It's been a good day.
Back to school, starting in the heaving staffroom before transferring to the canteen for coffee and hot croissants. The croissants arrived fashionably late, just as the babble of dozens of catch-up conversations was reaching the point where no-one could actually hear what anyone else was saying. Relief all round, and yes, I had two soft and steamy zaatar croissants - this was breakfast after all, since I couldn't face food when the alarm went off at seven. Next week it will be going off at six, so I've got a week to get my act together. Urk.
Meetings, timetables, all the usual first day stuff. Heavy on the admin, but that's part of what what this week is for, so I have no complaints. I stayed a couple of hours extra to tie in with Habibi driving back from a meeting. My husband looks after me. He was well impressed with the wild new colours in our corridor. The Arts building is the most vivid I've seen so far - citrus green walls with lilac doors and purple door-frames. We grown-ups are not quite sure about this yet, but the kids are going to love it. I've heard that the Maths & Science corridors are something to behold, but I'm saving them as a pick-me-up for later in the week, when I've had one meeting too many. I shall let you know.
So what did I do when I got home? The usual. Crashed on the sofa for an hour or so, undisturbed by Habibi working on. He's resigned to this by now. When we were young and beautiful and falling in loooooooove, I used to get to his place at the end of a day and crash out in any available space. He called me 'the incredible sleeping woman' and has photos to prove his point. At least it also confirmed that sometimes I do go quiet, and a man needs to know that about the woman in his life. Oh okay! - this man, this woman....
But what can I do? I never sleep properly the night before we go back; I'm too full of anticipation. Last night was so hopeless that I got up some time after two, made myself a sandwich and a cup of tea, and watched 'Surviving Picasso' on ONE. Natascha McElhone and Anthony Hopkins. That woman is ravishing.
I have a theory that great artists are more likely than those of us in the middle of the graph to be bloody-minded, self-absorbed gits, just because they only perceive normal stuff like food, sleep, relationships and personal hygiene as a waste of precious time, and of hard-earned cash that ought to be be spent on the really important stuff like oil paints, manuscript paper and The Violin. Or because the unsung genius goes gaga from malnutrition (ok, drink!) while the critics' darling starts believing his own publicity. Picasso appears to have matched at least some of that particular sweeping generalisation!
(I think I may have said this before. If so, I promise not to say it again.)
So what on earth am I blogging after midnight for again? Well I've been to the gym again, haven't I? Sooooo I am floating along on my own salsa-induced endorphin cushion, and good for another half hour and a glass of red wine. (You have to get your anti-oxidants, don't you?)
I went down yesterday for the first time since June, and did a circuit that took in the treadmill and the cross-trainer (I still don't get it, but at least I don't fall off anymore.) plus assorted instruments of sit-down designer-torture. Great! After an hour and a half, I was thinking about heading home when they announced a Bodybalance class in half an hour. Ooh yeah. I liiiiike the gym. (And toniiiiiiiiight I liiiiiiiike playing with vooooooooooooowels. Don't worry. It will pass.)
And on the way out I picked up the new timetable, and saw that Salsa was due to start tonight. Yay! A very dear and vivacious friend has been doing salsa for a couple of years now, and loves it. I love the idea, but not enough to cross town around bedtime(!)
SO..... Salsa at 8.30 tonight, with Seif: an engaging teacher who got all umpty-twelve of us stepping and swaying through the basic forward, back and side movements, right and left turns, and fifth position (I've just cut my attempt to explain fifth - easier just to do it.), plus a good demo from a couple who teach elsewhere. I have to say, though, that I found the woman very mechanical.
(Tangent Alert) I think some dancers pay a price for years of ballet training through the grade exams. I've known devoted dancers who work so hard at their technique, that they are never fully 'there' in the simple joy of dancing. Tthe conscious exercising of technique, the demonstration of a 'routine', always shows. Of course, for others, graded classes and exams represent those hours when they are most supremely alive, a framework that enables them to dance, and dance their whole lives. (Have you seen Billy Elliott? Think of his audition, when he has to articulate what dance means to him. There.) Systems and individuals.
Still, to return to the demonstration dance, a bunch of strangers in sweats and trainers, in a brightly lit studio that has just emptied of dozens of sweaty Bodypumpers is hardly the ultimate 'invitation to the dance'. It's hardly surprising if the 'moment' you're in is that one an hour hence, when you're all meeting for a drink and a laugh after class. Still, these guys showed us some serious moves. Fun!
I had a really good time wiggling my ample tush in a humanely baggy teeshirt, and as long as I didn't pay too much attention to that woman in the mirror (who follows me into lifts and bathrooms all over Dubai - no consideration) I was completely in my dancing moment!
Bonus (FYI Mme. Cyn) Reggie was there, looking good, too! Of course, he always did...
Reggie played the alternative hero in a panto I wrote and directed for Dubai Drama Group some five years ago. In my version it was a WWF wrestler who woke Sleeping Beauty with a kiss, though he was much more interested in the pantomime dame, Signora Peperoni, than in some well-preserved nymphette. (It's got my prints all over it, hasn't it?) Anyway, Reggie was absolutely fab as
the Monarch of the Mat,
the Khan of the Canvas,
the Sultan of Slam,
He's got the muscles of the desert puma.
We love the big guy. Give him a satsuma!
I shall be emailing cyber-lollies to anyone who can Name That Tune.
(Not you Mme. Cyn! Though you will always be The Most Fabulous Fairy of Them All.)
Bloody hell, it's 1.27! Crepe.Crepe.Crepe!
Plenty of link opportunities on this one, but you know about Billy Elliott, Salsa and Fitness First. If you don't know about Dubai Drama Group, they're doing one of my favourite farces, Run For Your Wife, at Dubai Community Theatre, very soon. I'll check and get back to you. (Mme Cyn? Grumpy Old Goat? Adventures in Dubai? Any other thespians in the know? When are DDG doing Run For Your Wife?)