Tag Archives: OGG1

What a success!

What a success! OK we only had just over half a dozen people, but they all came to dance and to enjoy themselves.

I worried at the start that we would have all men, but, as always, the women were late and soon we had an excess. One more woman than the men was, I think, a good balance.

I am learning as I go and the format changed from what I first envisaged. My first thoughts were to just have one artist all night, but that, I thought would get a bit samey. So I made some posters with the names of the orchestras on them and changed them as the night went on.

I kept it simple though, we started with DiSarli, then D’Arienzo and finished with a couple of Pugliese, for those who like that sort of thing.

Somewhere in the middle we did a demo of Kizomba, some though were not impressed, but as we pointed out “we have only had one lesson”.

The small amount of food that we had on was nibbled at and was quite sufficient, drinks were quaffed, but as most were driving I got little help with the Argentine Malbec and had to drink almost the whole bottle myself. Due to a mix up with Dairycrest we had a juice lake, which then stayed in the fridge as we forgot to put it out, so now we will be drinking juice until it comes out of our ears.

Funny how we all got up to dance at the same time and all stopped for a rest together, it was even more sociable than I envisaged. Instead of a changing corner we had the stairs, so than anyone sitting out could see all the action.

We are having a second practica next week, but it looks like most of this weeks attendees will not be there, hopefully a whole new crowd will come and experience the Gresford welcome. After that we are off on the OGG1 grand summer tour where we hope to be seeing more tango around the UK.

On a different subject; I paid for my magazine advert today and on entering the office I was greeted by Jill with a cheery “Hi Bob” not that unusual you may think, but Jill (Editor owner and general do everything) has seen me only once, and then I was stressed out and rushing around trying to sort out the problems with my SEAT. I am constantly amazed at how some people have this ability to remember other people from the merest of contacts a talent that I am sadly lacking. So if I pass you by without a wave nudge me and say who you are, I am not ignoring you, just stupid.

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Cardiff with a blast

The Finches hit Cardiff with a blast, but not as big a blast as the arctic air that seems to have become our summer.
 My first walk to the toilet block involved me getting totally soaked while while my second trip out involved a
lot of waterproof clothing. Unfortunately I do not have waterproof shoes, so that by now both pairs of trainers
I had brought are like damp dishcloths. Viv had the foresight to bring wellies, but I now had to find a new use
for those disposable carrier bags the local Spar likes to give out, Spar socks, whatever next.
We spent most of the first day seeking out the Tango venues we would later be going to, and luckily Barocco Bar where
we were to meet Monday night was not too far for us to walk.

The weather looked like holding out as we prepared ourselves for the night. It is never easy trying to look ones best,
Getting prepared in a tiny campervan, but as usual Viv looked wonderful, and I just looked like me.
Just when we were nearly ready it started raining again. All the waterproofs had to be hastily put on, but just as quickly
the rain stopped again, but we took them anyway. Fortunately, as it was a tango night, Viv left the wellies in the van.

We arrived at Barocca Bar early, with the inclement weather we just took advantage of a good break. There were a number
 of diners downstairs, but the place was not crowded. We bought some drinks and the girl directed us up the stairs.
The whole place has a dark atmospheric feel, with baroc decorations, hence the name.At the top of the wide wooden stair way
we found a sort of balcony affair with curved seating areas and round tables. There was an empty floor space, although not a
large area it would be enough for maybe a dozen couples. So we sat with our drinks and waited.

We were very early so that the wait did seem extra long to us,but by eight no one had arrived. At about quarter past a couple
arrived a small child. The child was adorable but I hoped when the dancing started he would not still be crawling on the
floor. After a couple of minutes the man,huge trainers and a hula skirt of keys, took the woman in an embrace and tried
unsuccessfully to lead a side step. Things were not looking good.

By about eight thirty a crowd was starting to appear and a guy with a computer and sound system was setting it up at the end of
the room.I doubted the ability of the system to fill the room, but I am glad to say I was proved wrong, though I am still
curious as to why they did not use the excellent system that was installed in the place.

For some time no one got up to dance. Viv is always reluctant to be first up, but we did not want to spend the night sitting
down so we led the dancing. There must have been two tandas before any one else got up. It was getting lonely out there.
 Soon enough others started to join us, first one couple then eventually two. When it reached three that was like an avalanche
point and the floor filled.

The standard was good and despite the crowded floor I found it easy to dance here. For me the quality of the dancers has always
been how they deal with a crowded floor rather than the moves that are performed.

Later on I danced with one or two of the other ladies, unfortunately, as usual, not many men chose to dance with Viv, so I had
to restrict myself. I enjoyed those dances a lot. ladies followed well with no antcipation, and if something did not go right
we just smiled and enjoyed the moment.

I hope that they enjoyed the moment as much as I did. Maybe we will dance together again on Friday.

As a footnote, I took some photographs, I do not have the equipment here to publish them, but hopefully I will do a post of just
the pictures when I return to the north.

My thanks to Wetherspoons for the WiFi

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Roberta Rides Again

We are off to Cardiff at the end of the week; we expect to do some tango while we are there, as well of lots of other stuff. I am not sure if I will be able to post while I am there but watch out for the story, life is never dull with the Finches, throw in a thirty year old campervan (OGG1) and the fun should never end.

 

Meanwhile the local scene goes on. We attended The Groves on Monday for another class with Sharon. We had two visitors from Cheshire, Millie and John. I never got the full details, but they have been going to classes with Chris. We attended classes with Chris at Zumbars Oxford Road Manchester with Frank Smith all those years ago. We saw Chris at a milonga in Wilmslow a couple of years back, but otherwise have not seen him for ten years. Anyway I hope that they pass on our greetings.

 

Chester is the only place I have known this to happen, and happen again it did: we had more men than women. Roberta had to return yet again, but even so there was a changing corner for the men. That means there were at least three more men than women, almost unprecedented in a small class. The guys are getting used to me now, which is just as well tonight’s class involved a lot of close embrace.

I think they feel safe with me, as one look at Viv and they are certain where my sexuality lies. Still it is fun to act a bit gay now and again, keep them on their toes. It also reminds me how safe it feels when you have a strong embrace; I can close my eyes without fear. On the other hand when the embrace is loose or sloppy, I feel it necessary to keep looking where I am. If this is the case for me then I am sure it must be the same for you ladies.

 

I have never followed for the ocho cortardo so this was interesting for me as well. There was a lot for me to learn, because despite all the years we have been dancing, following is still a fairly new experience for me. My biggest problem is still hanging on, trouble is when I return to axis I start to take over. Closing my eyes helps, as of course does having the embrace the other way round. Patience is the only thing I need; I have to remember that the amount of classes where I have followed are still very few. I still joke that I am the best woman here, that may not yet be true (OK probably never) but at least I can sometimes help the man with his lead.

We did a lot on musicality; this is now coming up more and more in Sharon’s classes, and shows how the emphasis is changing. Once all we ever got was steps, nothing about the music, now we are getting real tango, not pseudo stage tango, this is good. Only trouble is if the men did not get it Roberta tended to go off on her own, ignoring the man and enjoying the rhythm, not good. I must give her a good talking to..

After the class people were disappearing Viv had to go and grab some to tell them they must practice all that they had done, else all would be lost. Trouble was she was retrieving the men, I was left sitting out. I had to go begging; “please I want to be a man again”.

I spent some time with Viv, just going over what we did the weekend, and I managed to dance with a few other ladies, but all was lost by ten. So we went home for an early night.

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Gresford two, The birthday dance

My second tango of the week was all our own work, we held the Second Gresford Milonga on Friday.

The preparations have been going on for some time: I have finally wired in our mirror ball motor along with some colour changing spots, on-going repairs have been done to the floor (domestic flooring is simply not up to this level of abuse) doors have been removed and generally the place has been tidied. I have been working on my playlist and have included some of the new material I brought back from Buenos Aires, but  I failed to make a printed list, there must be some way to export a playlist to Microsoft word, but if there is, they have not made it simple. This list of preparations of course does not include the work that Viv has been doing, all a mystery to me I’m afraid, although she works very hard, I am after all just a man and could not possibly understand. She does her bit and I do mine, without ever understanding each other, so it has been for nearly thirty five years now, we may not understand, but something must be right.

The day of the great event and I first have to take OGG1 to the garage, and then we are off to the wholesalers. We go about once a month to restock, so we thought it would be nice to have some fresh stuff in for the party. They have some nice cakes and meats that will give the milongueros something to stave off the hunger.

Everyone was told that La Cumparsita would be at seven thirty, and on the dot Dave and Alison arrived. People then started arriving in ones and twos, some were in confusion, because it seems on my instructions I had said “look for the Campervan” of course OGG1 was in dock so there was no van on the drive. I had thought that as most people had been before they would have known where I was. We had another problem as well, I had moved the van and put my car in the garage to leave space for people to park, but I could get no one to park on the drive, they were all worried about being blocked in. This was ironic as later when they went to leave, the cars were parked so close they could not be extricated from the queue.

When Sharon arrived she looked beautiful, all in pink and fluffy with four inch heels, a special effort for her birthday.

The dancing was going well; they were all getting used to the tandas, although it was impossible to stop some dancing the cortina. Then at nine the music stopped, I was mid dance and rushed over to the music system to find what was wrong. All looked ok so I went to the computer, Viv had decided to close the program down, because she had prepared the food, I was not pleased, as this left me with the problem of finding where I had been in the play list.

After the food we had cake to celebrate Sharon’s birthday with the traditional singing of happy birthday to Sharon,

Then we had a special treat: Peter played a tanda on the bandoneon accompanied by Patricia on the guitar. How special, to have live music for my house party, my deep thanks go out to the pair of them. Our cortina was Nat King Cole singing Perfidia en español, Peter, not to be outdone, sang the next cortina for us, also Perfidia en español.

We also fitted in a Birthday dance for Sharon, I still have some educating to do though, as I waited for the cortina to finish, someone was already tapping me on the shoulder, before the dance had actually started. I had to politely ask him to wait, at least until the tango started (or words to that effect)

I never used my camera so have no photos, for this I must apologise, maybe next time I will not be so busy and will have time to record the event. I only took one photo and that was Sharon blowing out the candles.Sharon blows out the candles my apologies for the poor quality, I should have used flash.

For some reason everyone started drifting off early, and by half eleven the party was almost over, just no stamina, we were ready to party the night away, but by one o’clock we had no party goers to celebrate with us, and so we drifted off to bed. We can always clear up tomorrow. At least the weather held out for us, the rain which seems to be almost constant in summer, never appeared. The garden was a wonderful refuge from the dancing and somewhere to sit and enjoy some food and drink.

Now when can we have another?

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