Tappity tap tap

I realise today’s Friday and that really, today’s post ought to be fun, but instead of providing you with quizzes, articles or generally comedy, I will instead provide amusement via my own, ridiculous, life…

It struck me a little while ago that I was losing steam on my whole 2010 Firsts thing. Nearly 6 months into the year, I’ve not actually achieved much that was on my original list – my eyes remain un-contact lensed; neither driving test has been booked and I’ve been dissuaded from trying out the redhead thing. [Any London friends able to recommend a good place to get waxed and want to come with me?!] There have been plenty of other things that have made it onto the list, but I need to be a bit more intentional.

One item on the list was ‘take a dance class’. A couple of weeks ago I bumped into a colleague (R) who mentioned that he and C were thinking about taking a tap class and would I like to join them? While tap wouldn’t be my first choice of dance, I figured it would be an amusing experience and in the spirit of 2010 Firsts said yes.

Last night was tap-dancing time. As further details of the plan emerged, I began to worry. The location of the class was none other than Pineapple Studios – current location of a cult Sky TV show (though, as it’s on Sky I’ve only seen a couple of episodes). Actual professional dancers go to classes there – for years I’ve known dancing friends speak of the amazingly difficult classes they’ve taken on the premises. As a result, even beginner’s tap at such an esteemed location had me quaking in my [tap] shoes.

We nearly chickened out. Over Japanese food before the class we pondered the option of simply going to the pub and pretending we’d been to the class, but we went and once the day membership stamp of the studio was on my wrist, I felt like a bona fide dancer!

Before: Getting stamped & the boys in their footwear (and C’s white yoga pants…) 

It was no walk in the park, but a lot of fun. Thrown in at the deep (well, deep-ish) end, we simply had to follow the instructor’s moves and try to ensure our feet matched the rhythm of tapping echoing across the studio. I was rather relieved that my promised tap shoes had fallen through as not making noise meant that my mistakes were less noticeable! 
We survived the hour and left the studios on a high of tap-tapping adrenalin, skipping through Covent Garden re-enacting various shuffles, shimmies and shakes – we were a sight to behold. Honestly. Then, to complete the public humiliation, R decided we needed a photo and stopped a passer-by to get one. The shame.
It was R’s idea to do jazz hands – can’t for the life of me think why I agreed. 
Anyway, another 2010 First is done and dusted. Plus, yesterday I also interviewed people for an actual job and that’s two firsts in one day – it also means we’ve appointed ‘my assistant’, which is simply a grandiose way of referring to someone who’s actually way more qualified than me who’ll be working on a big research project with me. (Plus, it annoys C because he hasn’t got an assistant – hah!) 
And as for the dancing – I’ll be back. Probably not for tap, I’m not sure it’s really my thing; but I’ve spotted a beginner’s ballet class that I’d love to try…

Developing the 2010 theme

My 2010 firsts thing is generating quite a lot of interest amongst my friends and acquaintances. Actually, scratch that, I reckon people are only intrigued because they think it’s utterly insane and/or ridiculous.

Last night it somehow cropped up in conversation (I suspect it may have been related to pole dancing) and a friend decided that it was no good simply wanting to do things for the first time, I needed targets (more than my vague ‘one per week’) and preferably a connection with the number 2010.

Her first suggestion was that I should do 2010 new things in the year. This worked out at 38.6 per week, which, given as I’ve only done around 20 so far (which is still beyond 1 a week) would be way too ambitious.

Mulling it over, I thought about other options. 210 could be doable, but doesn’t have such great a link with the number. Then I came up 20 in 10: 20 firsts every 10 weeks.

We’re nearly 12 weeks into the year, and if I use my full list (certain firsts are excluded from the sidebar, not because they’re dodgy necessarily, but because they don’t need to be shared) there are 23. That’s easily 20 in the first 10 weeks.

It was also suggested that I add more mundane things, or be more specific in the counting. For example, last night’s gig was the first time I’d heard any of the singers perform – so that could be three individual firsts. I could also get a little bit random with what I list. Sunday’s antics also included the first time I’d been out for drinks with a star of EastEnders, definitely a first, but a bit of a stupid thing to list.

So maybe I’ll have a go at 20 in 10. On the other hand, perhaps I’ll just focus on why I came up with the concept in the first place – that I ought to take up more opportunities, be less nervous, try new things and generally see a little bit more of life…

2010: A Warning

Ahhhh, January 2nd…the day when new year’s resolutions start to crumble…
(How I smirked at the lemmings signing up at the gym this morning. Nothing smugger than a gold card Fitness First member with a well-thumbed Christmas opening schedule in their pocket!)

But, chatting about resolutions this afternoon, I realised that despite ranting this time last year that ‘I don’t do resolutions’, I’ve covered many of the things I mentioned in this post. Like driving – a resolution suggested to me every year by my sister. I started lessons again in November and am loving it. The Bible in a year was less successful, but personally I blame the website for changing its feed settings round about April…

Driving wasn’t a resolution, but I did it anyway. Losing weight wasn’t a resolution, but I’ve lost three stone since March. My ‘secret’ resolution has been acted upon (over and over) and isn’t such a secret any more (apart from on the blog). I still love procrastinating over things, but ultimately if I decide to do something, I’ll do it – eventually.

I meant to do a bit of a review of the year thing this week, but life overtook me. In short, 2009 was a year in which I initiated some big changes; lost a dear friend; had one friend come out of the closet & another go back into it; loved – fruitlessly; learnt lots and got to travel stateside. Good stuff.

And what of 2010? There are no resolutions. (Though I did declare one to Annabelle this afternoon that rather shocked her, it was meant in jest – partially – but will remain a secret!) I’m starting the year in a wonderful mood and frame of mind. It’s as though a part of my personality that I’d forgotten or submerged years ago, has been allowed to reappear and it feels awesome. If I’m to have any resolution at all, it’s to believe that anything is possible and life is full of opportunities!

Yes, I realise that’s utterly contrite, but I’ve had enough of worrying whether what I want will ever happen; feeling depressed; continually stuck in the mire of unrequited love…I could go on, but you get the idea. The basic message seems to be:

“watch out world, Liz means business and nothing can stop her”

Consider yourselves warned.

The grinch is proved wrong…

Happy new year!

I’m pleased to report that (unlike many of my facebook friends and those I partied with last night) I am not a hungover quivering mess today! [Though this was more due to common sense overtaking the temptation to drink my way through a collection of international spirits – I’d not eaten enough during the day and didn’t dare risk the consequences…]

As is so often the case, it’s the nights you expect little of that turn out to be the best. Hanging out with the wonderful Annabelle and her various (very geeky) chums – only two of whom I’d met previously – was simply a plan devised to ensure that I had some fun, forgot the events of the day before and celebrated the arrival of 2010 appropriately.

“Appropriately” included:

  • Heading out onto the street, with a bagpipe player in tow, to serenade the neighbourhood with Auld Lang Syne and similarly bagpipe suitable tunes and watching London explode with fireworks.
  • Going out for a walk about an hour later (an attempt to sober up a geek) and it starting to snow, lots. Beautiful. 
  • Much music, laughter and an exceptional performance of me & Annabelle’s party piece – the Lesbian Love Duet…
  • Boxes and boxes of takeaway pizza (a rare treat, except the one that had tinned salmon as its main ingredient – urgh!). 
  • Being taught martial arts techniques to combat any future muggings. (My arm’s now covered in bruises!)
  • And most appropriately of all, a new year’s kiss.
And so 2010 rolled in, in a fog of a night spent having too much fun and not enough sleep – but who cares?! I can catch up on sleep via the wonderful means of napping. I missed Strauss from Vienna, but had a bracing walk through the streets of South London instead.
Chatting with the ever wise Abidemi just minutes ago, we were both of the opinion that 2010 is going to be an important year, with lots of exciting opportunities. We’re not simply choosing to look on the bright side – we are full of optimism for the new year ahead and it has to be said that this is the first time I’ve felt like this on January 1st for a good long while.
May 2010 be just as exciting for you…