London life friend Ian emailed me to remind me of the good old days when we were both free and easy. Well, I was free he was very easy. In days long past Ian was my regular dance partner as we filled our boots across half of Europe, and the main butt of my low wit. Socially polished, popular, sharp and loyal, his is the rare gift of insight into the human condition and I wonder what he would make of the overwintering exiles. In his email he recalled his envy at my popularity with the punters. My memories of our many trips around the dance floor are entirely different. His card was always fuller than mine as he had perfected his cleanse, tone and clench routine for the boys. Sadly, he mostly attracted those with less than a rudimentary command of English; the Third World was Ian’s specialist subject. Still, come the last waltz, I usually managed to secure a booking with some desperado who attracted me with the familiar you’ll do look in his eyes.