Still Plugged In

And now, more of how this writer keeps fully charged to produce maximum output. 

Reading is the next big ME Time thing I do.  I open the cover of a book and am… transported.  This is how it’s been ever since I was 6 years old.  It’s incredibly difficult for me to put a book down once I start it.  I have to ration myself.  

But after my dad died (3 years ago) I suddenly found myself unable to read for pleasure.  I read all the teaching related texts I needed to, but I’d lost the ability to step inside the world of a book, to absorb the sustenance it gave.  I walked into Carnegie Library to teach at Ruskin Readers and didn’t even give the bookshelves a glance.  Unbelievable right!  

Happily, this all changed. 

On a beach in Sperlonga this September, I re-found the pleasure of reading.  Now I’m back to my usual – “Oooh, I wonder what that one’s about?”  And I’m back to cramming 2 books in my bag at a time, 3 or more books next to my pillow and a host of other books stored on my kindle just waiting to be read.  A person can never have enough books waiting in the wings.

Watching telly, films and series are another must for ME.  I have my favourite series which I get through Lovefilm.  

If I only have an hour to spare in between one thing or another, then a cup of tea and 1 episode is a great charge-me-up.  But I confess, sometimes I binge watch.  

I don’t even check the emails Lovefilm sends telling me what’s on the way.  I delete them and open the envelope which slips through the letter box as though it’s a surprise present.  Of course I always keep my list topped up so there’s plenty of variety just waiting to come via the hand of my lovely postie.

But the ME Time does not stop here.  Oh no.  Last, but by no means least on the list, is TANGO.  The Argentine variety rather than the ballroom one.  Sorry to disappoint all those Strictly fans out there.

I was lucky enough to walk into an Argentine tango class run by Claire Loewe about 8 years ago.  It was love at first step.  I’ve always loved dancing.  After all, it’s in my genes.  My parents met at a dance hall called the Chez Gay.  I grew up going to dances with my parents and had the joy of Langarm with my dad at parties and weddings.  Stands to reason then that I like to shimmy and shake a fair bit.

Since there are regular tango balls (milonga) to attend, I get the chance to dress up to the nines.  And the shoes! Oh good heavens, the shoes!  I’m slowly building my collection.  They’re pricey but so very worth the investment.

The thing I wasn’t expecting from tango was the friendships I gained.  You may not know this, but this writer is not a highly evolved social animal.  Tango makes me want to be though.  

Through tango I’ve met a diverse range of people from brain surgeons to cabinet fitters to lawyers.  My group of tango friends is small.  But they are a bunch of people I greatly anticipate seeing, at our weekly class or the monthly milonga.  It’s like spending time with familiar relatives but more sustaining because there’s no fall out from family arguments.

So there you have it.  All the things which recharge this writer so she's operating at maximum capacity.  I recommend them all.  But then of course I would.


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