Dance, Dance, Dance (repeat)

As the sun slowly set behind the vintage bus garage (I say vintage, I’m merely setting the scene) a young man methodically practises a complex dance routine with the precision of a well-crafted gymnast. 
 
In a world of his own in the corner of a car park, he obsessively repeats a particular move; passers-by stop for a moment, taking time out from their journey home, to observe his skill as much as his determination.
 
There’s a popular phrase used among musicians, and one I use in my continual quest to master the flute: “An amateur practices until he gets it right, a professional practices until he can’t get it wrong.”  As I watch the dancer with growing interest, I wonder what his motivation is. Perhaps a pending audition? Maybe he’s a West End star, taking time out from the glamour of the proscenium arch to fully ‘become’ his character? Or perhaps, he simply loves to dance?
 
As with minimalist music (worth a listen if you ever want that totally chilled feeling, try anything by Philip Glass or Ludovico Einaudi for a true masterclass in the genre – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Stu7h7Qup8) the dancer gradually began to add the most subtle changes to his routine. A head tilt to the right, tilted slightly further, then further still. These small nuances, unnoticeable at first, were helping to create an increasingly complex piece (please note: the hokey cokey is complicated for my two-left-feet, so I may be over-egging this slightly!). But just as he reached what appeared to be a dramatic part of the routine, he’d go back to that one move and repeat it over and over again – talk about dance cliffhanger.
 
A couple at the bus stop opposite were just as mesmerised by the dancer as I was, only the young woman more visual in her frustration at his constant repetition. 
 
I would’ve loved to have seen the routine develop and perhaps reach its natural finale, but my bus arrived and so I began my more than choreographed journey home. One thing is for certain, this young dancer was definitely aiming high – there was nothing remotely amateur about his desire to reach perfection.

Romance Is Very Much Alive

It’s fair to say I’m obsessed with everything wedding related at the moment. And who can blame me, when I have the most wonderful fiancé – I cannot even begin to put it into words – and the most supportive family waiting in the wings.

I am inadvertently drawn to all things wedding. For example, I can spot a newly engaged woman within a 50 yard radius; her unmistakable aura of happiness, unable to take her eyes off of THAT ring and laden down with at least one issue of the latest wedding magazine (and trust me, they are all essential purchases, even at the late stages of planning. Well, you never know what last minute design must-haves might catch your eye).

One can never have too many wedding magazines (believe me, I've tried)

I use my daily commute as a means of mentally dealing with all my essential wedmin tasks: seating plan, flower combinations, have I ordered enough pom poms? My fiancé and I are not ones for extravagance or fuss and will no doubt find it difficult being the centre of attention when the big day arrives. Choosing to have a family-focused, intimate wedding, was a conscious decision and one which will make our day all that more meaningful and memorable.

Fast-forwarding to the ‘real weddings’ pages of any bridal magazine is a monthly highlight; looking at how loving couples have decided to publicly display and declare their love, is nothing less than inspiring, it a little baffling at times (fancy dress themed weddings still don’t sit right with me). These pages are achievable, adorable and above all, believable.

After a particularly long week, I was only too pleased to unwind on Friday’s bus journey home and was quite looking forward to thinking through my current wedmin task – ‘thank you’ gifts. While the bus was stopped at a red light, I took a moment to snap out of wedding mode and ‘window shop’ a few gardens.

A couple had pulled up on their bikes looking overjoyed – they seriously had that Friday night feeling going on – their happiness was infectious and I couldn’t help but smile to myself. As they began to cycle off, I was stunned by what I saw. Tied to the back of each of their bikes, in black scripted writing, were signs that read, ‘Just Married.’ I was absolutely stunned. Not only was this a beautiful visual to end my week on, but also hugely humbling in its simplicity and a nod to the overwhelming power of love.

If my fiancé and I can recreate the power of love in such a refined and charming manner, giving a lucky bystander that rush of happiness I felt on Friday, I for one will feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Whoever says romance is dead, seriously doesn’t know what they’re missing.

The power of love

If Mr Whippy Can’t Take The Heat…

Ice cream weather is finally upon us…not it’s not…yes it is…nope, it’s gone again. Well, whatever the weather, the mere sight of a Mr Whippy ice cream van can send all the right shivers down the spines of anyone aged zero to 90!

For the past two months’ I’ve watched the local Mr Whippy take prime position outside one of London’s best loved summer attractions; waiting patiently, as the tourists and commuters alike succumb to the irresistibly iconic 99. So, as the sun made itself known this afternoon, I decided to wander a little further along the already traffic-filled commute; enjoy the vitamin D while it lasted.

As I approached Mr Whippy, I could see the usual gathering of people, keen for their iced-slice of summer. But as I got closer, something seemed different, they appeared to be huddling around the front of the van, instead of queuing in the dignified manner that goes with waiting for an icy treat. I assumed someone had fallen fowl to the ‘ice cream on floor’ scenario. Dreadful for all involved and a moment of such significance, that one will recall it at any ice cream based eating activity, thereafter. It soon became apparent that this wasn’t the case. Well, not in so many words.

Smashed across the roadside, were the remains of one of the giant ice cream cones that adorn the front of the vehicle. Pieces of cone, ice cream and summer, lost forever. The irony was palpable, thank goodness there wasn’t a flake in this one!

It's a sad sight when Mr Whippy can't take the heat

It’s a sad sight when Mr Whippy can’t take the heat