Somerset House A fun afternoon spent with Steve, Amanda, Richard, Chrys, Alberta, the doctor, Minh Ha and Jason, pretending to ice-skate in a romantic but crowded location: Somerset House. Modesty aside, I feel quite self-confident on the skates, since I have been skiing since I was five and always adored roller skating. But I have long to go before showing off some *non-standard* performances like pirouettes or jumps. I also tried to go backwards though, which was quite simple but a bit hazardous in such a busy ice ring. I was impressed by Steve’s improvements since last time (one year ago), by Chrys’ improvements in the arch of 1 hour: it was his *first time* and very frightened at first, so scared he didn’t leave the barrister for the first 20 minutes. Alberta and I helped him balance for a while and then left him alone. I observed him towards the end and was amazed to see that he managed to complete a round without touching the edges! I was also pleased by the others performance: everybody looked comfortable and agile. The evening followed with some drinks at a pub nearby, a greedy dinner at Zizzi and some indy/sixty dance at Metro Club.
Spanish Reunion Our Spanish teacher invited us to spend a Sunday afternoon at her place eating, drinking and watching a good film: Luna de Avellaneda starring my much-loved Ricardo Darin. The film chronicled the story, and history, of el club de el barrio de Avellaneda (i.e. the working men’s club of Avellaneda, a Buenos Aires quarter), and offered many hilarious and cheerful moments as the background of a nostalgic story.
The club has always played a central role in the lives and identities of Argentinian people. The local club is not (supposed to be) a political or religious circle, but simply a community where you go to meet people, converse, play and practice sport. It is also a way of keeping the youngest away from the streets and from the frustrations the country’s unemployment rate provokes. It is a proud (orguello) to be a member of it and a commitment to keep it going, since its joining fee is a mere £5 or so per month. Well, this film deals exactly with the significance the *club* has acted, and acts, and with the difficulty of keeping it alive nowdays, when times have changed (in many senses) and so the role of the club.
Ricardo Darin’s performance was sweet—to use a subjective judgment, and convincing—in more objective terms. Roman (aka R. Darin) was literally born in the club. His emotional temperament, mingled to a certain extent of passivity led him to a series of subtle failures in life. However, although remissive and tired-looking (as opposed to the more energetic paternal figure in Kamtchaka), he was never boring or annoying. On the contrary, he came across as the ultimate idealist man who has always retained his dignity... and charm.