Sevilla 2008 Part XVII-Writing

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Sevilla 2008   Part XVII

Our Flamenco Journey Continues

Monday October 13, 2008
     Night. I had a good class with Lakshmi and I am actually improving. I just watched the tape and it actually looked good. I am relieved.
     I have been depressed about how I look dancing and that old thought that I will have to quit dance has been trying to worm its way into my life. But now, there is hope! I am just reaching another stage and then it is up again from there.
     At least I haven’t felt like killing myself because of my dancing. But my depression can now lift a little. I am so grateful that my dancing is improving.
     Freddie and I have been steadily packing. That means going through stacks of papers and sorting what stays and what goes. We don’t even know if all our stuff that we keep in Spain will fit here.
     This year, in addition to Freddie’s bike, we have added a DVD player, a printer, and a telephone. We are building our little household, but we have no place to count on for storage, now that Concha’s studio is gone. We are thankful to Angel and hope that storing our things here will not inconvenience him. I think that was part of my motivation for wanting to buy a house or an apartment. I am investigating the cost of renting a storage area.
     Richard and Andrea are coming to visit on Wednesday. We also plan to see Josh and Regina on Wednesday too, and of course to go to Lakshmi’s show at the Torres Macarena Peña that night.
     I have another class scheduled with Lakshmi after Concha’s class. And after that I have a class with Juan, who was stuck in Moron for today’s class.

Thursday October 17, 2008
     My bike riding is not as good as it was in the early sixties in Berkeley. I find I am sometimes a little wobbly, especially on the very bumpy and narrow cobblestone streets. It also depends on which bike I rent. The Sevici bikes are all in different levels of repair. One of the tricks is to check to see that the tires have enough air in them. Some bikes ride much better than others.
     Nevertheless, I am a bit wobbly at times, but I am fine on the smooth surfaces. I don’t actually see many women my age riding bikes. I see a few older men on bikes sometimes. More and more people are riding bikes in Sevilla. I have been riding to and from dance class because it is fun, although I feel “jiggled” from the cobblestones when I arrive at class.
     Last night Lakshmi danced at the Peña Torres Macarena. Of course she was wonderful. That day Richard and Andrea came up to our house from Rota and we all went together. Josh and Regina joined us at the Peña. It was fun to see our friends here. Jill was there and Delia too.
     We also saw people from dance class and Karuna, a Japanese woman guitarist student we had met last year at the workshop in Cadiz. She has come back to Spain this year to continue her studies with Paco. She has also taken from Curro (Concha’s son) and Juan. And she just joined Alicia’s cante class last week.
     Everyone I talked to was astounded by how well Lakshmi danced. Richard said it was the best Flamenco he had seen in Spain since they arrived. We both really enjoyed seeing Richard and Andrea here. Freddie took his tricycle out to meet them as they were walking over here, but he missed them. They were amazed at how good he looked now. They hadn’t seen him in a year and he has improved so much since then.
     Even Josh and Regina noticed that he had greatly improved since they had last seen him, a month ago!
     We only have just over a week here. We are packing, but it is hard to realize that we are really leaving so soon.

Tuesday October 21, 2008
    We are slowly and steadily packing. There is a lot to sort through. We have two suitcases already packed. We also have to pack the boxes that stay here. Angel, our landlord, will investigate storage places in his house with me tomorrow. I am so glad that we can leave stuff here. Our apartment has been rented by someone else from November until June, so we may wait until June to return, so we can stay here the next time too.
     We have again decided to have my 64th birthday party at home. Miguel and Lakshmi will cooki. Angel is very glad we are having the party here. He especially loves foreign Flamencos.
     Lakshmi moved yesterday, but the bed in her new apartment is awful and she couldn’t sleep so that has to be resolved. She has another Peña show tonight, but we didn’t go because we have to continue packing.
The rain has finally stopped and the weather is again sunny, but more crisp than before. And it now gets dark by eight o’clock instead of ten-thirty.
     This evening Freddie and I rode bikes to the Barrio Santa Cruz to a store that Nina Menendez had discovered. We bought an incredible purple manton and a tablecloth there. Then we stopped at another store and bought a few things. By then it was dark but we both had lights on our bikes.
     We rode back to the Alameda so I could drop off my bike. The nearest bike station (to dock the bikes) is at the upper end of the Alameda. I love the feeling of the wind on me when I ride. It is so exhilarating.
     As we passed by the many cafes on the Alameda, Freddie wanted to sit outside and have a drink. I walked home to make a phone call during business hours, which end at eight-thirty or nine at night here.
     Then Angel and I walked back to have drinks with Freddie. Spain is so social. I always love it. It is so nice that Freddie can do things like shopping in Barrio Santa Cruz and riding bikes with me.
     And I am enjoying riding a bike. I have been renting the Sevici bikes daily. I bought a card that is good for a year for ten euros. Sometimes there are problems with the bikes, such as flat tires or loose chains and you have to check the bike carefully before you rent it. Then sometimes there are no bikes in the stand to rent and you have to find another. Or there are no spaces to dock the bike when you are through. They are free for half an hour; after that the fee is one euro per hour. But, being able to easily rent a bike does give me a chance to ride with Freddie. And we save so much time riding bikes. Next year I am going to buy a bike for me. I have now become a bike rider in Sevilla. I have graduated from walking.
     I have been riding to dance class, although it almost takes as much time as walking. At least I can put my dance bag, which is heavy with drinking water and dance shoes, in the basket.
     Ines Bacan taught a two-hour singing class at Concha’s studio last night. I made the fliers for the class. Ines sings so beautifully. I was entranced. But the class was hard. Only Nina really got it. I would take more classes if we were going to stay, but one class is not enough to learn much. The next class was going to be Tuesday, today, but it was changed to Thursday and will conflict with my birthday party. So I won’t take it.
     And speaking of Nina, there has been a little confusion. Nina Menendez from the Bay area is not cleaning our house! Our house cleaner, a friend of Angels, is also named Nina. She cleans our apartment between once a month and every two weeks. She is from Bosnia.
     I go to Alicia’s cante class tomorrow and Thursday and perhaps Friday, if it happens then.
     In this last week I am still taking classes with Lakshmi and my dancing is improving, finally. And of course I am still taking Concha’s group classes. I took a cante class with Juan this week and will try to take one more with him before we leave.
     A wonderful thing happened today. As I was parking my bike in Plaza Pelicano, just before Concha’s class, I saw some of the dancers from the class and waved to them. One young woman, whom I didn’t know, looked at me and appeared startled. I continued on to the class. A few minutes later the dancers from the Plaza arrived and the young woman said to me, “It is you”. Last year she had read my Sevilla writings, staying up late nights in her room in London. Because of what she read, what I had written, she decided to come to Sevilla to study Flamenco. She said, “I am here because of YOU!”
     Her name is Farah. She is Indian but lives in London. She recognized me from the photos on our website. After reading my writings she came to Sevilla for three months, returned again a second time, and now is here for another month. She watched Concha’s class today and will take it tomorrow. She teaches Belly Dance and had learned from my writings that I too used to teach Belly Dance. She is a beautiful young woman of twenty-eight, with dark curly shoulder length hair. Concha told her that she looked Gitana (Gypsy) because the Gypsies originally came from India.
     Farah was amazed and thrilled to meet me and I was thrilled to meet her. I always love it when people benefit from my writings or simply are moved by my writings. What more could I ask for.


     A note on the older photos: some people have been having trouble seeing the photos that I posted with iweb. Unfortunately, Apple made it difficult and I have been using their iWeb to post the photos. So, now you must download Safari, which is free, and it will work; you will be able to see those photos!
     However, we are now putting the newer photos on the Photo Gallery on our website in the Spain 2008 Album. You can access this with any browser. But we haven’t transferred all of them, so you will still need Safari to see the older photos.

End of part XVII

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