I am often asked for advice from people who want to visit Buenos Aires. I may not be the number one expert, but I have been a few times and I am close at hand. So as such I am a handy source of information.
In fact I have been asked so often that I wrote a daily guide that I am happy to pass on. Recently I was approached again for information and I suddenly realized how many milongas have closed, so I am reluctant to pass it on at the moment.
Our next visit is now just a week away and it will seem like a totally new adventure as we explore what venues are still open. Many of our old haunts are closed, there are some new ones open and there are doubts about many others.
So for anyone who now wants information I would ask that you are patient. I will update my daily guide when I return. In the meantime keep your eyes on my blog. As always I will endeavor to publish daily while I am in Buenos Aires and you can see immediately what success we have and the places we go.
We arrive on 3rd of May, so expect the first blog soon after.
Meanwhile we have our last practica on 29th April when we will say goodbye to everyone and celebrate Viv’s birthday as well. Come along if you can, we will have a whale of a time and promise no tears as we wish you all goodbye for five weeks.
Now I have never been a natural athlete. Even now when I am probably the fittest I have been for twenty years, you would not call me athletic.
There is however a fitness associated with dancing. It is a fitness unlike any other, it involves the way we hold our bodies up, the ability to move in a way unlike any other and a degree of flexibility that involves completely different parts of the body.
It must do us a lot of good though. Have you seen how many octogenarians are still dancing? It keeps them fit and active and it is not unusual to see men in their nineties still cutting a rug in Buenos Aires, and making us relative youngsters look positively pedestrian.
Recently we have had a new student here at Gresford, a tri-athlete no less. Now I know I would be a mess if I ever tried running swimming and cycling in quick succession, so obviously he is far fitter than I am. Never the less at the end of an hour’s lesson he is reduced to a sweaty mess. He says he never realized it would be so hard.
It does my ego some good to think someone who is so fit cannot keep up with me; I am tempted to say “keep up pussy” but then he may just challenge me to a triathlon in retaliation. Perhaps it is best I keep my mouth shut.
It has been said that I am lucky to have a place in Buenos Aires.
Well it could be said I have been lucky: I chose my career path not really expecting to do any more than my parents. That is to have a family some day and a place to live. Ambition did not really kick in until much later.
So I never really pursued qualifications, more than the basics needed to do my job. As such I sort of cut myself off from any promotion possibilities.
I would have been content with social housing as well, but my then girlfriend was having none of that. She was not going to live in the area I was born in and she was not going to be satisfied with a council house.
So even before I married I had started to chase the money. In my first few years of marriage that is what I did, I chased the cash. This was, of course not the way to have a happy career, so in 1979 I took a decision that changed my life and took a job that looked attractive for its own sake. This involved quite a cut in pay and it was strictly no overtime.
Then the 80’s (The era of greed, remember?)kicked in suddenly not only did I enjoy the job, but the pay was now good and the overtime limitless. This period set me up for the future. We bought a big house in the country, got our daughter through college and I got myself financially stable.
When our daughter flew the nest it was time to throttle back. The crazy shift system I was now on ensured that I was on the highest rate of pay in the area, but left me with little time to do the things that I really wanted. The only way I could use the free time I had was to change my hobbies and have a wife who was not tied to a job.
So we danced, we had holidays abroad, but now the family income was reduced. I am not complaining, life had been good to me and so had luck, but when it came to visiting Buenos Aires it hammered my finances.
So the decision to buy in Buenos Aires was not taken lightly. In order to take the time off we needed we had to become a single income family. To finance the deal I had to sell everything of value, and we even traded down the house.
Again don’t think I am complaining, I am happy with my lot and am looking forward to my retirement with glee. But for anyone who thinks that it is only luck that gets you what you want, think again.
We all need luck, but if you really want something, sacrifices are necessary. If you are not prepared to make the sacrifice, then perhaps you really did not want it that much.
Well after months of planning and weeks of work we were finally ready to open. Just in time for Easter. It is not finished, you understand. The light fitting is on a plug (as you can see in the first photo)as I have some major work to get the supply through and the garden is not returned to condition. However we were ready to open for dancing.
The floor was warmed, the table was set and the music piped in, all we needed now was some dancers. Our first visitor said “you need a tape to cut” so Viv found some tape and I fabricated a bow.
Dancers soon arrived and before long we had a good crowd assembled.
We had our tape cutting ceremony and then we were off. I think we can declare it a success, nobody fell over my tiling and everyone enjoyed the space. There was not much dancing in the old space but at least now we are ready if we ever get a bigger crowd.
Many mini eggs were consumed, and too much chocolate by half. Well it is only Easter once a year. I have a new source of Argentine Malbec so the wine flowed. Again Gresford Tango was turned into a positive calorie event, with plenty of cake and biscuits as well.
I spent the next day tidying the garden up and cleaning the windows, so next Monday should be an even greater event, now we have a better view.
Only three more practicas until we go to Buenos Aires, so let’s enjoy ourselves. For those who cannot, for whatever reason, make these, we will see you again in June.