I don't talk about it often on this blog but I do teach quite a lot of swing dancing here in Bristol. Down the right hand sidebar there should be a list of stuff I'm teaching/have taught this semester with Swing Dance Bristol. Occasionally though, I get asked to do something different ...
Recently our Hoola Hooping friend Dr Emma (another one to have left the sciences to pursue their passion), asked me to teach at the South West Hoop conference or "SWHoop" that she organises. As I knew there would be not enough men to balance the numbers, I thought I'd teach some solo charleston instead ... also, its such a fun and happy dance that I knew it would go down well with the hoopers - and I wasn't wrong!
I taught a routine last Sunday at SWHoop 1 which you can see here (its a 12 minute review video of the weekend - but the link should take you straight to my class ... if not, I start at about 10mins20secs). SWHoop 2 today Sunshine came with the stills camera and got the only pictures I've ever had of me teaching - which, considering I've been teaching dance for about 10 years, is quite the achievement!
Doing all this DIY has also meant a bit of a re-thinking of the amount of stuff we've accumulated. Things are being re-gifted, charity-shopped, and even thrown away. Sometimes though, the things that need throwing away due to them being on their last legs (ha ha pun intended) are very difficult to throw away as they have no replacement.
I find it hard to find shoes that I like. And when I do, I tend to hang on to them for years ... even when they are barely wearable ... take the camper Mary Janes on the top left. I LUUUUUURVE them ... they are SO comfy - and the best thing for cycling in. BUT, their bottoms have split and water gets in. And even the threads have started coming apart.
I've spent months stalking ebay for them - but they just don't appear (and on the odd occasions they have, they have been the wrong size). I think I've found one online shop in Spain that possibly stocks them ... so the other day this other pair of Camper Mary Janes appeared on ebay. They're not the same; and don't have any nice red accents; but they they're cute enough.
Then my red Birkenstocks ... oh my goodness have I had them for a long time. Infact I think I bought this with Sunshine about a month after we started going out. Again, they have been worn to smithereens. Sunshine keeps threatening to throw them away - he even complains (albeit jokingly) to my mum about them! He's made me buy a new pair (the brown ones) which I've now had for at least 2 years .... but I still keep going back to my old ones. They are like old friends ... they have the stains of white paint from my degree show to remnants of the wallpaper that we peeled off in all this DIY stuck to them.
Anyways, the old shoes are going. The Campers are going in the rubbish collection this week; and I've promised to let go of the red Birkenstocks when the DIY is done. This is my homage to them... I had to take photos of them before I gave them up... I will miss you shoesies...
Kev was visiting again today to give us a bit of a push with the DIY ... So, you have:
Front Bedroom Part 11
I was shown how to mask off the wood from the carpet neatly, then Kev proceeded to paint the skirting boards at super-fast speed.
Hallway Part 10
This mess of wires really needed to get sorted - Sunshine was going to do it, but decided that Kev would be far better and faster at it ...
And while he was in the hall, he finished off papering the bulk of the left over walls and ceilings.
Bathroom Part 5
Unfortunately, even with all this moving forward, we had one room where things went backward ... there were two spots in the bathroom where the paint was not sticking properly. Kev pulled it all back and the reality is those two bits of plaster are not drying. He thinks he's dealt with one issue but, but we still need to look into what the issue is by the window. Anyways, it just means our lovely white bathroom has two blotchy patches again ... it needs to dry out before we can refill and re-paint.
Friday night we got through ALL the papering ... woo! The whole room, including this complex wall is done (I took the photo on Saturday morning as it got a bit too late and dark to take the photo Friday night).
Saturday, I got on with the rest of the caulking that I had started on Friday night.
Whilst Sunshine got on with the first coat of paint. After I was done caulking, I joined in the painting. We make a good team - I had the roller when he had the brush and vice-versa; and one of us would get on with cleaning and tidying whilst the other was busy doing something else.
Sunday we finished off the first coat of paint and now it looks like THIS! All beautifully white ... mmmmm...
We thought we'd get further and would have started clearing out the back bedroom so we could do that next week... but we hit a wall of tiredness so instead spent large chunks of today out in the sun getting some fresh (cold!) air; fixing our shower which suddenly decided that it was not going to give us hot water; and fixing the doorbell that suddenly decided to stop working. Still, it feels like this room is finally coming together. Yay :)
Took these photos this morning as I can't get decent photos in the evening (when we usually finish our papering). This is what was done over all of Sunday and a bit of Monday night too. Yes, we are a bit slow - but we're being careful and thorough. All of the wall I'm backed up against (that you can't see) is done. And those 5 meter long ceiling lengths (and above the picture rail on the right and left) take a looooong time to do. It involves me pasting up a full 5 meter long length of paper; Sunshine then being up on a ladder with some of it stuck down and the rest being held up using a broom by me ... as we work our way across the room. And on the edge runs Sunshine then has to go back and mark and cut away all the paper that folds round.
We're thinking that maybe the next time we do this we set up a camera on timer with a tripod so you can see how its done. We're getting there though - and it feels like we're on the home run. Can't wait to paint it all white!!!