Tag Archives: dancing

Good News!


This morning was a major red letter day for Boofuls and me.

At 8.30 this morning, for the first time in 5 months, we had a dance lesson with John. I was really quite nervous about seeing him again as I didn’t know what to expect.

You may or may not remember that he was taken seriously ill in December and on several occasions his family were told he had only a couple of hours to live. The doctors wanted to turn off his life support machine but relented in the face of furious opposition from his wife and dance partner.  Shortly after that event the doctors said they could do no more for him and sent him home to die, “But expect him to die in the ambulance on the way.”

Against all odds John has fought his way back to health.

It was a thinner, frailer John who greeted  us with warm hugs and kisses this morning  – but it was still the same old John on the inside.

Just like the old times, we laughed, chatted and even occasionally did a bit of dancing for the hour we spent with him. he certainly hasn’t lost his sharp wit or  teaching skills. It was blooming marvelous.

Happy days are here again!

Welcome back, John. We’ve missed you.

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I’d better start polishing


Occasionally, I pick up my business phone just to check that it’s still working. I sit next to it for hours and hours which turn into days and days when it doesn’t ring. Well, not till I leave the room to go for a pee …. ahem, I mean until I find myself indisposed, then the bugger’ll ring alright.

One such occasion was yesterday. I quickly ran back downstairs to attempt to catch the caller  and avoid committing that heinous business crime of  letting the phone ring  more than three times before answering it or  the answering machine kicking in.

It infuriates me when I’ve dashed downstairs, leapt off the last three steps while holding onto the bannister,  thus gaining  momentum  enabling me to swing round the corner and land on the ground running, skidded across the tiles in the dining room, jumped over the cat who stands there not knowing which way to run and thinking he’s just about to die as I career towards him at a rate of knots, tripped over the office chair which is invariably in the way and  made a lunge for the phone to  get  there just as the machine answers and the caller  hangs up, leaving me to hastily and breathlessly dial 1471 to get a ‘the caller withheld their number’ message. Gaaaahhhhh!!

Who needs to go to a gym when you can have exercise as good as that at home?

Still, at least this particular caller left a message. It was only the a local business organisation wanting me to do a talk at the International Women’s  Day event in March!

Oh my Gawd!

How many years since I last did any public speaking?  At least eight. In those days I was talking about personal presentation skills, stuff I had been very well trained in –  and I knew my subject inside out. Easy peasy.

This time they want me to do an inspirational talk for the business women of tomorrow. Crap!

Oh well, I’ve got a month to make something up do my research and put together a well informed, interesting and entertaining speech. I’d better set to polishing up my public speaking skills. I’ll start now with some of the elocution and enunciation exercises  my Mum used to drum into us when we were kids.

Ready?

How now brown cow.  Unfortunately, with a strong Lancashire accent it sounds more like;  Ti reet y ‘ewd  cew?

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,  or more coloquially:   T’ rain i’ t’ Spain falls mainly o’ t’ plain (don’t forget to flatten all the A’s until they’re pancake shaped ).

Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran. or:  Rahnd  yon rugged rocks t’ scruffy bastid  legged it.

Don’t forget to practice regularly!

Can you hear that slight whirring noise? That’s my Mum spinning in her grave faster than a large hadron collider.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch,  it’s been an interesting weekend for the clingons.

All three of them did their dance exams yesterday. Munki was the youngest one ever to do an exam at the ripe old age of three years and two months. Aaaw, she did the birdie dance and by all accounts did a pretty good job of it as well. We’d all been thinking that she’d refuse to perform or just walk off the dance floor when she’d had enough or have a tantrum. The potential for disaster was enormous but on the day she pulled it out of the hat and performed beautifully. Batty and Dangerous went along in the afternoon to dance with her after having done their exams in the morning.

Everyone was feeling pretty pleased with themselves so I’m looking forward to seeing high marks and good feedback. As for Boofuls and me, having completely lost our enthusiasm for dancing when our teacher became ill, we have finally booked a lesson with his co teacher because  not dancing was just leaving too big a hole in my life and I couldn’t stand it any longer. Dance teacher himself has made an amazing recovery and is now regaining his health and his strength at a rate far faster than anyone would ever have believed possible.  Welcome back to the land of the living, Teach.

Battered and bruised


It’s a dangerous game this ballroom dancing lark.

Turning up bright and early for our 8.30 lesson, we breezed into the church hall and nearly gave our teacher a heart attack when he turned round not expecting to see anyone and saw us standing there.  Honestly, he’s so highly strung, he’ll drop dead of fright one of theses days. Of course rather than feel sorry for scaring the pants off him we just stood there laughing our socks off at his expression of shock. I mean, it’s not as though he wasn’t expecting us, is it?

Eventually we caught up with the week’s gossip and got on with the lesson, we’re working on the Paso Doble these days.  Part of the routine has something in it called a ‘coup de pique’.

I took this information from a dance website so you get the idea:

It says; “A coup de pique is sort of a “stab of irritation.” I think, with the trail foot, we are jabbing at the bull to make him more ferocious. Grrr.”

Boofuls struggled a bit with that but it  annoyed him enough that he managed to get the aggressive character of the dance down to a T. He was snarling at me while we practised. Actual snarling!  Not only that but he was throwing me round so much I’ve got paso doble bruises on my arm. . His coup de piques though looked  a bit like he was having a mini temper tantrum, his little feet were going ten to the dozen. he got all the steps  but  not necessarily in the right order or with the right timing. Made me laugh – a lot. Poor Boofuls.

Mind you, I wasn’t very happy muself when John, our teacher, instructed me to “Lift your leg. Now lean back. Not too far, don’t forget your age.”

WHAAAT?!  How very dare he! Boofuls was doubled over laughing at my disgust. Think of my age indeed.

Moving on:

This is how a paso doble should be done:

Of course me and Boofuls look exactly  like that when we’re doing it.  Well, to be more accurate, that’s how we sound rather than look, we practice to the same music.

Out teacher was funny today. He was explaining a step to us when he suddenly noticed my button encrusted jumper. “Oooohh, I like your buttons. love!’ he said in a shrill voice. He sounded  as camp as a row of tents!

Such was the pitch of his voice that I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had minced, limp wristed  around the floor  on his cuban heels. Then he realised  that he might have sounded a bit camp. “Oh my God! I’ve been a dance teacher way too long – I’m turning gay! I’m not gay. Honest. Listen.”  He lowered his voice many, many  octaves and tried the comment about the jumper again.  So funny, I could hardly stand for laughing never mind dance.

So, like I said. It’s a dangerous game, this dancing lark. At some point we all very  nearly died laughing this morning.

Again?!


Seriously, Friday? Again? How?

It’s another busy day today so this’ll be a short one just so’s you know I haven’t forgotten about you all and I still love you.

Mrs Woofy’s on the mend and back to her normal bonkers self, except that she’s twice as dangerous with a big neck cone on. Shins and knees come in for a big old bashing when she’s around and trying to entice me into taking her for a walk. Not yet, dog. Another few weeks yet.

While on the subject of the dog – I have a major rant I need to get off my just but I’ll save that for tomorrow.

Today I’m taking the clingons to a local nature reserve for a craft session. The plan was that we’d go out for a picnic after but the promised dry, warm and sunny weather  doesn’t seem to have understood it’s instructions and has turned up as cold, damp and windy. Oh well.

Yesterday’s dance lesson was brilliant. After fifteen years our teacher and me have finally persuaded Boofuls to try the paso doble.  Up until now he’s always put it in the same category as the merengue ie. a no go area but yesterday we had our first lesson and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m not quite sure we have quite got the feel of the dance yet. Boofuls seemed to be a little too gentle as a matador. Our teacher soon put him right though with by bellowing across the hall, “You’re supposed to be fighting a bull not a foooking Oxo cube! Get some aggression into it!”

Such a way with words. It’s only last week when we were dancing the tango and I wasn’t in exactly the correct position so I was told that the way to dance the tango correctly is to, “Sit on his cock and go for the ride.”   Well. Not a lot a can say to that!

Have a nice day. See you tomorrow!

 

Bad start – good ending


So today got off  to a great start, not  huge fan of getting up in the dark, I was a bit grumpy and bleary this morning. I’m a person who really needs lots of daylight and sunshine, getting up in the dark just isn’t natural.

Preparing my yummy diet milk shake for breakfast, I picked up a bottle of milk fresh off the doorstep,  it was still wet from the fine rain that had been gently falling, it most definitely felt like autumn today but in a grim, cold, drizzly grey way, not a bit like yesterdays golden day. Anyway, back to the plot:

The bottle slipped from my grasp and smashed onto our kitchen floor, milk and glass went everywhere, including all over my favourite boots. Deep sodding joy.

Cleaning it all up made me late for my dance lesson so I ran out of the house, snatching up all the stuff I needed for the day along the way, drove up the track at breakneck speed only to get to the top and realised that I’d left my milk shake, the one that caused all the trauma, on the dining room table. Bloody hell!!!!

I practically did a handbreak turn, scattering a few jay walking hens along the way, and drove back home muttering curses to milk shakes everywhere for making me late.

What?  Not the milkshake’s fault?

Of course it was the milkshake’s fault, I’d have had plenty of time if it hadn’t made me drop  the stupid  milk bottle.

the container it was in has one of this flip top lids on it so you can drink on the go. I’m not a big fan of those, I gave up sucking on teats when I was still a baby and haven’t really felt the need to resume the practice. they do have their uses though (the containers with the  flippy lid, not teats – although they have their uses as well).

Swigging away at my, lumpy as I hadn’t shaken it enough, milkshake I managed to misjudge the ‘swig to speed bump’ timing and ended up with milkshake all over my face and clothes. Jeez!   Motorists passing on the other side of the road looked at me horrified as I looked like I was covered in vomit. Now there’s a difficult look to do well.

Our dance lesson was a load of pants with both me and Boofuls forgetting stuff here, there and everywhere. If our teacher hadn’t been there to mediate we would likely have come to blows.  It didn’t help because our teacher wasn’t in the best mood either as he was in the throes of a nose bleed and spent most of the lesson with his hanky/fingers up his nostrils. Nice.

At this point I could go into a MAJOR rucking fant about a client we are supposed to working for in November, I’m getting the run around and I don’t like it. If you have changed your mind at least have the grace to tell me instead of playing silly buggers. No, you can’t have the deposit back.  I kept today clear for her as she said she wanted a meeting but she didn’t confirm the date, return my  calls or reply to messages. GROW UP!!!  You cost me an afternoon with bezzy mate!

The exhaust on my car is threatening to fall off but in order to cheer myself up a bit I decided that  I would risk a quick jaunt up the motorway to Boundary Mill. Boundary Mill is a massive store. Sometimes you can pick up loads of bargains, other times you can find sweet fanny adams – and that’s how this morning was turning out. Becoming more and more dejected at the rails of beautiful clothing in sizes 8 and 22 but nothing in between, I plodded into the M&S outlet concession.

On the clearance rail in the clearance shop was a whole section of items that is exactly how I’d like my wardrobe to look. I grabbed  item after item off the rails like I was a contestant on supermarket sweep.  None of the other shoppers got a look in as I elbowed them out of the way to get to the lovely jewel colours in the sea of grey, white and black. ‘Hey! I’ve been covered in milk twice today already and I’m starting to smell a bit sour. Don’t mess with me!’

So much nice stuff! So cheap! So Per Una!

I know, it’s a bit sad that I’ve turned into Mrs M & S but it was at least Per Una and I did get some fantastic jeans for £2.50!  Along with a mountain of other stuff, I won’t bore you with the details.

Driving back, exhaust rattling like a rattly thing and threatening to detach at any moment, I was positively chirpy.  I made a short detour to pick up Mrs Woofy and spent a lovely hour in her company telling her all about my traumatic morning. She’s a terribly good listener.

It’s a good job I’ve had a day or two to calm down


Otherwise this post would have to come with a XXX certificate for bad language, racism, homophobia, sexism,  and any other kind of ism you can think of as well making derogatory comments and being offensive to and about the mentally disabled.

As it is it’s been downgraded to a bitch fest with racist  etc. etc. overtones. It’ll be a full on bitch fest mind you so if you don’t want bitchin’ at don’t read on.

Still reading?

Well, it’s a whopper so I suggest you get a coffee and a couple of garibaldi before settling down to read.

I have so much to tell you about last weekend in Blackpool that I hardly know where to start so I’ll pick a point half way through:

The Tale of the Gay Chinese Waiter

That would be the tale of the GCW, not the tail of the GCW, that would be a totally different story not suitable for here. I haven’t got a story about his tail but I could make one up for you if you like.

So. B and me arrived in Blackpool, starving hungry, far later than we’d intended to. We parked the car where it looked vaguely like it wouldn’t get clamped as soon as our back was turned and set off looking for a suitable eaterie.  Blackpool isn’t best known for classy eating establishmnents so we quickly narrowed our search down to two options: Maccie D’s  or a Grill place.  No contest.

As we went into the grill place, we noticed that it was deserted, never a good sign when everywhere else is packed. oh well, we’re here now.  A chubby chinese chap in his thirties minced up to us with a huge smile. “Harro,” he greeted us, “tay fo two?”

We nabbed a table by the window and quickly ordered or meals, fish and chips for me and gammon and chips for B. I don’t believe there was anything on the menu that didn’t come with chips but come on, we were in Blackpool.  The waiter turned on his cuban heels and minced back across the restaurant while loudly singing Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’  before tossing his hair, throwing his head back and laughing really loudly in a very gay way. Do you remember when ‘gay’ used to mean happy?

After about 3 minutes he came back with two platesful of steaming hot, freshly cooked and delicious food. How the hell did they do that so quickly? The fish and chips was more like whale and chips. I made the mistake of asking the waiter how they got the food cooked so quickly. he told me in very great detail in an accent so thick that, as a generous estimate, I caught about one word in ten.  Away he minced again, still singing loudly and laughing uproariously at we know not what. This time he popped outside to make a phone call. Laugh? I nearly bought a round!

Up and down the pavement he minced, hand on hip, all the while  laughing his loud, infectious and very gay laugh. When he didn’t have his hand on his hip he flirtatiously curled his hair round his finger. Funny, funny, funny.

Eventually he came back in and parked himself on the table next to us, settling in for a good chat. Since we didn’t understand 90% of what he was saying we just smiled and nodded a lot.

At one point I thought I’d misheard him when he talked about the ‘big erection.’

“Big erection soon, vay big erection fo e’eryone thi’ year.”

“Well, yes, I hope so.”  I said, thinking the conversation was getting a bit inappropriate. I’m all for being friendly with the waiters but hell, this seemed a bit much even by my standards.  Seeing his his puzzled expression it finally dawned on me what he meant.

OH! ELECTION!!!!!   BIG ELECTION!!!!   OH I SEE!  Haahaahaaaaaaa

Phew! He had me worried then.

Somehow  I think I had him worried as well.


An Evening of Dance with Brian Fortuna and Ali Bastian

This years second best birthday present, tickets to see Brian Fortuna dance, as it turns out not with Kristina Rihanof but with his ex Strictly Come dancing partner and current life partner, Ali Bastian.

I’d been so excited about it, I didn’t even mind queueing up for fifteen minutes to get into the tower for the start of the show at 7pm, nor did I mind the rugby scrum type scramble to get the decent , unreserved seats in the balcony. I even managed a smile when the borderline window licker plonked herself down next to me so hard that the everyone on the rest of the row suddenly bounced upwards. Then she proceeded to invade my personal space while she got herself settled, then she yapped incessantly.

‘SHUT THE F**K UP!!’ repeated itself constantly in my head as she continued to yap. I’m not saying she had issues with personal space boundaries but her head was against mine more than once.  I smiled on through it all in anticipation of the evening to come.

On came the compere for the evening. Ooohhhhhhhh, here we go!!!

One hour of watching sequence dancing later while listening to “yapyapyapyapyapyap” had me becoming slightly irritated. of course being in the balcony, penned in on all sides, we had no choice but to watch all these sheep, er.. I mean people, lurching around in unison to their sixteen bar sequence. Baaaa.  They didn’t / couldn’t even begin their feeble excuse for dancing until the compere shouted “GO!”

Climbing over Mr & Mrs Windowlicker we went downstairs to the snack bar and ordered a beef baguette and a cold drink each. perching on the edge of a table we were swiftly moved on by security. “You can’t stay there, Ali & Brian are signing autographs there in a minute.”  Sigh. Juggling the sandwiches, bottles and glasses we perched on the edge of a table that seemed to be unoccupied.  Chomping away on my baguette I suddenly noticed out of the corner of my eye our table sliding away from us. Yet another security guard had decided an elderly couple should have it so he just whipped it away without so much as a by your leave. It even still had our supper on it!!

Ali & Brian did indeed sign autographs – for a solid hour!   B and me went back to our seats and sat their disgruntled watching the anti clockwise motion of all the dancers of all different abilities as they moved around the floor. It’s very surreal, watching dancing from above.

Eventually the ‘cabaret’ started.  It was a formation dance group. All through the evening there had been people wandering round selling raffle tickets to raise money to send this group off to some prestigious competition somewhere, I forget where.  They’d be better  off spending the money on more training instead because I can tell you now they won’t win.

Lets start with lesson 1 : Formation dancing  (the clue is in the name) means you have to do stuff at exactly the same time, not at some point nearish to when some of the other dancers do it. Slick it was not.

At 10.00 pm after  much more sequence dancing and yapyapyapping it was time for Ali and Brian to perform. Whoop whoop!!!!

Ask me how long they danced for. Go on, ask me.

Roughly four minutes!!! A total of two dances interspersed with the man himself singing three songs. That’d be one more than he danced to then.

The first dance, a lacklustre viennese waltz was passable enough I suppose.

The second dance, a samba, dear, oh dear, oh dear. What a shambles.

Gorgeous, long limbed Ali Bastian looked like Bambi, arms and legs sticking out all over the place, barely in control of her faculties, with a wide eyed, panicked expression, not dissimilar, I imagine to that of a rabbit at the moment of  realising it’s about to be splattered by a juggernaut. The fixed smile and staring eyes remained with her all the way through what I shall laughingly call a dance. For the most part she seemed to getting thrown around the floor by her partner. I bet that was the longest 2 minutes of her entire life. it was an embarrassment to watch, the restrained applause at the end was more out of politeness than appreciation of a performance.

To add insult to our injury, Brian Fortuna stood on the stage at the end of the performance and said how well he thought she’d done. The word, ‘considering’ was elided but we all knew it was there. Then to make it even worse, he told us how this was her first ever performance and they’d had no time to practice.

Excuse me?

No time to practice?

Several hundred people have spent a minimum of £12 each, many substantially more than that,  to see you dance and you couldn’t find the time to practice?

Do you hold your fans in such contempt that the quality of the performance you provide is unimportant compared to the sheer gratitude you think we should feel for simply  being in the same room as you?

Well, Mr Fortuna, With that kind of attitude I can assure you that your fans won’t remain your fans for too much longer.  If you can’t find a partner capable of dancing to a level that we expect from a professional dancer than cancel the performance and give us our money back. Roping in your girlfriend to ‘give it a bash’ is just not acceptable.

As for Miss Bastian, I have no doubt that Brian Fortuna whipped her into a false sense of confidence with that peculiarly American approach of brainwashing themsleves into believing they can do any thing just by repeating it loudly and often enough:

‘WHOOP WHOOP, YEAH BABY, YOU CAN DO IT, YEAH, QUITTING IS FOR LOSERS, COME ON, YEAH, YEAH!!!

Terribly un- British.

As it was it didn’t pay off; she was clearly terrified and gave a pi55 poor performance. Confidence (his, I suspect) exceeded ability by a country mile. As her trainer and mentor he let her down badly.

Sometimes, it’s better just to accept your limitations and gracefully decline the challenge.

Think this was wordy? Oh there is soooo much more I could have said, this is the severely edited version.

Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting instalment.