Reviewing the 2010 Firsts – Part Two: Favourites

Looking back over the 2010 Firsts list, it brings back memories of many special days and several notable achievements. It’s hard coming up with favourites, but there are a couple that stand out.

Without a doubt, the biggest achievement was taking beginners’ tap at Pineapple Dance Studios. When I wrote ‘take a dance class’ on the original list, I think I envisaged some kind of community centre class, or possibly something at the gym where I could remain anonymous. I definitely did not imagine tripping up at one of London’s leading dance schools in the centre of Covent Garden (and location of one of 2010 TV hits of the year).

This was a definite example of saying “yes” to something I’d never usually touch with a barge pole. Chances were I’d never have had the nerve to take a dance class without the added security of at least one friend – so the fact that two colleagues began plotting a trip to tap was definitely a helping hand. I would also never have picked Pineapple as the location – the fact that a dancing friend of mine was in awe of my visit I think says a lot. But it’s one of those things that I look back on and genuinely think “wow, I actually did that – go me!”.

Then there are the Firsts which have had a notable impact upon my day to day life – like waxing. I won’t go into too much detail, but I’m now a total convert (legs only) especially since finding a fairly cheap establishment just round the corner from work. Or my introduction to the Hummingbird Bakery which has opened up a whole new world of cupcakes to me, as well as new baking joys.

There was also an unplanned First which has now become one of my top London tips. When my American boys came to visit, Ian suggested we climb the Monument – something he’d done before but I hadn’t. In a city of great expense and hideous tourist traps, the climbing of a tower for £3 is something of an oasis. It’s now something I recommend to all visitors and would be more than willing to do again when friends come to town. Plus, as well as fabulous views of the city, you get a certificate – what’s not to like?! 
Oh, and 2010 could probably also be described as the year of karaoke. From timid karaoke virgin in January, to Queen of the microphone (and playlist) in November, it’s been quite a journey. The mic no longer holds any fear for me and I’m personally of the opinion that the more public you do it, the better. This has to mean that 2011 holds many more comedy karaoke evenings – it’s just fortunate that I have circles of friends who also believe it to be a great form of entertainment. 
Now, if I could just resolve my tendency to sing with my eyes shut…

Going back through the highlights of 2010 is making me quite excited for what could happen in 2011. Bring on more randomness, ridiculousness, leaving of comfort zones and most of all, more firsts!

Wax on – wax off

The other day Facebook friends may have been bemused/intrigued to see the following message from Annabelle on my wall: “Roll on Sunday’s ‘Strip’!”
It gave the slightly misleading impression that I might be getting naked on the Sabbath – not something I’d generally consider, even on non-Sabbath days – when in fact all we were doing was crossing off another item on the original 2010 Firsts list.

Yesterday I got waxed for the first time.
Fear not – there will be no graphic descriptions and it was legs only. A was off on holiday (to an actual hot country, jealous!) and invited me along to her pre-vacation stripping of unnecessary hair. If that’s not a fun way to spend a Sunday morning, I don’t know what is…

Worst thing about waxing? No, not the pain – yes, it hurt a bit but really wasn’t that bad and my therapist (is it just me, or does that word seem slightly odd in this context?) kept me amused with conversation while the TV played ‘Top 10 Geeky Rock Tunes’. [A niche musical genre I think you’ll agree. Wheezer’s Teenage Dirtbag was #1, in case you were wondering.] The worst thing is the pre-waxing purgatory of hairy legs…

I know having hair-free legs is total vanity and it really shouldn’t matter whether we de-fuzz or not, but in current society it is totally unacceptable to be furry. Leggings were something of a saviour, though I realised that they finished a good inch or two above where my follicles stopped. [Note from my waxing therapist: Dorothy Perkins do really long ones that are excellent for this purpose.] Wearing long jogging bottoms at the gym was a total pain, given the fact that exercise is generally rather warming. Ahhhhh, the trials of womanhood.

Am I converted? I’m not sure, it’s an expensive way to keep fur-free, though massively time saving. Twenty minutes every few weeks instead of 10mins every other day? That’s a good exchange. Just not sure I can justify the price-tag that goes with it!

After our experience at Strip (the aptly named location of our waxing fun) we rewarded ourselves in the only logical fashion – with cupcakes from the Hummingbird branch down the road. Perfection.

The ‘after’ shot – not so plucked chicken…
(Be grateful I’m sparing you a ‘before’ shot. Gross!)

Black Bottom cupcakes on the street. It’s not classy, but it is yummy.