Hello hello! How are you all? Did you have a fun weekend?? I did, see my happy face? Well, Saturday M and I went to the German Christmas market at Birmingham which I would have had photos from except that the weather was absolutely torrential and I didn't dare get my camera out to expose it to the monsoon-like conditions. Really, it was that bad! I checked the weather report before we left (yep, us Brits tend to do that, I don't know why, they're never accurate) and it said the weather would be cloudy, but dry. Ha! What a load of rubbish! The spray was so bad on the way up there that the traffic signs were in high warning, flashy flashy mode all the way there, and we passed at least 3 accidents! We kept hoping that it would clear up, but it never did. We'd left super early in the morning so that we'd miss the rush hour, and so that M could get back
in time early enough for the football - ManU were playing and M's fanatical about his footy! Anyway, we managed to get there so early that nothing was open! Sheesh! So we traipsed about in the downpour for a while, orientating ourselves and finding where the market was, and M's face was getting longer and longer till he had a mini tantrum and said that if he didn't get an umbrella and something to eat, he was going home! So we bought him an umbrella and found him some crappy fast food sustenance and he was happy enough for a while. The market was lovely and I found lots of gifts for me, but not the couple of gifts I had left to buy. And I did try. Honest! I even went back for a second look, having installed M in a cafe with a cappuccino and a newspaper, but nothing for Mum, MIL and a secret Santa gift for the girls annual Christmas dinner and party on Friday. We buy a general present and they all get put into a pile, then dished out at random. I find it hard to buy a general present that most of us would potentially like, and we're all quite different. I may make something instead. Hmmmm.
Sunday was the Hafla which is a big fundraising extravaganza which is held twice a year. There's normally guest dancers, soloists's and various troop dances. Everyone gets to dress up and dance, and we all take picnics and have a great day. My costume was not as tribal as I'd normally wear, but I did get lots of compliments and as I really didn't have the time to make a costume this year, I found this beaded and coined butterfly top and scarf combo on eBay and teamed it with my sari pants that I made in the summer and some of my handmade hair falls. It was very very sparkly and I think I enjoyed that for a change, once I'd got over the initial eye blindingness of it! I actually outdid myself and covered myself with glitter too; you know what they say, "In for a penny, in for a pound!" I wasn't alone on the glittery front, lots of the girls were sparkling that day!
There were quite a few different styles, tribal, folk fusion, Bollywood fusion, lots of Latin fusion, Egyptian, Turkish....
Fulya did some wonderful fan veil work. I love the way the silk just hangs in the air. I'm a poi twirler myself and the effects are really similar. This almost looks like fire poi, which I'd love to try, but don't have the space to practice in my tiny garden, plus I have a large GSD who is very very interested in everything I do and has had poi smack him in the face on more than one occasion when he's got too close!
Charley B. was only 16 and this was her first solo performance! I just know that I wouldn't have been brave enough to do a solo at her age!
Salamacis did a wonderful dragon inspired dance with a gorgeous three layered skirt that seemed to go on and on. Seriously, that thing must have had metres of fabric in it!
Helena also danced her first solo and this Hafla was partly to raise funds for her baby daughter who has cerebal palsy and needs a motorised wheel chair. She was so nervous beforehand even though we all told her she'd be fine!
There were lots and lots of different dancers and I could show you pictures of every one, but I don't want to bore you. These were a trio of dancers who never rehearse, they improvise and take their cues from each other. I think they must have regular sequences though, they seemed to watch Pauline at the front like a hawk to spot the first move and then they were able to do the sequence, then they'd watch her to spot the next cue, and so on. They were good though.
And the star guest dancer was Pauline Cu who dances a British Tribal style and just did an amazing set, including a sword dance. I could only get a short video though as my camera battery was dying rapidly!
It was just the best way to spend a day; dancing, socialising, eating and drinking, and getting dressed up! I wish I could do it every Sunday!