” He asked if I am spanish and then if I speak spanish. He then grabbed my arm around the biceps which felt very small in his strong hand. “Le he visto muchas veces…” (I have seen you many times..) he began while continuing to hold my arm. I can’t remember his exact words, but he said something like, “I don’t care if you dance well or badly; you dance well, but it is that you enjoy it. It is admirable that you do whatever you want to do. That you are such a happy person. It is an excellent way to live that the rest of us should… You enjoy life.” I was trapped physically; he wasn’t letting me go or even giving me room to respond verbally. Finally he took a breath and I responded by telling him of the communal dance on May 14 that he could come to, to dance or just sip cafe. He told me that he danced, and not badly. He introduced himself and then we parted with a shake of hands in one of those new youth style hand shakes.

So many people tell me how happy I am and how much I enjoy life, perhaps eventually I will believe them.

Shopped and then danced. Waved to a few restaurant staff and one or two regular customers. Felt something go in my ankle, stopped dancing and massaged my ankle for a while, before heading home. (Oh, knee still strapped.)

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.
“OK, ‘HHBD.”
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.
“Demasiado viento?”
“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.

DancePoster Small Pequeño

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.)

More on event

 

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.

Enero 1 2014 First day of new year.

I got up very late. What variance my awakening is displaying.

And a lovely sunny pleasant day it was.

Dancing today I noticed a small girl standing nearby with one hand outstretched towards me. I waved to her, but she seemed to want something else. I danced over to her and put a finger near her hand. She clasped my finger, released it and then ran over to her young parents.

It was the same girl as yesterday (the one who did something like breakdancing and who posed upside-down)

Danced a lot. Didn’t have the backpack because shops closed for holiday. There were around 500 persons on the beach or promenade. I think they were there to see the swimmers brave the ‘cold’ which is not so cold when compared to the northern european masochists. Seeing me added to their list one more new year’s nutter.

Enero 2 2014

Cool cloudy dull day with light showers. Stayed-in. One of the fluorescent
tubes in the kitchen needs replacing- bink bink bink – I am surprised how annoying it is to have the light flashing & clicking randomnly. I prefer to switch it off and work in the gloom than have it flickering. Tried removing the faulty tube, but the two seem to be wired in series so that without one the other doesn’t work.

3 Enero 2014

Up late again. The hardware store will be closed for siesta by the time I get to the beach so can’t buy a replacement light tube. Will have to endure the bink-bink-bink flickering light at least another day.

Today is another beautiful day, and even more unseasonably warm weather. Lots of sun, some cloud and about 18 C after a very mild night. Even the staff in the supermarket commented on how nice the weather is ‘se parece de Semana Santa’ (‘it’s like Easter’) which is probably not what a Brit would say as the weather today is more like summer (or at least late spring) in England.

When I went out I quickly returned to change my clothes, removing the thick shirt and T-shirt and putting-on a thin summer shirt instead.

This shirt is sufficiently thin that I kept it on (but undone) so that I don’t get so much sunshine on my body. Exhausted and just going to pick-up my backpack when some 4 children came over and formed a class ready to dance. Not wanting to disappoint I danced one song and tried to keep-up the quality before collapsing. Fortunately a parent turned-up, the children ran over to them and I was able to escape. However, I think some of them must go to dance class because they applauded before leaving which is very ‘dance class’.

I note that I have not posted my diary for one or two months. That’s what happens without an internet connection at home.
4 Enero 2014 Sabado

Saturday and too lazy to go out. I read that people are inundated with data these days. Really? Inundated with trivia and drivel perhaps. Apparently there are classes to teach people how to cope with masses of communication and constant messages. It is a different world to the one I choose to inhabit. My phone hasn’t rung in more that two weeks. I haven’t checked email in – er – not sure how many weeks maybe only two maybe three. (I really should check it soon.) Have only glimpsed a few headlines recently. My German neighbour tells me that the weather in England has been severe, so I then felt obliged to watch a few minutes of UK news on satelite.

Surprised to read that the average American worker has 2 years more schooling than the average European worker and some 20%? more of them have university degrees. They also work longer hours.

American and European companies have spent roughly the same amount on new technology, but the American companies have used it to improve their productivity (by re-organising work and reducing the number of staff) whereas the European companies have not benefitted from the investment (presumably because they can’t re-organise or sack staff).

Also suprised to read that in America museums have had more vistors than cinemas and sports events combined.

5 Enero Domingo

Sunday danced, but don’t remember it. Oh, a small girl being carried by her mom is waving to me. She is the same one as a couple of days ago.

6 Enero Lunes
Public holiday here in Spain (and for those of us on the old religious calendar it is the proper day to celebrate Christmas or more exactly the myth of the wise men giving gifts brought from China to the baby Jesus. In Spain these are three Kings although nothing in the bible refers to kings or how many persons came.)

Fairly busy at beach, but not as busy as New Year’s day. When I was wiping away the sweat a young woman who was sitting some 20 metres away,called-out, “Ven” (pronounced exactly like the English name ‘Ben’, but which is the command, ‘Come!’ ) I walked over to her and her two friends and said, “Hola, buenas dias”
She responded and then asked, “Cuantas anyos has bailado para bailar tan bien?” (How many years have you danced to dance so well?)
“Muchos,” I replied.
“Das clases?” (Do you give classes?)
“He ido a algunos.” (I have been to some.)
She dances salsa, her friend says very well, but she denied this. Her friend said that dancing ‘da varguenza’ which is odd because to me it translates as ‘dancing gives shame’ but I guess it is used to mean that she feels self-conscious when dancing.

Funny, is it not, that I go over to these women when commanded ‘Come!’, but I did not accompany the woman of a few days ago who was suplicantingly signalling for me to accompany her. Why the difference? Could it be something to do with one being a pleasant looking middle aged woman and the other a pretty 22 year old? Surely not.

I think I slightly over-stayed my welcome before returning to dance.

Today was another very pleasant clear sunny sky day with a slightly lower max temperature of about 15. Comfortable in a thin shirt.

Bought fresh bread from a corner shop and walked slowly home.
7 Enero
Lost in the mists of my failing memory. No idea what I did this day.
8 Enero
A more normal JANUARY 15C sunny day. The place nearly deserted after the end of the holiday period (which ends Jan6) I heard applause as I removed the headphones to wipe the sweat off. Where was it coming from? There didn’t seem to be anyone near. Ah! There they are; a couple in the fron seats of the car parked nearby. Then, as I bow to them, they go wild with waves and thumbs-up signs.
9 Enero Jueves
Phoned library to renew books which I am not reading very fast. The book “2020” is an attempt at predicting the economic and political future which has the bad luck of having been written in 2007 and saying nothing about an imminent collapse in the mortgage based banking system and its deep recessionary consequences. The author is doubly or triply cursed for using Ireland as a success model for othe small countries to follow and to often repeat how Northern Europe can produce such world dominant tech companies such as Nokia. Oh, and he assumes that by 2012 USA will be importing gas from Russia (Ooops a big fracking error there.)

He does worry, as do all comentators about the rising demand and cost of health care as more old people request very much more expensive treatments which require massive diversion of effort into health care. Oddly, the idea that what cannot be afforded will not happen, does not occur to these authors. There are loads of things that ordinary people would like to have, but can’t afford. At some point we will simply face the fact that we can’t all have £50,000 a year of health care unless we are all earning far more than £50,000 a year.

It will be harsh, but we old folks simply will not get the CAT scans and hip replacements and transplants and chemotherepy if it costs more than some limit.

On the other hand there is no obvious reason why we cannot spend a very high portion of our income on health care if we want to. Two hundred years ago in Britain when we used to spend 90% of our income on food no one could imagine spending large sums on travel or entertainment, but now that we spend only 4% on food we spend more on heating than on eating.

Dull, cool, overcast and a ground dew. Went shopping, but the promenade was wet and the day unappealling and the place deserted that I went to a cyber to check email and then to a charity shop to look through their CDs for sale. Picked out 14, listened to a few moments of each and bought 11 at 1 euro each. They need washing and probably only one or two will be enduring pleasures.

At the sea front there have been, for the last few weeks, two workman repairing one of the restaurant roofs. They have watched me dance at times and have laughed and called-out something that I never heard. Today, as I walked past, I looked up and was greeted by one of them with a tool in each hand hitting them together as if applauding. I waved and then bowed and the other waved and they both showed signs of felicitation and respect. (Isn’t that nice?)

Chatted with a couple of neighbours where I bitched about the change in the weather and was reminded that in America and Britain people have been killed by the severe weather. (I believe it was the famous Adam Smith who wrote that hitting your thumb with a hammer causes you more concern than hearing of the death of the entire population of China.) (Or was it Benjamin Franklin? Quotes are so much better from a famous person – so said Winston Churchill.)

Which reminds me. One of the women I talked to said that she knew that I am famous on the internet.

(As far as I am aware I am not well known on the internet. Far more persons have seen me in real life [guesstimate 10,000] than on-line [<500] and more have spoken with me [<200]than have read my blog[5?].)

I have received emails from french retailers, in french. Who has given them my email address? Extra difficult finding the link to ask them to stop sending when everything is in a foreign language.

Also received an email saying “Sure, send me the MP3”. Still wondering what that refers to.

10 Enero 2014 Viernes

Last night discovered that I have wrecked a CD of Kylie Minogue which I have been carrying in my back pack just in case I need to change music. It got wet and the booklet stuck to the CD. Removing the stuck on bits took off some of the surface of the disk. It works in parts. I remembered that I had seen another copy of the album in the shop earlier that day so I went back today, but could not find it. The seem to have some more disks, which is unusual; they rarely have new ones. I will have to look again soon.

My weather record which I keep each day of temperature and sky condition has a couple of days missing. Today is overcast again and max of about 15C. My bedroom which I don’t heat feels very chilly and is also 15C.

The beach area was empty and desolate looking, but I haven’t danced for a while and so I had to. The music is one of the newly bought CDs; Kate Bush warbling and screaching in some very strange undanceable songs and two or three that I could dance to. The odd music made me move a bit differently. A cold dark day, so dark that I had no sunglasses, but still ended up stripped to the waist and wiping off the sweat.

Even when the place seems deserted some video is taken of my efforts.

It is amusing when walking past the few restaurants that remain open, to see whispers and heads turning – or is it my imagination?
11 -15 Enero 2014 (Sabado – Miercoles)

Mixed weather, some days overcast dreary and other days partially sunny and upbeat. Today (wednesday) was predicted to be full of rain, but turned out bright although fairly cloudy and a perfect dance day except that the beach area only had 15 persons walking about. (That was an instantaneous count, the total flow may have added up a lot more, but 15 was probably the maximum at any one time.) I find these deserted days far less interesting to dance.

A few days ago, while I was walking in the urban area near the beach a white haired possibly 70 year old hobbled towards me leaning on a walking stick and asked me in English, “Do you do yoga?”

I am slowly adapting to the idea that complete strangers address me as if they know me, so I replied, “No,” as if this were a normal conversation. He seemed surprised as he confirmed, “You don’t do yoga.” I felt that the interview had terminated and so I walked on.

Today as I walked away from the beach, through the seating area of a cafe, a woman of perhaps 50 something waved to me. I smiled and continued walking although I did doff my headphones in case she wished to say something.

A workman said something to me in Spanish which I did not catch. “No entiendo,” I said to which he replied “No entiendes?” and then said what I think may have been “You need to learn Spanish.” It is odd how often my brain fails to recognise Spanish words. Often words that I would easily read, but I don’t hear them. He then said, “Bailes muy bien” (You dance very well.) Now that I understand.
16 Enero 2014 Jueves

Cloudy with light showers which started when I arrived at the beach. Really deserted today. More restaurants closed. Had to find shelter under the awning of a closed restauarant to dance in the humid cool slight gloom of a sunless day. Felt bored because I was dancing without any audience (well a small number of startled passers-bye). Didn’t stay very long.

Watching ‘Restaurant Impossible’ and ‘Kitchen Nightmare’: how many people who have no experience decide on a whim to buy a restaurant and then find that it doesn’t work. They go deep into debt with no idea what they are doing wrong.

Some observations: The TV Chefs are very keen on fresh ingredients (they claim that fresh is cheaper than frozen as well as tastier). Very keen on cleanliness. Keen on small portions. They like to put the meat and vegetables in a vertical pile instead of (the old fashioned) side by side. They like to change the decor putting bits of old wood (recycled so must be good) and sheets of metal in place of anything they classify as old fashioned or tasteless. (All to be ripped out in 10 years time as being old fashioned and tasteless.) They like salt and pepper and seem to add them to everything.
17 Enero 2014 Viernes

A beautiful clear sky with max temperature of about 14C. So much nicer than yesterday. Danced to exhaustion which didn’t take very long as I started a bit tired. Two young men outside a bar saluted me with their drinks.

Went to the dog pound charity shop and bought 5 CDs. Two of which are spanish pop which I don’t often see for sale second hand. Now have about 12 albums that I have not yet listened to (or danced to).

Back home I had no energy left for any activity so I snoozed after lunch and then watched more restaurant reformations.

The forcast for tomorrow is back to overcast with showers.
18 Enero Sabado

Forcast wrong. Danced this sunny saturday.
19 Enero Domingo

The grey weather with some rain has now arrived and so I stayed indoors and processed the mail that had been forwarded to me from England. Various numbers in accounts did’t tally with what I thought they should be and this caused me to break into a light sweat. After a few hours of trying to figure out the discrepancies and a phone call everything okay.

20 Enero Lunes & 21 Enero Martes

Yesterday was an uneventful dancing day, but today was unusual. A middle aged woman in a group of two married couples (I assume) showed some response to my dancing so I danced over to her, offered my hand, she placed her hand in mine, I turned her than lifted her other hand to my shoulder and we slow danced around for 30 seconds of so, a couple of turns more, she said some word of appreciation which I don’t remember but was something like, ‘fantastico’, I kissed her hand and she left with the other 3.

Later another woman who had been sitting watching me came over. “Hola,” I said. “Hablas Espanyol?” she asked. “Un poco,” I replied. Then she suprised me by asking me if I smoked. I assumed that she wanted a light, but no, she explained that she wanted a cigarette. She then asked me why I was doing this. She told me it was too cold to be in just a shirt. She asked me what I do after dancing. “I rest.”
“And after that, what do you do?” She asked. t some point she understood that I go home and rest and that’s all that I do to which her response was, “You have a house,” and then she added in English “I don’t have house.” She returned to the bench, but not for long. Just long enough to have a conversation on her mobile phone and then to return.

On her return she stood near my backpack which was on the long bench some metres from where she had been sitting, and pointing to the backpack she asked me, “Do you have a dog in there?”
“No,” I replied wondering where that question came from.
“When will you go?” she asked.
Assuming that she had tired of my presence, I replied, “In a few minutes.”
“In a car?”
“No.”
“Motorcycle?”
“No.”
“Ah, bike.”
“No.”
“Walking?”
“Yes.”
She held up her mobile phone, looked at it and then told me, “Oh, I need someone to take me to see my father.”
Then she gently waved her phone and asked me, “What’s your phone number?”
I truthfully replied, “I don’t know.”
“You have a phone?”
“Yes, in the house.”
“Don’t you want to talk to me?”
“Not especially.”
She took this badly. “Oh, thanks,” she said ironically and with emotion.

Little does she know that not only do I not know my phone number, but hardly anyone else knows it and in a normal week I received zero phone calls and make none.

I find it so odd that a complete stranger would expect me to give her a lift and exchange phone numbers. (No doubt my view would be a bit different if she had been an attractive woman, but I would still find it odd – but then who asks if someone has a dog in their backpack?)

Enero 22, 23, 24 (Miercoles, Jueves, Viernes)

Un pero feroz (A fierce dog) came running, growling, snarling towards me across the tiled promenade. The dog’s desire to attack me meant that it paid little attention to its footing and was sliding across the tiled floor while continuing to snarl at me. The owner restrained it, but did nothing to teach it to stay calm in the presence of a dancer.

Enero 25 Sabado

An unusually warm (18C) but overcast day. I changed the music and headed for the beach. While dancing I was approached by a small young blonde woman who works as a waitress in a nearby restaurant/bar. “Do you speak English?” she asked and then appologised for bothering me. “We watch you when you dance and my friend wanted to ask you something, but wasn’t brave enough so I said I’ll go and talk to him.”
“Uh huh.”
“Why do you do it? We know that you don’t ask for money.”
“Because I enjoy dancing.”
“Did you study dance at college?”
“No.”
“Other training?”
“I have been to a few dance classes, African, Bollywood, hip-hop.”
“And that’s all? I’m impressed. I dance, but I couldn’t do what you do.”
“Dance in front of people?”
“Yes, exactly.”
“So what do you do?” I asked.
“I do ballet, tap and contemporary and I dance in shows, but in shows we practice the steps, but you just dance, it’s obvious that you are just doing what you want.”
“I can’t remember steps. The thing I hate in dance classes is when they say, ‘And now from the top’.”
“And you can’t remember what you did a quarter of an hour ago?”
“Mmmm. So what can you teach me?” I asked.
“Nothing, there are too many people here. What kind of music do you listen to?”
“It varies. Today..” I place the headphones on her head, ” it is very soft and slow and is going to be hard to dance to.”

She returned to her work and I to my passion.

(Oh, I forgot. She had told me a couple of times that I dance well, and she used the following phrase: “It is interesting to see someone dance like that at your age.” I don’t know if this refers to the style of dance or the old age physical near miracle of it all.)

Various people viodeo me. One or two even acknowledge my prescence.

No dogs attacked today, which is good.

In the superemarket I found flavoured low fat yogurt with just 6g of sugar per 100g. This is less than half the normal level. I hope that it is edible.

One of the beggars outside the supermarket looked uncomfortable and was clutching his left arm. I asked how he was and then said that he looked like he was in pain. He nodded. I sympathised without saying anything about it looking like a heart attack.
Reading in The Economist how easy it is these days to set-up an internet business because so much is available ready to use and even free that basic services can be put together at minimal cost. Makes me wonder about reading-up on what’s available and thinking if I have any idea of something that could be usefully done by a server. The problem is that I generally can’t think of anything that I would want a server to do for me.

Spending some evenings coding instead of watching TV or playing a computer game would be a reasonable pastime. I feel that I would need to find out how to code for smart-phones.

To do that means spending a long time on line doing the research which isn’t very practical as I don’t have an internet connection.

26 Enero Domingo
A sunny warm sunday. About 300 persons milling about near the beach. That 300 included 4 or 5 pain-in-the-arse english children of ages ranging from about 7 to 10. One of the little boys kept charging towards me like a suicide attacker, muscles tensed and emitting a cry of rage. This set the scene and even the 10 years old girl became agressive. They decided that I probably wasn’t English and so they practiced their limited Spanish, calling me ‘loco’. When children get into this state they seem to find it amusing to run up behind me to touch me or hit me. As I turn very fast they tend to fail in their attempts. I tried to explain to them that it was dangerous and that they could get hurt. As usual they eventually tire of taunting the mad man and so they left. I must check in the pharmacy if they sell some spray child-repelant.

Other than that it was a lovely day.
27 Enero 2014 Lunes
An even wamer day (maxed at 20C), clear blue sky and the beach area virually deserted with maybe 30 persons walking around. Most of the restaurants don’t bother opening at this time of year and many of those open were empty.
A bit boring not having an audience, but such a lovely day deserved some effort even though I felt tired.

A few days ago a young man was standing videoing me within about 4 metres and so I danced over to him, and began dancing around him, spinning a lot as I orbited him and he turned to follow me until he stopped turning and he said that he was getting dizzy.

I left the windows open to air the house on this unusual January day.
It is now 4pm, I have closed the windows, and I feel snoozy and very relaxed as I sit in the last of the afternoon sunshine which will soon fade away as the sun drops behind the trees. Time to move to the carport to get the last of the rays.
28,29,30 Enero 2014 Martes,= Miercoles, Jueves

The last few days have been normal cooler days after a brief very warm spell. I have started dancing onto the street furniture in my own version of ‘parkhour’ (I think this is what they call jumping on and over street furniture and up and down walls.) Obviously I am not that energetic or athletic, but it is amusing. (At least until I slip and injure myself.)

I thought that today was wednesday, and so I planned a trip to the street market for tomorrow, but this computer claims that it is Thursday today, and not wanting to make an enemy I have accepted its version. So, no trip to the market, but today is a bright sunny day which when I went out was about 12C. Light shirt and a jacket. I felt like dancing, which I don’t always. Down at the beach very few people, but I had a good session with music by Enrique Inglesias. It is the first time with Enrique and I was very pleased although some tracks are not to my taste, many are just perfect. (Ironically I can’t dance to the ‘dance’ music tracks.)

It was one of those joyfully perfect times.

I seem to have forgotten virtually everything else in life as I become absorbed in moving to music and then recuperating from the exhaustion.

What have I forgotten? An important something or someone?

Dance junky. Waiting for my next fix.

1 Diciembre Domingo

Storm last night with high winds, rain and thunder which woke me up in the cold. The day continued overcast with temperature rising to 13C with showers and high winds whistling. Spent some time checking where the draughts come in around the wooden windows and doors. Didn’t go out.

 

2 Diciembre Lunes
Went to post office to pick up recorded delivery and was, as expected, a demand for local taxes which were not paid automatically by the bank, probably because the tax is Euro25 more than the balance in the account. That will have cost me dear. Went to the council office where they printed out six identical forms that I have to sign, take to the bank to have stamped and then take back to the council. Why? God knows, but that is their way of setting up a direct debit. Plus I have to go to the bank to pay the unpaid tax before 5th of diciembre (or be charged more).

Six forms and 3 trips to set up a direct debit. (Read today in the Economist that Spain is worse than Bulgaria for form filling.)

Oh, and guess what, the Post Office doesn’t sell postage stamps. If you want to buy postage stamps you go to, where else? – a tobacconist.

You think I am making this up, eh?

 

3 Diciembre Martes

Went to bank to pay tax and set-up direct debit. Grey overcast day with possible showers. Being a Tuesday the covered area in front of one of the restaurants was available as my stage and by the time that I had danced enough the possible showers became a certainy so I had little choice but to continue dancing for such a long time that my knees would continue to hurt two days later.

While dancing a waitress next door danced towards me between the rows of tables and I toward her imitating her moves.
4 Diciembre Miercoles

The weather has changed in a very Spanish way bringing a clear blue sky 15C; a brightness and warm glow with cool fresh air. Dancing produced a level of sweat that meant removing my shirt and T-shirt while dancing between the puddles left from yesterday. Some guy videoed me for a while then approached and said some things in spanish which I really didn’t understand one of which was, “Espanyoles en el mundo” (spaniards in the world). He seemed quite excited.

Someone phoned me speaking in Valencian and then changed to Castellano with an accent that caused me problems. Something about a ‘maquina am’ and the day monday. Later missed 5 calls from someone and then I answered the 6th call and heard nothing. (I assume all wrong numbers, but can’t help but wonder.)
5 Diciembre Jueves

Another clear sky cool day. Went to tobaconist to buy a stamp and then forgot to post the letter.

While dancing there was a small girl of maybe 5 years fascinated. She started to wave her arms and bounce a little. Later she went over to her mother and I walked to my next location. As I passed her I pointed to her and said, “Muy bien.”

Later she reappeared. I said Hola and asked if she spoke spanish she said yes and added ‘Mueves bien’ (you move well) which is a funny thing to hear from a 5 year old. I thanked her and then went back to ‘moving well’ and she back to trying to understand and copy me. I simplified and repeated things to give her a better chance. As usual when someone tries to copy the movements were out of time. This happens due to the time it takes to see, compute and send messages to our limbs.

It is odd dancing with a 5 year old, although perhaps not as odd as dancing with a lamppost which I also do now and then. Dancing around the lamp without bumping into it, treating it as a partner is a touch tricky and has drawn blood in the past.

Tomorrow is ‘constitution day’ which is a holiday and the supermarket is likely to be closed.
6 Dic Viernes
Tired and achey. No dancing.

7 Dic Sabado
Danced a long time with lots of people milling around. Videoed and given ‘thumbs-up’. Some young man threw something, I presumed rubbish, in my backpack which I had left next to the bin. When I finished I found in my bag what he had thrown – money.

I am not very well paid. The coin was ten cents. That makes a grand total of about Euro 1.40 per annum. (I don’t ask for money and refuse it if offered.)

8 Dic Domingo
Cool at 13C and overcast. Did housework instead of going out. I see that northern europe is very cold snowy or suffering sea surges. Here it is just not very nice.
9 Dic Lunes
Put some money on my new phone service. The british owner of a shop near the beach asked me why I disappeared during the summer. After a week he though I must be ill. I explained that I had been dancing in the UK. He said that it was too cold today to dance. I replied that the cold just means I won’t be covered in sweat. As it was I still ended up stripped to the waist while people walk by in thick jackets and with gloves.
10 Dic Martes
I had written to my UK bank a couple of weeks ago instructing them to put money in my current account. I phoned to check that they had done it. I was surprised that the letter I wrote to them was not regarded as sufficient to carry out instructions. They felt a need to speak and ask me some security questions before carrying out the instruction. A signed letter isn’t regarded as enough.

Shopped and danced long-time today. A sunny cloudy day of maybe 14C. Lovely weather to dance by the sea. Only trouble is that the relative cold and my time in the cyber (checking email and forgetting to send my diary) meant I had to go to a restaurant to pee. Oddly, I find going into a cafe soley to use the ‘servicios’ more challenging that dancing in front of dozens of strangers.
11 Diciembre Miercoles

Have tried calling the Bank again, but ‘high call volume’ which is an abstract posh way of saying ‘busy’ and I don’t like to hold on at something between 30p and 40p a minute. I have written to them as a back-up in case I never get through by phone. Their website only has a phone number for contact.

Chatted with some neighbours in english and later with another in spanish.

One of the often drunk beggars who sits outside the supermarket seems to have stopped drinking and now does crosswords or suduko, but he has also lost a lot of weight and looks gaunt. I am guessing the change is due to illness. He has also stopped greating me as I pass. (I am so much more popular with drunks)

Overcast and about 12C and my knee hurts so no dancing today, or at least that was the plan. After paying a cheque into the bank and doing the shopping I decided to do the warm up mobility exercises, and having done that, why not just move about a bit? Why not, eh? and after a few minutes of gentle movement maybe a bit more energetic and after half an hour maybe a bit more. With three people videoing me I think this counted as dancing.
12 Dic 2013 Jueves

Sunny again. My knees hurt in a different way. Took books back to library, used a computer to send my diary for November. The entries for early november are of hot days, sometimes to hot to dance, now a faint memory at best.

Today seems warmer than recently, I would guess about 15C- NO, the thermometer calls me a liar with its claim of a mere 13C. There is the tang of wood smoke in the air which always makes me think that I should not breath, but I have found that avoiding breathing is very difficult.

Both of the old ladies who were bedridden are now moving about.

In one of the family-swap ‘reality’ shows the two women who changed homes both said that the house they moved into was very dirty. They both felt insulted that the other had said this and they argued the point. It reminds me of a neighbour who cleans the house just before her mother arrives and the first thing the mother does is clean the house.

Other persons’ dirt is so much dirtier than our own dirt.

The subject of ‘machismo’ or being a ‘machista’ seems a hot topic and insult. (It means viewing men as superior, in control and refusing to do ‘women’s work’) This accusation recurrs repeatedly in the family swap programmes. The wives of the men accussed of being ‘machista’ refer to their husbands as ‘real men’ and the couple tell the husband who helps around the house that he needs to get ‘un par de cajones’ (a suggestion that the man has been castrated.)

On Spanish TV many programmes blur-out cigarrettes that are being smoked.
13 Diciembre Viernes
An elderly couple sat watching me and when I took off the phones and wiped away the sweat, he asked “Cansas?” (Get Tired?). I said yes and then continued to dance pushing myself. When I finished someone who may have been their daughter (about 50) chatted to me in spanish telling me where she is from and that she sees me here dancing every day. Actually she referred to my activity as gymnastics. He patted me on the shoulder saying, “Muy bien” (very good).

 

14 Diciembre Sabado
Overcast 13C. Thick jacket weather when I went out. Knees aching, no shopping needed. Danced. Was videoed by two persons simultaneously and a couple of others at different times. Small children amused and then trying to copy.

One child arrived and asked in english the usual question, “What are you doing?” I answered as usual, “Dancing”
“Why?”
and then he asked, “Is there music?” to which I allowed him use of the headphones and he said, “There’s music.” This seemed to satisfy his curiousity so he left.
Having seen this child get to hear the music another approached and asked, “Que musica escuches?” and he got to listen for a while as he moved to the music. “Mola” he said, which is usually translated as “Cool”.

Various odd looks from persons wrapped up with scarves as they passby my stripped to the waist figure.

A very elderly couple sat on the benches nearby to watch. We had spoken yesterday. I waved and they looked away to avoid responding. (Perhaps their memory isn’t so good, or maybe they don’t want to be seen associating with the nutter.)
Diciembre 15 Domingo

A fairly busy sunday, if I remember well, in which I danced without a back-pack which gave me freedom to move from place to place and removed the task of constantly looking to see that my back-pack has not been stolen.

There was a documentary on TV about America and women buying lots of guns to protect themselves and their children. One talked of how it is a lovely family outing to go with her 5 year old shooting. Another 5 year old had great difficulty holding his dad’s rifle (No, don’t be silly, not his dad’s current rifle, no, the one his dad had when he was a child – obviously) the child also had difficulty with the concept of pointing it and when he shot it he had difficulty with the concept of the printed target having a place that you are supposed to aim at – well you know how small children can’t catch a ball.

One woman had a pistol in every room of the house including the bathroom – just in case. She explained that she isn’t fearful, it is just better safe than raped. Interestingly as a child she hated guns because her father accidently shot his gun in the kitchen surrounded by the family. She became a policewoman. In her 10 or 20 year time in the police she never used her gun. So, as someone at greater risk than normal of gun crime she never had to use her gun. So why does she want a gun in every room?

It all seems to be based on the ‘what if?’. What if someone breaks into your house? What if you get attackedd in the parking lot? (What if a helicopter falls on your house? What if your TV explodes? What if a glass breaks when washing it and slashes your wrist? – should we have a plan for each of these and the necessary emergency equipment?)

America has fewer house break-ins than in Britain.

You can buy nice pink pistols and a lovely holster that fits on the middle of a bra.

The documentary was French and very neutral (in my view).

The impression I am left with is of people who worry a lot about very rare attacks and worry not at all about the consequences of so many instruments designed to kill. The assumption seems to be that there is a number of evil people who are going to attack and that they will always have guns and that the rest of the population is well behaved and needs guns for protection.

 

Diciembre 16 Lunes
A working day again and so far fewer persons on the promenade and none on the beach. Overcast and chilly so I went out with a jacket and only stripped down to a T-shirt. It wasn’t much different to dancing at home because there were so few strollers and the persons eating found me thoroughly boring. (I need to learn some new steps.)

In the supermarket I accidently made myself into an uncle. Christmas being a time for families, someone asked me about my family and asked if I had ‘sobrinos’ to which I said yes and then realised that I was thinking ‘cousins’ which would have been ‘primos’. Having sobrinos makes me an uncle.

My neighbours have put out Christmas decorations on the gate and a big tapestry of a baby jesus. Did you know that Christmas has something to do with baby Jesus? I thought it was just eating too much, driving drunk and having an argument with the family.

Other neighbours have gone to England until Jan 4.
17 Dic 2013 Martes

Overcast and cool (probably 13C): jacket weather. Went for dental check-up where I was told that there wasn’t even enough tartar for the dentist to bother cleaning. So, instead she asked me if I was keeping busy. I said, “Busy, no, active yes.”
“What kind of activity?”
“Dancing”
“Where do you go to do that?”
“The beach.”
She looked a little puzzled and so I explained, “I’m the local nutter who dances on the beach.”
“Oh,” she replied, “I have heard that someone dances on the beach, but I have never seen you.”
“If I weren’t here now I would be dancing, but you are would be working.”
“Ah, you dance in the mornings.”
“If you want to see me dance you can look on-line. Are you interested? I can give you an address.”
“OK.”
So as I look in my bag for a flyer she sits at the computer which is next to the dental chair and goes to Google. I take over because she has not typed the details correctly. The first link is to video in Bournemouth then various of my own music videos, but I click on the Javea beach video (‘Dancing Queen’ song). We chat for a while. She shows the video to her assistant. “Es bailarin,” the assistant says redundantly. She asks where I learnt to dance like that. I say, “In my bedroom,” and then I speak briefly about dance classes and being interviewed on radio. She says that if I were dancing today I wouldn’t have my shirt open. She tells me that she is impressed. I leave.

I had planned to not dance today, but these plans rarely play out. Within a short time I am stripped to the waist again. A young woman walking past with a young man calls out ‘Woohoo’ and moves her arms in sympathy.

Waves from two of the staff at Estapati.

Then I get stopped in my tracks by a technical failure; the batteries are flat and the replacement also lack charge. (The rechargeable batteries may be reaching the end of their useful life.) So I stop and go to the bench for my post dance exercises. An elegant woman of about my age calls out to me in Spanish something in the following manner:

‘Very good. The way you dance is excellent. Those movements and your intrepetations are superb.’ She was moving her hands and arms imitating my theatrical performance.

I am not sure exactly what she said, but it was very complimentary and she added something that I hardly understood, but which sounded like a suggestion that I lived life to the fullest or some such absurdity. I may have completely misunderstood what she said. She watched my exercises and told me she had trouble bringing her knee up toward her body. She asked me about breathing deeply, but although I understood the words I was not sure what she meant. (Was she asking me if I practice deep breathing as part of my stretching or was she asking if I was out of breath?)

As she left I was approached by the elderly couple (she wrapped up against the cold seated in a wheelchair, he grinning to me displaying an impressive single tooth.) He speaks a few very slow words and seems to hear even more slowly. I tell him that the batteries have failed and he asks, “What batteries?” I try to explain. He comforts me with the thought that I can dance another day. Then he puts his fingers to his mouth in an international sign language as he says “Comer” (eat). I agree with him that I am going to eat and he says, “Claro” (clearly).

Having finished dancing early and not having music to walk home and having put the CD player in my back-pack everything seems odd as I return. I look around wondering where else I could go as I have spare time and am not worn-out, but there is no where to go.

I stop-off at my postal box where I pick up two weeks supply of The Economist and I wonder if being two weeks behind in news matters. (I haven’t watched much TV news since I came to Spain). I try, yet again, to phone the Bank, but the recording repeats, “…heavy call volume. Clients experiencing long wait times. Thank you for your patie….” as I hang-up impatiently.

 

18 Diciembre Miercoles 2013

Sunny day. Went out in T-shirt and thick shirt, hands cold, but otherwise comfortable. Went straight to beach, prepared and then danced. Recognised a young blonde boy child as the pain-in-the-arse who continually annoyed me last year. I mostly ignored him as he cycled around me as I danced, but eventually he got bored and left. A couple of other smaller children came over and jumped around waving their arms in the air. This seemed to greatly amuse them and then they ran back to their friends. A woman on a skateboard called out to me, “Bravo!”

Two men around 30 years of age stopped to watch, one videoing. When I stopped to wipe the sweat off the headphones one said, “Great”. I bowed to each in turn. The other approached and said, “We were watching you from down the beach and we said, ‘He’s got the right idea’. The way you dance is fantastic.”
“Thank you.”
“You must be very fit.”
“I hope so.”
The other one then praised me some more and said, “You’re the man.” (Not in the sense of ‘You’re THAT man’ but in the American slang sense of respect.) I told them about some of the insults I have received and one of them told me to ignore such comments. After they left one of them came back to ask, “Are you English?”
When I confirmed his suspicion he punched the air made some kind of confirmatory sound and turned to return to his friend having, I presume, won a bet on the subject. (Do you remember the American showing surprise that I was English? Are we Brits known for being incapable of dancing?)

Did my once a month shopping to be delivered. I always feel slightly tense when leaving the shop because they don’t give any kind of to-be-delivered paperwork.

Right now something is running about on the roof. Could be a cat, a largato (ghecko) or a rat, maybe a bird or even perhaps a red squirrel. I hear these things but very rarely see anything.

Tried to call the Bank again. Still too busy.

 

20 Diciembre Viernes

Yesterday and today overcast about 14C and showers. Didn’t go out due to a mixture of the rain, tiredness and not needing to shop.

Not having danced for two days means that I have nervous energy and a sense of needing to do something, but nothing occurs to me to do.

21 Diciembre Sabado

Overcast and drizzle. Stayed in. Power cut-out twice during evening.

22 Diciembre Domingo
Much nicer. Rain has stopped and sunny between fluffy white clouds. Danced on fairly busy promenade. Power cut-out twice in evening.

23 Diciembre Lunes

Sunny cloudy so went shopping and dancing. A family which included the young pain in the arse boy who likes getting in my way took video as he and his sibling jumped around next to me. They left without any sign of recognition or approval.
Customers in one cafe all came out to watch me for a while.
Two passers-bye stopped, and then sat on the steps of a cafe for a few minutes to watch me and then moved on.
As I walk by a restaurant various diners nod to each other and point in my direction (or I imagine their doing this).

In the supermarket an english speaking woman said hello and spoke to me very briefly as aquaintences do, I responded equally although I had no idea who she was. I asked the shop assistant who told me that she was english and owner of a local shop which he named and I recognised, but which I don’t frequent. I have to assume that she recognised me and assumed that I was someone she knew. (Either that or I have met her sometime and have forgotten her.)

Tried the bank, yet again busy.

The three days of rain brought down a lot of leaves. One of the terraces is covered in wisteria leaves. Everywhere is soggy and damp. The cold night (5C) creates a heavy dew that forms especially in the areas in shade during the otherwise warm (13C) day. (I was hot dancing.)

Although today (monday) was much busier than two weeks ago, I have the impression that there are fewer tourists this Christmas than previous years.
24 Diciembre Martes

Went out while the sun was shining, but it didn’t last and the wind picked-up encouraging me to walk as fast as possible because I was starting to feel cold.

The other continuing challenge is the power cut-out. Last night it cut-out at 6pm. I am aware that it has cut-out at 6pm each night for 3 nights. Too much of a co-incidence to be just a co-incidence. So, I have to suspect that it is caused by something that is timed.

The weather is predicted to get windier and wet again between Christmas and maybe new year. Big storm that has already affected northern europe and the north of Spain (Waves up to 24ft tall).

 
25 Diciembre Miercoles FELIZ NAVIDAD

Grey windy wet day. Didn’t go out. In the evening the power went off again, but this time kept cutting out when I reset it. I spent 30 mins running a cable around the house from a bathroom to the place where the central heating and hot water heater are so that they would be connected to the other circuit. This was in the dark (no electricity you know). My notes on when it cuts-out and what has been disconected have not yet succumbed to rational analysis.

 

26 Diciembre Jueves
Sunny and dry at 11am. No sign of night dew. I wonder if this will affect the power supply.

The electrician didn’t want to come over today (he’s english and it’s a traditional ‘bugger work’ day.)

Danced at beach. Fairly busy down there with the sun and the Christmas tourists. A woman came over to me, saying something like “Music?”. I let here listen for a while. She smiled, thumbs-upped and said, “Super,” from which I decided that she was German.

I phoned The Bank and for the first time got through without a warning of how busy they were. They put me through the automatic ID system and then, now that I was happily ready to deal with my account, the computer informed me that they were closed for the Bank Holiday. (Obviously a piece of information so secret that they had to check my ID before telling me.)

Had lunch outside in the carport (last sunny spot on these short days). Had to persuade a cat to give up its comfy spot in the chair so that I could sit there. The cat moved to the sofa where it kept an annoyed eye on me for a while. Don’t know this tabby cat; seems healthy and so is not homeless and was not frightened of me.

 

27 Diciembre Viernes

Last night the power did not cut-off. I assume due to being a very dry day after a week of rain, damp, & wet from dew.

Nice day. Danced before shopping. Lots of people walking around in warm jackets while I danced stripped to the waist and sweaty. A woman came over to me without my noticing and bumped into me. Another woman came out of a restaurant and jumped around for a while before returning to her friends. A toddler, fascinated, was encouraged by its mother and by me to move about. Various video clips recorded, as usual.

After shopping, as I walked by the restuarants various groups of dinners pointed me out or turned to watch. Some waved, one or two ‘jigged’ in their seats. I assume these are Christmas visitors rather than regulars.

It was nice.

I took an old phone with me with the intention of phoning the UK using up some of the money left on the phone card that no longer has signal in the house. When I tried this I was surprised to find, or more exactly to NOT find, the absence of all the phone numbers that are stored on the card. So that didn’t work.

 

28 Diciembre Sabado

A cloudier day, but still some sunshine and after a mild night (10C) the day maxed at about 15C. I was plenty warm dancing while others needed jackets.

Fairly busy. I think there are a lot of Christmas tourists here including many different nationalities.

A girl of maybe 10 approached. I removed the headphones to greet her and she replied with, “Es un crac.” (If you remember earlier diary entries you will remember that this is the English word ‘crack’ as in ‘crack-shot’ and not ‘crack-pot’. I thanked her and she moved on.

A woman of about 50, chubby, pleasant looking brunette, dyed hair of course, signalled appreciatively and then came toward me with her arms outstretched. I looked at her and moved toward her. She flung her arms around me, pressing her ample bosom against my chest. I hugged her and started turning her around, she tried to dance a little, but it was awkward and then she stepped back a little and gushed praise with a sincere expression on her face. She stepped back further and pointed to me and her face continued to express admiration as she muttered words which I think were in English. Then she started to beckon me. Apparently she wanted me to follow her back to somewhere and her body language was of someone begging.

I acknowledged her request, but did not follow her. (Perhaps I feared being kidnapped by her friends and forced to dance for their wicked pleasure.) It did, however, give me a emotional boost that increased the pace and energy of my dance.

Later, or was it earlier? I bowed to some onlookers who applauded and they applauded again later whenever I rested between tracks. I didn’t want to wear out their generousity so I moved to another location.

Worn out I did my end exercises and then dragged my exhausted body home. I passed a group of 4 or 5 young adults when crossing the road. One of the males gave me a thumbs up and I waved to him.

 

29 Dic Domingo

Woke up before 7am in darkness, but hungry and too awake to bother going back to sleep. Decided to do housework. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Didn’t go out.

30 Dic Lunes
Some dutch children danced with me, but the lack of a common language caused problems.

31 Dic Martes (Last day of year)
A small girl (maybe 3 years old? perhaps 5) became interested. She was with her young parents who were amused as their daugther tried to move about and then threw herself on the ground and did what looked to me to be prototypical breakdance. Then she posed with her head and hands on the floor with her body raised and supported by one leg with the other leg up in the air and bent slightly over her head. I applauded her effort and she repeated the pose several time.

1 Nov Viernes

So the reason I have today for not doing the internet based chores is that I did not realise that today is a fiesta (public holiday). I went to the cyber, saw that it was closed and then saw that several other places were also closed. So, went to the beach and danced. Clear sky.

There was some applause, but I have forgotten exactly where or why.

When I finished a group of boys (maybe 12 years old) repeteadly requested ‘uno mas’ (one more). I gave in and danced until the cable came loose from the CD player. These youngsters were puzzled by the circular music player. I presume that they only know telephones and maybe small square MP3 players. How funny it is that a digital CD is archaic technology.

They each had a turn listening to the music.

As they were keen I gave them flyers which they grabbed and then thanked me. I had to explain that the word ‘search’ means ‘buscar’. “Es ingles?”
“Si, soy ingles”
One of the boys turned to another to say, “Tu puedes hablar con el en ingles.”  (I leave this to you to translate.)

After shopping the area seemed very populated and if my backpack were not filled with veggies and fruit whichare best brought home speedily, I would have danced some more.

Later, as I walked home, far from the beach a group of youngsters (guess 16 year olds) seemed to be talking about me (my paranoia again) one of the girls was bending in a way that I think was imitating one of my exercises. I smiled and she said, “Hola”.

When an english person says that word it is usually with emphasis on the ‘o’, but the spanish emphasise the ‘la’. Here the ‘o’ virtually dissapears… oLAAAAAA.

2 Noviembre Sabado

A sunny day which warmed-up a lot by afternoon after a cold night. The evenings need warm socks and a woolly hat and a cardigan, because the indoor temperature is about 19C, but right now in the last of the sun at 4.30 pm I am hotter than I wish to be. (It is a shame that with all the trees the house doesn’t get warmed-up by the sunshine anymore.)

I danced mostly in the shade of the restaurants which meant being where people are walking rather than having a wide area to myself. People watch for a while then get bored and move on. (Perhaps they are waiting for the acrobats.)
Far fewer persons around this saturday than yesterday’s public holiday.

Danced until I was ready to drop and then just a bit more. Came home for lunch and then lay down for an hour or two.

My day starts with trying to do some chores (such as paying tax or sweeping the floors) then down to the supermarket and dancing on the beach. Slow walk home drained of all energy for lunch, read a while and possible cardiac arrest. Probably ‘hechar una siestita’ (snooze) an hour or two then write diary and make dinner possibly listening to a TV news channel. Watch some ‘reality’ on TV and then either watch a movie or play an old playstation game. Sometimes I do a little bit of indoor dance late at night, but best not because I usually suffer for it the next morning. Some days I don’t dance because I am still worn out from the previous days’ efforts.

What a full life I lead with half or more of my waking hours in a state of exhaustion.

The idea that I could organise something or go somewhere or improve the house is absurd. The only things I can imagine doing is finding a softer chair to snooze in or a better video game to play. (But how would I arrange either or those when I have no energy to go anywhere?)

Huh? You suggest that I could do this on the internet? But I only have a few minutes to do all my chores and going on-line conflicts with going to the beach to dance. If I had these things at home, maybe, but to arrange that means going somewhere to sort it all out and I just can’t be bothered.

The sun has now dropped below the pine trees on the hill to the west and so the temperature is starting to drop.

3 Nov Domingo
Feeling sleepy, but the day is sunny and warm. I don’t need to shop and they are closed anyway so although I thought that I could go to the beach late afternoon I didn’t. A snoozy sunday ‘como dios manda’.

4 Nov Lunes

Woke up early on a grey overcast cool day. Really want to go on-line and try, yet again, to prepare those tax forms.  The local ‘asesor’ wanted E60 to fill in and print a single page form, the other ‘asesor’ wants E50.

I felt that a fair price was E25 or less and I would go to E40 because trying to get the website to work had been far beyond my abilities.

Much to my surprise the website worked today without any great effort and I actually printed out the Modelo 210 tax forms (3 pages) for ‘la renta imputada’ (which sounds a bit rude to me in spanish). I need to take it to the bank to actually pay the tax and so fate can still impede the process by my not having the ‘yellow copy’ or some other impossible to predict error.

I was so suprised at its working (after some 6 previous attempts) that my mind went into a limbo for a minute or two.

My mate the builder told me that I should put a cover on the swimming pool which would cost less than E100. When he told me I thought it would be E500 or more. Today I looked at a website (not spanish) and have the impression that the materials alone would cost a bit more than E1,000. (The cheaper covers sit on top of the water and let the rain pass through. What I would need has to be waterproof and strong enough to not sag with water and to walk on to remove debris.) If it is practical I would probably do it, but someone has to investigate it.

It seems that Britain is now the most xenophobic of the european countries. Brits seem to think that everyone wants to live in Britain, but in the list of how many non-EU foreigners in each EU country (compared to population) Britain is 14th on the list and has roughly half as many foreigners as Spain has. (Britain has fewer than the average for the 27 EU countries) (BUT Don’t know about EU citizens – only saw figures for non-EU)

Apparently, what is different about UK is that many social services don’t require a history of contributions. In many EU countries you can only claim some payments if you have contributed something over some period. Newly arrived foreigners cannot, because they haven’t. In the UK where there isn’t a need to have contributed newly arrived foreigners can claim.

The mornings and evenings indoors are chilly. I should put the heating on, but I am always reluctant to admit that the warm weather is over and so I suffer for a while.

I went into one of the Chinese run shops. I would like to buy a new bigger backpack. I examined the one they had, trying all the zips and pulling on each of the straps. (I have experience of these things. Often the products are of such low quality that they break during this examination.) This one seemed solid but had straps without the click-fit connectors. I showed the assistant who went into the storeroom to get another one. That meant that I had to start over again, pulling and clicking. She put the original back on display so as to annoy some other customer or to lose a sale from a customer who doesn’t want to ask why there are bits missing. Meanwhile one of the click-fit fasteners snapped in my hand as I squeeze tested it. I showed her the broken piece. She fished out another from a drawer and swapped them over. I continued pulling and zipping and then tried the new fastener which although strong did not ‘click’ becuase it was smaller than the place it is supposed to click into. I showed her and she looked puzzled. At this point I decided that the gods did not want me to buy this backpack.

Noviembre 5 Martes

A suprisingly warm morning at about 22C after a mild night 17C. Therefore I went out in shorts and a sports shirt which turned out to be just right for today’s weather. Went to bank to find out what problem would prevent the payment of the tax…

The expected problems (no pink copy, wrong ‘flagul’ code or some other absurd rule) did not occur and so I had to be satisfied with there being no working computer terminals in the branch due to a communications failure.

And that is what happened. So I can try to pay the tax another day.

Went shopping and then to dance. The beach was deserted today. There were just a few persons walking on the paved areas or sitting in restaurants. I danced in a few locations, was videoed a few times and one woman came over signalling that she would like to listen to the music. A few workers and customers came out to watch the nutter for a while.

The sun came out while I was dancing and I slipped on a fallen leaf, but without injury.

Been here 3 weeks and have not yet been to the library. The new library which I saw being built a couple of years ago is now open, or so I have been told. It may be that the old one in the town is now closed, in which case I will have no reason to go into the town. There is nothing much to go to in the town except the post office, the health centre and a Thursday morning open air market, some supermarkets and electrical goods stores. The new library is near the port.

6 Noviembre Miercoles

Got ready to go out, but the day seemed so unseasonably warm that I decided not to go. The day maxed at 27C with full sun. I think it would have been risky to dance in that.

7 Noviembre Jueves

Cooler at about 22C and sunny I went to bank and was relieved that the process of paying the tax went without hitch. This is the first year that I have handled the paperwork myself and it only took about 8 hours work (for something that should be possible to do in 20 minutes). [Doing it myself probably cost me 7 hours extra effort and saved E50. Next year it should take less than an hour and again should save E50]

Went to beach and danced in the shade and the gentle breeze which was very comfortable. Videoed by 3 persons. Only danced in one location because having been to the bank I arrived near the supermarket and could not shop until after dancing, because the shopping included yogurt which is best taken home immediately.

Here in Spain the leader of the opposition political party (which used to be in power) has hit a record in public confidence. A record 91% of the public DO NOT have confidence in him.

My impression of the man who is in power is that he was elected because during the election period he managed to avoid making any comment of importance about anything.

In an American program called something like ‘1,000 wierd ways to die’ which claims to be re-enactments of actual deaths had the following bizarre event:
An American armed robber stops a large truck intending to steal it, but the woman in charge of the truck ignores the pistol and shoves the man against the pipework at the rear of the cabin. He collides with the pressure hoses with such force that an air pipe enters his rectum and the high pressure air inflated him until he exploded.

I am sure that you are glad I shared that with you.

Nov 8 Viernes

I have forgotten to pay the plumber for the work done about a month ago. Must try to remember to go to his office on Monday.

Went to beach this partly cloudy mild day and danced for a while. Near the end of the dance I did some exercises as usual. Some middle aged persons about 100  metres away were trying to do the same exercises and I felt that I should go over to warn them not to. The way they were doing them seemed to me to be likely to hurt.

I suspect that for the older audience my twisting and bending causes more sensation that the dancing. I now routinely do some movements that I could not do 1 year ago. What will I be doing next year?

I have watched some of the spanish version of the wife-swapping series where two incompatible families temporarily swap mothers. Having been chosen to be incompatible it is no surprise that they don’t get on very well. As it is always the women who change environment it seems reasonable that it would be the women who get the most upset: the men and children stay in their homes and just have to cope with the intruder whereas the women not only have to cope with the strangers but also being away from their normal environment.

Most seem to assume that their own life is the norm and that anything different is perverted. They tend to lecture each other and in trying to impose their own behaviour on the others they believe that they are doing a favour to the misguided family. If only you would act like I act your life would be so much better.

No doubt this is encouraged by the producers to create emotional TV.

At the end, it is almost always the case that the reunited couples are delighted to be away from the hell of dealing with the ‘other’.

It makes me think how well suited most of these couples are and how little anyone wants his life to be ‘improved’ by imposition of someone else’s rule.

The main shock for me is that the people who live in poorish areas of Madrid speak with an accent and with abreviated words that makes it into absolute gibberish for my ears.

I read about the provincial TV channel here in Valencia (channel 9) last year. It seemed to be grossly over-staffed with an enourmous loss making budget and a fairly small audience. Officially it is supposed to promote the regional language and most of it is therefore not in the spanish that I understand, but in Valencian. I suspect that its other purpose is jobs for politican’s cousins. The lack of money in the government coffers lead to the channel trying to reduce its staff, but this was challenged and defeated. The result appears to be that the channel has been grabbed by the staff. The broadcasts all have a new logo ‘RTTVnoestanca’ which I think means ‘not closing’.

The local languages are the source of a lot of emotion. Left to themselves the local locals speak Valencian, but a TV channel would be unlikely to want to limit its audience or its source of programmes. But group politics goes to places that individual group choice doesn’t.

All the regional TV channels appear to be vastly more expensive and overstaffed compared to the national commercial channels. A normal consequence of being set up and run by politicians.

Nov 9 Sabado
Fresh sunny day with a max around 22C.  A Brit came over to me and asked, “Do you remember me from England?”
“Yes,” I lied. She and her husband chatted  with me for a while about nothing in particular and suggested that next time I join them for coffee. I went back to dancing and at my next location there was some applause from two persons at different tables in the bar.

Fairly often there will be staff from a cafe or shop who have come out to watch me. Sometimes I wave to them and it is a matter of chance whether they wave back or ignore me. Today I waved to one of them and was ignored.

Latter when two boys started dancing near me in the usual “Are they making fun of me or trying to copy something that impresses them?” I can’t tell.

I continued after they had left and then at the point of exhaustion I did me end exercises and then sat down. A woman walked over to me and only when she was close did I recognise her. I have known her for more than 10 years, but haven’t seen her in some time. She told me about the death of her dog and I told her about my cat. We shared sympathy for these devastating emotional events. I told her about dancing and she told me that her 10 year old grandson dances. She tried to show me a video of him on her phone dancing on a rugby field when he was playing rugby (an unusual combination), but I didn’t have my reading glasses so only saw little blobs bouncing around.

She does something which I find hard to understand. She goes to england by car for a large part of the winter and taking a day to drive to Barcelona where she picks up her daughter who has flown FROM England and then they both drive to England.

It makes sense for those who enjoy travelling by car through Spain and France stopping at pretty B&Bs over a 4 to 5 day trip.

If the life swapping program were involved they would swap me for her as I would probably hate a 5 day drive to England.

10 Nov Domingo

Cool day with lots of cloud, perfect for dancing. Went to beach listening to my one and only french CD.  I understand one or two of the words in each song. It is good walking music but not so good for the beach because the tempo is so slow in most of the songs.

As I don’t shop on sundays I went without the backpack which gives a freedom I don’t normally have. I don’t have to keep an eye on where I have left the backpack nor stay near it.

It took a very long time to get into the dance. When dancing slowly people hardly notice or they react with that half smile that one gives to the crazy person. When I dance fast I think that they think that something is really happening, that I may still be nuts, but I am doing something and they tend to stand or sit to watch for a while.

At one point there were little children all around me in that strange state of fascination and perplexion.

Near the end of my session things were going much better although my energy levels were getting low. This happens to have been perhaps the only sunday I have danced this season; the other sundays I was too exhausted to stand up.

11 Noviembre Lunes

The beach was empty. I danced in the shade.

A young man, who was limping by next to a women pushing an empty wheelchair, gave me a wave. A day or two ago a middle aged woman whose left leg dragged in a way that suggested having suffered a stroke had signalled to me and moved her arms rythmically. I smile and wave.

I always feel a little odd when displaying the control, power, and perhaps grace of my movements when someone is wobbling or limping by. I don’t much like the idea of ‘look what I can do that you cannot’, but then most of the normal persons (especially my age) can’t do these things, and to the wobbling and limping person every one who can walk without aid is doing something that they cannot.

12 Noviembre Martes

Planned to go to the new library, but after eating breakfast I glanced at the clock. Being 12 noon meant that the library would be close to closing by the time I arrived. Therefore I went dancing and shopping.

A sunny day somewhere above 21C.

After dancing for some time I reached the end of the promenade near to the supermarket. Four policement stood chatting and watching me for a while. Then a pair of woman and one other came and sat near to where I was dancing. I bowed to them, they clapped. I continued and then in a pause one of the women started to address me.
“De cual nacionalidad es?”
I didn’t hear what she said, but after repeating it I told her that I was english. She asked if I was (in a past tense) a professional dancer. Then why I was in Javea. She asked what I do when not dancing, do I paint or write? I told her that I sleep because I use up all my energy dancing.
I asked if she danced and her reply was “I am French” which I assume means she misheard me rather than being a definitive answer to whether someone dances. I told her that the music I was listening to is French, Patricia someone. She replied Patricia Kaas, which is correct, but then added that that singer is in fact Russian and that the speaker does not like her music.

She told me that it was a pleasure to watch and she bid me farewell.

I continued to dance for another 10 minutes or so and then went shopping and back home for lunch at 3pm.

The plan is library mañana.

I am sitting on a sofa under a thin roof in the carport where the last of the sun remains at just before 5pm and there is a small black cat on the roof leaning over in the hope that I will stand up and stroke its head. Obviosuly, I do as requested and then after sitting down again the cat wonders off.

A few days ago, after a similar interlude with this cat, my neighbour came into my garden searching for the cat. After telling her that the cat had left some 20 minutes ago, my neighbour returned to her house and the cat appeared from some bushes. I considered phoning the neighbour, but thought that the cat was happy and I am too lazy and too mean with money to spend the 40 cents it would cost to call. The cat went home, or so I thought, but was back again half an hour later.

My neighbour prefers the cats to be punctual.

13 Nov Miercoles

Overcast so I did go to the new library which I had to search for as I had not been there before. An interesting new building with lots of glass wall and lots of empty shelves. They seem to have moved the books from the old port library which was much smaller. They have ‘wifi’ which here is pronounced to sound like something smelly (whiffy) but only two computers for public use which were in use by the public so I couldn’t go on line. I looked around the library and borrowed 3 books, one of which is written together with Cesar Milan (the famous mexican dog man with a TV series who works in LA)

He was an illegal immigrant into California at 20 who spoke no english who went to a place he had never heard of called San Diego. His first regular job was washing dogs in a dog ‘beauty parlour’ which he had heard existed but had never believed when he lived in Mexico. Having grown up on a farm with working dogs who were not trained or put on a leash he couldn’t believe the amount the owners spent on their dogs and how troubled the dogs seemed to be.

He says that the happiest dogs in America belong to homeless people because they walk miles every day and don’t get bored or spoilt. (That should upset his clients).

He gives a list of self-help authors, all of whom I have read and whom I classify as weavers of unsupported hypothesies presented as facts.

Cesar writes about ‘energy levels’ of animals which all animals can instinctively detect. He writes that the animals in our gardens don’t fight each other, but live in harmony. (The squirrels in my garden in england don’t seem to have read his book so they continually fight). Both those statements seem hypothesies lacking evidence. He also writes that being a leader is more stressful than being a follower – ah, he doesn’t read the same books I read. My sources all say the opposite, that leaders are less stressed, healthier and live longer than followers.

Where I believe him is in what he demonstrates repeatedly in his programmes (and a spaniard has a similar programme here in spain), that if you understand dog behaiour and continually correct the first signs of what you don’t want, the dog will become submissive and stop those behaviours.

The trouble is that this takes some skill and continual dominance by the owner. Many owners don’t want that kind of relationship with their dog.

14 Noviembre Jueves

Big storm here early this morning woke me up with thunder. Tried to remind myself that if I have heard thunder this tells me that I survived the lightening.

Went on-line and the chores took more than an hour. This left me hungry and so I shopped and came home.

15 Noviembre Viernes

Much cooler (max for day 16C) and very windy, but a sunny morning PERFECT for dancing because the cool and the wind means that I don’t overheat. Danced until exhausted and then danced a bit more. Beach empty, many restaurants closed probably until Christmas. A waitress in an empty restaurant stood watching me, which I like, but what else did she have to do?

Cesar says that dogs should get so much exercise and go so many places that they come home absolutely relaxed and ready to sleep. I think that is what Noel does and it is what dancing does to me. It is how most of humanity probably used to live.

This town has a dog rescue centre supported by donations and by a charity shop. I often hear the dogs barking at night and some time ago they asked if anyone knew what could be done to quieten them. Apparently the most common suggestion was, “Shoot them”. Reading this book I assume the only answer is to exhaust them running miles every day.

16 Nov sabado
Can’t remember.

17 Noviembre Domingo

A cold day and even colder in the house so I skated for 74 minutes in the first session of this season, which heats me up so much that wearing shorts and protective gear still leaves me sweaty. Wonderful the warming effect of raw fear.  Don’t know if there will be a second session.

18 Nov Lunes
The electricity company forwarned us that the power would be off from 8am to midday, so I stayed up late and planned to sleep late. Woke at about 11.30 and the power came back on at 12. Went shopping and dancing. A young woman having lunch in one of the restaurants applauded.

19 Nov Martes
Did my 6-weekly shopping to be delivered that evening. Then went to beach to dance. The shoes that I have worn down past the soles and into the spongey filler are now so thin that it hurts like dancing barefoot. I think it is time to give up on them. The shame is that when they are partially worn out they are better than new. That is the problem of dancing in sports shoes which aren’t made for the task.

20 Nov Miercoles
Went on-line to do some chores. Have to arrange something with bank in UK. This is never easy to do from Spain. All the reports in newspapers about how easy it is to handle financial affairs across borders at the click of a mouse button leaves me wondering how it is done. Something always has to be sent in the post and often the banks want proof of identity that is very hard to supply. Only did 1/3rd of what needs to be done. Didn’t want to stay there very long in case I became too hungry to dance. So shopped ( always need something) and danced.

21 Nov Jueves
Noticed that I have a broken window. The glass has cracked and needs replacing. Did I break this last night?

22 Nov Viernes & 23 Nov Sabado
No memory of Friday, but on saturday I was so tired that I went for a walk instead of a dance. Had a look in the huge chinese run general store, in which I found nothing that I wish to buy. Oh, just remembered a woman (who I assume was responding to my dancing) dancing along the promenade by the side of her male companion who ignored everything.

24 Nov Domingo
Still felt tired, but went to beach to dance. A 15C clear skyed day meant that the promenade had lots of people wandering about and supervising their children playing on the climbing frames, plus lots of customers in the restaurants. I tried to stop dancing three times before deciding that I had danced until I was drained, at which point I finally stopped.

I am now so relaxed that I cannot be bothered to do anything. Preparing lunch was a challenge and then after reading for a while I will have to figure out where to get the energy to cook dinner.

On a day such as this my life is full just from dancing and eating, with the rest of the time filled in reading or watching TV. Is there more to life than this? Should I be doing something else?

25 Nov Lunes
Always strange to me how the first day of the working week is so different to the Sunday. The mass of young families which filled the promenade yesterday and which has left it empty today.

I danced before shopping and after about 20 minuntes, during a pause between songs, a woman waved me towards her. I walked over to the edge of the sand, “Hola,” I said as I removed the headphones. She and the woman next to her started to talk to me in Spanish, but we switched to English. One was spanish, the other from Slovakia. The Slovak asked me in several ways whether I had ever been a professional dancerr, been involved in choreography, ever danced in theatres. “So dance has never been part of your professional life?” (I was tempted to ask if she had ever been in the police, the secret police or a trial lawyer.)

“It makes my day to see you,” she said, “and now I’ve spoken with you.”

They both told me that it is nice to see someone who doesn’t care what other people think. – (Isn’t that a strange comment?)

As we talked I told them that sometimes it is difficult to start dancing and I spoke of not being sure if I would be brave enough to dance in a city centre, but that I did.

“So, you do think about what others think, but you do it anyway?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Oh, I am glad I spoke to you.”

While she was discussing my being able to do things in public without embarrassment she had liberated one of her breasts so that her toddler would suckle.

The spanish woman told us that she has a nude picture of herself on Facebook, and then searched her mobile to find it. At this point I made my excuses and left.

Later, when dancing in another location the spanish woman came over to dance with me. She waved her arms and moved gently around in flowing movements with her eyes closed. Her dog tried to calm her by biting her leg. I felt somewhat more self-concious. When she finished I congratulated her and she hugged me.

Having read the Cesar Milan book and watched ‘Malas Pulgas’ on TV, I now see dog behaviour differently. The woman’s dog jumped up at her and bit her leg when she danced. The dog is dominant and treats her as a follower. When the woman starts behaving oddly (dancing) the dog needs to tell her to behave properly and does this by biting her.

Another thing I have learnt is that dogs don’t want strangers to greet them with words and especially not by touching. They expect us to stay fairly still and quite allowing the dog to sniff us or for us to sniff them. The submissive polite way to meet a dog is to let it sniff us. The dominant way would be to sniff the dog, but who wants to do that?

If a dog is boisterous or aggressive or frightened it is best not to show any affection because the dog interprets that as submissive encouragement. (The experts say that a frightened dog which you cuddle is being told ‘Good Boy, be frightened.’)

These experts compare that with children who should be comforted. I wonder if that is right? Are humans that different? Do we not associate reward with our current behaviour?

In some of the dog programmes we see small dogs which wreck homes and snap at visitors. The expert explains that the dogs have been adored and fussed over by the owners, loved like babies. The result of this is to convince the dog that it is the leader (why else would the humans be so subservient?), but the little dog is not up to the task of being dominant and so lives terrified of visitors and other dogs.

When the expert arrives he spends a long time being calm and close to the snapping terrified dog until the dog gives up. The expert rewards the dog whenever its body language is submissive. Having convinced the dog that it is NOT the leader, the dog relaxes. No longer having to be the leader means not having to attack visitors and other dogs. How ironic, that all the ‘love’ demonstrated by the owners had caused such anxiety and bad behaviour in the dog.

The impression these programmes leave me with is that many dog owners want an emotional companion and that a dog is not really suitable. A dog wants a pack with a leader who dictates and enforces the rules (by biting). Being carressed, kissed and carried confuses the dog.

Another irony is that we all know how excited a dog is when he knows that it is time to go ‘walkies’, but the experts say you must avoid this excitement and if the dog is excited you need to bite him and calm him down before going out.

If the experts are right, and taking into account how wrong most of us are about how to treat a dog, I wonder what we would learn if we had experts in human behaviour (I think thay would have to be aliens who observe us from outside the species).

26 Nov Martes, 27 Nov Miercoles
Danced, days cooler and mostly overcast.

28 Nov Jueves
Stayed indoors due to cool overcast day with rain and because I felt tired. Made my first phone call using the new service to renew library books. I have had the phone card since 17 Oct (6 weeks exactly) and this is my first phone call. What a chatterbox!

29 Nov Viernes
When I went out I found, stuffed in the gate, a notification from the post office that they are holding something that I need to go to collect. The postman didn’t bother opening the gate probably either assuming it to be locked or fearing the dogs that I don’t have.

My mind is wandering over what the mystery delivery could be.

Went on-line to do chores. Tried to arrange some bank things which took more than an hour and may not have worked. One of the banks says it will write to my address in UK for more information. As that is likely to take 2 weeks before I receive it in Spain what’s the point of my doing it on-line?

I read email. Received an unusual and moving email from my friend the builder whose written spanish is a challenge. He wrote that he is not my son or my brother, but that how I treat him is so considerate that he loves me. (This is the first time I have been told that by a man.) He goes on to say that I deserve all the happiness in the world.

Isn’t that nice?

Opened my mail box and when I got back to open the forwarded UK mail I noticed that the local property tax was not taken out of my account in October. That makes me wonder if the mystery delivery is a notification of failure to pay the tax (which would mean an automatic surcharge of a couple of hundred euros – even if the error is the Council’s)

That is now on my mind together with what to do about the bank transactions. I dislike how my mind focusses on this drivel.

30 Nov Sabado
A cold overcast day. The night had a low of 3C and when I went out this morning it was 8C. Was thinking that I would not bother going out in the gloom, but decided to go. This is the first day that I have taken the cold seriously; dressed in jeans and a thick jacket with ski gloves.

Felt sure that I would not want to dance in this cold gloom.

Down near the beach there was thumping repetitive music. I searched for the source. Lots of 4 wheel drive vehicles lined up, each with a sign on them. It was the first stage in an overland race to Morocco. Each of the vehicles was announced and drove up to a ramp where theyt were photographed together with two attractive (one beautiful, the other not so) promotional models dressed in black, advertising an ‘energy drink’.

‘Mmmm,’ I said to myself. I think I will be dancing after all, but first I went to the supermarket to buy some fruit and then did my warm-up exercises. I considered going over to the display area to dance, but settled for the beach promenade closest to that area. The music was plently loud enough at a distance of 150 metres. It was different dancing to music that everyone could hear and it was fast and very repetitive. I was soon warm and stripped down to my T-shirt.

The car event ceased, but the music continued (and for me it improved as they played what might be called ‘dance’ versions of songs I knew. That is the music had a superimposed heavily accentuated and consistent beat for those whose grasp of rhythm needs a bit of help). As I continued dancing two young women and 3 young men approached. One of the young women asked (in accented english) “Can we dance with you?” I said, “Sure.”

They were the promotional models. They danced either side of me. Then I danced around them, and when I danced bending my knees and swaying from side to side going up and down they copied this and one of them said, “Me muere” which is more or less, “This is killing me.” One of the males took some video, handed me a promo can of the energy drink and they left. (I should have asked for a copy, but I rarely think of this when I am dancing.)

Now even hotter I took off the T-shirt and continued and then moved towards another location as the music had stopped and I reverted to my headphones. As I walked barechested amongst people in thick jackets and woolly hats a very round woman said something to me, obviously refering to being cold or hot. I took off the headphones. “Aren’t you cold?” she asked in english tinted with an American accent. Then she asked me what nationality I am and appeared surprised when I said English. Then she started to compliment me. “You are a wonderful dancer. You are spectacular. You entertain me when I am having coffee in the cafe.”
I barely had time to thank her as she gushed. “Why do you do it? Are you just taken by the music?” Then she greeted someone she recognised and asked if they had seen me dance and she was keen to tell them “He’s English” (Perhaps we Brits are known for all having two left feet.)

I danced long-time. It is always a boost to dance with pretty girls and to be complimented.

Managed to forget the things that were bouncing around in my head.

21 Oct Monday
Something must have happen, but the day is a blank except that I had some shopping delivered. I watched ‘America’s best dance crews’ which is a street dance competition. but they have jazzed it up, it seems to me, by having choreographers who introduce moves from other styles and various costumes and props. I find it interesting, although I mostly would not want to do what they do. I then watched Romeo & Juliet ballet, which being  ‘modern’ is full of ugliness and oddness and is SLOW and frankly boring. (I am getting very catty about other dancers it would seem.)

22 Oct Tuesday

Cloudy and so when I headed for the supermarket I dallied at the beach where I danced for some 20 minutes or so. Starting on the raised ‘stage’ which is actually part of a restaurant that is closed on Tuesdays. Bowed to a waitress next door who recognises me. A young woman danced next to me for a short while so that her friends could take some video. Later a boy tried to copy me when he was with his friends. I bowed to some youngsters who were watching from the beach, they applauded. Mostly ignored by customers in the bars and restaurants who may have seen me before or I’ve lost it. Then shopped and walked home feeling relaxed and hungry. The promenade here has some wonderfully big open areas obviously built just for me to dance upon.

Still trying to find out why the mobile phone doesn’t work. The company tells me it is still connected. They gave me details of how to get the phone to work, none of which work. I am of the opinion that they have changed to a different network while i was in England and that the coverage here isn’t good enough.

23 Wed 24 Thurs

Warm cloudy or overcast. Not sure what I did, but it was too warm to dance and so I danced anyway. A young woman videod from a great distance as she stood next to her seated male companion. Later she came a bit closer and I waved her toward me so she came much closer, took video and then turned and walked away without any acknowledgement.

Being videoed seems to make other persons more interested in watching. Perhaps they have a thought such as, “If she thinks it worth videoing maybe it isn’t as stupid as I think it is.”

25 Oct Friday
Clear sky and midday. Absurd to dance in this intense sunshine, to do so would be a risk to my health. Therefore I repeatedly used the beach showers to cool my arms and legs between sweat soaked dance sessions. A young woman in a cafe gave a thumbs up and later a little applause. Later a man made a point of standing up from his table and loudly applauding.

I have been here nearly two weeks and am now in the routine of being in Spain. It takes about a week to adjust. Now at 4 pm the sky is overcast; the rest of Spain has rain, but here I am drowsy and relaxed after dancing and then having lunch in the garden. If I dance enough the rest of the day is for recuperation and I am too tired to worry about anything (like phones that don’t work, money paid on one of them that I will probably lose, tax that still has not been paid, plants in the garden that have mysteriously turned black and died…. andf whatever hell else I am supposed to be doing that leaves me with a vague sensation of having been forgotten, but who cares?)

My friend the builder dropped by because I had sent him a message that one of the neighbours has a job for him, but I have not spotted the neighbour since I have been here so can’t tell him more.

I asked him if the Lyca phone he has works (mine doesn’t). He tells me ‘yes’, which makes me wonder because as I wrote above I assume that it lacks coverage here. Then as we talk he tells me that when he was working here at my house he couldn’t use Lyca because there is no signal. He then tells me that mine won’t work due to lack of coverage.

Questions have to be so carefully phrased if you want to know the answer to what you are thinking. When I asked if his worked, I meant “Here, Now”, but I think he must have answered a different question, “In general, out and about”. So when he then told me within a minute of saying “Yes, it works,” that “No, it doesn’t work”, he probably felt no contradiction.

Today I looked in the charity shops for music CDs and found none of interest. I failed to go on line to do some chores because the cyber had a note saying, “back in 10 minutes” which is one of those not very trustable notices. They really could be pre-printed although perhaps they are more effective when hand written; implying that the writer has CALCULATED the time. My assumption is that it is just a suitable waiting time. That the writer hopes that when he returns there may be someone waiting for up to 10 minutes and that 15 would be asking too much.

My ‘eye of the devil’ (bloodshot eye) is looking a lot better. The bright red has gone and shows just some yellowish brownish blotches.

Sometimes when I walk about or go into a shop I have a feeling that I am recognised as the nutter who dances. This may just be early stage paranoia, or it may be reality. There were 4 youths at a table in a cafe who seemed to be half smiling and watching me as I passed and some middle agers nodding or signalling to each other as I pass. (Maybe I have been watching too many CIA movies… of which yesterday I watched the Tome Cruise Cameron Dias ‘Knight and Day’ utterly absurd CIA movie which I quite liked.

(is it just me or do Tom Cruise and Cameron Dias both have odd shaped bodies? )

October 26 Saturday

A bit cooler this morning. For the first time the bathroom felt a touch chilly. The forcast is for a drop in temperature and maybe some rain on Tuesday. It has been unusually dry and warm. Most years I arrive to heavy rain storms.

The cool meant that I was expecting to dance, but when I arrived at the beach it seemed as hot as yesterday and so I had some moments of doubt before starting.
Some children find me very amusing and hard to understand. At one point there were 6 of them in a semicircle with 3 of them videoing me. Later, at another site, two young women and a boy videoing. I nearly gave out a flyer, but when I looked at it, I saw that the data was so out of date that it seemed even more pointless then usual.

The cyber was closed again so still haven’t done my chores.

Lots of tiny ants in the kitchen. All food is kept in plastic boxes, but the ants seem to be running a continual search of the territory.

27 October Sunday

Slept even later than usual. No energy. This is what happens after dancing every day and for the last two days dancing indoors late at night; a deep exhaustion which means that I stayed in the garden all day trying to read in a snoozy state. No shopping, no beach, no dance.

Decided that I should switch on the drip irrigation which I have avoided doing because of the fear that I will then spend an hour searching for and repairing the leaks. So, I switched it on and then spent an hour searching for and repairing the leaks. Baked in the sun and getting soaked by cold spray while my hands fight to squeeze bits of plastic into plastic tubes to keep the tubes locked together while the water tries to break them apart. The contest, which I won on points, was close and I think may be lost on appeal. (The water always wins long term because of its persistence at trying to split tubes and make joints fall apart.)

28 October Monday
Gee whiz woke up before 9 am. It’s a miracle. Went to cyber to check if I have received a reply from the fellow who has helped me with the tax paperwork in previous years: no reply. Went to bank to get new checque book and asked if they can do the paperwork; no (I wasn’t expecting much.) I will have to wade through the complications of the website (I looked again today and there is a long list of junk that you have to do to make the website respond correctly – just bad programming.) or I have to approach an ‘asesor’ (a middle man who make a living from knowing how to fill in absurdly badly designed government forms. One cannot fail to wonder if the forms are designed by the cousins of the asesors to keep them employed.)

The bank assistant asked me (in spanish) Who has sent you the tax? and when I obviously didn’t understand this she said it in english, “Who has sent you the tax?” which was just as baffling.

As I came out of the bank a man of about 40 said, “Excuse me…”
I turned to face him as he continued, “Do you speak english?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Are you the man who dances on the beach?”
“Yes, I am the man who dances on the beach.”
“My girlfriend always wants to ask you what music you listen to.”
I explain that it changes, that today it is “Nellie Fur…”
“Nellie Furtado,” he completes the name, before adding, “My girlfriend loves your dancing.”
“Oh, that’s very nice, thank you.”
And then he climbed into a pick-up truck and was gone.

I headed to the beach and was again struck by the heat and the stupidity of dancing in it as I stupidly danced in the heat. A few more telephone memories have been clogged with video of my sweaty dancing.

I only lasted about 20 minutes, just long enough to be soaked in sweat and to have a increasingly noticeable pain between ribs just below my left shoulder blade. At the end I tried, but failed to put my left foot up on a high bar where I usually put it to do a final head to the knee bend. That movement was too painful. Now, some 3 hours later I can’t breath very deeply and some bending is still too painful.

The SMS messages I sent to the UK apparently did not arrive, but the ones sent in spain did arrive.  I find telephones a lot of trouble for very little benefit. I looked on the website of the phone company, they have changed their charge rules since the last time I looked (last week). I have emailed them asking what iot costs to call the UK and 901 numbers in Spain. (They don’t bother putting this basic data on their website.)

While in the cyber there was a woman of about 65 asking how to open messages on her phone.

I am thinking of adding to my promotional materials a banner saying, “Banned from facebook for not being a real person” and “Twice banned from Twitter”

29 October Tuesday

My back aches, my left forearm aches, my right knee aches. I feel tired. The day is overcast, dark and maxed at 23 (which, believe it or not, feels chilly) Had no desire to go anywhere so I read the Sunday Telegraph that I bought at the airport on the 13th (what’s a 2 week delay?). My, how awful England is, or so it seems when I read the paper. The country is covered in wind farms and foreigners, both sucking the honest british yeoman dry. (I thought that yeoman was an American who says, “Yo, Man!”)

The best part of a wind farm is the unreliability which means having a conventional power station waiting to be switched on when the wind is the wrong kind of wind.

I am still curious if these new windmills will eventually be liked and then will be restored and kept running even if they don’t produce enough electricity.

My favourite British story is that having passed laws to increase the price of electricity (to protect the environment) Labour now wants to freeze the price to protect consumers.

This cycle us very familiar – Politicians do something and then blame business for what the politicians did and then have to bring in regulations to control businesses that were doing what the politicians required them to do.

A typical example is that Politicians talk about nationalising some industry. The owners stop repairing and re-building because they know it will be taken away from them and so the Politicians justify taking control because the owners are not repairing or rebuilding.

Politicians freeze the price of electricity. The companies don’t build new facilities because the frozen price makes investment pointless and so the politicians HAVE TO take control due to the lack of investment.

I have been watching an American ‘reality’ about pawnbrokers. Not just one, but two or maybe three different series. One in LA, one in Detroit and somewhere else (Las Veghas). The Detroit one fascinates me because the people are very poor, proud, mostly black, mostly wobbly fat, and rude and like a powder keg.

They DEMAND to be lent money and will not leave until they get ‘their’ money. No one asks about interest rates or conditions. If the staff offer a loan that is less than the customer needs there seems to be no way to explain.
“I need 400.”
“The article is worth about 350, I can’t lend you more than 200.”
“No way! I NEED 400. Give me my 400!”
This usually ends badly with a very big man ushering the customer to the door while the customer shouts things like, “Get your filthy hands off me you idiot” and “That bitch won’t give me my money. The idiot.”

In one of the other brokers the boss told each employee what that employees margin had been the last month (sale price divided by purchase price) they were between 25% and 9%. He was unhappy with less than 25% if I remember correctly.

In Detroit the owner likes to buy fancy cars which then get stored in the back surround by loads of junk. He sold a customised old car for 17,000 which he had bought for 6,000 but it took 3 years to sell. His family said it sounded bad, he said it was good. No one bothered to do the math (perhaps they don’t know how, perhaps they know it will do no good). I think it is a 42% annual return. My guess is that their jewels sell in 6 months at about 30% which would be some 60% pa.

What I find oddest is that they obviously display their jewelry, but they hide their cars. (I supppose they don’t have the room.)

30 Octubre Martes

The area around the beach was very wet with puddles below a grey sky and I was in my water resistant trousers and jacket with no desire to dance (well a little, but no dancing today)

31 Octubre Miercoles

A fairly sunny day, but with 10C overnight, a bit chilly when I went out. Went to the office of an ‘asesor’ to find out how much they would charge to fill in and print out the tax forms. Euro60 which seems pricey to me for 30 mins of secretarial work at max. I would have agreed at 40 or less, but at 60 I am going to have another go at doing it myself on the web.

Danced in the relative cool which is much more comfortable.  Two young women videod. I bowed to them and they applauded. I moved on to my next dance place some 50 metres farther and they followed and sat down to watch again. When I left to my next dance place, I waved goodbye and they waved back.

Two children bounced around looking very silly (perhaps even sillier than I look). Later they seemed to be trying to copy me, but dad took them away.

One of my street neighbours has broken her pelvis and is bed ridden. Another suddenly found that walking hurts her legs so much that she went to the hospital in the town where she was visiting, but was sent home because apparently the system here requires that she goes to her own region’s hospital. Now she is home with her son visiting. My tennis playing neighbour with whom I have played some 18 years is not going to play ever again (or so I suspect) because one of his calves hurts too much when he exercises. (Everyone is getting old)

After dancing for some 40 mins I stopped, walked home, made lunch and then lay down and snoozed for one or two hours. (Everyone is getting old)

Of course my relative activity isn’t because I am so much tougher, but because I am younger than those neighbours.

I wonder, will I be dancing at 65? 70? Tomorrow?

I have been thinking that something happened which I have forgotten, and now I remember, but am not sure if I have already told you about it.
I was dancing and a woman with a young child in her arms started to dance a few metres away, turning and concentrating on the child. I started dancing around the two of them. This seemed to amuse the spectators.

17 Oct Thursday

Having done some research, decided to buy a SIM from Simyo, but as the shops don’t have them I bought one from HitsMobile instead which I know works because someone has one, but what calls cost I don’t know. I did look on their website, but they keep things secret as do many of the companies. The local mobile calls are somewhere in the same range as others, but what else they charge for it is impossible to find out until after you have the service. Now learn that if you don’t put more money in every 3 months you lose what you had. If you don’t make a call in a month they take E1.50.  No idea what calling UK costs as they don’t say anywhere.

With Lyca there were no such charges or need to put money in, but if not used you lose the line. I assume that my use in UK of just SMS messaging may be the reason I don’t have a connection now. OR maybe not. Oddly Lyca inform me that I have missed incoming calls, but they give me no connection so I can’t even call their customer service line.

I expect to get through a few changes of phone number from hereon, because it will take a while to find the service that suits. Doing research on line to find the details is incredibly time consuming and usually unsuccessful. The value of making the right choice doesn’t seem high enough to justify the effort – except for the frustration of continually changing one’s phone number.

Managed to transfer the phone numbers from the old SIM to the new one and in the process realised that one of the UK numbers had a spanish dial code which may explain why that one never worked. Sent some SMS messages which may or may not have arrived.

Having told the plumber that I am only available in the afternoon and that he can’t phone me because the phone isn’t working, he phoned and then came in the morning and then phoned again. (My phone doesn’t ring, but does tell me that I missed a call. Strange technology of frustration.)

Decided to try to avoid dancing for a few days in case I am causing my eye to bleed by bouncing it around. That will not be long possible, although the midday temperature is too high to be very tempting, I can’t keep away from it for long.

My local supermarket is still promising me grapefruit ‘manyana’.

And then the grapefruit arrived. I thanked the pretty assistant who ordered the fruit and she tells me she is ordering more for tuesday.

October 15 2013 Tuesday

Tried to use phone. “Red no disponible” (Network not available). It was working a few days ago ‘roaming’ in England, but back in Spain nothing.

The irrigation system has been leaking for some time which I discovered when I went to unplug the system. Will have to call plumber.

Today went to the supermercado ‘Consum’, but it wasn’t there. It’s place has been taken by a chinese run general store which the staff tellme has been open for 2 months.

Damn! This was the only supermarket that sold high quality hamburger meat and the artificial sweetner and they had their own line in crunchy chocolate which I used to buy in lots of 20 bars to last me months.

Went to Lidl and found grapefruit and they sell aspartame so bought 5 bottles. Then went into an expensive supermarket which I normally don’t enter as their prices are so high, but they had expensive high quality (I hope) hamburger. [The low quality is 80% meat, the higher quality is 95% meat – I can taste the difference.]

Went to Mercadona which is another chain here, but only looking for 1 special product here. Dropped my sunglasses on the floor. Picked them up. Found the cereal bars with apricot. Then decided to buy almond and hazelnut chocolate. Headed to check-out. Where are my sunglasses?  I check m pockets. Damn, I must have dropped them again.Paid, told assistant I have lost my sun glasses. Went to look for them. They announced loss. I searched, checked my pockets again, spoke to other staff. Went back to check-out. Put hand in pocket – my sunglasses. Ooops!
Assistant asks me if I have found them. Yes, I tell her, thank you. Fortunately she didn’t ask where I found them.

My friend tells me that I am famous. He bases this on my being interviewed on the radio in England. I have told him ‘not really’.

Walking between supers, I saw a young man and woman looking at me from their car. They waved. I did not know them, but I waved back. The car drove all the way around the roundabout and pulled over. The woman, probably about 20, was idly looking at me, the young man of similar age leaned across her with his hand in the air, smiling he said, “Es un crac bailando”
I melted in gratitude saying, “Muchas gracious”

I’m not sure how to translate the Spanish (english word) ‘crack’ into English.

It is funny being called ‘a crack’ as this is an english word that doesn’t mean much to us, and if it sounds like anything it sounds like an insult, but here in Spain it is widely used as a foreign word in the sense that it is used in english as in ‘crack-shot’ and not ‘crack-pot’ that is a general term for someone who is very good at something.

So this complete stranger had pulled over to tell me something like:
“You are great dancing”

So youths pull over to greet me. Perhaps I am famous.

The weather so far is sunny-cloudy and about 22C. The forcasts were for and are for sun without clouds. I am by the pool (empty – my first impression that it needed pumping out obviously wrong) listening to birds chirping, insects clicking and humming and the distant sound of someone working with hammers and power tools, plus, now and then a car driving by.

Part of the house smells a bit of matacarcoma (insecticide for the wood boring beetle that is slowly eating the house) and also of bare pine wood (because it has been sanded down to let the insecticide soak into the wood.) It looks so different with bare pine door panels where it used to be stained dark redish-brown. I leave then bare so that they can easily be re-treated with insecticide, but bare wood is vulnerable to damp.

The economics of what to do are complicated. Replacing a door probably costs about the same as sanding and treating, but would still need to be treated. It is the sanding that costs because of the time it takes.  I suspect there is a faster way to do it.

I probably should replace all the windows and exterior doors with double glazing, but I have so little desire to organize it and put up with the mayhem.

I asked my builder about putting insulation in the roof space. He said, “Waste of money” that it will costs a fortune and that with badly fitting doors and windows it will make no difference and anyway I should put in a wood burning stove; everyone else is doing that; are they all stupid?

My reply would have been ‘Probably’, but I decided not to reply. My guess is that everyone does it because everyone does it, not because anyone had worked out if it makes sense.

I wish that no one say anything to me about problems during the first week I am back. I want to settle in before having to think, but they can’t resist.

Watching a film where the owner of a second house arrives, everything goes so smoothly, the helpers have fixed everything, the place is lit and heated and clean and the choices that the helpers have made, without consultation, demonstrate skill and tact.  -ah, the fantasy of fiction.

What really happens is that the door jams from the damp and not having been opened lately. At least one of the bulbs has burnt out. It smells of something. The choices made by the helper may seem sensible to a third party, but are exactly what you don’t want. All the things that you left in exactly the handy place are now somewhere else or lost (they will show up after you buy a replacement). You need to go to sleep, but either the bed hadsn’t been made or you can’t find toothpaste, or you panic when you realise that you have left your bag at the airport -only to find it next to the front door where you just put it.

Your helper leaves saying “telephone if you need anything,”  and, of course, the phone doesn’t work.

I have a horribly bloodshot left eye. Seems worse now than last sunday. Don’t think it is very important, having had something similar last year with which I went to see an eye specialist. Obviously will keep an eye on my eye.

October 14 Monday
Went shopping. Can’t find grapefruit which means I can’t make the fruit dish that I eat twice a day. Also couldn’t get aspartame (a sweetner). Will have to go to the another supermarket soon because they sell it.

Danced on promenade. Various persons stopped to watch or came out of cafes to see what the fuss was. No comments. Took a bit of effort to start then I relaxed into it.

13 Oct Sunday From England to Spain

Hate travel day. Nervously going through things, throwing away anything that could get smelly while I am away and wondering what I have forgotten to do.

I suffer from PMT (pre-migrational tension).

At least it started to rain and so going to the airport I could feel that I was escaping something, even when I had to walk through the rain to enter the terminal because the taxi doesn’t go to the door.

There was no one waiting in the check-in area so I wondered if I was late or early or it was the wrong day. I was the 5th from last person to check-in. I had arrived about one and a half hours before the flight, so nearly everyone one else had taken no chances of being late.

Went through security
Had to buy water which at £1.89 a bottle or £2 for the Sunday Telegraph with a bottle of water. Paid the extra 11p to have the newspaper, but wondered if I had been taken for a chump.

With the tension I felt I decided to do some exercises which amused a few on-lookers. Then saw two massage chairs which looked comfy. Sat in one to have my food. (The idea is that you put money in and rollers move around, but I found it very comfy without paying – except for the roller sticking in my back.) As I sat there eating a queue began to form at the gate. These were the passengers who had arrived in good time to check-in and were now forming a proper British queue even though the flight had not yet been called (as far as I was aware). They were taking no chances obviously.

I think it was half an hour before the staff arrived, and the aeroplane was disembarking the previous flight when my colleagues were forming their proper British queue.

I put my headphones on and had an idea. Would I be brave enough and silly enough to dance around the terminal?

Apparently, yes.

It makes waiting in line a touch more interesting, don’t you think?

Flight uneventful.

The evening air in Spain warmer than the day had been in UK. Before getting into the car I took off sweater and was more comfortable in just a short sleeve shirt. There has been very heavy rain here in the last week.

The pool needs pumping out. I can smell the damp.

At house searching for stuff that isn’t where I left it because it has all been cleaned and tidied. I have this dream that eveything will be where I left it, but it never is.

Only some of the shopping has been done so breakfast will be incomplete tomorrow.

The decompression and recompression plays havoc with my digestive tract. It is now 12.30 am UK time and 1.30 am Local time. I feel tired, achey and just a bit annoyed. Not bad really.

I need to buy another SIM (phone card) because the service I have does not allow me to order gas.

11 October 2013
The problem with dancing in the centre of town is that I didn’t do enough prep. Today I have a pain near my shoulder blade that makes bending and deep breathing painful. Drat, should have down the prep.

Getting ready for migration.

 

 

10 October 2013
Went back to shop where I bought the headphones and was delighted by their actions. The took back the product and let me choose whether to take a direct replacement or choose another. Not trusting those fine cables I decided to change to a Sony product which looks stronger.

Unfortunately I preferred the sound and the comfort of the Sennheiser. Also the old ones fitted close to the head and allowed me to wear a wide brimmed hat over them, but the new ones are too big. You can’t have everything.. (Why not?) I tried some others at twice the price, but could not hear any difference. Nice day. Walked into centre of Bournemouth and wondered if I am brave enough to start dancing there on my own. Definitely felt inhibited. Would I do it? It was a challenge. Am I brave enough?

 

Apparently, yes, I am. Expect the video to be on-line soon.

9 October 2013

My portable music had been crackling and cutting out recently. I traced the main problem to the wired remote between the player and the headphones, but as the player is battered and I would be upset if it breaks and I am without one, I decided to buy a new one and have the old as a back-up.

So, having decided that the CD player and its remote were giving problems I bought a new one only to discover that it was the headphones that were broken.

The incredibly fine cable that Sennheiser put on its headphones had obviously snapped inside the plastic. The break was at the point where the cable is attached to the plug so the problem was always in the area of the remote (into which the phones were plugged). I broke into a sweat at this. (Odd how annoying I find these trivial problems.)

8 October 2013

I know I haven’t written in my diary for the last three days, but now that I see the date it would appear to have been a hiatus of over a week.

I think the reason was gloom. When the sky is dark I hibernate or go into some kind of zero short term memory loop where  the days are forgotten as soon as night falls.

The sun came out halfway on Saturday 5th of October and I danced on the beach. There were packs of dogs and photographers, interested in each other apparently.

Sunday lived up to its name and I heard applause from a crowd as I danced, but there seemed to be a marathon being run along the coast and I suspect the applause was to give some recompense to the stragglers, most of whom were walking the last few miles.

Some children joined me to dance and they were very bouncy and spinney. As we danced a passerby told the children, “You’re lucky to have the opportunity to dance with a professional choreographer.”

Or was he talking to me?

And today Monday the 8th another partially sunny day with dark clouds glooming the horizon, but the air very clear and sharp. Went to beach at about 1pm as the sun is now low, but I was suprised how warm it was. Didn’t have enough energy to do an encore.

Had a muscle twinge in lower back. A pain I can add to my right big toe, several other little toes, right ankle and knee.

30 Sept Monday

Yukky day.

 

 

29 Sept Sunday A dull day. Actually ‘dull’ is to complimentary a word for today. Danced indoors for a sweat covered half an hour or so. Worked on some art for my website.

 

 

28 Sept Saturday

In the evening I watched the MTV awards show. Lady Gaga made an admirable attempt at a live version of her ‘applause’ video. Justin Timberlake with his tiny live voice that seemed lost in the theatre, but he and his troupe danced in a style that seemed so familiar to me. If someone asks me who I dance like, I think I should say Justin Timberlake.

If you looked at the audience, which I assume to be mostly professionals, they looked utterly bored.

 

27 Sept Friday

Today I can report that I did dance on the beach. Breezy with a rough sea and hazy sky. Ten wing-surfers (don’t know what they call it when they have a board and an inflated wing), a few walkers mostly dressed in thick jackets and me. It was windy enough and cool enough that I was in trousers and T-shirt rather than shorts.

Definitely end of season. I am here another 15 days.

Nothing much happened other than a middle aged couple coming down to talk to me, waving their hands to attract my attention, but not to talk about dancing. They want me to object to a planned electricity generating wind farm planned just off the coast. www.navitusbay.com www.challengenavitus.org.uk

This disturbed my dance state of mind for the next 15 minutes or so. Now I feel obliged to read up on the proposal to decide if I object or not.

(It seems ironic that if the plan were to demolish an old windmill people would be objecting to that.)

Dancing on the beach isn’t as much fun when I am on my own. For a loner I am such a social animal.

 

26 Sept 2013 Thursday

Beats me what happened on Thursday. I guess I didn’t dance on the beach or did I? Ah, uploaded the photos to https://beachdancer.wordpress.com and felt silly that I thought it had a maximum 1Mb upload limit when apparently it is 1Gb.  Having used most of the images I felt that I should have some more. I linked them to the photographer’s site, but that means you can’t click on the image to see it bigger. I do like the pencil drawing banner that appears 33% of the time that you read a page.

I probably did dance on the beach – did I? Well, obviously nothing happened of note if I did.

22 Sept Sunday after disco

Nursing a sore ankle, strapping it up and then taking the strap off again and putting it back on. The pressure feels good for a while and then seems to make things worse. Taking it off is a relief for a while then seems better to put the pressure on again. No dancing today (I promise). Oddly, stayed up late even though had so little sleep.

23 Sept Monday

Woke up at 12.30 which means I have made up most of the lost sleep. Ankle not so bad. Lovely day. Should I go to the beach to dance? Probably not, but you know me… was lovely down there. Tried not to over do it too much, just over do it a little bit. Phoned Pavilion Dance to ask if they had the hat I left at their disco. (I love Pavilion Dance, although I don’t think my love is reciprocated)

 

24 Sept Tuesday

Okay, so I made up for the lost sleep yet again, waking up in early afternoon. (I call that getting up early – see I am perfectly logical.) Had important things to do, which I didn’t bother doing, because in this season you can’t ignore the sun reminding you that the beach is calling on the breeze… ‘Come dance on me, please…’ Oh, but I did do something either today or yesterday – I read email. Damn! I had written something in my blog that didn’t go down well with Lisa in Hawaii. I broke out in a sweat when I realised that I maybe had offended her. I can’t offend a kindred spirit. I edited the blog entry and emailed her. Also emailed Laurie Lapworth, professional photographer who photographed my dancing and bar exercises last Friday. Keen to see what the photos are like and also a touch apprehensive, because I don’t much like photos of myself and always fear that if I think I look awful that this will interfere with my desire to dance. (Oh, God, do I really look like THAT?)

So, danced on beach in a misty sunny swirl of light that is very September and oh, so beautiful. The Isle of White vanished in the distant haze, but I am sure it will be back another day.

 

25 Sept Wednesday

Collected my hat from the disco where I had left it. Checked email. The photos from the photo session by Laurie Lapworth arrived. At first sight I felt a touch uncomfortable with stills of dancing and with the portraits taken with my foot in my face, but when I studied them and edited them for use on-line I began thinking that they are really good. Laurie told me that the copies he has sent are ‘small’ for use on-line, but I know that many of the sites I use will regard them as too big so I have had to edit them down in size. No doubt when I try to upload them there will still be problems. No dancing today. Bought ticket for migration south in a few weeks time.

I have destroyed a pair of shoes in just 4 months dancing. The outer soles completely ripped-off and the hard foam under that worn down so much that I can feel the texture of the paving stones. Now wearing an old pair, which I was going to throw away, but which are much better than my ‘new’ ones.

21 Sept Saturday

Didn’t beach dance. Wondered until quite late whether I would go to the night dance at the pier. Set-off for it at 9.30. Oddly, I felt a little nervous. Started the dancing as usual.   A man of about 30 came over to me, “It’s the dancing man. I am pleased to meet you my name is… (sorry I have forgotten it already). I have video of you on my mobile. We know you as ‘the dancing man'”

I replied that he should know me as ‘The Beachdancer’, which he noted. “My mate at work tells me that he’s been trying to do some of your moves.” I chuckled at this. He then introduced me to his girlfriend. I explained that I am planning beach events where everyone can dance. They seemed interested and she asked me if I am on facebook or anything. I gave her a flyer.

I moved to dance on the raised area to see and be seen. (I am such a show-off).

Three exquisite females came to dance with me, they reminded me of kittens being so very young. I asked one of them how old she was: seventeen.

Why do three seventeen-year-olds come up on a stage to dance with an old man?

Oh, I forgot something. They evening was much milder than I expected and my sport shirt was getting sweaty so, like I do on the beach, I took it off and danced bare chested after the first 20 minutes or so.

So, let me re-state the question, why do three seventeen-year-olds come up to dance with a bare chested old man?

Perhaps they were unusual girls? Well, maybe but after they went back into the crowd another three arrived to dance with me, these looked a bit older, I would guess they may have been as old as 20. When they went back into the crowd the first 3 returned, and this alternation continued for a while, but I spent most of the final hour with the older ones (older, I say).

While dancing on my own a woman of perhaps 30 (too old for me obviously) came over with two glasses in her hands, one of which she pressed against my chest as if offering it to me. I asked, “What’s this?” She replied, “I am toasting you.” (I thought she was offering the drink to me, which is why I had asked what it was.) She then continued, “You are a dancing machine, and I am liking it a lot.” This seems to me some kind of Facebook language. She soon departed, so I don’t know what ‘liking it a lot’ implies. Some woman in red who appeared to be with a husband came over to dance with me while he took video. Various young men came over to do a few (drunken) steps near me, or to hold my hand up in the air, or to ‘high five’ or what many wanted to do, touch clenched fists with me; reminds me of boxers at the start of a fight.

If you remember I am stripped to the waist; its important, I am not raising this in a gratuitous manner here.. Four young men came over to pose with me, they had all taken off their shirts and then there were photos. Not ones I want on my facebook page. (Later these photos were on the big screen behind the DJ, interspersed with photos of ‘my’ 20-year-olds girls kissing each other.)

Always surprised at the large number of people who know the words to songs, the number of songs they know that I have never heard before, and most surprised by the affection for old songs like Bohemian Rhapsody or the Jackson Five (introduced as ‘Michael Jackson’).

The dancing started at 10.30 and finished at 2.00 and my ankle is giving me jip now.

At the end I went to the lavatories to wipe some of the sweat off. I was drenched. There were several men in there. One asked me if I had had a good night. I said that I always did. (Odd that phrase just popped out without thought. Is it true?) He asked how much I had drunk. I said that I don’t drink. He said that when he had looked at me he thought I had not and that he wished he could have as much fun as I do without drinking. “It takes me a drink or two,” he explained. Another man, at a urinal, called out, “Do you go running?” I am not in the habit of being interviewed in lavatories and wasn’t sure he was speaking to me so I ignored it.

I went out and did my end of dance stretch and bend exercises which, naturally, drew some attention. Some guy did the hand holding thing again. (What ever happened to British reserve? I was hugged by several guys – not all of them drunk) (and where are the women who hug?)

Walking through the gardens one of the young men who hand ‘fist-touched’ me came over, put his arm around my sholder and said in fluent ‘drunk’ “Ish qu fuggle drom” To which I replied, “What?” This appeared to be an acceptable response, because I could hear a note of emotion when he added, “Gash ruglle slum?” Fortunately, he spotted some friends and moved almost in their direction.

On the walk home from about 2.15 to 3 am I was surprised at the number of young persons waiting in line to get into clubs.

There was one guy sitting on a low wall staring at a pile of vomit. I do not know if he sat there specially to stare at pre-existing vomit.

Back home at 3.00, hungry so I had breakfast. Couldn’t get to sleep until about 4, realised that I had left my hat at the dance, fell asleep and then woke up at 6.30 so had breakfast again. Just 2.5 hours sleep. That’s not good. Went shopping.

My ankle hurts and I expect to fall asleep at any moment.

20 Sept Friday Another week has zipped by without my noticing. For some inexplicable reason I was up until 3 am last night and then didn’t wake up this morning. So at 1 pm I went to library to update https://beachdancer.wordpress.com which is starting to look organised. Still haven’t figured out how to put the top of the page contents links into any order, but now have the diary entries uploaded and in some kind of barely sensible shape. (The entries are edited versions of my actual diary.)

Oddly, can’t find any diary for May10 to May29 or the even larger gap of JUNE 11 to JULY 16. Perhaps I deleted these or maybe it is part of an international conspiracy to conceal where I was dancing at those dates because Beachdancer Hour is a front for organised rag-time.

This afternoon was partially sunny and so after the library I had lunch at 3pm (isn’t that lunch-time?) and then headed to the beach, which was empty and low tide, and a bit chilly, but still lovely.

Very much feels like end of season with the sun low in the sky, the air chilly and the place deserted. Where did this wonderful summer go? I don’t want to let it go, and that feeling is delaying my booking my migratory flight south. Odd, because down there it would still feel like summer.

The stretching hurt more than normal, because I haven’t been doing this every day the way I should. It also took extra effort to get in the groove. Unfortunately my ankle began to hurt almost immediately. I stopped to put on the compression sock and also some tape so that I could continue.

Nothing much to report except that when I was doing my after stretches the photographer ( www.LaurieLapworth.com )who had taken some shots of the dancing came closer for a couple of portrait shots. The aim is to use these in the www.consciousdancer.com piece if they decide to publish. (Also depends on whether I like the images sufficiently.)

Tomorrow there is an open air dance thing at the pier in Bournemouth which in past years I have gone to and started the dancing. Not sure if my ankle is up to it this year.

17, 16, 19 Sept
All grey, windy and wet. I am deleting these dayus from my memory. Did do something which was post some of my diary to the blog – which if you are reading this on the blog -well, you already know. Have been in contact with consciousdancer.com who have written that they are interested in a piece about Beachdancer Hour, but they want photos of which I have none.

16 Sept Monday
They tell me the morning was windy. The sun came out about 3 and I gave up on what I was going to do so that I could instead go to the beach. Cool with clouds and sunny spells, the sand damp, the beach deserted; what a change from last time I was there. My ankle still not good, but oh my – GLORIOUS.
Danced for about an hour. No particular incidents. One old guy said, “Nice dancing” and some woman stood on the upper terrace of the restaurant staring at me for some while.

My mood brightened from how I felt yesterday. After dancing my body felt relaxed the way it should and I was happy again. (Happy and relaxed enough not to complain too much about the pain from my ankle as I walked home.)

The forcast for tomorrow is rainy again.

15 Sept Sunday
Windy rainy day.

14 Sept Saturday

All a bit of a rainy chilly windy blur last 4 days. No beach in this weather which is probably a good thing for my ankles and knees, but not so good for my blood pressure or sense of well-being. Did dance in night in the living room. Played some African chants which had me moving differently and played some music that I bought a few months ago and haven’t heard before. Have spent some of the time setting up the music streaming and added that to the blog (On top of page click on ‘What music are you listening to?” and then follow instructions at bottom of page – a new web page should open and you can click to play the music – if it works.)

The weather is forcast to be worse next few days. Beachdancer Hour seems like a distant memory or just a dream right now.

10 Sept Tuesday
Grey skies threatening rain. Went to library and discovered http://www.grooveshark.com – OMG! (as they write in internetspeak) It would seem perfect for beachdancer hour. You select music and it will stream that music to anyone who connects via a browser. (This is different to the system that they use in Hawaii*) Only problems..
1) I don’t have a smartphone so can’t receive it
2.For this to work for others I also have to use it because only broadcasts if I am connected. But other than that it appears to have much of the music that I actually dance to already in its system and using it free allows up to 5,000 songs. (My UK favorite albums contain about 100 songs plus the Spain albums would total maybe 250 songs.) This makes it possible to have co-ordinated music which anyone with a smart phone can listen to at the same time. (Don’t know how synchronised it is when streamed nor if the beach is a good place to pick it up.) Going to set up account and get this sorted out, and if that works I will have to buy a smartphone (or other 3G/4G enabled portable computer.) Oooooh exciting!
(The amusing thing is that it is also international – anyone anywhere could listen to same music or have their own version locally.)
International franchise by 2015.

 

*(In Hawaii the technology used during the events are iPod shuffles, not SmartPhones. The shuffles are synch’ed to the same playlist and handed out to the participants to use during the dance.)

8 Sept Sun
Don’t remember, but no beach.

9 Monday Sept 2013
Just a blur. No dancing at beach. Probably danced in living room.

7 Sept Sat
Did go to beach and danced, but tried not to overdo it. Memory blurred. Think I chatted with a bloke and his woman friend – or have I already mentioned that on the day it really happened? Ooops, yes that was thursday. In that case maybe Saturday was when I danced with my new shiny walking stick doing a mixture of ‘soft she shuffle’ and ‘sword dance’. Probably looked nuts. Glad to have stick as I walked back.

6 Sept Friday 2013
Want to dance. Want to dance, but resisted. Ankle not very bad, but it won’t take much to make it swell up again. Went to library. Searched for pictures of dancers on beach. My idea being that if they are for sale I would offer to promote them on my sites for free (in exchange for using them as illustrations) but all the photos I found, lovely that they are, seemed to be on sites that pirated them (that is they are on sites that don’t own the images, but have just used them as illustrations without permission). In the process of doing this found a site http://www.beachdance.com which promotes and runs beach dancing on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Have written to person who runs it. Want her as part of the international franchise. She uses synchronised iphones running the same music. How techno clever. Felt excited at finding – on the opposite side of the planet someone with same idea. Difference is the style of dance and the kind of music and the technology. She looks in her 30s and seems to get mature women whereas I am old and I get youths.

It is time to start thinking about flights, but not done yet.

Have been ‘updating my facebook status’ – can’t believe I am doing such a thing, but now that I have the following facebook address— http://www.facebook.com/thebeachdancer
I feel sooo international – that in their 100 million or more users, I am THE beachdancer
(someone else is beachdancer, but I am THE beachdancer)
Which means that my flyers are out of date again.

5 Sept Thurs 2013

Decided that my ankle was now probably good enough. Went to beach at 3 as the sun isn’t so high any more. Saw and chatted with a man who has spoken with me before and a woman who was with him. Did short encore at the Chine. Sat down in pain and cursed myself for dancing too much as my ankle was obviously swollen again. Hobbled home.

4 sept
Perhaps it was today that I created a video out of my radio interview. Can’t upload at library; they have banned youtube. Want to let the kid have first shot at this, but probably won’t happen.