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Dumb Dancing On:2008-09-18 15:14:50

EDC2008Well, thanks for asking, because Mum is indeed feeling a lot better now about Life, the Universe, Dad and Everything. This is demonstrated in my early morning video calls to her (you do know that we video iChat every morning, between my run and my shower---which means they do tend to be very sweaty conversations, at least at my end, not that that matters). So, she now has lots and lots more interesting stuff to tell me, often at great length, which is a pity because I desperately need to have that damned shower, and get ready, and go to work. Anyway last Monday she delayed my shower even more than usual because she was all excited by something she saw on the Telly the previous night (and this is a woman who would normally prefer to read a book rather than watching, say, Dr Who; so you can just imagine how wonderful she found it). She had been watching the second Eurovision Dance Contest!

That bald statement probably needs some clarification and background.


You see, in the beginning (i.e. 1956) was the Eurovision Song Contest wherein representatives of various European countries (like France, Germany and, for some strange reason, Israel) sing really inane songs (with really, really inane refrains like "Boom Boom-a---what was the next word supposed to be?") and then all the participating countries vote on them, largely along political and ethnic lines, and Britain always comes in last or at least last-ish. And now, as if that humiliation wasn't enough (Oh! how we in Britain love our humiliation---I suppose it makes up for our once being Top Nation) so, now, for that extra dollop of abject humiliation, with a side of embarrassment, we've joined in the Eurovision Dance Contest .

This was what Mum was giving me a blow by blow of as I sub-audibly whimpered about work, and bodily hygiene, and responsibility, and the arrow of time.
The Contest was held in Britain (presumably to compensate us for the fact that we would probably come in last as per tradition) and in the tough, rugged, Och-awa-an'-bile-yer-heed-ish city of Glasgow, of all places (presumably so we could compensate ourselves by giving the winners an authentic 'Glasgow Kiss'--which is directed smartly to the nose of the receiver by the forehead of the giver).

Which thought brings our minds back to the fact that Mum was giving me a 'blow by blow' account.
First, the women's costumes are, apparently, very brief thus clearly illustrating a general principle of Biology in that they represent the Darwinian struggle between imagination and revelation.

Then there were the dances themselves, which combined such quintessentially European styles as Cha-Cha, Paso Doble and Rumba with aspects of National Folk Dance. To my understanding (which you should understand is not terribly ...existent---I mean I don't see much to recommend dancing at all, apart from any utility it might have in meeting members of other sexes, and to make it worse, my understanding is based on my understanding of Mum's understanding of whatever was going on, whatever that was) anyway, to my limited understanding this was a weird concatenation.
Surprisingly Mum seemed less than enamored of the Irish pair, at least the part of their dance following their Rumba, where they did what was described as a 'Hard Shoe Irish Dance '. Now many folk dances are ultimately based on peasant activities, you know, like Italian peasants on the hillside stomping grapes to make wine (not, I hasten to add, that the Italians participated in this Eurovision Contest, I suppose they weren't considered European enough---unlike the Azerbaijanis who, being situated on the other side of Turkey, were, and did), and this Irish dance was fairly obviously based on the Irish equivalent of the stomping of the grapes, the 'Mashing of the Potatoes'.

The UK was, as usual, rubbish1, but we actually came in a very respectable (for us) ninth out of fourteen so all I can say is "Wow! That and our Olympic showing, what's next?", And of course...

Cheerio for now
Richard Howland-Bolton


The title should not to be confused with the poular 'Come Dancing' programme.

1  The eventual winners were the Poles, which result Mum put down to them having bribed the judges with promises of unblocked sinks and fixed U-bends.2

2 Since Poland's entry into the EU Britain has been suffering an inundation of Polish plumbers , which might explain her reasoning.

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