Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas in the sun!

I fly off to see husband tomorrow.
its going to be my 4th Christmas in a row in the sunny climate.
i've had enough of the cold weather....

Christmas is going to be on the boat this year....
i barely survived it when i had my birthday on the boat,
husband has promised me this will be much better.

Plus im gonna be in Panama....
yeah baby!!!!!

i is living the high life!

now if only i can survive the 
37hours of travelling,
even more worried as i have a bad back at the moment that has my
hobbling round complaining to everyone who will listen to my tale....

its gone so fast but felt so long,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

parents week...eeeek!

So this week is parents week....

i've been dreading it, 
in fact i avoid the parents so much that my boss
told me the other day i had to make a real effort to actually speak to them.

I'll confess, i havent done a really great job,
i need to get better at the schmoozing, 
lets face the parents dont really care how good i teach
their babies...all they care is that i'm
nice to them...
(and i'm not always nice to them!)

it has been interesting in some respects....
i've learned a little bit more about some of my students
through these (brief) interactions with the parents.

In one class on Monday i have one little 5 year old girl
who i just haven't been able to connect with
(she has informed me she isnt coming back next term)
and i really hoped that during watching week she might
actually pull her socks up and try doing some ballet
(she really seems to hate it!)
but she didnt, she fluffed her way through and made silly faces,
and i wondered what her mum was thinking about her little girls
attitude during the class,

and then at the end of the class when all the other children 
had gone home she sat crying in the corner,
her mother hadnt come.

'she pinky promised me'
she cried,
'she promised she would come, and she just didnt bother'

and it nearly broke my heart,
and i tried to tell her that i'm sure her mother
was so upset that she couldnt make it,
and that sometimes its hard for mummys to keep their promises,
but this was a little girl who looked like she had too many broken promises.

I'm not sure she will come back next term,
but if she did i would have more patience with her and
give her the love that she deserved.

I had another older teenage student in one of my classes
who is in a class well beyond her level,
i keep trying to explain to her its too difficult
and maybe she should think about going in another class.
but she wants to come to this class and she plods along,
i think completely unaware of how far behind she is.

and at the end her mother came up to me 
and thanked me for having her daughter in her class.
she said she could see it was difficult for me to have her
daughter my class, and that she is behind in so many
of her classes and that she was just so pleased that her daughter 
kept wanting to come and how good it must be for her.

And i realised there is much more to the story behind this little girl too,
and that i have to stop trying to point out to her how behind she is,
i'm sure that she gets that a lot in life and instead 
just let her enjoy dancing the way she wants to.

I guess by getting to know the parents a bit better
i'll get to know the children a bit better,
and seem them not just as kids that wriggle and cant keep still
but as children who need a loving natured ballet teacher as much as 
they need ballet technique.

 I read a book this week which said something along the lines of
how at a young age children rarely actually care about what they are being taught but
care what the teacher thinks of them and if they like the teacher....
i think its so true...
and i need to remember it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Charlie Chaplin.....

Have you ever watched a Charlie Chaplin movie?
I watched Modern Times today....
its a really beautiful movie.
almost like watching a ballet,
everything is so perfectly choreographed.

And how did silent movie star express themselves
with out words, a bit through facial expression,
its much more through movement and body language
and timing with music.

Charlie Chaplin is an amazing and nimble dancer 
if you ask me....

Friday, November 15, 2013

London Wedding photographer....

My sister Meghan who did our wedding photos
has a new website up and running,

check it out if you know anyone who might be needing some pretty
picture any time soon.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oh London.....

as i walked down the gloomy street yesterday to work

this little tune popped up on my itunes,
and it felt so true...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Friends and old.....

i've been living in London for a while now
and actually know a lot of people living here in London,
but havent managed to get round to meeting up with them yet.

So i thought i'd use my birthday as a chance to
get together with old school friends and work colleagues
who i havent seen in a long (long long) time.

So i invited them...

and well, none of them came!

(It was a monday night to be fair)

but here's the thing i had an awesome birthday anyway,
after inviting all these old friends
i thought i'd invite a few people who i dont know so well 
but would like to get to know better.
So i invited a girl i work with and some friends from church to come along,
and they all came.
So along with them, my two sisters and one of my oldest friends
i had a really good time.

I dont know what this says about me,
that maybe once you get to know me you 
might start avoiding me!
lets hope not!

i also got a satellite phone call from husband
from the Amazon Delta,
and he made sure that my sister bought me some flowers 
from him....
those little thoughts from him made my day.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Birthday Goals....

so yesterday was my bithday.
i turned the ripe old age of 29.

Its funny for so many years 30 was the oldest age for me.
I had all these ideas of things that I should have achieved by the time i was 30
(and to be honest not a lot of goals for after that as 30 seemed for ever away)

Well here i am at 29 getting closer to 30
and if i think about all those things i wanted to achieve and
do i would say that right now i am the most content
i've been in a long while on a birthday
on striving towards those goals.

i always thought that 30 was a good time to stop dancing,
to start looking for a career change,
i never wanted to be one of those dancers who didnt know how
to leave the studio and ended up wasting away in it.

so i jumped on the band wagon a little early on that goal,
but hey tick anyway!

I'm on my way to a new career, and 
very muchly enjoying it.

I always figured i should be married by the time i was thirty,

and i always thought 30 would be a good age to start having children at,
so i've got some time to start fulfilling that briefing....

Friday, November 8, 2013

Holidays with husband.....

So last week i flew out to visit husband in Brazil,
due to a rather expensive mix up on where we
were going to meet up i ended up spending a day in 
Rio de Janerio by myself before flying another 12 hours to meet 
husband in Fernando de Noronha.

Firstly Rio,

Rio was awesome.
As i only had a day there i booked myself into a day tour
which just made my life a whole lot easier and
got to see a lot more than if i was trying to find my wa around myself.

Funnily enough my tour guide had just been to Edinburgh so 
as i was standing in front of The Infamous Christ Redeemer stature
he whipped out his camera and was showing me pictures of
him in front of Edinburgh Castle.

It made me smile, 
we go half way around the world and forget that
what we have on our own front door is a marvel to those who dont see it everyday.

Then onto Fernando De Noronha.
For anyone not in the know Fenrnado is a small
(very small) island off the coast of Brazil.
It is registered as a world heritage sites
which means that it has a lot of eco-protection....
it also makes it very expensive....

But it also makes it virtually tourist free,
they only let 400 people arrive on the island a day
and for every day that you are there you have to pay an environment tax.

It was a couple of run down  villages and a lot of beautiful and empty beaches.

Dolphins and turtles to swim with 
(okay, so its illegal to swim with the dolphins intentionally 
but it was amazing to be swimming in the water
and hearing their calls resounding through it,
knowing that they are so near by)

Husband and i went on an epic adventure one day.
Swimming and climbing around half the coast of the island.

First we did a 20 minute swim from the boat to the beach,
which consisted of passing some rocks which i liked to call the 'Bone Grinder'....
Why the Bone Grinder you may ask....
well because there is some weird anomaly there where the sea gets pushed through some hole in the 
rocks and makes it sound like its grinding bones...
yes not my favourite part to swim past....
Then as we were almost at the shore husband turns to me and says,
'okay honey now you have to body surf in'
'just catch the wave...'
and i llok behind me and sure enough this giant wave is coming towards us.
he pushes me along into it and i get thrown a very long way to the shore...
He had failed to mention previously that this was the only way to get to the shore.

We then did some rather crazy 'walking' trying to get around the headlands for each beach.
Barefoot and in a bikini, we climbed over very very hot black
spikey rocks, (i swear steam came off them when they hit water again)
there was climbing up and down vertical rocks...
in fact on the way back at one point i was sure we had gone a different route as there was no way i 
would have climbed down such a cliff,
half way up i remembered i had.

There attempts to get back through the waves 
into swimming which mainly ended up with me being bashed 
around in rocks and husband trying to catch me.
And then to finish it all off at the end of the day
we miscalculated our timing and ended up swimming
back to the boat in the pitch black with the current pushing us out to sea
(something husband didnt tell me was happening till after we were safe and
sound back on the boat)
There was awesome food,
let me tell you this Tapioca pancakes are amazing!
and fresh picked coconut drinks never cease to amaze me!
But most of all there was husband.
Anyone who knows me would tell you that i'm
not the kind of girl who does crazy night swims
or barefoot free-climbing ,
but put my Husband at my side and I feel like I can do anything.

Monday, October 28, 2013


miss sarah wins the ballerina princess crown

One of the awesome things about
the baby ballet classes that I teach is that my 
teaching assistant is one of my best friends.

I've known the lovely Sarah since I was 12 years old,
and getting to hang around with her in the studio 
is great fun.

Sometimes we just laugh and laugh and the kids look at us like we are loonies.
We also know the words to nearly every disney song,
(plus a few obscure ones that we taught ourselves from the disney sing a longs 
back in the day of our teenage years...
oh yes no wild parties for me, a fun friday night
meant sing a long time)

What is it with kids now a days that they dont know the old classic disney
I had about 1 student who knew Dumbo, and about 3 who knew Winnie the Pooh.

She's also been assisting for baby ballet
a lot longer than i've been teaching it,
so is a fountain of knowledge on little tricks to 
get the kids to do things 
that make me just stop and scratch my head...

who would have thought that invisible sparkly glitter
goo would be so useful at getting children to stand still! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Fun Teacher....

I always pegged myself as the 'fun teacher'.
I thought, I'm going to be the teacher
that all the students love,
I'm going to be so much fun.

Turns out i'm not....
I had a few comments over the last week that 
perhaps I could be a little bit nicer....
a little bit more fun.

And i went and watched another teachers class 
for inspiration,
and she was definitely the, 'fun teacher'
and I realised that i'll never be the fun teacher 
as I want a little bit more than my
ballet classes to be just fun.

I want my students to have really learned something each class,
I want them to not only learn to dance and have fun doing so
but to learn that ballet is hard work and disciplined,
that when you go and watch those
performances in the theatre you dont just think to yourself,
'oh that was pretty'
you think dancing takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

So i think that i'll shoot for the 'Firm but Fun' teacher.

and to be honest the teachers that i look back and respect
the most werent always the nicest.
Some of the down right scared me.

This journey of finding out who I am as a teacher
is going to be a long and winding road....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Little people.....

Sometimes I don't think I realise just what a difference 
I have on these little girls who come into my studio 
with hopes and dreams and expectations.

I don't know what they want from my time.
 I don't know what they think of me.
The other day i had a little girl very confused as she
couldnt figure out where i slept as i 
didnt have a bed,
turned out she thought i lived in the studio.

Last night I came home and I couldn't sleep thinking about 
a little 6 year old girl in one of my classes who I don't think I treated in the best way I could. 
She's distracted in the class and always looks for 
excuses to get out of doing the steps,
 mainly  because I don't think she connects with the way that I teach. 

So this week I got really stern with her and no patience for every story 
that had nothing to do with anything or made up problem that she had
And I think to myself, this little girl isn't connecting with me 
but instead if trying to build a bridge I disconnected her further.

Today I had another little distracted little girl in my class. 
She can't stay still, she can't listen, she's always on the go, 
it's tricky because I try and teach them the 
importance of silence and stillness in ballet as much as movement.

My assistant today was on top of her trying to gain 
her attention and keeping up on her every
 lapse of concentration, 
and I told her. 'Let's just leave her alone today, as long as 
she isn't disturbing the others let her be distracted in her own little world'

And at the end of the class the little girl came and
 gave me the biggest hug and told me she loved me, 
and I'll admit I was shocked it came out of the blue. 
This little girl who makes my time so difficult actually 
enjoys being in the studio, 
she even appreciates me as a teacher 
(that week) 
and i dont know what i did in particular to make her feel 
such gratitude today.

These little children teach me something 
new every time I see them, 
and I think of the ballet teachers that I had at their age 
and what knowledgable people they seemed to me

and although they didnt alter my life in 
a life changing way,
they did make me the person i am today.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Being the teacher....

Some times i come out of the classroom and i'm
sitting on the tube on the way home and i realise
all the things i could have done to make the class better.

Mainly its when i forget to tell them how well they have
done at working hard.
I get so focussed on the corrections and
how to make them better that
i dont take the time to commend their efforts and improvement.

and i dont want to be the kind of teacher that
never pulls a student up and always breaks them down.

Sometimes i realise that i've given some students way more
attention than others,
and after i've left i think to myself how did 'such and such'
do in class today and i realise that i dont know as
i didnt give her enough attention.

i wonder how that makes the students feel,
they probably think its because i dont like them, 
and not simply my inadequacies as a teacher,
not quite always getting the balance right just yet.

Still in London.....

i realised that i havent written about why i'm still in London even though my ballet teaching course is over.
its because i'm onto course number 2, which will run for the next 9 months.
so husband is still away sailing at sea and i'm still mining my way through the streets of London.

i'm doing my Pilates teachers course.
I looked into a lot of Pilates Teacher training courses, there are so many of them out there.

I've always enjoyed Pilates, 
i used to go to a class once a week when i was between the ages of 15-18 
in Edinburgh. My mum sent me when she heard it was good for ballet.
It was,
it changed the way that i thought about movement
and it progressed me as a dancer in so many ways.

that was 10 years ago,
i havent really done much pilates since other
than occasionally doing the few exercises that i could remember.
in fact i've really struggled to find a Pilates teacher who taught in a way that inspired me in
the way that my old teacher did.
Theres a lot of things called 'Pilates' out there that really aren't.

but for years i've been saying that when i stopped dancing i wanted
 to take up Pilates
more and think about teaching it.

So i am.

I picked a course here in London 
by the guy who trained my Pilates teacher all those years ago,
His name is Alan Herdman and he was the first person to bring Pilates to the UK.

So far the course has been everything that i've wanted.
i'm learning so much and the dynamics of the 
course suit me to a T.

Its great, i have the excuse to spend all my spare time in
the Pilates studio practising! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby ballet....

Teaching baby ballet classes goes from moments 
of where your heart skips a beat because they are so dang cute...
(-whenever they hold hands and skip,
-when they remember something you said the week before that 
you thought no one had listened to,
-when you can see them making friends 
even though they dont speak the same language)

To moments of despair,
where you are the big bad wolf initiating crowd control,
making them stand still when all they want to do is wiggle
and chat with their new friends.

I really wish they understood when i tell 
them off it makes me so sad,
(and hope they realise that after they've
been told off they get so many extra nice comments
cause i feel so guilty for having been strict with them)

After the first day of lessons i told my husband
i was changing my mind about having kids...

then i sat next a little 10 month year
old boy on the tube going home who i ended
up playing with on my lap the whole journey
and changed my mind again
(dont even get me started how the adoption 
adverts in the metro make me cry and wanna
adopt all the little children)

Thursday, September 12, 2013


We actually didnt take that many pictures in Morocco,
mainly because Husband kept getting mistaken for a Moroccan
which was pretty handy as it meant nobody bothered us.
Until we got a camera out and then every tourist tout in a mile came
out of all the nooks and crannies.

We rocketed through North Morocco in a weekend.
We hit  Tangier, Fez, Chefchaouen, Tetouan and Ceuta.

to be honest I really wasnt into the big cities.
They highlights were just Arab style markets
which i saw enough off in Cairo...nothing new.

I did love the food...mmmm Moroccan stew and couscous,
and the freshly squeezed orange juice,
at one meal after having been travelling for quite a while
husband and I downed 8 classes between us,
in about 45mins!!!!

i did love Chefchaouen though.
What an adventure it was to get there!
turns out all the regular buses (that mainly take tourists)
where sold out...uhoh...

so we managed to hang around at the local
Moroccan bus stop for a few hours and
bribe our way onto a local bus 
(i hate to think how much the 
overcharged was still pretty cheap)

we ended getting on a bus to a destination
that was on no maps,
the ticket tout assured us it was only 8km 
from our destination.

So we sat on a very hot dirty bus for 5 hours 
going to the middle of nowhere...literally.

When we got there it was lovely,
in the mountains and all the buildings stonewashed light blue.
Husband also treated us to the only 5* hotel in town...
Very Exciting!!!

After spending the day haggling as lowly backpackers
it was nice to splurge out in the evening.
(still for the price of a fairly average hotel in europe)

It was definitely the highlight of my trip,
sitting on our own private balcony drinking fresh orange
watching the sun go down.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Teaching or being taught....

So i taught my first official ballet class today as a fully qualified ballet teacher.

Was it any good?.....
Well i gave my students name tags which they ended up sticking on 
their foreheads and noses,
i let them...
(half way through the class i realised i 
probably ought to be more strict...)

But they were a lovely bunch of students,
listening and applying,

so as long as they do the steps good i guess they can stick whatever
they want on their noses, right?

i'm sure one day i'm going to look back at this and think to 
myself what a rookie...

Having a nice new shiny certificate
doesnt hide the fact that i've still
got a heck of a long way to go as a teacher.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I've not gone AWOL....

In fact i've been very very busy.

I've finished my Ballet Teachers Diploma (with top grades...who knew!)
I've been holidaying in
Morocco, Gibraltar and the South of Spain
(hopefully photos to come soon) 

But most importantly today is 
our first wedding Anniversary!!!!

Which is just an excuse for me to post wedding photos again!

Our Wedding Day was amazing,
we love looking at the pictures and
reminiscing about it,

but being married is what its all about and its amazing.
Someone who loves me and supports me
and makes sure that I'm aiming to be the best i can be,
putting me straight when i'm out of line.

I cant wait for year 2....

Monday, August 19, 2013

Banjo Baby....

Before husband left he bought me an early birthday present.... 
Very early my birthday is in November!

A banjo!!!!

I've wanting one for a while and dragged him around
 enough banjo shops to let him realise I was serious...

It's so big in comparison to my tiny wee uke...

Now all I've got to do is figure out how to play it.... 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Husband in London....

Husband came to visit at the weekend.
The last time he's going to make it out here as today he started sailing across the ocean.  ( he'd probably correct me for saying that it's probably a biscay or sea or something)

Having him so close by has been amazing. Seeing him every couple of weeks has been a short enough time to keep me going on inbetween, but from mow on visits are going to be far and few... I hope I can make it....

Friday, August 16, 2013

Stepping out...

Final exam today...
one more week left of the course.

It's had its ups and downs.
I wonder what i'll think when i look back on today
and think of the lesson that i taught
to prove myself as a teacher.

It wasnt my best lesson,
but it was ambitious and fun-filled...
i hope that is the kind of teacher that i will be.

I think i'm going to be the crazy teacher...
from the way that the students looked at me today!

Soon i'll be stepping out into this brand new life
as a ballet teacher,
I wonder where it will take me,
i wonder if it will fulfil me
i wonder if i will fulfil my students.

Only time will tell....

Monday, August 5, 2013

From student to teacher....

I'm not sure if i've mentioned previously the ballet teachers course i'm doing.
its the Royal Academy of Dance Professional Dance Teachers Diploma.
To get on the course your required to have been a professional dancer
for a few years .
This means that everyone on the course has some sort of performing background.

Last week was our first chance at actually teaching real life students,
and not just us pretending to be students.

I was quite pleased with how my three classes went.
At times on the course i wonder if i've learnt anything or if it has
all gone in one ear and out the other,
but i felt far more confident teaching than 
i ever had before,
more aware of how to teach and what to teach
and just doing what i think might be right.

That said i dont agree with all the things we are being taught,
and i'm finding the essay writing part of it pretty tough to do,
mainly trying to fit all my thoughts into a regimented style
and word count is tricky....
hey...i'm artistic dont box me in!

The good news is that for now i'm definitely
enjoying teaching....

two weeks till the big final exam
and 2 more essays to hand in.

my sanity might not make it...