Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Not-so-private Dancer

I'm writing this sitting on the edge of my bed, wedged between a huge suitcase and a shoe box overflowing with tatty bits of paper. I'm moving again. Only up the road, to live with Jen, Lauren and her boyfriend Ben. I'm taking Claire's room, because she's moving in with her boyfriend.

We are the two worse people at packing. Claire texted me yesterday to say she was about to start packing and was not looking forward to it. An hour later she messaged me again to say that she'd decided to burn down her room and everything in it.

Moving day isn't until Saturday, but I feel I should do something... So far I have put some clothes in a bag for the charity shop. I already know what I want to take out - my purple Esmerelda skirt, which is too small for me. But I now have a white Esmerelda top to go with it! I must keep the skirt now and flounce around in the mirror wearing it with my new white, flouncy-shouldered top. I would only ever wear it in the privacy of my own home - obviously I would never (again) practice such vulgar cultural appropriation in public.

I got the top for my birthday from you-know-who*.

Yes, my birthday was this month - the 7th day of the 7th month, of course.

Ah, gone are the days when I would blog for days and days about My Birthday and My Birthday Monster. Although maybe for old times sake...

This year I went to Manchester and the Lake District for my birthday, the Lakes are so beautiful. My cousin and her boyfriend are living in the same village as Beatrix Potter's house and they pay the same rent for the entire three bedroom cottage as I pay for my room in London.

Also, they told me there is an old man in the village who remembers Beatrix Potter and he tells everyone she was a Bad Dick.

It was drizzly and grey the whole time we were there - just how I like the Lakes. We walked up to Orrest Head. The walk to the top, which takes you through heavily-scented woods (I think it's fairy country, but it's fine if you step quietly), only takes 20 minutes from the main road, but when you get to the top the view makes you feel like you're on top of a mountain:

I woke up in the Lakes on my birthday, then we went to Manchester and it poured with rain, the type of rain where every window looks like a waterfall and there's nobody on the streets. That night I had a meal in West Didsbury with my mum and family friends,  my mum's boyfriend and my boyfriend, Kayt and her boyfriend, Amy and her boyfriend...

It's funny how now everywhere I go you can't move for boyfriends.

Then that weekend, back in London, Lauren asked if I wanted to go for a drink. We went to the pub on Saturday afternoon, but it was such a sunny day that I suggested going to Victoria Park after having just one drink. We got some beers on the way to the park and drank them by the river (it's more of a stream I guess, but you can boat on it),

After about an hour, the sun had gone in, so we went to find a sunnier patch and as we walked across the grass, people started singing Happy Birthday and for a second I thought it must be for someone's birthday and I wished it was mine and then I realised it was for MY BIRTHDAY.

My Gentleman Friend had organised a surprise birthday party for me. I've always wanted a surprise birthday. My little Birthday Monster literally exploded with self-importance and I've not seen him since. Perhaps he thought 'my work here is done' and went to live in Birthday Monster Land where every day is a disco and every word is a birthday wish.

And they all wear fabulous fringed cloaks.


The reason I wanted to blog is that I had my work summer party on Friday... and I woke up the next day and was reminded of the morning me, Claire and Jen woke up after our friend Chesh's wedding and Claire said 'I'm in a bed of shame', because Chesh had told her off the night before for performing a spectacular chair dance that upset the groom's religious parents.

I felt a bit like that, only instead of chair dancing, it was something worse. It took me all day to realise why my neck was hurting so much. Then I absent-mindedly starting singing a Tina Turner song and I laughed and told you-know-who that I was dancing to Tina Turner a lot the night before, and in fact singing quite a lot and actually wasn't I trying to dance and sing a lot like Tina Turner and then I threw my head back to demonstrate and it was SO PAINFUL.

That's when I knew I had done myself an injury from shaking my head about and growling along to Tina Turner. The thing is I remember doing it again and again, walking up and down the dance floor doing it and entertaining myself.


I must move on from the flashbacks of me stood with my knees apart, with my hair all over my face, going WHENYA-DA...DA-DA-DA...NANANANA-YOU-WAAANT because I don't actually know any of the words to Simply the Best.

I won't let the past hurt me.

Oh god it's hurting me quite a lot - as in I am wincing a little bit in actual pain.

Moving on.

I'm excited to move out! I'm sad to leave my current housemate and the nice big house we share, and I love living five minutes away from Brick Lane, and being able to have everyone back to mine at 4am for Tina Turner impressions and cloak-wearing...

But I'm moving in with Jen and Lauren - and Ben! - and their house is nice too.

Also it's a lot cheaper. I worked out that at the moment my rent and bills take up 61% of my monthly income - the old rule is that 30% of your wages should go on housing and even though rent has gone up a lot since they made that up, wages should have gone up too in relation surely?

When I move, rent and bills will take around 40% of my wages, so that's an improvement. Also it's next door to a Lidl, so I will be able to eat for £5 a week and spend all my money on kimonos and prosecco! I mean pay my credit card bill off.

In less positive news, I have now developed a strange kind of tick. At least four times a day, a husky choking sound comes out of my throat and if you listen closely, it sounds like the words: 'I'm your prrrrivate dancer, dancing for mon-eh...'

*My boyfriend, not Lord Voldemort.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Guess what.

On Sunday I went to my first ballet class in over ten years and now BALLET IS MY LIFE.

I love it. The teacher was a really camp Australian guy who kept yelling 'beautiful, beautiful work guys!' and after each exercise he'd pick someone to tell off in front of the class. But everyone still loved him.

I was pretty hungover and got quite mixed up when we were doing the tendu exercise.

"YOU young lady!" he yelled, sweeping across the studio towards me (he was smiling though; yelling in an extrovert way rather than in anger... I hope), "Where does my foot go back to?"


"Where does my foot go back to?"

"Er... first?"

"Where does my foot go back to?"

"Erm, the other foot?"

"Where... does my foot... go back to?"


This went on for some time. (The answer was: in front of the other foot. Oh how I wish he had revealed the answer after my first 'erm' and saved the entire class a five minutes of awkward boredom.)

There was another new person in the class and she looked bewildered throughout. When half of us were told to move away from the barre and stand at the side of the studio (so that the remaining students would have room to fling their legs around), she tried to run away in panic. He brought  over a regular student to stand in front of her and show her the movement.

"My first time!" she protested.

"I know babes, it's going to be fine. I've even got someone to help you - YOU'RE WELCOME."

We all laughed but unfortunately the little Chinese lady didn't speak fluent English. She looked offended. I don't think she'll be coming back...

But I will!

I went with a girl from work. I found the class ages ago, but haven't managed to make it (ie. every time we  planned to go I accidentally spent all my money on gin and crumpets the weekend before) - so she's been a couple of times on her own, and told me how good it was.

If you've been daydreaming for years about taking up ballet - do it. You really can spend the whole class pretending to be a ballerina. Most of the women (and two guys) in the class were wearing leotards and tights. One woman was wearing a see-through tulle skirt. 

I wore leggings and a vest top, with socks instead of ballet shoes... but it's only a matter of time before I am prancing around in a tutu, I just know it.

The only sickle in the soubresaut (it took me a few minutes of scrolling through an online ballet glossary to come up with that... not sure it works, but it's sounds terrific doesn't it?) is that, with all the mirrors, it's hard to pretend you're a prima ballerina on stage in Moscow or Paris...

You're holding your arms high above your head, perfectly and beautifully curved, and extending one leg behind you, high in the air with toes pointed, and you feel like a lovely swan...

Then you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and your arms are forming a hut-shape just above your scalp and your leg is one inch off the floor.


It is only matter of time before I start improving and then I will probably be able to audition for the New York Ballet.

So it will all be worth it.

The music is lovely - gentle piano pieces that sounded really familiar. I soon realised I was listening to, not classical music, but Colours of the Wind, I Will Always Love You and Tomorrow from Annie.

Where can I get the album?

On that note, let's all go and practice our demi-pliĆ©s to this:

P.S  I feel I should mention this, as I used to blog about Sudocream A LOT and it has now been barged out of the way by a new wonder product...

Coconut oil.

You can cook with it, moisturise your body with it, swish it round your mouth and remove plaque with it, take your eye make-up off with it, condition your split ends with it, and even rub it on scabby coldsores and it HEALS them.

Sorry Sudocrem - but these days you won't catch me going anywhere without a bit of coconut oil either on me or inside me...