It’s been, amazingly, a whole month since my first ever burlesque performance. Cabaret night had been excitedly planned, panicked over and squeaked about for quite some time, and then crept up on us quite suddenly!
Any of you who know me in real life or follow me on Twitter will be aware that although I’ve loved burlesque, corsets and the pin up style most of my adult life, and have danced most of my life, joining a burlesque dance course was quite a big step. A step that, once taken, I couldn’t understand why it had taken me so long – I think was born to prance about in a corset and high heels with feathers in my hair!!
I dance with some of my closest friends, and lots of lovely friends turned up to watch us dance, among them Lou and her sister, who also ran a Contrariety Rose stall on the night… and some of my uni girls who schlepped all the way up from Oxford, Kent and Southend… bless them! Was lovely to see them though I was far too overexcited to actually have a proper conversation!
Here are some more pics of us dancers…
And we made it into the Essex Chronicle the following week!
It was a glorious night (I also had a Ducking Fabulous stall) and I came off the stage wanting to go and do it again, preferably immediately! Definitely have the performing bug back again after so long away from the stage – and can’t wait to start classes again in January!
So as some of you will know, I finally quit my City job last week and will be starting (work!) at the University of Essex in November. This was a fairly emotional decision as while I have been immensly frustrated, tired and cross for much of my time here, I work with a great bunch of people and it will be sad to leave.
I am incredibly excited about the new position, and the joy of knowing I will no longer be commuting on the train, and instead riding my bike for 40 minutes each way, is fabulous… but after a frankly eye-opening conversation with HR about just how much will be deducted from my final month’s pay, it would appear I’m going to have to be very thrifty for a month or two until I’m settled into the new job and money has resumed making its way into my bank account!
I will of course still be doing the things I love, but will be keeping an eye on those pennies until after Christmas. I will (sadly) be taking a break from my burlesque class until January, but I will continue to practise the routines I’ve learned, and until my train ticket runs out, will pop over and see the girls before class every Wednesday anyway.
They are some of my favourite people in the ENTIRE WORLD and I have no clue what I did before I met them! (not all of them in pic below, but I’ll have some after Saturday! That’s me in the polka dots and cherry buckled corset.)
My blogging should step up a notch, and I might even get time to do the long-awaited overhaul of DF. Between now and starting the new job, there’s the official launch of Inkdrops, my first ever burlesque performance, a huge powerpoint project and some serious work to be done with Escape the City and Free Range Humans. Excellent.
Here’s to a new life – and managing to stay in touch with the fabulous people I am leaving behind in the City!
All photos link back to their original page if not my own.
So I mentioned this briefly in a previous post and promised a more in-depth look at it. It was a complete impulse buy, Lou and I wandered into this bookshop (shamefully I don’t remember what it was called, although I could walk you to it) just before we left Brighton (me to depart for Heather’s wedding, Lou to head home on the train). I wasn’t even looking for a book (inasmuch as I wasn’t looking for a specific book – I’m such an addict that I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for new books to read and to add to my collection).
We gravitated towards the fashion/design/craft section, as we always do, and spotted this.
I ummed and aahhed for about two seconds, then realised I had to have it, it was one of those kind of books. Gorgeously put together, interesting and informative, and actually relevant, I’ve been thinking about expanding both Ducking Fabulous and Checks and Roses to handmade floozy knickers for ages now. I say expand… I need to actually fill the shop up before I can talk about expanding. Anyway.
So inside the book are interviews with lots of contemporary lingerie designers from all over the world. The interviews are interspersed with fabulous photographs, sketchs, inspiration, mood boards and so on which gives what feels like a real insight into the design process. Obviously more detail would be even more fabulous, but a book containing the level of detail I’m after would be about 1000 pages thick!
For obvious reasons (the skates… the SKATES!!), this is my favourite page of the entire book. But here are some more (gorgeous) spreads to give you an idea of what it’s like inside – for more you’ll have to buy the book!
I’ve found it incredibly inspirational from a business point of view as well as a designing-pretty-things-and-knickers point of view. Would love to know if any of you have also read it and what you thought, or if there are any other similar books out there – either around the same subject, or a similar layout and approach but a different subject!
Oh, how do I describe the wonder that is the Fling? Here’s the website and last year’s video, for a flavour…
2010 Fling goodness…
Last year there were a few of us. This year, there were a LOT of us. I had the obligatory zebra picture (I want to take that zebra home – suggestions on a postcard as to how I can smuggle him home please) on my own and with other people. I’ll just post the one for now…
me with the zebra - the equivalent pic last year is one of my favourite photos of all time
(I could do a separate outfit-of-the-day post, but I won’t… the corset is one from a boutique in Loughborough, the skirt is a vintage French Connection one, bracelet is my favourite steampunk-ish one which I bought from a car boot sale a while ago and while I’d usually wear heels with such an ensemble, the flipflops are gold leather ones from New Look. Comfortable and much more appropriate for ambling around a field! (I actually spent a lot of time barefoot… it’s that sort of a place where you feel more at one with everything minus your shoes. Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway.)
A ridiculous number of my favourite people in the world were there, and it was so gorgeous to catch up in such an amazing atmosphere. There aren’t really words to describe the Fling, it’s just magical… seven hours of wonder and escapism, and there really is something for everyone.
Lou and Kelly getting into the festival spirit
I did less activities this year than last year, because I was having so much fun catching up with everyone, Pimms in hand, and just soaking up the ambience to sustain me through another year… the weeks after the Fling feel distinctly tedious.
There was music, wordsmiths, burlesque (squee!), sewing workshops, clay, more music, a beach, random performers, a peep show, a silent disco, a fire garden, and far too many wonderful things to mention. My personal favourite was the fairy crown workshop, run by the Fairyland Trust, who do some fantastic conservation work throughout the UK, as well as raising awareness and working with children to preserve our woodland and learn the magic of nature. Our crown-making workshop (complete with storytime!) is usually aimed at 7 year olds, but I fell totally in love with my crown and will be renewing the willow base with season-appropriate foliage for each of the eight season celebrations through the year. I always mark them in my diary but never actually do anything to mark the festivals. And I’d like to.
I was so chuffed with my crown... do I look fairy-like?
(unrelatedly, this photo shows I’ve achieved a lifelong ambition of having my hair so long it doesn’t always fit in photos. Yay!) I am nowhere near as trashed as I look, either – it’s just the sun in my eyes. Honestly!
Here are a selection of photos that made me smile – I’ve not seen the ones taken by other people yet, but I’ll remember this Fling forever… and I’ll be at the next one come hell or high water! Sending huge hugs to everyone who came this year, it was even more fabulous with you all there 🙂 And my apologies for my waffly lack of eloquence, it really does defy words. But it makes me quite ridiculously happy!
Me with Karen - being experienced Fling-ers!
Naomi sewing 🙂
Me with Janine and Heather. Lovely Heather is getting married next weekend!
Wendy and Apryl with the results of their sewing workshop
There are quite a few more pics – more than last year! Waiting to get hold of Lou’s and anyone else’s too, and then I shall sneak a link to a Flickr album into a future post. Massive thanks to Nastassia, Anna and their team at Chelmsford Borough Council – you guys have done an incredible job and made a large number of people very happy. Should any of you lovely readers be in Chelmsford in July next year – go. Really, it’s a perfect seven hours.[Edit March 2012: due to the Olympic Flame celebrations, the Fling will next be held in July 2013.]
I’ve had a lovely celebratory weekend so far – Friday night out with Lizzy for her 21st, wearing my blue hair… which was really fun! Then last night a group of us went for dinner and to the theatre to see the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, put on at the Chelmsford Civic Theatre by Springers . I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it was FABULOUS! Had so much fun – in the words of a friend, “I had a ridiculously good time tonight” 🙂
Definitely think I’ll be hunting down the film to watch, and it’s made me want a corset and frilly knickers even more than I already did – lol!
Today I’m off to Colchester Zoo with Mum & Dad – it’s Father’s Day, and Dad said he’d rather like to go to the zoo and visit Mum’s meerkat (a 60th birthday present from her office) so I’m taking my camera and crossing my fingers the weather behaves!
In crafty news, I’ve rejoined Crafter…oo! and am determined not to let life get in the way of me being active on it this time – likewise with a couple of other forums I’ve drifted from recently.
Right, best go and wrap Dad’s pressie and get ready for them to pick me up – pics tomorrow!