So, what do you do with homesickness? Can you replace friendships with blue skies? No way. Not in my book. But while we’re here far away from our home, the pages still have to flow. It’s no good getting stuck in the words. So, in an effort to banish the homesick blues, we decided to get out a bit.
As well as the big sea swell bumping against Barbados, it’s been really windy this past week. We’ve been keeping a close eye on our position in our new anchorage in Carlisle Bay. As well as keeping an eye on all the activity around us; the day trip boats, the jet skis, the water jet blasters and of course, the exercising race horses. Race horses! They swim right at the back of Quest, sighing through their noses. Yes, Carlisle Bay is one busy place. And amongst them all, Quest has been holding nicely.
So with Quest staying still in the coralline sand, we turned our attention to signing the girls up to their dance school. We took a taxi on Saturday morning, showed the taxi driver the address and arrived ten minutes later at the top of Bridgetown where the wind was even stronger. For some reason, people had also decided to burn stuff nearby.
‘Don’t take any photos of me!’ Delphine bridled at me in the smoky haze.
Delphine loves to dance. It’s a fact of her life since she was three years-old. Standing outside the colonial style house with its large breezy studio and waiting for her new ballet class to start, I couldn’t blame her for being nervous. It’s true that she dances differently than the other girls, her right side being weaker than her left. But she dances. This is more than I could ever imagine.
I put my camera down. A few minutes later, her class was called in. Delphine took her place in the line and I followed her in. Her new teacher looked a friendly, no-nonsense lady. The archetypal dance teacher in fact. I approached her, took a breath and began to explain Delphine and her medical history. I watched as, for a moment, as the teacher’s face began to fall. My own face twitched in the same direction, the way faces instinctively copy each other. Then I noticed Delphine peering at me nervously from the corner of the studio.
‘She just loves to dance,’ I said. ‘You’ll see.’
At this point, I should explain that this is a dance school that follows the British Royal Academy of Dance programme. Sure, Delphine dances in this programme at home but it’s never been a big deal. Back in Wales for us, it’s just dance class. Here in Barbados, you can see the pride in the students. I caught it while watching them through the window; the students’ turns and their extra-stretched limbs. These guys take it seriously.
So, when the class ended, I stood up when everyone came out. The teacher nodded in my direction. ‘She knows her work,’ she said, smiling at Delphine, ‘and we have exams in two weeks.’
It was a pretty awesome moment. Meanwhile, Delphine was already slipping off her ballet slippers. I sat down next to her in the smoky sunshine.
‘You want to come back next week?’ I asked.
She looked up. ‘Yeah. Of course.’