Friday, 30 September 2011
I already mentioned this book on my other blog. It is a curious mix of African dance history, actual work-out techniques (frankly I’d prefer a DVD), shameless self-promotion (with some bits repeated more than once) and ethical principles (e.g. those of student/teacher relationship, to which I subscribe wholeheartedly).
Djoniba Dance Centre in New York. In theory, one can become a certified Joneeba™ instructor; now do a Google search and try to find any. It simply could be that no one can sit through the three-day exam, let alone afford a live African drummer band in their fitness class.
Friday, 23 September 2011
I can’t believe I spent all these years in England without actually watching The Vicar of Dibley. (Wait... I remember seeing a part of one episode in some hotel during school holidays. But that was it!) I had to move to Fuerteventura to correct this oversight. This is the first sitcom we watched with kids from the beginning to the end, and they loved it.
As a whole, the series is not as brilliant as, for example, Father Ted. Some episodes are all over the place. But with fellow chocoholic Rev. Geraldine Granger (Dawn French) that close to unattainable ideal — at least, shape-wise — I really shouldn’t complain.
Curiously, the first five (out of six) DVDs in The Ultimate Collection do not have any subtitles.
Friday, 16 September 2011
re-education” stint in 1970s, but Dai Sijie can make you laugh all the same. I really enjoyed Mr. Muo’s Travelling Couch; I liked Sijie’s debut novel even better.
Friday, 9 September 2011
The Travelling Hornplayer continues the Goldman family saga started in Brother of the More Famous Jack and is as brilliantly written. But. But. Too many buts.
The oft-mentioned “Shakespearean” qualities of Trapido’s novels are abound here: the heroes bump into each other a tad more often than is necessary and/or believable. Of course, all of them are congregating for the grand finale at the snooty college feast in Oxford. The whole Schubert connection (including the German chapter subtitles) is annoyingly artificial. Worse still, the likeable characters from the first book got much less likeable here.
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
First published 7 September 2011 @ zumbafuerteventura
Hooray, my new sound system has arrived! I went to collect it from the Correos today. I thought I managed to buy it for reasonably good price from Amazon UK — VAT-free and free delivery, because it was qualified for a free delivery in the UK... wait, that couldn’t be true? Maybe it ain’t. At the post office, they charged me €20 (twenty euro) before handing it over.
Still, I am a happy bunny now. Block Rocker comes with a microphone “to make announcements or sing” (nice try) but the 3.5 mm headphone jack to RCA adapter was not included. That is the only essential thing I really need, to connect it to my MP3 player. (Not iPod. I don’t have iPod. Block Rocker is advertised as a “Battery Powered Speaker System for iPod” but in truth you can plug in anything, provided that you have the right cable.) So I did cycle to the town in the afternoon to get the adapter. Check! Apparently, the batteries allow the system to blast at the full volume for 12 hours. We’ll see about that. I did not listen to “the full volume” properly yet. It’s getting too loud for our kitchen but maybe won’t be that loud for my, er, Zumba class when the time comes.
No more excuses: let’s rock!
Monday, 5 September 2011
I learned about El Duque and his music earlier this year, once again thanks to Songlines and we7. However, it was not until last week that I got the real thing. It is a beauty.
The bonus DVD features the documentary by Adam Taub. Or at least it is called “the documentary”. The Duke with his (very large) family; the Duke going to America; the Duke getting lonely in New York. And so on. All very nice, although about forty minutes too long. Never mind that: I was really after the CD, which is just getting better and better with every listening! This is “simply” bachata and merengue, as fresh and authentic as they get. The liner notes in both English and Spanish give a short history of each song. How else would I learn what the word mamandela stands for?