Thursday, December 22, 2011

introducing Harry.....

I would like to introduce Harry to you.

Harry is my Christmas tree,
i was walking by the 2.50le (25p) shop the other day 
and became exceedingly excited to see that they were selling Christmas trees.

so tiny Christmas trees,
but they are the only ones i have seen.

And Harry makes me so happy.

Charlie Brown would be proud methinks.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Future Christmas...

I just officially became an organ donor.
i added my name to the uk's online NHS organ donation list.

Organ donation is not something that i had ever really thought about until recently
It is not something that i think sounds particularly pleasant,
being dissected after death
(especially from a girl who cant even give blood for my ridiculous needle phobia)
but when you think about it the Undertakers do 
all that embalming stuff afterwards too,
 which aint much better.

But i got thinking about it recently after speaking to a man i know.

His daughter was waiting for her second lung transplant.
She was suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Her first transplant had given her 5 happy years, 
but now she was in need again.

And he told me of the joy that the first transplant had given their family
and how they so much wanted to share that joy with the donor's family.
Wanted to let them know that their kindness during the time of their loss
brought so much happiness to their family and saved others from feeling a similar loss.

He also spoke of the dilemma they felt now.
Wanting their daughter to get better,
 but not wanting another family to have to suffer so that she could.

How they were praying to God to help them come to terms with what was meant to be.

And she died, a couple of weeks ago.
I guess this time it was her turn to go.

And this short conversation that i had with him took place 
in a kitchen rather off-handly whilst peeling potatoes for a lunch we were making.

But i felt there and then that when i die i want to be able to give someone else
that new lease of life and joy.

Today i saw a link on facebook,
and i followed it through,
and am now official organ donor.

anyone in the uk can register here.

Merry Future Christmas.... 

Christmas Music...

Oh dear, 
my blog has been a bit mopey and depressive as of late, whilst everyone else's are full of holiday cheer.

So i thought i'd share some of my favourite Christmas songs from this year....
i love listening to them, even though it's not Christmassy outside, 
when i walk along listening to them on my ipod, 
i can imagine myself a million miles away.

Muppets, Where Ever You Find Love -
This one sums up for me the feeling of what the Spirit of Christmas is.
Its about the moments of joy that you find.

Michael Buble- Santa Clause is coming to town - 
So i dont actually have this one on my ipod, 
but i do LOVE how Gene-Kelly-esque this video is!

Fantasia -
Again, not on my ipod, but this is the music i'm listening to 
everyday for the past two months...Nutcracker....
but as a little girl i could watch the Fantasia movie on repeat....
that Walt Disney, what a guy....

Kari Jobe - Bethlehem
I just discovered her album this Christmas, 
i think she has an angelic voice that suits Christmas Carols to a T - 

Robert Downey Jr - River
The Ally McBeal Christmas Album has been one of my faves for such a long time now. And i love R-D Jr singing this song....he is so this song rings up my feelings right about now

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I've been having a love/hate relationship will Ballet over the past few weeks.
In fact scrap that, it's been a hate/hate.

The other day was one of those rehearsals where i cried from start to finish.
They happen every now and then.

The frustration of always trying to reach that perfection 
and knowing that i'll never be able to make it 
can just become too much sometimes.

My teacher told me i had to relax, to stop worrying,
 and that watching me dance she doesnt see the joy in it any more, 
she sees the manual labour.

And she is right, 
which it hit me to the core,
 as it has been something i had been worrying about.
i spend so much time worrying that my technique is not good enough,
 that my feet are not pointed or turned out, 
that my port de bras is ugly, that legs are not high enough, t
hat i no longer have time to actually enjoy what i'm doing.

So i'm trying,
i'm trying to relax and to find that feeling when i dance that makes me happy.
that feeling that reminds me why i go through all this sadness and turmoil,
because i know that when i find it,
its amazing

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Breaking pointe.....

There comes a point in before a show when everybody starts to go a bit crazy.

Everyone is tired,
muscles are aching,
everyone feels that they are worse off
than the person next to them.

And going to 'the office' is not a fun place to be.

I guess in that way its just like a regular job,
when the pressure is on people get narky.

and boy oh boy
have i been narky in the studio lately.
as well as everyone else around me....

My teacher also told me yesterday,
that people didnt buy tickets to the Nutcracker
to watch me look like i'm dying,
save that for some other ballet.

They want to see sparkles and glitter....

its hard to try and achieve that when the muscles in my
back are so tight that it feels like i cant gasp in enough oxygen

Still one more week till for performances,
lets hope we make it....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Blues.....

As much as i'm trying to dream about a White Christmas,
or even a Holly Jolly Christmas,
I just don't seem to be able to.

People complain about the commercialism of Christmas,
but what i wouldn't give at the moment to walk into a superarket and hear Christmas Carols play.
How much would i like to see some twinkling Christmas lights,
to go to a Christmas Concert.....
to see a Christmas tree....
to have time to go to a Christmas Party.
To have a present to open on Christmas Day.

Maybe these things are commercial,
but i can tell you living in a country where they dont exist,
that Christmas Spirit is just so much harder to come by.

Plus i just found out that i have two performances on Christmas Day.
I've always worked Christmas Eve before, Nutcrackering of course,
but Christmas day i always managed to eat some turkey ad squeeze in a Christmas movie before...

not this year....


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Retail Therapy...

My return to work yesterday,
which included 3 hours of rehearsals resulted in -

me hyperventilating
ambulance being called
and then sucking up the O2 for half an hour

That will teach not to put those Red Shoes on
so fast after not getting out of bed for week.

Needless to say today was spent doing
some far more gentle exercise
Retail Therapy....

Monday, November 28, 2011


So after 6 nights of crippling headaches
i finally went to the doctor last night.

I kept putting it off hoping that i would just get better au natural,
but i gave up hope and am now waiting for the drugs to kick in.

Besides i'm uber bored at home.
Work started back yesterday and seeing as i havent
gotten out of bed in a week my muscles are wasting away.

When i mentioned this to my friend who
drove me to the doctors yesterday she was
a bit surprised that i would feel like a week off
work would make such a difference to my body.

Ordinarily not so much ,
but i'm working on the solo for Spanish in the Nutcracker
at the moment and it requires a lot of stamina and strength.
When i took a few days off the other week it
did take a few days before i was up to par again....
and i dont like dancing under par!

Although i have been enjoying

its so beautiful.....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pinned down....

So i've spent the last week housebound.
its not so dangerous outside,
but i've got some kind of virus or something that has rendered me bedridden
which i guess is not so bad seeing as work has been shut down all week any hows.

at anyrate...
i've become addicted to Pinterest

I'm not sure what the actual point of it is, or if i'm using it right cause basically everytime i see a pretty picture i'm like 'repin'....
surely there is more depth to it than that.

I'm loving the recipes that i've found on it.

Like hows AMAZING is this Panda Bread....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Under Cairo Curfew

So here i am again, under curfew.

Although this time i just dont have quite the
same fear factor as i had back in January.
Sure things are crazy down at Tahrir,
but i no longer liver in that area,
and in the area where i live now (about half an hour away)
life is going on as normal.

Well i say normal,
i havent been to work in 3 days,
because of its proximity to Tahrir.

In fact,
i'm more annoyed about the fact that i haven't had
any water in my apartment for the last 4 days
(unconnected to any protest problems)

I just wonder how much longer Egypt is going to
keep ebbing and flowing in this violent way.

I really dont know enough about Egyptian politics
to be able to make any sound comments on the situation here....

but i do know that nobody can want
to continually live in this type of unrest.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Of Chalk and Moustaches....

Some pictures from the Chalkboard photobooth from my sisters wedding....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beach Bum....

I have lots of underwater pictures that Captain Tim took,
but blogger doesnt seem to want me to upload them.

So until then,
here are some pictures of me practising being a beach bum to fill in the time.

Oh how i do enjoy being a beach bum....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Growing Wings...

"I love the recklessness of Faith,
first you leap and then you grow wings"

William Sloane Coffin

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Birthdays and beaches....

My holiday was just what i needed.
No work.
No stress.
No Cairo.

Dahab was also pretty quite too
(tourism still suffering from effects of the revolution)
which was great also.

I'll head back to work today and see if i'm in any trouble!

It was my birthday whilst we were away and Captain Tim even managed to arrange me a surprise party with all the people we had met during the week whilst diving, with a special birthday cake with Diver Rebekah written on it.

We were having dinner on the beach so
when they brought the cake out it was pretty funny trying to
light the candles as it was windy,
i think in the end we got one to hold long enough for me to blow it out!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Forbidden Holiday....

I'm offski!

Onto my Forbidden Holiday....
but surely things that are forbidden make them so much more fun.

Although i'm not best pleased as i've got a cold and
your not allowed to dive if you have a cold.
So i'm pushing the drugs hoping that it will clear up in the next 12 hours.

The three main things i learned from my diving lessons so far are -

1- If you stop breathing underwater your lungs can explode

2-If you have a cold and go diving your head can explode.

3- If you surface too quickly you blood can fizz explode.

oh yes...

okay so they didnt quite voice it in those words
but that's the way my brain processed the information...

So here's to hoping i survive my holiday,
although the way i've been feeling and acting this week i
may be on the receiving end of some Bad Karma....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A different kind of Halloween?....

So facebook has been filled with Halloween this week.
Pumpkins and crazy costumes everywhere.

There is very little Halloween here at all,
on the other hand this week see's one of the big Muslim holidays.

One of the main things that happens during these days is that a sheep/goat is sacrificed.
So popping up all over town are little makeshift barns where you can come and pick your sheep.
i guess its a bit like us having a turkey for Christmas but having to do the killing part yourself rather than just picking it up from Tescos.

In fact, i even went into one supermarket where
next to the Pringles they had set up a mini stall with a couple
of baby lambs that you could pick up and put in your trolley if you so desired.

Most of the mini barns are set up right next to the butchers though....
who have been working over time in the last week.

I havent left the house yet today as i've heard that this
morning is the big sacrificing morning and the streets can be filled with blood.

Real blood,
not the red corn syrup type...
i guess that's kind of Halloweeenish

at any rate,
Happy Holidays....


so i did leave the house for a couple of minutes and witnessed -
-2 cows lying down tied up about to have their throats slit
- a sheep being hacked up with an axe
- a stall full of animal heads
-various random animal limbs all over the street
- pools of blood
-a terrible stench

i quickly decided to return home to see the
cows had already been skinned and beheaded

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pretty Dresses....

Its not so cold here (still warmer than a Scottish summer)
but i've been feeling a bit poorly so decided to wrap up warm this morning.

As in donning a pair of jeans, and wearing boots instead of sandals.

On my walk to the Metro station one of the local shopkeepers shouted out to me.

'Where are your pretty dresses? I like your pretty dresses.'

It made me laugh.
Being pretty much the only 'white' (blonde/blue) girl living in a pretty Egyptian area
sometimes i feel like a bit of a celebrity.

i really don't make that much effort with my clothes styling here,
because most of the time i'm trying to be as incognito as possible,
seeing as the blonde/blue thing gets me enough unwanted attention all by itself

but i do like my pretty dresses.....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Little Darth Vader Mermaid....

On the topic of my not-so-legit-holiday.

I've been taking scuba diving lessons.

ummmm... one of the main reasons i'm not
backing down on giving up my day off!!!!
i've already payed for the lessons!

I havent done the Open Water dives yet,
i'll do them when i get to the beach.
but did have fun in the swimming pool.

I thought i was going to feel like a mermaid,
but instead i just felt a bit like Darth Vader
what with all that breathing apparatus...
but i figured that was equally as cool!

At any rate, it got me googling mermaid pictures....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is Honesty the Best Policy?

So i had a slight dilemma over the past
couple of days having an issue of honesty.

I dont want to go into too much detail,
but basically my boyfriend is flying out to visit me for my birthday next week.
We have a few days holiday coming up and i've booked a holiday away at the beach with him.
Which i was planning to extend by calling in sick for an extra 2 days .

And then three days ago work put an 'optional' folk dancing
performance on my day off/birthday.

When i say optional,
i mean it is not mandatory,
but for some people (ie me, the suckers) it is.

And a performance means that if i call in sick,
i will be leaving people with an extra work load trying to cover for me.
I've been on the end of that a lot, and its just not fun.

I tried to skip out of the rehearsal....
but couldnt do it.
i was racked with guilt.
I was racked with the responsibility
towards my leaders and my fellow dancers.

So i apologised for skipping the rehearsal but also
at the same time adamantly told them i would not do the 'optional' performance.

I told the truth and said that my boyfriend who i get to see
for a few days every six months is coming to visit and
i do not want to work on my day off.
I have given them plenty of notice please cast it with someone else
as there are plenty of people going spare.

Needless to say this got me into a lot of trouble.

But what makes me mad is that here,
people take time off all the time, they call in sick,
they just dont turn up,
they dont come to rehearsals but turn up for performances....
in general a lot of bad attiutude.

I have never once taken a day off or missed
any rehearsal since i have been here,
and i am fed up of carrying everyone else's load.

The problem is that i didn't play by their rules or system.
I was told that if i had just kept on skipping rehearsal there
would have been no problem,
if i just came to some of the rehearsals but turned up for
performance then there wouldnt be a problem.

i disagree.

I prefer that people are upfront and honest in their dealings.

I was told that i was a foreigner and different standards were expected of me,
(ie its okay for the egyptians to choose when and they want to work, but not for me)

I disagree, i think that it should be the same rules for everyone.

So i was adamant,
and i have been threatened that there will be repercussions.

And i came home and i was upset,
and was thinking if i was wrong?

Should i have just sneaked around?
Should i follow suit?
Should i just be the general dogsbody that i normally am?

And although i'm still going to have to call in sick
for that extra day that i'm going to take,
in that i know that yes, in that i am not right.
But at the same time now my 'sick leave' will not
leave other people in the lurch.

And i was reminded by my Gentleman Caller,
that i had made a decision to be upfront and honest
about my reasons for not doing the performance
because i didnt like the way just sneaking out of it felt.

So i guess whatever repercussions come my way
my conscience in that is clear.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Personal Rival....

So i have another dancer in the company who is my Personal Rival.
She doesnt know it.
In fact, she's a pretty good friend of mine.

But in my head we are Rivals.

We are similar body shapes and standards (in my opinion)
and so in my head she is My Competition.
If they are casting for a role,
most likely they will think between me and her.

And sometimes she 'wins', and thats okay,
because she is a hard worker and totally deserves it,
but i think to myself what can i do to improve so that i get picked next time.

I think its just a way for me to keep trying to improve myself.
Keeping myself on my toes..
(hehe...i couldnt resist!)

At any rate,
she 'won' the last two roles i had my eye on,
but i found out yesterday i will be dancing the Spanish solo in Nutcracker,
so i just earned a 'notch' on my belt.....

(picture from National Ballet Of Cuba)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dancers Diets....

One of the most common questions
i get asked as a dancer is if i have to have a special diet?

I've never had a weight issue,
so the answer to that is normally no.

But here is what i have eaten today -

(yes the whole thing, i had half for lunch and half for dinner,
i was originally going to make it to share with my roommates until
i tasted how good it was)

half a tub of cream cheese eaten with breadsticks.

a can of mountain dew.

thats it....

i promise this isnt my
normal daily intake of food.

Normally there are some carbs, some veggies
and what not.
i'm pretty sensible.

But every now and then a girl ought to be
allowed to eat a whole cake and enjoy it
without a shred of remorse....


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vintage Grandparents....

I just discovered these photos that someone
in my family put up on photobucket....
that i've never seen before

Let me tell you a little bit about my Grandad,
he ran away from home and joined the Navy when he was 13 years old.

Look at these cute pictures of him....
just a kid.

and here he is with my Nana on their wedding day....babies....

My granddad, sailor that he was after meeting my nana went out and got her name tattooed on his arm.
My nana, good Christian girl that she was mortified!

And is a picture of them with me at my sisters wedding last month.