Friday, 31 August 2012
(here's a short history from Wikipedia). I've heard of this dance so many times but have shied away mainly because learning a new dance is thoroughly daunting. You just know there's going to be that horrid bit where you look like a an elephant in a tutu with a great big sign, 'learner dancer' strapped to your wobbly behind. Well, not exactly, but that's how it feels. Then there's the other yikes bit where you sit in the corner hoping, just hoping that someone might come and ask you to dance. Well, now that I am a lady of a certain age I've got to the point where I swallow my inhibitions and just go and grab someone myself. I was told by a very nice guy last night that he appreciates being asked so that made me feel better. The two of us hopped and jumped (sadly due to my inexperience, not at the same time) but had a nice chat too - dancing is so civilised and such fun. He goes to lindy hop because of the music. If you want a taste of what lindy hop is all about, check out this you tube video I defy you not to smile while you're watching this. All the moves in hold are lindy hop. The thing I like about this video is it shows that this sort of dance goes on all over the city, off back streets, behind ordinary residential homes people are just out there having fun, keeping fit, meeting each other and enjoying themselves. Dancing is a great antidote to all the negative stories in newspapers. It's also fantastic for beating writers' bottom. Needless to say, I shall be out dancing again tonight - this time up in South Kensington at a nice, easy ceroc do.... PS the photo above is of my daughter dancing with last night's most fabulous dancer, she was great at it although she didn't think so (she doesn't read my blog so I'm safe posting it!)
Thursday, 23 August 2012
London Drum gives you a flavour of what's happening. "Swing and jive to the sounds of the big band in an authentic 40s-style dance night at the National Army Museum. Ladies can get themselves made-up at the 1940s make-up stand, and gents can treat their girl to a sepia-toned souvenir photo. So get your dancing shoes on, defy uncle Adolf and party through the Blitz!" So, we'll all be going a bit Betty Grable My own book, a romance set in the present day, The Sanctuary can be bought by clicking this link.
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Rivoli Ballroom. The Rivoli shines like a twinkling diamond in the pile of dust and crowded dwellings that is South London. In the otherwise unremarkable area of Brockley you can spot guys and gals on a Saturday night in 40s and 50s gear sweating out on the street trying to recover from their exertions. Buy yourself a ticket for a mere £15 and hear a live Big Band, get a lesson (beginners VERY welcome) and then dance until you drop till 1am in the morning. h ttp://www.therivoli.co.uk/
Friday, 17 August 2012
Hi Independent publishing has always been tough. But, we have a fantastic independent publisher in Britain which has won awards and is run by an amazing woman, Hazel Cushion. She owns Accent Press, and one of their imprints is Xcite. Now, here is where you should look away if you are of a sensitive nature because Xcite produce erotica. They had been doing so before 50 Shades of Gray was even a twinkle in its author's eye. Xcite have produced a new range called 'The Secret Library'. This is designed with a strong romantic element in mind, basically they are romantic, whirlwind, crazy love stories with the bedroom door open. The print books have wonderful velvety and discreet covers. Here's a peek at 'The Thousand and One Nights' which contains three novellas. Please note the print novella is called 'The Thousand and One Nights' but, as that is also the title of the three-novella anthology, it has in addition been issued as a single title under the title 'Dark Nights' (because the hero is Sebastian Dark geddit!). here's the UK Amazon link to download it and the US Amazon link and here's the cover.
Thursday, 16 August 2012
this website which gives photos. Fascinating as there was still building work going on and although I and my husband wandered around (here's a photo of him standing outside)
Friday, 3 August 2012
You, though, can buy The Sanctuary from Astraea press by clicking this link..... I thank you!
Thursday, 2 August 2012
I'm no great fan of sport so I thought the Olympics would leave me cold. However, dinner with friends reminded me that everything, even sport, can be interesting once you understand it. A friend had been to see the cycling road race & regularly visits the Tour de France. He explained the intricacies of the sport and now I am fascinated by it. The really interesting thing is the peleton - this link courtesy of Wikipedia explains it. Basically (and here I apologise to anyone who REALLY knows what they're talking about because this is very much a layman's explanation) the peleton injects a very strategic element into cycling. Peleton means little ball in French and is related to the English word pellet. It refers to the process by which cyclists will bunch together in order to cut down on the amount of wind resistance. Cyclists in the middle of the little ball or cluster of cyclists can experience 40% less wind resistance, thereby resulting in them getting a rest from the amount of work their muscles have to do. Then, when it is their turn, they will return to the front of the cluster and take their turn dealing with the wind and having to cycle harder. The extraordinary thing about this process is that opponents will make this formation together, benefitting everyone until that is the time comes to seek victory. However there are times when opponents do not act as suspected. I understand that what happened the other day when Mark Cavendish failed to win an expected gold medal for Britain and said, "it just seems like most teams are happy not to win as long as we don't win." As occasionally happens in life, we witnessed a serendipitous moment in relation to this. We were at the seaside recently and were mesmerised by a shoal of fish where the front runners would swim for a few seconds, then zip to the back of the group. This ritual happened over and over again during the ten minutes we watched them. I can only assume that they were practising a similar formation to racing cyclists, fascinating. So, now I know more about it, I am finding cycling a fascinating sport. Something I had never imagined it would be!
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
I have read many reviews of 50 Shades and by far the best is this one by Victoria Coren in the Guardian. Look away now folks if you are of a tender disposition because I am going to quote from Victoria's review when she says that, 'this is a book that puts the "b" into anal.' She also points out tongue in cheek that one of the main reasons the abusive Christian Grey is meant to be so attractive is his constant urging of Ana to eat! Buttermilk pancakes, syrup, bacon. Yeah Victoria, you're right that would do it for me too! A straw poll of the two ladies at present reading 50 Shades in the office also reveals that his million, squillionaire status and his tendency to do outrageously extravagant things like whisk Ana off in his private jet might have something to do with the fact that he still appears attractive whilst doing the sort of thing which would make your toes curl. Same straw poll came up with Bradley Cooper as a possible tip to play the piercing-eyed Christian. I do hope it isn't Bradley, gentle-eyed gorgeous hero of a number of delightfully funny comedies. I don't want him to turn into some control freak wierdo! For those who do not know of Victoria Coren by the way, she is the sharp-tongued, champion poker playing, journalist and presenter sister of the wonderful Giles Coren. His spiky column in The Times is one of the best things about the British weekend. I actually came to read both brother and sister through firstly being hugely entertained by the columns their father wrote in Punch decades ago. Alan Coren used to do a fabulous satirical column on Idi Amin which I would sneak away from lessons to read in the library at school. Here, courtesy of Wikipedia is a quote of his about Margaret and Denis Thatcher visiting the Falklands: 'Does not even the most sexually democratic of us, among which number I unquestionably count myself, not choke back the tiniest sob at the sight of poor old Denis stumbling along behind, struggling pitifully to hold his trilby on, as the PM strides across Goose Green with the wind managing only to make her hair look more Medusan, and the very mines praying she will not crush them under-heel?' The Corens - great fun, lovely to see the kids carrying on where their esteemed father left off. You thought for a moment there I had forgotten to plug my book. No such luck! Here goes, my book The Sanctuary, totally unlike 50 Shades, has nothing that would offend even your dear old maiden aunt. You can buy it by clicking this link.