Puss in shoes

Picture of sallycat's feet in shoesWhen you decide to leave the country I reckon you’ve GOT to have a party. You have to celebrate the life that got you to this point, the life you have now, the life to come – the ‘kick ass’ life. I’m having a party and its story is like no other… well, what else would you expect?

The Friday before Christmas I went to John Lewis to buy a pair of shoes. Now I hate shoes – boots are my thing – so I was amazed to find a pair gorgeous enough to tempt me. I sent the assistant off to get my size and sat down. I looked to my left and saw a woman trying on the very same pair of shoes. Being one of those mad souls who can’t resist connecting with like minded others I said,

“Hey, I’m trying on those shoes too. Aren’t they great? They look fantastic on you!”

The woman connected back,

“Really? I never normally buy shoes. I live in boots.”

Now we were bonding like only women can…

“Yep. Me too. But I need shoes to take me to tango parties. I’ve got sexy dresses to wear this Christmas and you can’t wear boots with those.”

“Tango? You dance tango? Do you go to Tracie’s?”

“Yes and everywhere else. I’m a total addict. Do you dance tango?”

“Well, I used to but then I opened a restaurant…”

Five minutes later I’d learned that she was Debbie, her South African partner was Martin and they own Coco Rio, an Afro-Latino Restaurant just off Bedford Place in Southampton. Then the best bit,

“We perform live music and have a great dance floor. We’d love to get people dancing. Why not come and dance tango sometime. Bring a CD along one night if you like.”

By now you will know that I am nothing if not a woman of action. That very night I was in the restaurant with my dream dance partner Shaun and a CD, dancing tango for a bemused array of diners and waitresses. Wicked!

A week later we were back on their dance floor at lunch time. This time no diners, just Martin, his incredible music mixing software and VOLUME. The acoustics in the two storey dining space were to die for. Shaun explained the essential beats of tango sounds like a pro and Martin improvised funky sample backing tracks. I could not keep my feet still, nor my mouth shut – probably said, “Wow!” a hundred times. I was dancing in my heart and flying towards a fantastic party…

An hour, animated discussion and a few perfect coffees was all it took – sorted!

Saturday 10th February 2007 – an exclusive evening:

a special 3 course South American themed dinner cooked by a talented chef – Debbie’s son; funky live tango music, composed and played by Martin – Debbie’s partner; a dance floor full of tango dancers – us and all our tango mates; a restaurant buzzing with ‘kick ass’ people – you.

So if you dance tango, celebrate with me. If you don’t, celebrate with me.If you know me, celebrate with me. If you don’t, celebrate with me. It’s over to you guys.

Let’s make Coco Rio ROCK!

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3 Responses

  1. hey sally, that’s a really cool story. I’d love to come, but Shaun’s page says it’s sold out… any way around that? 🙂

    Joe x

  2. There isn’t any ordinary bit in your life! I confirm it’s an international tradition to have parties before ‘leaving on a jet plane’ for a long time.
    Annie can’t wait to meet you. See you tomorrow at Malpensa!

    PS: try finding a song called ‘leaving on a jet plane’ by Chantal Kreviazuk.

    You rock mom!

    Arrivederci, a presto

  3. Oh man! Wouldn’t that have been a hoot if I had known you sooner… I will definitely visit Coco Rio if I’m ever in England. Smiles and hugs, “Sly” 🙂

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