Dream Picnics

17th July 1998 at 01:00
As we sit on our rug, the melancholic sound of a bandoneon breaks the tranquillity of the park. The haunting bandoneon epitomises tango argentino, the sensual South American dance. The portable CD's speakers are small, but they do the job.

My soulmate feeds me ciabatta dipped in olive oil and laden with mozzarella and plum tomatoes. I feed her a panino with frittata (omelette when it's at home) and Mendoza country wine, from Argentina.

The food is Italian, but then some of the greatest tangueros had names like Osvaldo Pugliese, (literally of Puglia, Italia).

Not too much to eat, as we are about to dive passionately into the tango, twisting and turning on the rug, with the sound of Astor Piazzolla, the man that married jazz with tango, reverberating around the park.

One turn leads to another. We then stop dead, all tension, sinews stretched, until we bend again, this way or that. First cheek-to-cheek, then arms apart.

For a moment, the pond is the shore near Buenos Aires.

We churn up earth and dust in a public park in Penge, south London, on an overcast afternoon. When we have made a mess of the grass, I remove my waistcoat and hat; she removes her heels. The director seems happy. Tiramis soaked in Marsala will help restore our energies.

Piazzolla is still lamenting the loss of love or life behind us. I wipe cream off my soulmate's chin. We entwine again in another turn that nobody knows the way out of. All we need is a bitter liqueur, probably Ramazotti, to aid digestion.

Paul Rowinski

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