Looking Out To Sea

Capoeira workshop in Drumnadrochit

At the weekend I was up north with Helen and a number of other people from Mão no Chão Capoeira Angola. The group’s founder, Dion, was over from Greece to take the weekend workshop.

We took a car up on Friday, leaving only two hours behind schedule (a record of punctuality where we are concerned). I had enough time to bake a loaf of bread to take, but not enough space in the car to pack a tent. We even had some of the half-done berimbaus from the instrument-making session strapped to the roof rack.

We drove to Inverness, gathered some supplies and then switched south again on the other side of Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit for pizza and chips before heading to Fraser’s house on the shore of Loch Meiklie. Helen got the train into Inverness and we picked her up later that evening.

We all slept on the floor of Fraser’s living room that night because it was too wet to think about putting the tent up. I didn’t find the sleeping bag and mat much of a problem and slept reasonably well. I think I was woken by a slobbery dog on at least one of the days — the perils of lying on the ground.

After a lazy breakfast we put some more work into the instruments we’d brought with us. Then it was a bit of lunch and down to Glenurquhart Public Hall in Drumnadrochit for the Saturday afternoon of training. In the evening Fraser’s wife brought down big pans full of curry and rice which we had in the hall, in the well-appointed kitchen attached. If you’re looking for a venue up that way I can really recommend it on facilities (I have no idea how much it cost).

I was still quite sore from my mysterious muscle injury in my side (see previous post) — I wouldn’t work out what it was until the Sunday — so I was taking things easy and not doing a lot of the inverted stuff or anything which required stretching my arms behind me. Which is unfortunate because there was a heavy emphasis on ponte which is basically all about being inverted, stretching arms behind you and taking your weight on them.

After class and the meal Helen and I nipped round the village to get some air and stopped in at Fiddlers for a sly half pint — sitting in the beer garden in what was left of the sunshine.

In the evening we stayed up drinking and watching crazy videos on YouTube of handbalancing, Cyr wheels and people who jump off cliffs without a safety net.

After lunch the next day we went to Drumnadrochit with everyone else and while they settled in for the second session of the weekend we boarded the (expensive) bus to Inverness to catch our train to Edinburgh and see Paper Aeroplanes at the Voodoo Rooms (a very fine gig).