Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Those Good Ol' Dancing Days

I spent some time on Union Street today, sitting opposite the derelict Dance Academy.

There's something melancholic about abandoned buildings, the way they stand on their spot with no purpose, just an empty vessel rotting away - a concrete corpse. But as crappy as they become they can still hold memories untainted.

When I was a teenager Dance Academy was without a doubt the best place to be at on a weekend. And it was where I had one of the greatest days of my life.

I remember me and my mates had an amazing night clubbing: the DJs were on fire; we were with a mate that was on leave from Iraq; we were all buzzin' and when the lights went up we got a taxi to the Torpoint Ferry, crossed over the Tamar, got another taxi to Whitsand Bay where we laid on the beach, talking, chillin’, laughing and loving life. We watched the sunrise, saw dolphins a mile off shore heading eastwards and the tide creep slowly forwards. Magic.

Then, like idiots, we fell asleep until the afternoon. We woke in a sweat. Our faces redder than a Baboon’s arse. And we were surrounded by windbreaks and a massive family of massive Brumies!

I've had better mornings.

We walked 12 miles back home that day - if we’d got a taxi the day would’ve been over too soon.

Last time I went to the Academy turned out to be its last night.

I paid about £10 to get in then an hour later the lights went up. Police dressed in full riot gear lined the balcony, some had sniffer dogs, and there were bins laid out for people to put anything they might have on them that the police might not approve of finding on them, in. I searched my pockets to find a contribution and found some blackcurrent strepsils that had gotten loose and sticky. When we got passed the police and made it out into the street we found ourselves in front of local TV crews and journos. And I never got a refund. I've had better nights.

Ever since the police raided the Academy it's been closed. Now it’s just there, an empty vessel, a concrete corpse, boarded up, sprouting trees and rousing memories of the past.

Something in the Air

Yesterday morning was unusual.

I was woken up by the munchings of a cow that’d chosen to graze on a bunch of turf less then two feet away from me. Nothing unusual there. But as I looked up at the sky - which the sunrise had painted a rich vermilion blending into a soft lilac - I noticed there wasn’t a single vapor trail in the sky.

It stayed like that throughout the day (and the next few days). It was striking but ominous. Why was the sky so clear? Had there been a terrorist alert? I searched for a newspaper and found the cause.

Iceland! Again! Their volcano, Eyjafjallajokull (I think that’s how it’s spelt) was reeking havoc (as well as giving the simplicity of Mt Etna’s name a new found respect). First their banks collapse, now this. I still don’t know if our council got its money back - I’ll have to check that.

But it’s an act of nature, unlike a liquidating bank. S0 I can look the other way but I’d think twice before seeing Bjork again. If she comes back to Plymouth Pavilions, I wouldn't be surprised if she cancels at the last minute rendering my extortionate ticket nonrefundable - it's not worth the risk.

That said, Iceland is a great island, even if their alcohol is as expensive as bullion. I stayed there for a week extra after a training exercise back in the day. I hired a skidoo and skidoo-ed out to this remote hut in the center of a frozen lake. It was during that night that I witnessed for the first time the aurora borealis, and I hope not for the last time - I want my kids to see its majesty.