For writers: Writing prompts to help generate free writing
Animals: Don’t catch them unawares!
From the Paganesque opening and the appearance of the Borg like Dark Lord, you knew this wasn’t going to be a completely traditional Irish experience. Continue reading
I’ve got my cuppa, how about you?
First up, the most eagerly awaited film this year: Second official teaser for Star Wars.
For film fans and book lovers: 25 films you may not know were based on books.
Interior Design: Who wants to live in a house like this?
Science/Humanity: Near Death Experiences
The People’s Strictly kicked off last night – and shares in Kleenex must have soared!
With an audience potentially split between this, The Brits and Wolf Hall, it quickly became clear that for depth of character, drama, passion and all round life affirming goodness, BBC1 was the place to be.
This wasn’t just any emotional rollercoaster. This was us being more emotionally rollercoastered than ever before, as we met three of the deserving Strictly Come Dancing fans being given their chance to shine in the Strictly ballroom.
Michael, Cassidy and Heather are three of the most inspiring people you’ll ever meet. Their selflessness in the face of shattering adversity in their own lives just serves to remind us how powerful the human spirit really is. Read all about them below, along with Trishna, Anna and Phil, who we’ll be introduced to next week and whose stories are just as incredible.
From left to right of the above image (top row and then bottom):
The couples will compete for the People’s Glitter Ball in a live show on March 11, hosted by Tess and Claudia. We’ll vote for our winner, who’ll be crowned The People’s Strictly champion during Comic Relief on March 13.
The Twitter timeline was awash with virtual tears and tributes to these amazing people. Here’s a selection (to prove it wasn’t only me sobbing my heart out!)
The Three Heroes (click to read the quotes)
The Heartbreaking One
The Men Sobbing
The Competitive Edge
The Unashamed Tributes (a fraction)
The Last Words
The internet of fascinating things with which to hit the Sunday slow-way …
Photography: Fairytale art attack
Bear like puppies: *Warning* Serious heart melting may occur
For writers: The surprising reading level of top writers
Perfect Sunday Slacker material: Pointless stuff
The internet of interesting things to enjoy on the Sunday slow-way … help yourself to a biscuit.
Photography: Fascinating old photos, some odd, some poignant
Hosted by Rebecca at The Right Step Dance Company and Heather from Sun Pier House, the Medway Dance Network is a brand new and exciting opportunity for Medway’s dance professionals and other interested parties.
MDN will include monthly networking meetings as well as dance classes run by the dance teachers involved with the network (see poster below). The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 27th, from 9.30am – 11am in the Tea Room at Sun Pier House.
… and watch out for the B word.
Yes, it’s the annual week-before-we-go-to-Blackpool bonanza.
But back to my original reason for coming here. OLA!!! Steve can dance – just because he can throw throw you from one side of the dance floor to the other doesn’t mean we didn’t want to see those amazing Charleston moves again that we saw so brilliantly in the quickstep, and all too little of, in this Charleston. Grrr – so frustrated last week, – that could have been the dance that netted them the undying devotion of a whole bunch of viewers, just like it did for Team Cola. Such a missed opportunity 😦
It was the same disappointment I felt when Natalie walked out in a leotard with Ricky Whittle, and similar repulsion for Lisa and Brendan. As for the World Champion Show Dancers, well, I’d rather watch Scott and Joanne’s foxtrot again. Seriously – I agreed with Len, re the dance off – Scott’s foxtrot was much cleaner than Alison’s, and the whole routine was a pretty decent effort, considering where he’d come from.
Frankie and Kevin stormed the dance floor again with their tango – such an emotional song and they danced it perfectly, she’s become a strong favourite for me. Mark and Karen have brought themselves right into contention – and the training footage for tonight looks to cement that position.
Caroline is still being Miss Consistent, Sunetra still has her lovely arms, I too noticed Jake’s flappy foot a couple of week’s ago, and Steve will hopefully put in a strong showing in the Paso – he needs a big dance. As I write this, Carmen’s Overture has just begun playing on the radio – a good omen, perhaps? Let’s hope so!
I love Movie Night on Strictly. This, combined with one of my favourite songs from a favourite movie being used by one of my favourite couples dancing one of my favourite dances means I was a very happy bunny last weekend.
Team StevO did everything and more that could possibly be asked of them, with a fun, bright and lively routine to I Wanna Be Like You that must have cemented them as firm favourites of those who like their dancing with bucket loads of personality. And that’s the last use of a word threatening to usurp the ‘J’ word with an ‘F’ word!
I thought I’d reserve judgment until three weeks in, so I could get a good look at all them doing Latin and Ballroom. In the meantime, we’ve lost Gregg and Jennifer (and, very sadly, the lovely Tristan 😦 …) and I’ve decided I’m only going to concentrate on those I enjoy the most (rather than having to be positive about those I don’t – because I’m not an Internet Troll and don’t say nasty things about people – regardless of what I might be thinking!).
So Team StevO, having stormed upon us with a fantastic tango, followed with a passable cha cha that just needed a bit more hip action – which we have seen – so I’m hopeful for tonight. You might remember that Ola and Chris Hollins began with a terrific tango, and Steve is pretty much a bigger version. Normal, happy, fun, keen to learn. I’m just sayin’ … There is a danger we could see the rise of an ‘N’ word as we go along. I can’t be doing with grumpiness and tears (see earlier Strictlyfied post).
Frankie and Kevin’s Paso Doble blew me away. The passion and attack were brilliant, her timing, the acting – it was fierce. A lovely waltz and a slightly strange yet wonderful charleston-come-jive means she’s in my top three as a beautiful dancer but very natural and n… down to earth.
Caroline and Pasha I think are brilliant together. The rumba kept moving with some lovely shapes and lots of action, especially those twirly things – supported promenades? A sassy cha cha and a dramatic tango, all delivered with real commitment. And she’s n … n …. oh, what the hell. Normal. No drama, no grumpiness, just like one of us.
As a fiction writer, I know conflict is everything, and I know TV producers probably encourage it. But Strictly (as with the Great British Bake Off) is a different animal. We want cosy, we want cheesy, we want to sit there wearing a soppy smile along with our sequinned aprons. Which is why, as an audience, we generally vote for the down to earth, good dancers, who aren’t having to work hard in front of the cameras. One piece of constructive criticism for Simon – don’t be grumpy! That’s the only reason you ended up in the bottom two.
Tapping on the window, looking in at my top three are Jake, Alison and Sunetra. Jake’s salsa was incredible and his waltz and tango showed off his acting abilities with great technique. Alison is fabulous, so groovy and bags of personality brought onto the dance floor with her in all three dances so far, cha cha, foxtrot and jive. Sunetra is going to get better and better I feel, and will be challenging the top of the leaderboard – a 9 from Len for her American Smooth? Come on! She’s also shown how nifty she can be in Latin.
So will things change around tonight? Will someone else make a breakthrough onto my shortlist? Will one of the above have a complete meltdown and totally shred my musings into the nearest bucket and be thrown into recycling? I hope not …
Traditionally, Croquis is quick sketches drawn by artists watching a model who occasionally changes position. However, the Croqis being introduced to Medway is a collaboration between Rebecca Ashton of The Right Step Dance Company and Richard Squarecube of Squarecube Artisans, who’ve taken it a step further by incorporating dancers.
The artists are inspired in many different ways and are encouraged to explore the concept using their own techniques. Mostly, they’ll sketch with pencil or charcoal, but already one enterprising soul has used an iPad and others using different forms such as sculpting or modelling are also welcome.
Taster sessions will be held in November, with the official launch in January 2015. It’s an intriguing add to the creative pot of Medway events, so why not go along and try it out?
Sunday 16th November, 2-3.30pm ‘An Introduction to Croquis Events’
Sunday 23rd November, 2-3.30pm ‘Explore Croquis Your Own way’
Sunday 30th November, 2-3.30pm ‘What Can We Do With This?’
All held at Sun Pier House Gallery and Tea Room, Medway Street, Chatham, ME4 4HF
Just £15/session or £10/session if you bring your own materials.
Book one of the limited places now, by email to: email@example.com
An invitation only promo session was held, for which there is an archive with images and feedback – the blog about it can be found here:
The artists also gave verbal feedback and that’s on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/croquisevents
There’s more information online…