Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Barrister of 37 years is hotel manager for 3 months

Welcome to legal readers from and It is good to see you here.

This is a unique moment, when the readers of my camper and legal blogs meet those of the world of Argentine tango, and travel with me to Buenos Aires.

My trip, whilst unremarkable to tangueros, is a step into the unknown for my legal readers. Gone, the 'family court', to be repaced by the 'afternoon milonga'. Gone, the 'Ministry of Justice', to be replaced by the crazy structure of South American politics and the Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires.

For legal readers, this is your chance to let go the day-to-day routine of the Bar or Solicitors' practice, and to taste a new world that rests somewhere between reality and imagination. No, you do not need to understand dance, let alone Argentine tango. You simply need to allow new breaths of a different air to enter your lungs, and let your your mind do the rest.

My next blog will be in December from Buenos Aires. Stay by, and subscribe. You may find that you are interested, and maybe surprised.

To my current readers, prepare yourselves for a new chapter of Buenos Aires life - its colour, the highs and lows, the glittering light, and the passing storms.

Welcome back.

copy from Stephen Twist Barrister Blog ↓

Thirty seven years of practice as a barrister must have an outcome. Silk; or judicial appointment to the High Court Bench? No.

A quiet fade-away into slippered retirement, wearing jazzy socks and carrying a secateurs? Not.

So, for what else, as professional life slips to a close, is an aging barrister qualified?

Those who know me know the answer without the help of this blog. Over the past nine years, fifteen months in Buenos Aires has told me about life, and the need to live it. It has incited me to dance Argentine tango – the tango walk, the moment, the giro, the embrace. So, when my friends said, “Come and look after Casa Luna while we are away”, the answer was a sudden and simple, yes.

Picture if you will, a warm balmy evening, the crickets cricketing across the paving stones, the soft sound of music drifting on night air, the lights low, a rustle in the trees where a slow draft of liquid air gently shakes glossy leaves. As we reach the steps to wide double doors, the music is defined as tango. Above, figures move in close embrace, feeling the dance and feeling life.

The orchestra strikes up a song from Di Sarli for a new tanda. I ‘cabeceo’ across the room to secure a mirada response from an unknown dance partner. She smiles. I walk. We meet at her table. She rises to dance. A passing tanguero nods for us to enter the pista. We embrace and we walk. I feel her weight, her balance, and the tenderness of her touch. I smell her perfume, and allow the infinite structure of the music to dictate the rest.

We dance the tanda of three songs, each taking us further and further into the moment of the dance, before the cortina indicates that we part. Light suffuses, our breathing synchronises, we experience that ‘melting moment’ of connection when dance becomes life, and life becomes dance. Deeper and deeper, until there is no more depth to explore. The music ceases. We stand for a moment before returning to her seat. This is the milonga of Buenos Aires. This is the magic of dance.

Seven thousand miles from England. But a million miles from legal practice on the North Eastern Circuit. Courts and clients fade to distant memory. ‘Not before 10.30 at Teesside Combined Court Centre’ ceases to have meaning. We leave the milonga at 6 am, a taxi awaits, it races through deserted streets until we reach our leafy bario, collecting media lunas (tiny sweet croissant) and brewing fresh coffee as the sun rises before another glorious balmy day.

So, there it is. Until April, Casa Luna, Buenos Aires shall be my home, a place filled with sunlight, and anchored with an embrace......