I am sitting in an internet Cafe in downtown Barcelone, Spain having promised myself I would intermittently work on this vacation. So much for well laid plans! So far – I have been able to fry my favourite travelling kettle (disabling my ability to make my morning DHB (delicious hot beverage), I have either broken my laptop or simply been unable to charge it using my transformer and I have gone blind trying to read teensy weensy email messages on the idopey gadget my daughter just gave me when she upgraded to an idopy-er. I guess I should have been paying closer attention when she was explaining it to me? The good news is that I have been able to master the games – like Angry Birds and Stackít – so all isn´t lost.

The bad news is the notes on my book launch, Jeremy Ten, Christy Krall and the like will have to wait…

More good news: the more sangria I drink, the more fluent my Spanich becomes! This brings me to the ponytail reference. I am in Barcelona with my Aunty J who was to have come with my Mom who cannot travel due to illness. As a thank you, I booked tickets for us to attend a Flamenco show last night. The show was glorious and the dancing superb and since I am more about the dance than the singing, it was perfect! For real, I do speak Spanish (and Aunty J whose late husband was a Spaniard does as well) but I have to be honest – the singers who accompany the dancers at a Flamenco show are mumblers. I have no idea what they are saying although I do appreciate the passion with which they sing. Aunty J´s Spanish, Sangria or not, is excellent and maintains that I am wrong when I say that the lady singer said ¨”my heart is bad”, “I am cold” and for some inexplicable reason “I have an avocado”…..

There were 3 women dancers (who had low ponytails) and 2 men – the men were powerful with one man much more agile than the other. The women were totally mesmerizing with the final lady dancing in a dress with a very long train and a beautiful triangular shawl. She was able to manipulate both the scarf and the train effortlessly in a variety of swooping motions that were amazing. It started me thinking that I am going to devote the rest of my life to Flamenco – I already loved the guitar so now I am going to catch up by incorporating the dance steps into my regular life. My plan is to wave imperiously at the fruit and veg clerk at the Loblaws and have my gaze never leave his when I ask “where can I find the star fruit?¨” Mysteriously, with just a hint of a smile I am going to clap (at him) rhythmically and say “gracias” as I swish towards the bakery. At this point, I am going to start to stamp my feet, maybe twirl just a bit and say “I am cold – where is the raisin bread?” (The “I am cold” statement seems to be key in the song part). Next stop is going to be the dry cleaners where I am going to rush in breathlessly and using only my (double hit of) feminine wiles: my beautiful flamenco hands and soft brown doe eyes (ok – my eyes are green) implore the nice lady to return my sweater jacket for “I am cold” and “it looks good on camera”.

I love Spain. I was last here 30 years ago. Nice to be back.

I promise to dish on skating and my launch (which was FABULOUS!) as soon as I get home and/or resolve my computer troubles. In the meantime – VIVA ESPANA!!!