Saturday, 1 March 2008

A quiet evening at the Welsh Centre: that is, not many couples. The music not too loud: Chris tells me more about her visit to BsAs, I gossip with S as we dance. Easy going, as the floor is rather empty. Claire and Luis taught the class: a neat little triple (or was it quadruple?) step to each side, then a backstep and saccadas. Not an evening that catches fire, when one or more dances really take off, but fun and relaxed. But ultimately a bit depressing. I repeat myself too soon; even on an empty floor I can't remember other moves, but at least I keep to the music, the 'compas'. Or so I tell myself. Or perhaps a bit depressing simply because it was a bit empty.

On the train my well-worn mp3 player. I pick up on 'Paisaje' from Pedro Laurenz, listen to it four times, amazed at how the voices, the strings and piano, then violas and bandoneon, and back to the strings, how tidily arranged it all is, effortlessly danceable music. All supported by the piano, with Laurenz's bandoneon floating through as if he was dreaming. Today I check the net for a translation of the song, can't find it but find that Pugliese was at one stage pianist with Laurenz. Must be him playing piano on that recording, must be.

I finished the journey with Pugliese, as usual. That grand architecture and intensity gives a bit of meaning to a near-empty train approaching the seaside at 1 am.

Being a tango commuter isn't easy. Going up to London is OK, but having to leave the milonga early and suffer a tedious train ride when everyone else is still enjoying themselves is very irritating, and sometimes even seems bad mannered. When I lived in London I could go out and return as I pleased: now it's an expedition requiring careful timing.

What else? Watched Robert Bresson's 'Pickpocket'. He shows in a neutral fashion, he carefully avoids telling you what to think, and you become involved in the film to an unusual degree. I just watched a bit of McKendrick's Sweet Smell of Success: so overladen with plot, event and dialogue it was unwatchable, too full of itself, as tedious as an empty train at 1am.

And the garden: purple crocuses offer golden stamens to the sunshine, daffodils appear on St David's day. In the greenhouse the lettuce I sowed early in the week has already started to grow: I await the first signs of the tomatoes, peppers and radish. It's been warm.

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