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…

Things I learned yesterday:

  • Sleeping on rollers (even sponge ones) is not a comfortable experience. 
  • You cannot fit a hat over aforementioned rollers, should you need to go out in public with them in – and lack the 1940’s housewife style scarf that would otherwise cover them. 
  • Hair, once out of the rollers, still doesn’t fit under the hat. 
  • Piccadilly Circus at 8.30am on a Sunday is very, very quiet.
  • Starbucks on Piccadilly doesn’t open till 9am. [Though the Regent St franchise – just 2 minutes away – opens at 8am.]
  • My hair, under the influence of a hair styling pro/genius, can do a passable impression of Marilyn Monroe.
  • My lips appear to repel lipstick. 
  • Men have it easy. Time taken for 10 men to get ready: 30 minutes. Time taken for 10 girls to get ready: 3 hours.
  • Men have no idea about how self-conscious women feel about their clothing/hair and the context that particular outfits and styles are appropriate for. 
How did I come to learn these valuable life-lessons? 
I actually don’t have the time (or photography) with which to best explain right now, so I’m going to leave you hanging – call it a teaser, if you will. 
Suffice to say it was one random, but exceedingly fun day and secured me another 2010 First. Joyous. 

Do you remember the first time?

I have a plan. One might call it something of a new year’s resolution, but as we know, I don’t believe in them. It’s more of a list – a nice list of nice things. At the moment it’s written in pink ink in the notes section of my Moleskine diary and is entitled ‘2010 Firsts’.

This list has already generated some amusement from amongst my inner circle of girl friends, relating to one particular first, which is quite categorically not on the list. In actual fact, it’s an eclectic list of utterly random things that I’ve never done before, but feel should happen in the next 12 months.

In some respects I’ve lived quite a sheltered life. (Heck, I hadn’t even tried mussels till last month!) I’m also flipping stubborn when I choose to be, so this year could be a great opportunity to overcome some idiotic barriers and have some fun at the same time.

I’ll spare you the whole list, partly because there’s some stuff on there that you really don’t need to know. But, what I am open to are new suggestions – I’m not saying I’d do something just because it’s suggested (I’m not stupid) but I’ll willingly consider anything. At the moment, ideas include:

  • Become a redhead (temporarily)
  • Audition for BV’s at church
  • Submit some writing for publication
  • Get waxed 
  • Go to Paris [Yes, this is shocking, I’ve never been to Paris – there is a story…]
  • Take my driving tests for the first time (theory & practical)
  • Get contact lenses
  • Take a dance class
  • Watch live ballet (Matthew Bourne for preference)
  • Go to a spa
It could include anything – books I’ve never read, films I’ve never watched, places I’ve never been…but the aim is to do at least one a week. Having said that, as I write, I realise that amounts to 52 new things, which is a lot, hmmmm. See, I really do need your help! 
And, in case you were wondering, as well as going on a rope swing and joining twitter last week, this week I did level 3 plank at pilates for the first time. I’ve only just stopped hurting.