Last week I did something that I haven’t done in a really long time. I decided to take a contemporary dance class. Now this probably doesn’t sound so shocking if you know that I used to do contemporary dance at uni. And in fact I had danced all my life from the about the age of 5 until I finished Uni in about 2005.
However 11 years is a long break. In between I have done bits and pieces of dancing. But I hadn’t been to a full on contemporary dance class since studying.
If that wasn’t crazy enough the class also duelled as an audition for an adult dance company called Scatter. I really should have read between the lines and known that this wasn’t going to be a gentle walk in the park. The biggest alarm bell was when they handed me a candidate number to wear on the door!
Number 51 was not my lucky number
I should have run, but I didn’t. Instead I put my body through all sorts of physical exertion and pain, the likes of which I wasn’t prepared for. Here is some photographic evidence of the the external markers of the brutality.
On the night
The next day
Two weeks later
The internal suffering was much worse to bear. I could barely stand up and sit down for about 5 days. It was astonishing to realise how so many of my muscles never get used on a daily basis.
However, despite the physical agony. I was so pleased that I did it. Yes I was WAY below the standard of the class. Yes I was by FAR the oldest person in the room (including the teacher). Yes it was almost IMPOSSIBLE for my brain to keep up with the pace of the class (I recognised the steps but the messages weren’t getting from my brain to my body fast enough to execute). But in spite of all that. I did it. I bloody well did it. I was behind but I wasn’t SO far behind that I felt that I could never get back to that standard. The moves where still in my body, I just need to coax them out a little more.
And that is exactly what I intend to do. I’m getting back in the dance studio. I’m getting my socked feet out and I’m going to contract and release and give myself bruises like it’s 2002.
When I was in high school (longer ago than I care to remember) a brand new American sit-com came to Friday night’s Channel 4. Friends shaped by teenage years. I recorded episodes (on VHS!) as I always had Ballet classes on Fridays and then watched them over and over again all week, until the next episode came out.
I literally could quote Friends all day. I was and remain obsessed. When Comedy Central took over the rights to show Friends, and our TV package didn’t cover the cost of the channel I was both devastated, and a little bit relieved. If an episode of Friends is on, I canNOT ignore it. It can never just be playing in the background whilst I carry on with other tasks. I am drawn in every time. I have literally whiled away DAYS of my life, days of pure joy, watching and laughing at episodes I have seen HUNDREDS of times.
It’s the small character details that I love. Nobody stops acting for a second, the nuances and the quirks are superb, and sometimes the best moments are with characters who are not even speaking, they are just reacting.
So it’s no surprise that when Friends Fest came to London I was desperate to go. We were so lucky to get tickets. And whilst I know these weren’t the original sets, just having the opportunity to sit on that famous sofa, has made me so happy.
We walked the genuinely wonderful Parkland Walk from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace, in search of one of London’s lost railways. I was really surprised to see so many traces of the railway, sleepers, bridges, building and cable holders (from when the line was electrified) dotted all along the path.
The most spectacular moment was certainly happening upon the abandoned platforms at what was once Crouch End Station. The concrete platforms themselves are almost completely intact, albeit overgrown.
The end of the line, was also extremely picturesque. Alexandra Palace, a place I had never been before but had always wanted to go. And I would be keen to go back, as by the time we got there the museum to the original BBC studios was closed.
Here is my latest film inspired poster art / illustration.
I’ve recently started using Adobe Illustrator, this is mainly for getting my board game design together, but have been trying out a few other ideas and techniques along the way.
If you haven’t seen Michael Moore’s latest documentary ‘Where to Invade Next’, then you really should. A good hard stare at the pitfalls of the American Dream. Not that the UK one is any currently any more fulfilling.
My goodness am I enjoying the Rivers of London series! I’m up to Foxglove Summer in the novel series but have just discovered that there is a comic book series too. And I’m already behind!
So I’ve caught my self up with a treat of all the Body Art series in one (and a signed copy to boot!) and have subscribed at my local Forbidden Planet for the Night Witch series.
What I love about the stories is how the magical world’s and the real world’s are mixed together so seamlessly. The subtleties of how they live side by side, and the plausibility of it is clever and captivating. It’s probably why I’m also a massive Harry Potter nut.
Oh. You should also know I picked up Foxglove Summer at my local library which is under threat of closure. It’s already reduced to just three days a week and is self service. You can follow the progress of the save lambeth’s libraries campaign on Twitter with @DefendTheTen