El paso doble


Sunken eyes, deep in the black hollow face, dream of home.
Escaping from himself took him by surprise to the white man’s land – olé.
Mami said goodbye to the man-child she’d borne, never to see again in these lands.
I look upon his sadness and feel that the next dance is mine.

The laughing policeman in the next room surrounds himself by hope drowned in sorrow,
wishing away today for tomorrow and his dance finally comes.

Paquita, oh Paquita.
No words, no songs, only stories told from her eyes,
she dances all the time in the place we cannot share and then she too is gone.

You.  You went to bed and bumped your head,

man, he gun cum get yu!

You danced your way, every day, to the rhythm of the paso doble – olé!


Fish out of water

Last night I MC’d an event for the first time.  I have officiated weddings, hosted a charity event but this was a first for me.  As I am wanting to move into this arena of my life then it is important that I go along and step into the unknown.  It was for local foundation Respiralia who have a centre for cystic fibrosis – great people, very generous with their time and their efforts.

It was an interesting evening but it got me thinking on the way home how I have always felt different.  I was born in Jamaica to a Jamaican mother and a Welsh father, invited to leave there when I was 4 and a half to go to England and at 10 years we moved up to my father’s land, North Wales.  My first experience in infant school when we arrived in Teddington Middlesex – must have been sometime during the school year so I didn’t start school at the same time as everyone else – and being very dark skinned with black eyes, I was called a nig nog!  Not a pleasant experience and bless my parents for responding to my question as to what one was with “feel sorry for those people”.  A simple “you don’t have to put up with anyone’s ignorance but that’s what it is” may have helped, who knows!

So, feeling different started way back.  Last night was no exception.  It was a predominantly local feel to the dinner, lots of Mallorquins and Spanish with a touch of English.  I sat with some charming British ladies and sold raffle tickets to everyone there!  But I just don’t feel part of it.  It’s obviously me!  It doesn’t bother me really as I am so used to it but it makes me wonder a lot.

My first born Noah is so comfortable with himself.  He was born here and he is Spanish.  He is surrounded by friends – they go on forever!  He fits in wherever he goes and he can call Mallorca home.  I imagine he will leave the island soon to travel – he’s a hippy adventurer after all.  But he has a bond to somewhere, this island, home.

I found that home 12 years ago, here in the village of Binissalem which is where I feel safe, where I feel comfortable.  I am still a fish out of water – that mad hippy woman who’s really friendly and speaks Mallorquin!

Anyone else feel this way?  Not the mad hippy bit or maybe yes.

PS – With Christmas dinners and events coming up, why not try this for a sit down dinner?  Everyone on the table has a number and after the first course the odd numbers swop with another table, say there’s only two large tables, any more tables then just go round.  At the end of the second course, the even numbers swop and just before dessert you can go back to your original table!  Call me a mad hippy but I want to chat with more than just the people on either side and opposite me!


My dad to the left with his siblings - Aunty Beryl, Uncle Mike, Aunt Ingrid and Uncle Billy

My dad to the left with his siblings – Aunty Beryl, Uncle Mike, Aunt Ingrid and Uncle Billy

Death was always a subject treated with common sense in my family and as such I grew up never worrying about the inevitable – it comes to us all!  However, this year my superhero of a father, Gerry German, passed from this physical world into the heavens of light, angels, good times and reggae.  He went in a style fitting for someone of his reputation – suddenly, without warning although we had been waiting for his fuse to cut out for sometime given his 70hr a week work load at 84yrs of age!

We were philosophical, we were sad, we were busy with arrangements to send him off with a fitting celebration and I was here, over the water on my island home of Mallorca, in my safe haven called Binissalem.  I was fine.

That was May and now, since the end of summer, since the long days have shortened and the grapes have been collected; since the doors and windows have closed us into our organised lives again, I have been grieving.  I miss my dad.

It’s more than him though.  For 20 years I have lived here and 12 years in my spiritual home Binissalem – the home I had been searching for all of my life.  I miss my family.  It’s been a long time to wonder on my own.  Although I would see my parents and siblings every year a couple of times, although I would speak with my dad 3 or 4 times a week when he would call to check in on the boys and me – I miss the family.

I ask myself “why did I think I was an island and could do this on my own”?  Was it fear of intimacy, of being close.  Was it pig headed and stubborn arrogance or even ignorance?

Grieving is a weary sensation.  I am tired and have been since September.  I cry a lot and easily.  I try not to but it comes without warning.  I have locked myself in and it’s hard to open the door at times, but…  it will pass, of that I’m sure.  I am still far away from my family but I still talk with my mum 3 or 4 times a week, when I can find her at home!  I talk more now with the rest of my family and so I am grateful that dad’s passing has given me that.  He’s not here but he lives on and this day I ask him to forgive me for my independent streak, inherited from him!

I love you

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you.