sitting at the foot of the blues part I

Sitting at the Foot of the Blues in London two weeks ago - I had such GREAT TIME. Had hours of great dancing, hours of great learning, and about four life epiphanies. Phew! :)

Liam and I took the train down to London on the Thursday and started our weekend with cocktails.

The day after Liam worked remotely and I spent the day reading, disturbing him with kisses, and taking a walk in Hyde Park.

And then I met Annette for dinner. We all know dance life is weird - with some of your close friends spread out all over Europe, or the world - but it's also so lovely, to make time at events to spend quality time with them, to have just two hours in each others company, but those hours are worth so much, and it feels like you met yesterday, even though it's been six months.

Friday evening was Blues at the Ritzy and I took absolutely no photos at all. I just danced danced danced.

Saturday started with a history talk by Cara. I obviously love history and was excited to expand my knowledge about a part of US history that is essential for blues dancers.

Then I had two classes with Trisha. She is THE BEST. I was completely mesmerised and inspired, and I felt so much joy throughout my whole body while I was dancing, it was exhilarating!

Roundtable! The topics were interesting and the panelists well worth listening to, but this hour was not for me.
I realised: Few things makes me feel left out like a whole room laughing at things I can't hear or understand.
And also: Even people who speak clearly and slowly when they "just talk" will both lower their voice and speak faster when they're about to say something funny - even people who would normally be careful because they know you're not a native speaker. That is the nature of a joke, isn't it? It's a conspiracy between the person talking and the people listening; comments told with an air of something secret or a little bit forbidden.
The panel discussion, for me, was mostly that: jokes I didn't have time to decipher before they were gone, and everyone laughing around me. So I left, went back to the apartment and had a shower and a good cry instead, as I do when something makes me feel like I suck. Happens.

Dinner time! Yummy, yummy dinner time.

And then, a Saturday party at Merchant Moonshine. So good. So so good. I had SUCH GREAT DANCES. Obviously the dance floor was way too small for the amount of people there, but the trick is to dance as close to the musician(s) as possible - where there is often more breathing space - and just never leave the dance floor. :)

I wasn't on photo duty, but here's some stuff I captured:

How could I not want to continue dancing when Stefano Ronchi is playing?

Let's look at this one again because it's just too good.

Also, I'll just leave this here. :)

(Sunday photos soon!)

hi manchester!

I'm here! I moved to Manchester! It's weird! It's new! It's a lot!

I've already lived here two weeks now. To be honest, I'm not getting a lot done. Just experiencing this new life is apparently costing me a lot of energy. I'm trying to be kind to myself, telling myself that now is not necessarily the time to be at my most productive ... It's hard, it takes practise. But it's good practise to do.

I didn't even pick my camera up in the entire first week that I was here. But here are a few scattered photos from the past week.

Walking around Manchester. So much to see! Like this new statue of Emmeline Pankhurst. It's the first statue in Manchester of a woman that is not Queen Victoria (wtf). I'm glad she's there.

After dancing drinks at this fancy place!

This person still claims that she never looks good in photos. Shush Rachel! Stupidest thing I ever heard.

Liam and I went to IKEA! It's so much fun to go there with him. We bought random things for home, dreamed about things we can have when we live somewhere bigger and/ or less temporary than this, and generally behaved like a ridiculous couple in love.

Board game night at Rosie and Marshal's! It's such a great feeling to just jump on the train for half an hour and then be able to hang out with these lovely people!

We played Mysterium, which neither of us had played before. It's a beautiful game and a lot of fun once we got the hang of it. Marshal got to play the ghost, which is the most difficult role; hence his concentrating face. :)


Sunday morning reading time! I'm trying to take some more time to read these days. Liam got me this book - the Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-White - ages ago and I didn't take time to read it. But I'm really enjoying it so far.

And then, in the afternoon, Rosie and Marshal and I went to the cinema to see Spirited Away. It's been ages since I saw it and I had forgotten so many beautiful details, it was a joy to relive it, and on a huge screen too.

Liam and I finishing the Christmas chocolat we got from his parents. :)

The other night, when we were lying in bed watching the Great British Bake Off (as you do), it struck me: It's here, I have it. I'm here. We live together now. I'm still surprised that I got it: everything I wanted. I'm aware of the luxury of having this. (I know not everyone wants a romantic monogamous relationship, but I do, so to me it is a luxury.) And I'm acutely aware of how many people would like to be in exactly my spot, exactly right now: Here, in Manchester, in Liam's arms. I have it. It's here. I'm here now. It's everything.

Martin Hayes Quartet | the Blue Room

lördag runt delsjöarna

Ibland går vi ut och går, som ni vet, och första helgen i januari tog vi oss ut. Jag skickade ett meddelande två dagar innan och frågade om någon ville gå runt Delsjöarna, och det ville alla. Jag är glad och tacksam att jag har ett liv där folk gärna hänger på när man föreslår sådant.

Det var strålande sol och krispigt och bara så himla vackert ute.

Vi debatterade en liten stund om hur många gånger vi har gjort en dagsutflykt med matsäck här runt Delsjöarna, vilken sjö vi gick runt vilket år, och vilka håll vi har gått åt. Lyckligtvis finns all information som vanligt i bloggen:
Söndag runt Delsjöarna i september 2015
En sväng runt Stora Delsjön i december 2016
Trevliga Trion går runt Stora Delsjön i september 2017
Och 2018 gick vi visst inte alls.

Här hade jag försvunnit ett ögonblick för att ta kort på något, och när jag hann ikapp hade de ägnat tiden åt att bygga upp inledningsscenen i Lejonkungen i kottar och barr. "Det här är Lejonklippan alltså och det här är Rafiki och Simba ..."

De är bra på att gå som Dressmann! Jag har lärt upp dem väl.

Sedan hittade vi den allra vackraste platsen att äta vår matsäck.

Vi hade sagt att det var lättast om alla hade med sig egna mackor, och David hade erbjudit sig att stå för den varma chokladen (som ju är livsnödvändig på vinterpromenader). Men sedan visade det sig ändå att folk hade med sig pepparkakor och bullar och choklad till alla. Det blir så lätt fest med det här gänget.

Och jag satt där i solen och tänkte: Nu. Nu är det det allra bästa. Ingenting är så livet som detta. Att man har varit ute och gått en dag - inte överdrivet långt, men en knapp mil, lite längre än en vanlig vardagspromenad ändå - och att fika ute sedan - varm choklad och bulle blir liksom helt OERHÖRT gott när man har varit ute, och omgiven av vänner - det är det allra bästa.

Två dagar senare flyttade jag till Manchester; tur att jag hann ladda upp med sällskapet och svensk skog så att det räcker ett litet tag.

Baltimora | Tarzan Boy