obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Strictly is back!

Posted: 30/11/2015 at 10:25

Thank heavens Peter has gone.  He's been underwhelming from the start - all show and no substance and no significant improvement in technique and way too much blah-blah.

Helen's VW was good but the choreography was a bit dull and there was some gapping.   I loved Anita's rumba except for that stupid, ugly lift.   She got the leg and hip action very well and her hands were beautiful.  Arms sometimes a bit staccato rather than fluid but that was the choreography he gave her.

Jay's tango was very good but he was too upright.  It should be danced with some bend in the knee.   Didn't like Kellie's salsa - no armography to speak of and it's all about armography with the feet just keeping the rhythm.   Georgia's Paso was excellent but would have been better with proper music.  I find the rock tracks detract from the dance.   Anton is never going to be believable as a sultry Argentine gaucho but I enjoyed the dance and it was good to see him do one at last.   Katie was very good but her posture should have been less upright and more leaning in to him.   Bit too English tango attitude but great leg flicks.

Len was very grumpy which isn't very professional of him.   He's paid, I assume, to be impartial and draw on his professional experience when judging and that should extend to his comments and their delivery.  I agree it's good to see some recognisable steps in each dance but there should be room for innovation too.

I utterly fail to see the point of the Quickathon if the cameras aren't going to show the footwork and top line to the TV audience and let us judge for ourselves.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 29/11/2015 at 10:06

We were out dancing last night so set it up to record - except that himself wanted to record some football too and they clashed!   Aaaaargh!  However, we have 26 mins of the real thing and all the other dances are on You Tube so we'll catch up later this evening and then watch the results.

This afternoon is a Disco Rock class followed by our usual ballroom practice session and I'm busy making the cakes for the break - chocolate carrot cake, Swiss almond and poppy seed loaf and some biscuits of some sort.

Also need to take treasures in pots into the greenhouse and shed this morning but that's by the by.

Phytosanitary certificate

Posted: 29/11/2015 at 10:01

As I said in your other post on this subject, I had to apply to DEFRA as it then was for a health certificate.   A woman came along, inspected the plants, gave me the certificate and warned me I couldn't take pelargoniums or cucumbers with me - not that I'd planned to.

You juts contact the appropriate department and make an appointment.  They'll tell you how much it costs.

Moving abroad

Posted: 26/11/2015 at 23:17

You really need to check with the Norwegian authorities or else the British department of agriculture and environment.

When we moved from Harrow to Belgium 24 years ago, we had to get a certificate from what was then DEFRA for plants I wa staking with me - big acer in a pot, English blackcurrants and raspberries in pots and so on.  They had to be certified healthy and I wasn't allowed any pelargoniums in case they carried a virus.

Since the single market these restrictions have lifted but Norway is not a member of the EU so you should definitely check first.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 24/11/2015 at 16:56

Well done with that hedge.

My garden guru and helper came today and, despite the dreadful weather - 3C, wind and rain and hail - we spent 3 hours clearing weeds from a bed and the chipped bark paths in the far corner  and I bunged a couple of salvia Hot Lips and 2 ricinus in the beds in the greenhouse for over wintering and dug up the last of the dahlias.

Then it started to hail with a vengeance so we retreated into shelter and sanded down some rusty metal obelisks so I can smarten them up over the winter with a bit of patinating varnish.

All in all we've earned ourselves a good hot shower and maybe a glass of wine with dinner.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 23/11/2015 at 16:55

Busy with his camera or sweet peas?  Not enjoying SCD this year?

Frank we have new people start every year at our club and some of them definitely arrive with two left feet.  Those that stick it out and come to the practice sessions end up knowing which is which.  Some people have no musical ear and can't hear the rhythm or spot the 1 and 5 in a bar of music - or 2 for cha-cha and rumba.   They end up off the beat for most of the dance but don't care if they're having fun and remembering their steps.    Others never cotton on to the structure of a dance and that makes their progress slow.  

Age doesn't seem to make a difference as we have gifted younger couples who get it straight away and others who have to practice loads.   Same with older couples too.   We've been at it 15 years on and off for illness and injury and now find ourselves running the practice sessions as we are best at remembering all the steps across our 3 levels.

The biggest difference to making progress is practice, practice, practice.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 23/11/2015 at 15:51

I do get a bit fed up when celebrities, or anyone else, reckon that it's hard to learn a new dance each week.   They're getting 20 to 30 hours of one to one tuition from a world class professional to learn a 90 second sequence and an intro.

Ordinary folk in dance clubs like ours get 28 to 30 weeks of one hour classes with one teacher and anything from 5 to 15 couples learning new steps in each of the 10 dances - tho beginners usually don't get Foxtrot and Viennese waltz in their first year.   We have to do our practice sessions without the teacher.   

By the time the celebs on Strictly have to do two dances they know their partner and they've seen enough different dances to understand rhythm and basic steps and structures of dances and should be picking up steps faster.   It may require hard work and concentration but they should be thanking their lucky stars for the opportunity.

I do agree some of the music choices haven't helped and the person or persons responsible for thinking a Paso looks good to rock music wants shooting.   Paso is a fabulous but demanding dance and deserves suitable music, as do tango and all the rest.

The costume department needs to pull up its socks too but at least, so far, we haven't had any wardrobe malfunctions of the sort that trip people up or where bits of dress fall off or snap.    Kelly's outfits have been frightful and Georgia seems to be stuck in a dull colour rut.   On the other hand, Anita's dress was fabulous on Saturday and I like Gleb's traditional top too.   Katie seems to get decent frocks too.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 22/11/2015 at 22:07

Len was absolutely right.

Peter Andre is a superficial, skin deep performer and a dreadful sucker up.  He hasn't grasped the concept of the different dances and nor has he improved from week to week.  Not exactly complicated to heed Bruno's advice to sharpen his kicks and flicks and dance on his toes but he failed, utterly.

Jamelia has improved - after a slow start - but I suspect her giggles have put people off voting for her and she dis have a dreadful frock his week which doesn't help with people votes.

Next week should be interesting with Anton and Kate doing Argentine tango.    Don't remember him having to do one before..............

 

Strictly is back!

Posted: 22/11/2015 at 10:26

Great to see some proper armography in Jay's salsa but too much time wasted on that last lift and spinning.   Great music too.

Anita's routine and performance were just amazing and proper music too.  Well done her and Gleb too for the choreography.

Kelly almost had a proper frock this week, tho a bit frumpy.  Loved her dance.   Georgia was great too.  Their pros are clever boys.

Jamelia's footwork was much improved and she made no mistakes so well done her.  Katie's dance looked effortless and elegant.

Blackpool brought out the best in all the above.

Helen's routine was poor and her performance left me cold.  Peter Andre hasn't progressed at all and his footwork was dreadful.  Time to go.  River Deep is a jive, just very fast.   

 

 

North Facing Border

Posted: 21/11/2015 at 17:53

Yes but it doesn't stop my most shaded north facing border from growing with gay abandon.  Mine is also damp so I grow hostas, astilbes, ligularia, primulas, ferns, chelone, lily of the valley, astilboides, Japansese anemone, hakonechloa and daffs and snowdrops in there.

I have three smaller drier beds with clematis Minuet, Caerulea Elegans, Nelly Moser, Rahvarinne and Blue Angel plus bergenia, hostas, hardy geraniums and alliums and a Falstaff rose.

A bed a bit further from the house which gets sun a bit earlier has clematis, roses, primulas, dicentras, clematis, echinops, hardy geraniums, achillea The Pearl, lychis chalcedonica, more hostas.

Normal scabious doesn't like my garden conditions but the giant one does.   Penstemon and catmint would be best in the sunniest part of your garden.

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