Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Our tango adventure in this part of UK is thanks to two magnificent people- Laurie and Jan. University professors and tango teachers they are not only organisers and coordinators for our tango travel, but also good friends so far. It was their faces we saw first at the Bristol aiport and their last model of mazda took us to their house in Cinderford, Forest of Dean,where we were invited to stay when working in Gloucester. Jan would be the one to drive us to Swansea in about a week time, when our tango mission in Gloucester-Ross-on Wye-Ashton Keynes is completed. As last year, we were in awe of the impecable organisation. (admiring Laurie's organisation skills I will just quote one of the first mails of his this year with the proposal of our tentative schedule:

Tentative arrangements

· Arrive 11th (Sunday)

· Gloucester 12th (Monday)

· Ross 15th (Thursday)

· Ashton Keynes 16th (Friday)

· Malvern 17th (Saturday)

· Swansea to be confirmed – probably 18th (Monday)

Do you want me to try to arrange any more venues. Or might you welcome a break?

Abrazos L

This is absolutely what we adore:brief, concise, to the point. And all coordinated!

We fly high in Englad!
Another good news after having landed in Bristol, apart from seeing Laurie and Jan heathy and shiny as they used to be, was the soothing chill in the air. The heat wave we experienced the last months all over Europe did not seem to affect the CONSERVATIVITY OF THE WEATHER IN ENGLAND. As our friends repeat: other people have climat, we have the weather! And, indeed, from the very first day in England we could enjoy THE WEATHER.
And a good laugh with Laurie and Jan. To strenghen the bonds after a year of absence, Laurie invited us to have a stop in a pub and drink our first WELCOME TO ENGLAND PINTS.
What a pleasure! Victor's face brighthen up with smile. He loves British ales! Extra cold!

I prefered to stick to my cider at the beginning.
As all the tangueros are IRREPARABLE as it comes to tango, Laurie and Victor, were soon embrasing. Tango abrazo, that is, in a lovely pub patio, while discussing some important details of tango lead. I wonder if two men dancing together is a frequent sight in a public place in England?

I contented myself by sharing a puff of Laurie's pipe, one of my favourite's rituals.Needless to say, the dinner at home followed by whisky ritual went on untill the late hours of the night, trying to catch up with the time we have not seen each other. There are always plenty of intresting matters to discuss with Laurie and Jan. It is a pleasure merely to just listen to them. I transfer into an eager student, taking notes immediately when the words of wisdom/jokes/useful expressions fall.
Next day was marked by our BBC radio programme! Laurie had a wanderful idea and a previous week before our arrival to Gloucester he wrote us:

And there is more …. On Monday we wish to try to maximize the attendance at the Guildhall. We have therefore arranged to do an interview on the afternoon of Monday with the local Radio Station (BBC Radio Gloucestershire) in the hope that it will be heard by people in their cars on the way home from work. The interviewer would like to have all four of us in the studio for the interview. I imagine that you, I, and Jan will do most of the talking, although Victor would be welcome to chip in when he wants to and is confident. Would you and Victor be happy with that? One advantage will be that you will be able to include in your Blog the fact that you appeared on the BBC – even if only the local BBC and only on radio. I have given them a brief resume of your skills, charm, travels, etc. It could be an interesting 15 minutes or so. If you are not comfortable with the idea, Jan and I will do the interview instead. After that, we will have 2 or 3 hours before the first of your classes. We therefore intend to go out for a meal with the two of you and with Pete. He has suggested a Chinese or Indian restaurant. Jan’s stomach does not like Indian food, but she is quite happy with Chinese. Are you? If not, let us know, and we will find something else. The choice is somewhat limited that early in the evening. See you on Sunday Laurie 8th July 2010

I permited myself to quote an entire mail, as, apart from appreciation of the style, I appreciate the organisation skills of this remarcable couple. Besides, the OBVIOUS GUESS of Laurie that we would include the idea of the appeareance in BBC radio in this blog. Here we go!

To our astonishment Victor was very participative and at ease with his English, which most of the audience would find charming and authentic.

He took a couple of important photos of himself within BBC premises, for posteriority.

The same evening we started our tango mission. A grandios Guild Hall was a venue.

Both tango groups survived our ' tortures' and even asked for more. Many of them will surprise us again on Thursday in Ross.Back to our sweet home in Cinderford, for dinner and whiskey. Oh, sorry, we have had dinner in a pub, between the BBC interview and our classes. Pete was there with us. So it was only our traditional whisky-chat we had at home after the workshops. To commemorate our ' intellectual drinking sessions', Jan showed me a card she got from he sister: ' Vodka! Cheaper than botox and paralyses more muscles!' Taking about Jan, you cannot not mention her collection of neclesses. Here is one of them I specially like ( Black Rose is very stylish):
Even though the change of weather ( from normal EUROPEAN SUMMER WEATHER to the ENGLISH WEAThER) was just when we arrived and it prolonged during our stay in Gloucester, we appreciated every moment of it. I will never forget the surreal sights like one of Mister Professor smoking his pipe outside the doors in the DRIZZLE talking to Victor standing in the door, by the threshhold....

DUE TO THE TRADITION FROM THE LAST YEAR, our stay in Cinderford was completed by the dinner party with Pete and Penny ( those Monty Python jokes we cracked last year) and Graham. Larrie was a cook.
Great conversations and fun was had ( I was forced to look for my notebook), untill the late midnight hours, culminating in Larrie showing his language skillls singing songs in.... Russian! AND WHAT GOOD RUSSIAN IT WAS:
Even though Thursday belonged to our Ashton Keynes chapter, staying with Carole and Gerard, we associate it with Larrie and Jan who organised it and make this superb workshop-milonga-exhibition evening reality. As described in Ashton Keynes chapter- everybody who was supposed to be there-was there, and many more people surprised us in this lovely location in the middle of Forest of Dean. As written in other chapter- we got a 'desert' surprise in form of 6-7 deer we met on the road on our way back... What a farewell to the Forest of Dean!Friday was a day when us with our suitcases in the car of Jan med Gerard with his empty car, in a parking place of Guild Hall, to change the cars and residences. We moved from our beloved Cinderford to Ashton Keynes. But it is a whole NEW ADVENTURE...
Jan, on my request ( with a previous watching ' Harry Potter' film at home, went with us for a short visit to the Gloucester Cathedral which impressed us so much last year.

Jan and Victor discuss architecure. Jan's knowledge about ingenering is ASTONISHING! No wonder she fed us with all the films about CONSTRUCTION THE CATHEDRALS and CASTLES, which is of her strong interest. BUt.....You can hear her voice saying in the short film I made, recognising the place: ' This must be where a cat was petrified!' . This magnificent lady is a little girl still. Thanks God!

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