I often wonder at the differences in people and why some are so overwhelmingly generous. I guess I will never know, but I am thankful for those who are, and I am always glad to mention them here. I do not know why the Tango Edge team have taken us to their hearts, but they have. So here is the story of our recent visit.
I made contact via email, because I had heard a nasty rumour that the Monday nights at Barocco bar had ceased. Graeme wrote back to say that they are on as normal. This was great for us as our good friends Roger and Mirta would be in Cardiff for the wedding of Roger’s son. After the passing of dozens of emails we arranged to meet there after eight on Monday.
The weather had been atrocious on our first two days in Cardiff so we arrived in full wet weather gear, and changed when we got to the bar.Xeniaand Graeme welcomed us as old friends. Xenia did not want us to sit alone and pressed us to join the group. I would have, but we were waiting for Roger. When Roger and Mirta arrived they brought along another friend as well, so when Xenia joined us I had the choice of four women to dance with, and that was just on our table. Also Mabel (Her of the excellent music in Wilmslow) arrived saying she had seen on facebook that I would be here, I was truly blessed and flattered. I had a rare chance to dance with Mirta in the UK and Viv had the rare opportunity to dance with Roger in his home town. The company was wonderful the music was great, we were amongst friends, and there was a room full of women wanting to dance, could it get any better?
Soon though the night was drawing to a close and Xenia mentioned she would like to go to Chippenham on the following night. My lack of internet access meant it would be doubtful that we would be able to locate it if we went, but Graeme (God bless him) said “no we will take you” so we exchanged phone numbers and made tentative arrangements for the following night.
We left Barocco Bar with Roger and Mirta saying our goodbyes in the middle of the High street, not wanting to part until the last minute. Roger has family business to attend so we may not see him again this trip. So they left for their hotel and we headed off down the footpath to be greeted by hundreds of frogs enjoying the damp conditions.
The following night, true to his word Graeme arranged to pick us up at the camp site. It was still raining, so the offer to come onto the site to pick us up was more than welcome. We thought that they were running late, then I got a call from Xenia; they could not get through the gate. For those who do not know (I suspect that is the vast majority, as even locals do not) there is a wall running down between Sophia Gardens and Pontcanna. This means that if you follow the postcode for the camp site you will hit a dead end. The only way in is to go to Glamorgan County Cricket Ground first. Graeme had got to the dead end, and only pedestrians can pass this way. Fortunately it had stopped raining for a while and we found Xenia wandering at the top of the camp site and Graeme parked outside in Doggo Street. (yes that really is the name).
The journey to Chippenham was enjoyable if only for the company. Motorways are not the most scintillating mode of travel, but the time passed pleasantly. At the other end we got slightly lost but there was no panic and we still arrived early.
As is the way with these things, they have good nights here and bad nights. Unfortunately tonight was not one of their good ones, numbers were right down. Still the quality of the dancers made up for the lack of numbers. The lemon drizzle was delicious (more for me as there were less people) and it was good to catch up with Hayden again. We had missed his celebration milonga as we had been in Bournemouth, but I took the opportunity to congratulate him on escaping the treadmill. (I was trying to hide my jealousy as I did it).
The return journey was a bit more eventful, as some kind soul had decided to close the M4 for the night, but the detour did mean we had more time together
We thanked Graeme and Xenia for two wonderful evenings; they really do make our trips to Cardiff worthwhile. This was not over yet though, there was a Salsa band playing in the town the next night, they informed us and asked if we would like to join them. Having had such a good time these two nights, how could we refuse?
So we joined them again the following night in the Free Cuba bar for a night of salsa. Somebody from our group asked “Why is it all tango dancers can salsa” easy answer was “we will prove that wrong” and we did. But we enjoyed ourselves never the less.
We soon warmed up though and we gave it all we had. A few pints of San Miguel helped lubricate my legs. Viv was just high on life. OK we will never be great salsa dancers but we enjoyed ourselves.
The rest of our time in Cardiff was a bit of an anticlimax, (I thought of saying a damp squid here but that would be too much of a pun) I am extremely grateful for the three nights we spent with Xenia and Graeme they were just fantastic.