Cos you’re there for me too…

So far 2015 has mostly involved me not knowing entirely if I’m coming or going…

We moved office at work, total relocation to a different part of the Metrop. Largely from my perspective, leaving our old building involved me trying out the various packing crates for size, climbing into the empty stationery shelves to prove I fitted and sneaking up on to the roof to admire the view… The new office is working out pretty cool: I have a new commute (on the DLR, I can pretend to drive it!) and we have an on site canteen (second breakfasts FTW!) and, when the weather’s nice, we get so much light because of all the windows.

Along with moving offices, I moved house… After several years, My Beloved Housemate decided it was time to move on so I am now flying solo in my attic flat. It’s been a couple of weeks since I got the keys and it feels completely like mine now. I need to buy another bookcase at some immediate point in the future because there is no such thing as too many books… I keep remembering about things I don’t own (like a corkscrew!) mind you…

Ballet wise I made a move to the dark side for pointe shoes. After six months of various pairs of Freeds (which I loved but never lasted, yes the pair of Studio Operas that died in one class, I’m looking at you), and prior to that Blochs and Grishkos, I made the leap to Gaynors. I think I might be in love…

And finally, I got over the entrelac fear in knitting. I’ve attempted it several times over the years but never quite got my head around it. Now I have and I feel like I’ve crossed the final frontier of knitting!

This is a photo I took on my walk to the tube from the new office, cityscape featuring the Tower of London, the Shard and some trafficlights:

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ETA and the title? I may be marathon watching Friends…

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Operation Read All The Things

A couple of years ago I massively freaked out with the realisation that I would never manage to read ALL OF THE BOOKS. So I stopped revisiting old favourites and concentrated on reading new (to me, as opposed to newly published) things. Except now I’m moving house in a couple of weeks so I’ve been on a Book Diet and I’ve bought no new books since before Christmas.

Frankly this self imposed ban is killing me, doubly so as I’m about to start the last book on the to read pile (it’s The Human Factor by Grahame Greene which I anticipate being a bit of a dull slog) and I’ve still got about another month before I can legitimately lift the ban. Argh!

So I’ve decided, a little like Operation Cook All The Things, I’m going to reread all of my books. I’ll still be allowed to buy new ones under some kind of ratio system, the specifics of which I have yet to work out…

I confidently predict that Operation Read All The Things is a longer term plan than cooking all of the things but I’m looking forward to spending some time with some old friends, and probably charity shopping anything I can’t understand why I’ve kept in slightly ruthless fashion… Or just to make spare for more new books.

Long and short: books are ace. All the books. Photograph below is just a tiny sample of my collection, which in no way is a habit or a problem:

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Dansolutions 2015 (and a giveaway)

Class starts again tomorrow (hurrah) so I’ve been giving mild consideration to my dansolutions for 2015. Beyond being less injured, I don’t have very many this time but the few I do are:

1. Keep a dance journal. Fortunately I received the perfect notebook for this for Christmas so I have no excuses.

2. Wear soft blocks (well deshanked dead pointe shoes) more for no reason other than the pointe shoe graveyard is getting a bit excessive now.

3. Sort out my dancewear as it’s taken over my room. So I’ve done that and thrown out all my manky tights, falling apart leotards and a few other things. There are, however, a few things that are still in good nick that have been rarely worn and are just not that ‘me’ anymore. They’re going free to a good home, so if you can provide that – just comment below! First come, first served because I’m too lazy to do anything else…

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Leotards Bloch medium. Blue grey strappy with low back, navy blue with wide pleated straps.

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Pink cropped cardigan with lace-ish edge, Marks & Spencer, UK size 12. Bamboo cotton brightly striped hand knit bolero.

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Blue and purple hand knit stripes knee high legwarmers, multi coloured stripes hand knit ankle warmers with ribbon back detail, pale green short legwarmers.

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Somebody had to…

Christmas has been thoroughly decadently lazy. And awesome. I even got snow! Albeit the snow came on Boxing Day, but nothing can beat feeling like you’ve woken up in Narnia. Luckily my gorgeous village put on a stunning show of scenery for me to go out and explore…

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That said, after ten days of doing very little beyond eating, drinking and trying to find something to watch on the telly box, I’m quite looking forward to getting back to my work-ballet-sleep routine. Well, less so the work part…

I hope you all had glorious festive seasons!

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Dansolutions 2014

So after 211 classes, my ballet year is over and I’m indulging in a whole fortnight of no classes and eating, drinking and being merry. Although I did something funny to my big toe in my sleep and I can’t put weight on it so my Christmas plans of demanding that Favourite Auntie walks me as well as the puppy on a daily basis are looking a bit like a pipe dream which is TERRIBLE because (a) puppy and (b) hills! Anyway, it seemed the opportune moment now I’m back in the Shire to reflect on the last year from a ballet perspective. Well attempt to anyway…

So my dansolutions 2014 were:

  • manage a pirouette en pointe without getting up to passé and freaking out: yes and no. I’ve managed a few vaguely successful en dehors to the right, failed consistently at turning to the left and not really attempted en dedans. To be honest, pointe’s been a bit of a trial all year: sometimes it’s amazing, sometimes it’s utterly terrible and I can never entirely tell which one it’s going to be. On the bad days I feel entirely like quitting, but I won’t. Not yet anyway, there’s still so much I want to try.
  • achieve some kind of consistency with pirouettes (at the minute there are some classes where I just settle for hitting a decent balance and I’d quite like to get over that now thank you): No. Fail whale right here. No consistency, no anything and far too many off days. In short 2014 has not been my turning year. Well except for waltz turns which I CAN NOW DO!
  • manage an attitude pirouette: Achievement unlocked. Not with any sort of consistency or grace or anything BUT I’ve managed a few. And arabesque pirouettes. I even managed an attitude one in tire-bouchon and that was HARD.
  • achieve consistent doubles en dehors both sides: see 2014 was not my year for turning. Never mind. Next year.
  • get my demi pointe balances more consistent: work in progress but we’re definitely getting there. Except retire at the barre.
  • start jumping again (my patella tendon/ITB have been… niggly so jumping’s been out since about October which is galling): achievement DEFINITELY unlocked. There have been on and off periods of jumping but the on periods have been BRILLIANT. I am definitely more of a jumper than a turner, especially big jumps (petit allegro is the work of the devil sometimes).

I need to make some dansolutions for 2015 but I think I might leave it until I’ve had a decent break and time to ruminate. Isn’t ruminate a great word?

What I probably ought to do is go and rescue my father from the Christmas tree as my mother is making him rearrange the decorations. But I’ve still got half a cup of coffee left to drink and, well, coffee.

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Pointe shoes, I love you but…

…discovering at this time of night that I’ve sewn myself a pair of right shoes, I find myself loving you less so.

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Photo: recycling the ribbons and elastics off a dead pair of Freed Classics for my new Freed Studio Operas. Still in that elusive hunt for THE pair. In the meantime this keeps growing:

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A post entirely about cake

Feeling shamed into updating after being pimped by the excellent adultbeginner, I hereby bring you a post entirely about cake what I have made lately.

Earlier this year I accidentally got promoted to my first management role, it was an internal promotion so luckily the panel knew me – probably too – well. One of the questions was about how I would lead my team. “Cake,” I said without even thinking about it. I didn’t think the answer needed any further qualification but apparently it did so I made some stuff up and concluded “but I’d still use cake as a first resort.” For weeks after m appointment every time my director rang up he asked if he was missing out on cake…

I once saw a quote that said “a party without cake is just a meeting” so our team meetings are accompanied by cake. It started in conjunction with challenging myself to make one recipe from every cook book in the kitchen – I thought I’d completed said challenge last weekend but I’ve just acquired my Big Gran’s (so named because she was a good foot taller than my Little Gran) Good Housekeeping recipe book which is a beautiful thing…

As are some of the cakes I’ve made of late:

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Okay, a couple of them are biscuits but I still made them with my own fair hands… (And are why I have to take ballet as often as I do or I’d be the size of a house)

Also meringue frosting is the cats whiskers. Absolute bugger to make but so worth it!

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