June-July Favourites

A Week in Devon

 

My SO and I had a much needed week away in South Devon at the end of June. Although rain was forecast for the ENTIRE WEEK, we had sunshine all week, apart from one evening and one overnight downpour! We got to enjoy lots of seafood, beautiful gardens, a couple of short boat trips, and we even had a cheeky trip to the theatre on the evening it rained to see Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest!¬†To be honest, I could have just stayed in Devon and had our belongings shipped down, but I missed my cat too much!

Anything Goes

 

Last Saturday afternoon, my SO and I went to the Barbican Centre in the City of London to see the fabulous Tony Award winning musical Anything Goes!

The current London run is starring big name actors Bonnie Langford (Cats, 42nd Street, Eastenders), Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love), and Denis Lawson (Bleak House, Star Wars, New Tricks), along with award-winning West End star Kerry Ellis (Cats, Wicked, We Will Rock You).

With a fantastic Cole Porter score of many songs you’ve probably heard of, including ‘It’s De-lovely’, ‘I get a Kick out of You’, ‘You’re the Top’ aaaand ‘Anything Goes’ of course, the ocean liner-based farce was absolutely hilarious. The dance numbers were great and even included tap dancing sailors! It was just such an engaging, uplifting and fun afternoon at the theatre.

Dance & Fitness

Sleek Ballet

I’m currently taking a break from weekly tap classes, which is giving me a bit of space to work through some of my video collection on timesteps, technique and classic repertoire – I managed to get down to the garage last Thursday evening, but now we’re in the middle of a heatwave (they’re saying it’s going to be 40 degrees Celsius on Monday – not fun jumping up and down in a stuffy garage!) so I’ve not done much so far. However, I will be attending 2 days of a 3-day tap dance intensive in Covent Garden later this month – I’ve been twice before and I always come away having learnt LOADS. I just need to pace myself, because on the previous occasions I went I felt BATTERED the next day. (Better hydration? More snacks? More breaks? Electrolytes?)

I wasn’t going to continue with the Sleek Ballet membership after the trial, but they enticed me back with a discount, so I cancelled my Rambert Home Studio membership for now and I’m giving it a go! (If you look right now, they’re offering 50% off your first year with code Summer50). So far I’ve done a couple of Lower Body Barre videos and No Jump Cardio – I’m definitely feeling the burn! I also try to continue doing the BOP Jazz workouts after work and I do a daily series of stretches most evenings. I now have access to a really good collection of exercise videos – I just need to get into some sort of routine.

Keep dancing, hydrating and working out!

 

 

 

A New Year’s Whodunit

inCollage_20191207_194724101.jpg

Happy New Year! I hope the Christmas holidays treated you well?

For me, there was lots of food and family time, plus half a day at work on New Year’s Eve. But I didn’t let office time spoil the week…my SO and I went to the theatre afterwards to see a matinee performance of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap – the longest running show in the world! Yes, the 1950s murder mystery show is now in its 68th year. It was very enjoyable, with lots of humour. I expected it to be more serious, like last year’s Witness for the Prosecution. However, as seems to be the case these days, there was someone behind us rustling a popcorn bag throughout act one, opening fizzy drinks and constantly fidgeting, like we were at the cinema, and not a LIVE STAGE SHOW. Anyway, getting back to The Mousetrap, as is tradition, I’m afraid I am unable to tell you whodunit!

I was back at work properly on Monday after lazing around for the best part of two weeks, and I will be returning to my intermediate rhythm tap class tomorrow after a 2 month break. I had signed up to an 11-week writing class at City Lit in Covent Garden, starting next week, but I changed my mind and got a refund, as I really need to buckle down and get some things finished first. That won’t happen if I’m out every Wednesday evening and my list of commitments is longer than before. I keep saying I want to ‘do less’ this year, so instead of committing to an 11-week course, I’m going to look out for one-off workshops instead, and use my free time to actually sit down and write. And practice ukulele!

On a different note, whilst in Covent Garden on New Year’s Eve, I came across dance wear specialist Bloch’s brand new shop, which had moved from its prior location in Drury Lane. I love checking out the tap shoes, so I went downstairs to the shoe area and found the brand new Jason Samuels Smith patent tap shoes:

DSC_0790.JPG
drool!

I already have leather versions in white and black, so I probably would go for a different colour in the patent…if I was splashing out on new shoes.

Which ones you do prefer?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great Christmas.

Mine was good fun and I really enjoyed the festivities and the break. My SO and I hosted twice, including on Christmas day itself, and all went swimmingly and everyone enjoyed themselves. I have to personally thank Mary Berry for her amazing Christmas cookbook which helped me know what I could prepare in advance, and our local butcher who did an amazing job of preparing the stuffed turkey crown wrapped in bacon plus a gammon!

I actually went to work for a half day on New Year’s Eve and my SO met me afterwards so we could go for Vietnamese food, followed by a trip to the theatre to see Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at London’s County Hall, which was brilliant! I love Agatha Christie, and the whole courtroom setting for the play was extremely effective. It was thoroughly engaging from start to finish.

Today was my first day back at work this year, and it was definitely a struggle to prise myself out of bed at 6am and get back into commuting into London after sitting around in tracksuit bottoms for 2 weeks! Nearly everyone I spoke to is harbouring some infection or other, so I’m only breathing through my nose and continuing to dose up on vitamin c!

I also had the first Pilates class of my 11 week course which I booked for the purpose of cross-training for tap dance. I was a bit apprehensive on my way there, but it was a very good and informative class, led by TB who is an experienced dance teacher, specialising in jazz dance and ballet.

There were about 10 of us in the [fully booked] class (not sure where the others were!) and we spent our time working on correct, measured breathing, which we were then able to use to aid our exercises that followed. We were pulled and prodded (with our permission) to correct any misalignment as we did the exercises, and TB actually said I had a very good spine roll when I was rolling up through the vertebrae, which she would expect because I’m young – I’m not as young as she thinks! Previous dance classes made this a familiar exercise. But of course other exercises were more challenging, like judging whether your arms are in line with your shoulders when out in front or out to the sides. Trying to move one arm up and one arm down at the same speed at the same time while lying on your back…

I have 10 sessions left, and my only reservation is that it went on longer than I expected (partly my misreading the course details and partly the teacher starting late) , so my lunchtime was a lot longer than I hoped. This combined with a longer lunch on Thursday when I have tap, and I’m not sure if I should have gone for an after work conditioning course instead. My bad!

Anyway, I hope you have a positive start to the year. I am going to work on crafting some more blog posts to share with you!