Friday, 3 May 2013

Memories are made of this.

After cleaning (some more) of my things out of my childhood bedroom, I returned home with three videos of my ballet performances from '92, '93 and '94.
I did ballet from the age of 5 - 12, finishing just before I would have started to learn to go en pointe; before I would have really had to have committed.
So, I did yearly exams and productions in which I performed in such delightful roles as a Wood Sprite, Bluebird, Flower Girl, etc etc. No solos, Nothing fancy; your typical little-girl-learning-ballet routine.
While I loved the thought of being a dancer (still do. hence name of blog), I always thought that I stood out in the class as being particularly fat and clumsy. Lacking in skill and grace. I would get really upset on the way to class, panicking about standing out and looking like an idiot next to those small, light, delicate girls and their amazing ability to remember what all those french terms meant.
In years since, whenever anyone asked my I didn't continue with ballet, I would answer that it was because as that point I really had to choose if I was going to focus on music or ballet. That ballet classes would increase in frequency and difficulty once in high school. Which was true and was the main reason i gave up.
But I would always follow up that statement with a negative, self-deprecating "oh, I was never going to be a dancer - a fat little hobbit like me! Can you imgine!". Harharhar.
It's true, I was never going to be a dancer - I had neither the drive, dedication, passion, or talent to go the distance. Being a dancer takes some serious passion. I was never going to be a dancer, but it wasn't because I was fat or clumsy.
One of my favourite lines from Rules of Attraction by Brett Easton Ellis is "How time distorts things". Those years doing ballet, feeling self-concious and inadequate - too big, too useless - really defined the remainder of my teen years.(which I also spent feeling too fat, too useless). I was never teased, just to be clear, this was all from me.
I just watched one of those videos. I do not stand out. I am the same size as most of the girls in my class. There is very little difference between my performance and those of my classmates - I am just as light on my feet, just as graceful. There are a couple of girls who stand out , and I can tell you that they did go on to become successful dancers. But the rest of us? we are lovely, delicate little flowergirls.
How time distorts things.

Photo from here

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Lest we forget.

"Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."
 - Ataturk (inscribed on a memorial at Gallipoli, Turkey)

It is a very special day for New Zealanders and Australians today. It is ANZAC Day - the day where we take the time to remember all those who have served, and still serve our two countries. It is about reflection and also about celebrating the special bond that New Zealand and Australia have. Sure, we have a rivalry (sometimes friendly and sometimes less so!) but when the going gets tough we have each other's backs and I love that.
It is a privilege to be able to perform every year at the Christchurch civilian's service, and something I always look forward to.
2013 also marks ten years since we toured England with the National Youth Band of New Zealand, an amazing three weeks culminating in a performance in the ANZAC Day service at Westminster Abbey. Cannot believe it has been ten years! That was a particularly special ANZAC Day, as was 2008, when we travelled to Turkey to be at ANZAC Cove. We arrived by bus the day before and then sat outside all through the cold night, before participating in the dawn service and NZ Service at Chunuk Bair. I found the whole experience to be extremely moving and hope to return one day.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Mmmm, new boots

Ever since travelling in Europe and crushing on the {seemingly} effortlessly stylish girls there, I have wanted me some low heel brown leather boots. For tucking jeans into and wearing with leggings (Not As Pants) and such.

And now I have them. Montreal, by Boston Brown here (though not available online).

I am not usually one for the fashion and whatnot {I doubt you'll catch any "outfit posts" here} but I do love my pretty new boots!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The 13th Country

I am so proud of my country today.

In a 77 to 44 vote, New Zealand became the 13th nation in the world to legalise gay marriage.

Completely stoked. Completely.

Love it.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Annnd stretch (can I use that again?!)

So the last time I posted was in August 2010. We had been back in New Zealand for 8 months, and were looking forward to our wedding day coming up that October.
I had intended at that time to get back into blogging, but somehow it didn't happen. Not sure why, really. Too busy, perhaps, or just not feeling it.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how succesfull I will be this time either.
Now, in April 2013, we have been married for two and a half years and have a 6 month old baby boy - Cooper. Life is busy, but a lot of fun.
Sometimes I think back to our OE. Two and a half years in the UK and then six months travelling home - five in our van, Brett, driving around Europe, and a month or so travelling from Costa Rica up into Mexico. Three years on it feels hardly real. At some point (maybe this year?) I will start to read my diary of our six months on the road, and will wallow in the memories of going wherever we wanted, doing whatever we wanted, eating {lots} of amazing food, and generally just having the time of our lives together.
I didn't keep a diary of our wedding (ha), but it was exactly how we had hoped and imagined it would be. We had a phenomenal day surrounded by people who love us and only want the best for us. The ceremony was perfect - as was the reception - and oh my goodness the FOOD. Wow. And the dancing. And the general revelry. Perfect. Would I do it again? Well, it was a lot of planning and stress in the lead up, but if I could I would throw a party like that every year!
Now I'm a stay at home mum and loving it {most of the time}. Life is a little different to how it was three years ago - but I hope you stop in from time to time!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

annnnddd stretch!

It's been more than a year since my last post - an amazing, thrilling (and at times a bit challenging) year.

We have driven around Europe in a van, thrown tomatoes at La Tomatina, been woken up by yelling French policemen at 2am, climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, ice skated in Central Park and have faked-laughed (as well as real-laughed) at Letterman. I can't even remember half of it, but I'm not yet ready to read my diaries (yes, plural).

It's been massive, and now we are home. We have jobs and a flat and now we are house hunting and getting married in LESS THAN 9 WEEKS!

I can't believed how quickly the time has gone. I can't believe it has been more than a year since my last post.

I am not sure about a lot of things - including whether or not to begin blogging again. I am damn excited about getting married, though.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Super vantastic!!

So you've seen the before photos...

Here are the afters!!

So exciting!! Dave is out on his work leaving do, and I'm still recovering from my one (= complete bender on Wednesday night). Tomorrow we head to Preston for a last listen to the band and our last Manchester goodbyes, and then we're running for the border and hope to be in Scotland by nightfall!

Won't be writing again for a while I don't think, so take care and thanks for reading!!

Ju xxx

Friday, 19 June 2009

XKCD friday!

From here

Have a great weekend! we are going camping with friends in the Lake District and, if the weather holds, are going to attempt to walk along here without falling off:

(if you're thinking it must be wider than it looks... yeah, it's really not.)
Also - AMAZING photos floating around the internet this week - by Dina Goldstein, and so far seen here and here...check them out. Rapunzel in particular I think is phenomenal.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Fun things : Stress

Signs that I am stressed:
  • Hair falling out
  • Glands have come up
  • Not sleeping
  • When am sleeping, have screaming fits at Dave in which I say that I despise him and use words that I don't normally use.
  • Feel sick 72% of the time.
(nb: this is not intended to be a whinge - I just think it's interesting how predictable my body is. The last time this happened was before I left the UK for NZ last year, and when leaving NZ the first time in 2007)

Thankfully, I know that the second we finish saying our goodbyes I will be 100% ok and back to normal (i.e. have screaming fits at Dave when awake, not asleep). And in the meantime, these are weeks full of exciting purchases that make me think I am George out of "Five Run Away Together". The van is our own little Kirrin Island.

Fun things list:
  • solar shower
  • solar power charger
  • purple fold-out sofa bed contraption
  • teeny tiny gas cooker stove contraption
  • twine
  • shovel
  • grater, peeler, can opener, utility knife
  • plastic bowls, plates, and cutlery
  • powdered milk and instant mash potatoes (eww)
  • stockpiled canned things. I'm half tempted to remove the labels so that every day is a surprise

Minus the physical manifestations of stress, this is a lot of fun!

Friday, 12 June 2009

XKCD Friday!!

From here

We're off to Paul and Ang's tonight, and then Helena is visiting from Dublin for the weekend! lots of busy van things to do tomorrow, so there should be an update (and hopefully some pics) on Monday to show for it.
And yes, Katie - it is vantastic!