Things that make you go 'hmm'…
Tag Archives: ballet
You know the song ‘New York, New York, so good they named it twice’? WELL……
I noticed that I have been nominated in the ‘Top 100 Female Bloggers’ list over at Enkay Blog. The list is calculated using a combination of PR, Technorati authority and Alexa ranking which all sounds very complicated – so complicated in fact that I make the list at number 50 AND number 51. This blog is so good they named it twice :-)
Every once in a while, I get an email from someone asking me how I make my books. I usually send them links to various wonderful web sites with tutorials and videos of the process. I made this book yesterday. It took me ages as I documented every step of the process and I have decided to share this with you all. I know that this is risky, as I plan to start selling my books (yes, yes, I know, I keep saying that, but believe me it WILL happen. Promise!) and by showing how it is done to the world and his wife, I am ostensibly reducing my market. I am banking on the probability that a lot of you are far too busy (or idle) to make books but for the interested few, there is now a tutorial. If you check out the tabs at the top of the page there is now one called ‘HOW’. (It had to be a short page name as it wouldn’t have fit in if I had called it ‘TUTORIAL’. I have also had to change the title of the CONTACT page to E-ME. Got to keep things tidy…..
I’d be interested to hear from anyone who tries it out so that I can explain anything tricky more clearly or if anything doesn’t make sense.
Now then moving on from a country which shall not be named for a while, to another of our European neighbours, France. When I was at school (Withington Girls’ School for the record) I was given a French vocabulary book. Our French teacher, Mrs Petit-Jean, was having a clear out and she gave us all a copy of this little book as she was otherwise going to throw them away as they were a bit(!) outdated.
Over the years since, this little book (published in 1949) has made us laugh at the quaintness of the vocabulary which now seems so antiquated.
There are several entries which really make me wonder quite who the book was aimed at….check out the last entries on page 29…
And after all the useful and innocent animal sounds…..
Presumably after having his throat cut!
I hope I never have to use the phrase at the bottom of page 93…
Schooldays. It all seems so long ago. It was so long ago. It’s quite frightening when I think back just how long ago it was. I remember it all so well though – it’s yesterday I have a problem with…
I do remember that I went to see the film WALL.E last week. It’s so good. The animation is astonishing and it’s a very sweet story with a topical, environmental message. And as a Mac fan(atic) I found this which I stumbled upon very amusing…those of you who have seen WALL.E will ‘get’ it.
There were lots of very cute little short videos on the WALL.E website – here are a couple. I think they are hilarious.
My next expedition is to London on Thursday. I am going to the Royal Opera House to see the Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe of China perform Swan Lake. You may remember the amazing video I posted last week – should be wonderful, I’ll let you know…
I had such a nice day yesterday. My girlie mate, Amanda, suggested we had a girls’ day out and we decided to go to Totnes in Devon. We chose Totnes as some friends, Sarah and Joe, have an art gallery there called White Space. It’s a really lovely gallery, selling a wonderful range of contemporary art. We went to see their Summer Exhibition which started yesterday. It was really excellent – you can view it online here. It was hard to choose a favourite but here are two I particularly liked – the first is ‘Peonies’ by Sarah Bowman and ‘Misty River Dart’ by Wendy McBride.
Of course, no girlie day out is complete without lots of shopping and a nice lunch. We managed to find both. After some very successful clothes shopping (a skirt, a top and a gorgeous little flimsy cardigan/wrap thing) I was thrilled to find a small but wonderful stationery shop called ‘Paperworks’ – a little gem and I bought some very pretty papers which you will no doubt see adorning some new books over the next few weeks. After a walk by the river and a cup of tea and a piece of carrot cake (Diet? What diet?) we decided to head for home but on the way back we stopped off in Lyme Regis, a beautiful little seaside town, on the Dorset/Devon border. You may remember Lyme Regis as the setting for the book/film ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’
The harbour wall where Meryl Streep is walking is known as the Cobb and dates back to the 13th century. Amanda and I walked the length of the sea front, past some very pretty thatched cottages and houses which I suspect are holiday homes, to the Cobb and then walked to the end of the Cobb to pose for our ‘Meryl Streep’ moment. It was quite breezy as you can tell from the windswept hairstyles, so no clues as to my new hair do just yet…
The views are quite spectacular. We could see across Lyme Bay to Burton Bradstock, which as you may know is my favourite local beach (see my header photo). The whole coastline here is called the Jurassic Coast, as it is full of fossils. We were amused to notice the lamp posts are all decorated with ammonite motifs to celebrate the rich heritage of this pretty and historic town.
Of course, by now we were hungry again so we bought a bag of chips to fortify us on our journey back home. All in all, a splendid day. So here for your delectation and delight are highlights of our day out (not including the shopping successes and the chips….)
Incidentally, I want to mention a competition I won over at Go Smell the Flowers a while back. Jim and Em regularly run competitions, the current one is to win some Belgian chocolates, by suggesting/inventing a new Olympic event. The prize I won was a year’s supply of flowers from Flora 2000. I have sent some as birthday and Mothers’ Day gifts and they have been absolutely beautiful causing much joy and earning me big Brownie points. I’m going to keep the rest for myself, I think. So thank you, Jim and Em, the prize is being much enjoyed.
And finally…a couple of things I found while Stumbling around. This must truly be the most disgusting snack ever invented. If you know of a worse one, I’d be intrigued to hear about it. Here it is.
A Krispy Kreme donut bacon cheeseburger. I can feel my arteries furring up just looking at the photograph. And next, today’s lesson.
Anyways, amazingly the sun is shining so I am off into the garden to try and make a start on my tan before my upcoming holidays. Of which more next time…..
I just had to add this which I received from my friend in Los Angeles, Claire and then read about in the Sunday Times here. Watch the frogs which are quite clever and amusing and then keep watching. You will be astonished.
Last night I fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition. I drove up to London to see Sylvie Guillem, the French ballet dancer perform. She appeared with the dancer Russell Maliphant in a fairly short program of dances choreographed by Russell Maliphant. It was nothing short of stupendous. I was completely spellbound. Sylvie Guillem is simply the most elegant, graceful dancer I have ever seen, she moves effortlessly, fluidly with perfect balance and astonishing agility.
She started out to be a gymnast and switched to ballet at the age of 11. By the time she was 19 she had been chosen by Rudolf Nureyev to be the youngest ever principal dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet. By the time she was 24, she had caused outrage in France by moving to London and joining the Royal Ballet. Now aged 42, she is still dancing wonderfully, she is still incredibly flexible and gracefully athletic and able to perform her trademark ‘6 o’clock leg extension’ with ease.
She has become a champion of contemporary dance and has performed with Russell Maliphant on many occasions. Here is a clip of her dancing from a piece called ‘Broken Fall’ – I can’t embed this video so please click on this link here and watch this. It’s magical.
Next, this is one of the pieces she danced last night. It’s called ‘Two’ (not sure why……) It’s starts out very quietly, the fabulous music by Andy Cowton, slowly builds up to a crescendo and the dance develops into a whirling motion of effortless grace. The wonderful lighting (by Michael Hulls) highlighted her hands and feet which appeared at times as white blurs, while the light shining on her from above shows every muscle in her body.
I am so in awe of her talent. I have never wanted to be able to dance so much as I did last night.