I am an eternal optimist and a striver even though logistics for ‘movements’ can be restrictive and horribly frustrating. My Arts Council grant includes part-funding for a number of days that should be dedicated to writing and since the beginning of the year, I have had three attempts at organising this – all failed for one reason or another but mainly due to the excessive hike in prices this year. Also because I need accompaniment and am unable to travel and sort myself out on my own.
But I have finally managed to break out! All the required conditions came together and I will be travelling to Jerez de la Frontera and Seville in Spain on 29 August for 13 days and exploring the inspiration of flamenco dance and music. My friend and writing colleague Amy Zamarripa Solis will be filming and helping me to post blogs and videos during my travels. I will possibly have a couple of lessons in flamenco upper-body movements to use when performing in my wheelchair, so there are bound to be some good laughs in store.
During my trip, I will be exploring the link between North Indian-descended Romani people who migrated to Spain and brought their music and dance with them to Andalusia. I’ll be taking pleasure in the Royal Andalusian ‘dancing’ dressage horses (I used to go horse riding). I’ll touch them, feel their strength and admire their beauty. I might even try and find a performance of the female flamenco dancer who dances a duet in the bull ring with a prancing white horse.
This long-awaited journey will open my body and soul, and drench them in sensations, smells, sights and sounds. Then I will write, pour words onto paper, and sing and rejoice at the fullness of life.