Wednesday 26 June 2013

Rigging, morris dancers and paella

Last weekend I helped out at a street party. Our task was rigging sound. The best part about rigging days is that no one cares a jot what I look like. I didn't brush my hair all day! Just tied it back in a crazy ponytail/bun combo so that it was out of my way and got on.
If you think you recognise the building on the left, that's probably because I set fireworks off the roof of it last year as part of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
Halfway through the set up, about a million (I am so not exagerating) morris dancers came past us in procession:

Things eventually got underway about midday...
... and the town was full of people.

I treated myself to paella from one of the hundreds of food stalls (again, not exagerating):

Yummy :)

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Summer ambitions 2013

I totally forgot about this list that I wrote last year, until Janetha who writes the meals & moves blog posted about her 2013 list. Here is is:

I'm not half as artistic as Janetha, or as ambitious, but here's my new list:

The basic idea is hopefully to get out and enjoy summer (presuming that we get some nice weather) and relax a bit! I can't wait to have a whole day where the only think on my to do list is "sit in the sun" or "bake cookies". Sounds like heaven :)

What are you going to do this summer?

PS: If your answer is "go on a ballet summer intensive" then I am very jealous. Next year. Hopefully.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Is returning better?

There are some really obvious differences between me (returning to ballet) and many of my fellow adult ballerinas who have never danced as a child.

The first one is the terms. Ballet is all in French. Now I don't speak any French (apart from a little bit via Coffee Break French podcasts!), but say plié or tendu and I know exactly what to do. As a teenager I also learnt the "ballet translations" of many words:
Developpé - unfolding the leg from a closed to an open position and holding it there
Rond de jambe à terre - rounding of the leg on the floor
Port de bras - carriage of the head, body and arms

This amazing port de bras illustration comes from the very talented Adult Beginner. Check out her blog for all things ballet, sewing and running.

However, I've just had to look all of those terms up in my online ballet dictionary! I don't have a clue how to write them and often don't recognise them when I see them written. My ballet notebook from aged 16 (an essential class item as I remember) was full of phonetical spellings that were nowhere near the real words! I wish I still had one to compare...

Another great thing is how my body remembers specific sequences; ask me for a "coupé, chasse, pas de bourrée, pas de chat, pas de chat" and I'm off across the studio in a flash (and with my long legs I travel!). The same is true for pique turns or jeté, temps levé. It just works.

There are two downsides to this useful feat:

1) Give me a new combination (especially a variation on one I know) or a new step and I am totally at sea! Lame ducks leave me spinning on demi pointe whilst repeating "down up down up" over and over in my head. Beating (especially during assemblés) gives me bruised and battered feet and angles as I miss frequently :(

2) I get lazy. For example I assume that my feet and legs are always turned out because I'm used todoing  it. But sometimes in class I look down or catch sight of myself in the mirror and am shocked at the poor position of my legs. I could do so much better!

And there's one thing that previous experience has no effect on: poor flexibility. The more I stretch, the better it is. That's it.

Many thanks to the Wikipedia glossary of ballet - this post would not have made sense without it!

Monday 17 June 2013

A few of my favourite things

Spring finally arrived. Summer might even be on it's way :) and I've mostly been very busy with work :( So I thought I'd take a break to share with you the things that have been bringing a smile to my face recently.

1) Hello Panda biscuits. I have now found a Japanese food shop that stocks these in about five different flavours. Have been through a few of these packets over the last few weeks...

 2) Summer shoes! Accidentally treated myself to two pairs of wedges whilst trying to organise an outfit for a wedding recently. They are so cute and summery...

3) Hart of Dixie. I don't know if you've ever seen this, but back in Febuary I got my hands on the box set of series one. I watched it almost non-stop in less than two weeks (1144mins on 5 discs!). It is very addictive.  And now series two is on TV so Monday nights are Hart of Dixie nights. So funny...

4) Cinema trips - there have been a lot of good films out recently. I've missed a couple (Great Gatsby and Iron Man 3), but rather enjoyed Man of Steel this weekend. A couple of weeks ago I also got to see the new Star Trek movie with was particularly good.

5) Amazing wedding food. Some friends got married a couple of weeks ago - it was a lovely day, with a back garden tipi reception. And a skiing wedding cake...

And the most amazing cheese cake...
You can check out more information about the cheese construction on the bride's food blog.

6) One of my friends posted this picture on twitter:
 I need to have a go at making these; she even shared the instructions:
I would reference this picture if I knew the original source. Sorry.