Category Archives: All That Jazz

In which I make people look like lions and tigers and bears, oh my


Another weekend, another first birthday party.  This one was in the park as the weather has decided to become sunny, and despite liberal applications on factor 15, I still managed to burn the back of my neck.  It sucks being pale.

I had spent the morning at a fundraising event, helping out by face painting, and then when we got to the party, my brush came out again, as the birthday boy’s parents had bought some paints that morning.  I really enjoy it though – the look on a child’s face when you show them in the mirror that they now resemble a lion, or a rabbit, or a green monster with curved fangs (very popular yesterday) is great.  S was impressed, as he’s never seen me in action before, and was very tempted to have a tiger done, although he eventually concluded that he would look a bit foolish once we’d left the confines of the park.

(Whenever I do a tiger all I can think of is Phoenix Nights, and all these children wandering around Chorley with permanently striped faces.  Luckily Snazaroo paints are washable.)

The good weather has also persuaded my reluctant sweetcorn to come and say hello, and the tomatoes on my windowsill also put on a massive growth spurt this weekend.  The courgettes are coming along nicely, with some of the seedlings actually getting to the four leaf stage.  We’re still a long way off eating anything, but we’re getting there.

I made the mistake of getting carried away in Wilkinsons again, and came back with strawberry plants, thinking that at least they have a head start and already have leaves, and a stem, and the potential to bear fruit.  With only three plants, though, I sincerely doubt we’ll be harvesting enough fruit to make anything more than a single bowl of strawberries and cream.

The combination of gardening and amusing small children (and, probably, the glass of cava in the park at 4pm) had us knackered by 7pm, so we spent the evening lounging on the couch watching Thelma and Louise.  Part of my 2009 resolutions is to watch a “classic” film each month, so this is May’s.  I already sort of knew the plotline – mostly from watching the Simpsons’ parody – but I still really enjoyed it.  Any film where the heroines accidentally manage to blow up a massive truck with one well-placed bullet is fine with me.

This week will be spent reminding myself of dance moves for our show on Saturday and Sunday.  Despite the non inclusion of jazz hands, it’s a great routine, and I think – even though we only learnt the ending two weeks ago – we’ll manage to make a good job of it.  We finally managed to get hold of Bunty tights, which are a magical type of hosiery that hold you in and support your legs and manage to make people look like actual dancers.  The only snag is that they’re a complete bugger to put on as they’re so thick, requiring you not to be hot and sweaty at all, which is somewhat difficult when you’re getting changed in a crowded dressing room and are  becoming nervous about your forthcoming stage debut.  I might just keep them on from Thursday to Sunday and save the hassle.


In which I learn a new use for toothpaste and get excited about wearing fishnet tights


I spent the weekend in London catching up with various friends, and whilst I had a great time, my skin did not.  It is clearly rebelling against the excessive amounts of smog and traffic fumes it was forced to come into contact with, and is letting me know by breaking out into spots.  I had hoped that judicious applications of toothpaste would bring it under control (my friend suggested this; I’ve never tried it before but am willing to give anything a go once*), but it’s still not happy.  London is such a great place though, pissed-off skin or not; I really wish I could live there for a time, but with a boyfriend who has a pathological hatred of the place, I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.

I’ve decided that I’m tired of chickening out in trapeze, and am making a concerted effort in class to master moves that are eluding me, and trying new ones even if they do scare the beejesus out of me.  So with this new philosophy in mind, last week I tried out a moon (sounds vaguely obscene, doesn’t it?).  Whilst I managed to get into the position I was meant to be in, I then promptly got stuck and couldn’t get out.  My foot was twisted between two ropes and every second up there was causing extreme pain, but I also couldn’t seem to try and untangle myself, as even though it would have eased it, my brain seemed to think that staying put was the best option.  Eventually, after my teacher shouted some encouraging words from the ground, I managed to unhook myself in an ungainly fashion and slither to the bar.  Nice.

Despite the pain and the clumsiness, the move is really pretty and I’m sure once my skin hardens up it’ll be fine.  It may even make it into the routine we’ve all got to start planning for.  First, though, I need a song to kick start the process – any suggestions gratefully received…

In dance, it’s also that time of year again: preparations for the annual show have begun.   We’re doing a piece to All That Jazz from Chicago, which I really, really hope includes some jazz hands.  This is my third time doing the show  and not once have I got to do jazz hands, so I’m hoping 2009 is The Year.  It’s also going to be The Year of the Fishnets, which I’m more excited about than I really should be.  I don’t know why,  but ever since I wore fishnets for my New Year’s appearance as Cher, I’ve wanted another chance to don them.  And these are not your average, £2-a-pair-from-Primark fishnets, oh no!  These are proper dance ones that suck you in and squeeze your thighs into submission and generally make your legs look lean and toned and, you know, dancer-y.  My legs have never looked like this, so you can understand why I’m excited.

* Except incest and morris dancing**

**Yes, I have stolen this from Thomas Beecham.