Tuesday, 28 August 2012

More Festival Fun

After a relaxing morning starting with French toast, Jen and I headed off into Edinburgh with no real plan other than getting Jen another pair of jeans and finding fun wherever we could.

So we walked up the Royal Mile where we saw a great street performer, he was only a bairn with the skinniest legs but pretty talented and funny too.

I also got to touch Chris Hoy's golden post box

With it being the last official day of the festival there were still plenty of people out distributing flyers. Our favourite had to be the one with a moustache on.


We had lunch at Porto & Fi before moving down onto Princess Street and Primani! New coat for me and plenty of tops for Jen, even the owl one!!! Shopping done we headed over to Udderbelly. I've had a secret desire to visit an upside down cow.

Bribing the staff with sweets we got in to see Barry Morgan and is Amazing Organ (OK no bribing required for this one only 2 rows full). Jen and I have definitely found our level in comedy and we loved Barry and even took part in the show and got to play on his organ.


Our last show of the weekend was Ian Stirling, a funny young chap (not helped by the 2 women who left part way through the show and really didn't get it!) who apparently as a day job is on kids TV.

So all round it's been a fantabulous weekend and I'll be back for the festival again, well if Jen invites me. She's the best pixie friend a girl could have.

Love ya



Fantastic Fringe

Being in Edinburgh at this time of year means it's festival time. This means that the city is more bonkers than normal and that's without Miss Jaffers and I heading out into town! But before comedy it is time for fun and dancing. It just so happens that it was Balboa Brunch at the Meadows Hotel up here this morning, and Miss J kindly let me go out and play for a couple of hours. I stepped and twirled to my hearts content - thank you to all the lovely leads for a great time. Talking of lovely leads, Miss Jackie was there and joined Jen and I for lunch at Reverie afterwards. Yum, rather delicious Scottish mussels.

Jen and I then hit the shops and somehow I came home with 3 new dresses. The rather good news is that I'm almost set for my Titanic themed fancy dress that I need for the end of September.

A quick turn around and it was time to go out to see Rhod Gilbert - yes Welshmen can be funny, very funny. Shopping for potatoes will make me giggle for a long time.

After that we headed to the Three Sisters which becomes the Free Sisters during festival time. We stumbled across the show Bogon Bingo and loved every minute of it, even if we didn't get to win a prize and suffer the appropriate humiliation! Fab soundtrack, great dance moves and genuinely funny.


The adventure home on the bus was slightly more scary but only due to a few drunk locals.

Another good day.

Love ya



A day of randomness!

Today has been bonkers even on a Ginger scale! I started the day off by attending a speed awareness course, well it was better the 3 points on my licence. It meant I had to go to the Aston Hotel, so it was lovely to see Tracey & Susan, even though they laughed at me. The course was quite bearable and not as condescending as expected, thank Rex and Doug, you were quite amusing course tutors and I definitely picked the best table to sit at, all quite sensible people.


As I was on my way home I had a phone call from one of my dancing friends (when i say friend it was someone who was in my class at summer camp last week - making dancing friends works that way) from Germany who's in the UK for a few days. How weird that I was actually off work, normally you have to get an appointment in my diary at least 3 weeks in advance! Anyway I headed down to Wetherby services, which was teaming with kids off to Leeds festival, they looked great in their funky Wellies. So we had coffee (yes I had a latte but a skinny one and I've only eaten fruit and veg for the rest of the day) before heading for an impromptu trip to York. We wandered around the old cobbled streets and of course saw the Minster. It was over all too soon and time to head back to Durham for my train to Edinburgh.


I hadn't left quite enough time to get back, especially with York races being on, but ignoring most of what I'd learned at speed awareness in the morning I made it to Durham with a little time to spare, especially as the lovely Alison brought me to the station as I was leaving my car at their house. Thank you, you really are the nicest people xx


On arrival at the station the train is delayed indefinitely. I guess a girl can only have so much good luck in one day. That's not actually true as sitting on the station platform has been quite lovely. I'd forgotten my headphones but the chap (later introduced as Andy, off to see his wife and kids in Edinburgh) next to me has lent me his, so I've had tunes to keep me amused. I'm still currently addicted to Ren Harvieu. Also the station master has been fab keeping me up to date with the train situation and giving me the form to claim back the train fare due to the delay. He also made sure I could get on the first train going up to Edinburgh. Thank you lovely man.


I am starting to wonder if I have a damsel in distress sign over my head, or if lost please help badge on! But I guess being nice to people reaps it's rewards, and I did help a girl on the train who was worried about which seat to sit in.

Then of course the loveliest Jaffnetta Noo Noo Fondley was waiting for me at the other end. Thank you pixie, you're a star.

So within my day of randomness I've learned that you need to take every adventure that comes your way and that people really can be so very nice. Thank you all the randomness for making this a day to remember and hopefully the start of a wonderful weekend.


Love ya




Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Tunnels & Home

Today is the last day of our road trip adventure and it started with our trip under the Channel on the Shuttle. It all went far too smoothly, you've just got to love the way they book you in and move you around to load you onto the train.

So once back in the UK I thought that would be the end of anything exciting to report but it appears that I was to have the Dartford tunnel to myself! Yes I'm serious. As I drove through the toll both they closed all the toll booths to move a broken down lorry at the mouth of the tunnel. Hence there was no traffic behind me in the tunnel, it looked so weird.

Les has been a wonderful travelling companion, we've had so many adventures and just laughed and smiled the whole way. He even thanked me with a bottle of my favourite pink champagne. Thank you Les it's been a blast.

I'm back to work tomorrow with a big meeting with my boss, but I know the memories of this holiday will live in my memories and in my heart forever. Thank you to everyone that has shared this holiday with me - big hugs.

Love ya



Sunday, 19 August 2012

Paris - yes really!

The aim of today was to get as close to Calais as possible, so we set off from Argenton Sur Cruese and continued to head north. As we were making such good time I laughingly joked about lunch in Paris. Not such a joke seeing as I was driving and went for it. So Les and I spent the afternoon doing a whistle-stop tour of Paris. We abandoned the car at an underground car park (i love French car parks) at the Hotel d'Ville and within minutes we'd passed the Paris beach and were stood in front of the Notre Dame cathedral.

A quick but lovely lunch of goats cheese salad and then it was off to do some more exploring. So in just a couple of hours, mostly walking you can see:

Le Louvre

L'Arc de Triomphe (really it's in the distance!)

One of my self portraits

The Eiffel Tower

Although my favourite could be the bridge with all the locks on it. Now I want to go back and put my own lock on it, maybe even one day with a special someone - we'll it might happen!

A very pleasant and unexpected afternoon and then onto Boulogne-Sur-Mer where again my pigeon French served us well and a bed was acquired for the night. Slightly worrying was the fun fair opposite the hotel but they told us the music stopped at 10.30 so we took the room. Actually it was great.

Les is amazed at my knack of finding hotels in pretty towns and even more so with the fact that I have a pretty good nose for finding great restaurants. Tonight was no exception and after a walk around the old town walls it was time for fish soup(I love all the gibbons it comes with), although I did steal 2 of Les' oysters (omg - they were delicious), mussels in cream sauce and a pretty cake all washed down with a Demi carafe of rose wine. France I will miss you and your delectable cuisine but my waistline will be happy to get home and back on plan!

All in all a fabulous day full of adventure.

Love ya



Saturday, 18 August 2012

Big hugs all round

So camp is over and it was time to say our goodbyes. Some people I'll see next week, or in the coming months but others I may never see or dance with again. Many will become Facebook friends and will hopefully stay in touch. Now I'm looking forward to watching the camp DVD when I get home, But first another mini adventure to get home.

Les and I headed north with no other plan than to get as far as possible before I was too tired to drive. Les had partied so hard at camp he was tired before we set out today, so I had a snoozing passenger most of the way. We had a mini detour to Saint Emillion.

At the end of the day, we ended up in Argenton Sur Creuse, which is a really pretty town. I managed in my pigeon French to bag us a room at the Cheval Noir with two beds. See i did learn something other than how to read a menu when I failed O'level French (twice).

We ate at the hotel restaurant as it seemed the busiest place in the town and smelt great. It didn't disappoint and I had a little tower of crab, artichoke and tomatoes, followed by fish (yes it had a name but I can't remember what!) veggies and gratin dauphinoise with a pudding of peach melba. Totally delicious and completely naughty, but I'll be back on track as soon as I'm back in the UK, especially as I've got weigh in on Tuesday night.

Today's lessons include, trying not to look too surprised when a good looking French man knows your name, and totally unrelated, there is no point waiting for something that is very unlikely to happen.

Oh and especially for KT and Archi - Ren Harvieu is definitely worth a listen.

Love ya




Friday, 17 August 2012

Last day

I can't quite believe how quickly this week has gone and I'm already on my last day of classes and just one last dance party tonight. It really is like being in balboa heaven with so many great dancers. It's weird to think that tomorrow we all float away back to our own little worlds and smaller balboa scenes. But in the meantime I'm enjoying every last minute of summer camp. There was jousting with French sticks during lunch which of course escalated into a water fight.b I got totally drenched (thanks Trent) but it was so hot it was lovely and I even dried out before afternoon class.

I loved Mickey & Kelly's class on lollies, lots more footwork for me to get practising.

As it's the last night it's time to get dressed up in our poshest but danceable frocks, everyone looked totally fabulous.

Richard, Janet and Chris

Miss Jean, Julie, Jo, Mel & Me.
Looking good

Pretty ladies

Julie and me

We couldn't leave the lovely Kate out. I think this could be my favourite photo from camp.

The fact that we were all dressed up did not stop the high jinx and there was a little singing competition that ended up with all 8 of us from our table stood on benches! Dinner was a rather marvellous affair with awards, we won one for our Alice costumes and it appears I will forever be known as Alice in certain circles.n Then there was a film show and cake and burning Armagnac. Too much fun before we even went dancing.

As with every night this week the dancing was amazing, but what would you expect from people who spend a whole week learning and practising their balboa. I'm going to miss this soooooooo much.

Love ya



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