Where it started

A list going round on Facebook, February 2016: "which of these items have you experienced" etc. Some yes, some no, some didn't interest me. However, it put some ideas into my head, and I figured it was time I followed some of my friends in committing them to (virtual) paper. And then trying some of them out. The first challenge was undertaken on 1 March 2016, and I have no intention of ever completing the list: the more I tick off, the more I'll add.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


No, that's not what it's really called; that's the daft nickname from my sensational friend Tasha, aka Natalya Umanska - burlesque performer extraordinaire, and the sexiest broad on the planet. She and some other Norwich-based friends have trained with the inspiring Jo at the Norwich Circus Hub - if you're on Facebook, you'll find her here.

Prime among those friends is the gorgeous Dawn, long-term friend via the Maddermarket Theatre, performer in a production of my own in 2015 (Cowardy Custard), and an increasingly and stunningly accomplished circus hooper. I've seen some of her routines, and the grace and elegance - not to mention strength and control - is truly inspiring. When my best friend Dorothy suggested that I look at this activity as part of my bucket list, Dawn was delighted to help me out.

My first session was on 1 March. Joanne, the course leader, is unfailingly patient and encouraging; Dawn assists her with the 'beginners' courses. During that session, despite being unable to get into the hoop without a 'leg up' (standing on Jo's thigh to give  me the necessary leverage!), I was still proud to manage a couple of poses that looked passably elegant:

and one that was possibly less so:

I quickly realised that this 'bucket list' activity is likely to turn into a regular enthusiasm. The challenge of strength, toning and poise is exactly what I need to add to my exercise activities, working on core muscles; the class is fun and challenging in equal measure; the participants, no matter how experienced (all those I've met so far are pretty damn good) are patient and encouraging. Watch this space.

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