Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Circus Every Day


This past weekend, I went to  the Edinburgh Aerial Acro Convention 2017.
Yes, really.

I stayed in a lovely flat at the top of a 17th century tenement on the Royal Mile.

Luckily I am not scared of heights (anymore) - but the spiral staircase did terrible things to my balance after a day hanging upside down... !


I am very much a beginner in all aerial disciplines.

So even the "beginner" classes were a challenge, because most of the other participants were skilled in at least one area of circus fitness.

I went into each of my chosen classes with energy and enthusiasm, but there came a point where I had to take an observational role, to know when to stop!

That's OK - I was useful to others, because I could often see what they needed to do next, even if I was not capable of doing it myself.

I took two Aerial Silks classes.

My first turned into a private lesson because nobody else had signed up for it - woo hoo!

This was great, because I was able to take my time to break down the mechanics of the most basic "climbs" and "wraps".

I also tried Static Cloud (the loop in the foreground of the above picture).

This required basic trapeze skills (to get up there) but quickly progressed into something springier and swingier.

Really clever people can loop-the-loop, using their own momentum to keep going.

I managed it once and decided that was quite enough for now, thank you :)



A highlight for me was Aerial Cube.

I say "highlight", in the sense that I was deeply intrigued by the prospect of navigating a three-dimensional trapeze-like structure.

I got up there OK, all by myself, using trapeze skills.


And I got down again OK, using monkey bars skills :).

But somewhere in between, I lost my confidence.
Probably when I realised I was too short to reach the top bar from a seated position...

Other people were doing forward rolls over the top bar and dropping to the lower one in one smooth motion.
Me?  Ha!  No chance!

The teacher had me "drape" myself in a horizontal position, with the aim of rolling across from one side to the other...  but I got stuck face-down, flailing like a... flailing thing.
Not very elegant!

I managed to do this though:


I also took Flexibility and Strength classes - both involving pairs' work.

Circus fitness is not suitable for people who guard their personal space too closely.

Ever done a sit-up while a complete stranger is sitting on top of you, trying to push your elbows down to the floor?!

And I tried Corde Lisse - which is basically rope-climbing with artistic dangling once you get up there.  I managed a couple of tiny climbs and then dangled at just-off-the-floor-level.
Not pretty!

On the Saturday evening, some of our teachers put on a show.
Wow!
These are professional circus people and they can do all the things.
I was blown away by all of them, but the highlight was definitely the trapeze piece by Chiara.

Here is her YouTube showreel:


Astonishing.
Terrifying.
Beautiful.
Inspiring.

Not even in my wildest dreams...!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Neon Subversion in the Workplace


I finished my Mercury Socks at the weekend.
Today they had their first outing in the workplace.
Anything I can do to raise a smile...


The speckled yarn is Baerenwolle BAERfoot sock in the Birthday Cake colourway.
So sugary my teeth hurt!
As is true of most things in life, the solution was to throw neon at the problem.
The heels, cuffs and toes are by Hand Dyed by Kate: the Sunglasses Not Included mini skein set.

I am not a huge fan of lacey socks but there is something reminiscent of Japanese street style when paired with my patent DMs.
They are my FRUITS tribute socks :)


The Great Decluttering continues apace.  I had the Bothy cleared by the professionals.
Now I can see the floor!
I spent Saturday cleaning it just enough to demonstrate its potential and remove the major Health and Safety hazards (a desiccated rabbit anyone?).



Back in the farmhouse, I boxed up what we shall call "The Archive".
Tiny Blue Notebook 2 and his friends have gained a reprieve until I summon the energy to deal with them properly.

Studies One and Two are both now completely clear of stuff.


Some paperwork had to be sifted slowly and carefully.
My teenage self was a troubled creature and she comes alive through her agonizingly neat handwriting.
The photograph of him holding the photograph of me sums up the whole sorry mess.
But no regrets.
None at all.
All boxed up.  Shut in the cupboard for now.


Other rooms were easier to "stage".
An Instagram friend described the vibe of The Boy's old room as "Amish metal fan"  LOL
Yeah - that sounds just like my son (not!)
I particularly like the leather-covered "Works of Robert Burns" and the wooden flute, left casually on his bedside table...!

The Estate Agent is coming to take pictures later this week.
And then the fate of the farm is in their hands.

As for my own future?
I have plans, and they are starting to come together: slowly, slowly.
As I keep saying, it's all going to be fine.

And until then
I have the circus :)

Thursday, 24 August 2017

To Hull and back




So... I went to Hull again and got the best haircut ever!
By Sarah at Solo on Posterngate.
Worth the trip  for this alone!
But of course there was more to it than that...
I arranged this trip to coincide with a fundraising day by Alex Baum at Bishop Tattoo Company.


Her friend Aaron has a rare type of cancer, called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue and bone cancer.  He has responded well to treatment, but has been told that he has not been "cured", as the cancer is aggressive and has a very high return rate.  All funds raised on 6 August are going towards Aaron's fund for immunotherapy, which is not available on the NHS.

If you look at Alex's facebook page you will recognise her style.


So... yes.  I now have a tattoo.  
I consider it to be beautiful and an expression of my core being.
And if that sounds pretentious... shrugs.

I stayed in an airbnb in the Marina building.
With the sun blasting down from a clear blue sky, I could have been in the Med.

Before haircut!
On the Saturday, it was the Humber Street Sesh, a music festival.
Just what I needed!
I danced.  I danced a lot
A Silent Disco, an open air DJ set and a laidback boogie in a tent at the end of the pier. 
If pictures emerge (as they might) I will consider posting them here.


I felt free.
Anonymous.
Me.

Home again, and The Girl came to stay for a week.
That was lovely.


And now?

For a time there, I seemed to be at the epicentre of an overwhelming storm.
I was the single point of stillness while everything whirled around me so fast I had to close my eyes to bear it.

And then I took a deep breath and decided it was time to take control.


I am selling the farm.
I don't know what will happen next, but this feels like the right thing to do.

That, and knitting socks of course :)



Thursday, 17 August 2017

Thursday, 3 August 2017

I came here for love


Oh this song makes me so happy!


There is so much to write that can't be written here.
Mostly I am in a state of euphoria.
Is it all in my head?  Probably!  But that's OK.

The Girl is coming to play next week.
But before then I am off on a little adventure.
Time to pack.

Back soon!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Sock Circus

Just a quick post to say:  I am still without phone or internet.  All that my provider can tell me is that they haven't fixed it yet.
Thanks - I noticed.

I am currently addicted to knitting short socks for padding around the house / yoga / circus cooldown use.


This is the Rose City Rollers pattern (free on Ravelry).

My first pair used less than one 50g ball of KnitPicks Felici in the Punch Bug colour, with a mini skein of neon pink by Hand Dyed by Kate for a cuff, heel and toe.  The final toe was something orange from the scraps collection.


The second pair is straight from the scraps bin:  leftover Twisted Limone self striping in the Poppyfield colourway, with something unknown, purple and sparkly for the first heel and toe and grey sparkly Knitting Goddess sock yarn for the second.

These are so quick to knit and surprisingly practical - they don't slip off my feet in wear, but are easily removed if you have the sudden urge to jump on a trapeze :)

I am not sure when I will next be able to post.

I am "on holiday" for two weeks from tonight.
I have lots of plans for: further house clearance activities, valuation of the farm, another trip to Hull (woo hoo!) and a visit from The Girl (yay!)

There will be knitting.
And I have a new audio book:  Queen of the Air, a true story of love and tragedy at the circus
What else would I listen to?!
Bye for now!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Detoxification


The rural idyll is trying my patience.
I am once more in the midst of an enforced digital detox, due to a lightning strike to my phone line.  AGAIN.
And because it is summer and the trees are in full leaf, I have to go to the top of the hill to get a mobile phone signal.
Sigh.
This has its advantages.


Out in the fields, all by myself, I can get bit wild and crazy.
Sometimes I run.
Sometimes I swing from the trees.
Other times I lie on the trampoline and stare at the sky.

It is the ideal opportunity to ask THE UNIVERSE for A Sign.
I ask a question, and if the answer is YES, I  will find a four-leafed clover.

Twice recently I have been delivered of a FIVE leafed clover.
LOL


Yesterday I found one of each.
And I wasn't even looking very hard.

Now, while there is probably a good scientific reason for this mutant botany, I am all about The Signs.
FL had very little time for my belief in Destiny.
But it worked out well for me and him, on balance.

But... whatever next?!

Part of me has had enough of the enforced isolation of this farm life.
There seems little point in living in a romantic wilderness if you are alone.
Unless I embrace the poetry and become a hermit.
Always an option.

Being cut off from the rest of the world can be unnerving.
Particularly when The Universe seems to be saying it has plans for you.

I would say "watch this space" but my connection with the blog is a little fragile right now, in more ways than one.

Hopefully, it will all be fine.