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July 15, 2004

still in london

Posted by dogpossum on July 15, 2004 10:31 PM in the category england

i'm still in london, but paying for an excess of dancing. i have danced every night so far: sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday. and touristed all day. now i am very very tired. the damn cough has pretty much gone, but revisits at times like this when i'm a bit overtired and my lungs are a bit stuffed.
dancing in london has been fun: i've met some truly excellent people. the scene is generally older, and most people have real jobs, in large part due to the expense of living in london. only people with real jobs can afford to live here and dance regularly. i suspect that also accounts for the smaller number of higher level dancers. despite that, london dancers, overall, have better technique than melbourne dancers, and there is a wonderful lack of the Yank, from which melbourne's leads could learn.

my favourite dance nights have been those run by martin (sunday at brooks, tuesday in fulham, and he does a thursday too, which isn't on this week). he picks wonderful venues, djs nice stuff, and attracts a really friendly, excellent crowd. the other two things i've done (100 club and the marble arch thing last night) tend to attract an older crowd, be much much less friendly, and have a higher proportion of jive dancers. last night in a room of over 50 dancers, there was no one who could do a swing out. the follows are, as per usual, on the whole much better dancers than the leads, despite the (again, as per usual for swingers) leads' oft unwarranted egos. last night there was such a massive gender imbalance i ended up leading far more than i followed. which turned out to be a most excellent move: hoorah for middle aged women. they follow, they dance well, they laugh and really, really enjoy the chance to get up and dance. it's a total win-win situation.

there is one more dance thing on this friday (tomorrow), but i fly out at 7:30 the next morning, having to get to heathrow by 6:30, so having to leave london by 5am. i don't think i'll be going dancing tomorrow night. a shame, as this is a one-off run by some friendly dancers called robert and claire, and is something people here have been looking forward to...
i am absolutely exhausted, and really needing a good night in. early to bed tonight, i think, and possibly a day of very easy pottering around the house.

.... i do feel that i'm missing out on london, though. did the tate mod yesterday: love that thing. and the photographers' gallery in soho/leicester square, which i remembered from my last visit. love that place too. also wandered around that part of london, just checking stuff out. soho is much tamer than i remember, and has been markedly gentrified. i still like it, though.
crickelwood, where i'm staying now, is really nice: very multicultural (like most of london), with a good dollop of middle eastern, african and caribbean people. i like it a lot. and i've managed to make friends with a fair few of the local shopkeepers. i am continuing with my shamefully friendly approach: london is responding positively.

it has been quite warm the last few days. yesterday was incredibly humid, and i got reeeeaaaally sweaty. the tube utterly SUCKS in this warm weather.

have i mentioned how much i love the tube? it's really an excellent way to get around. and so easy to use. i am queen of the tube, and with my day travel cards, i am unstoppable.
am also perpetrating many bus scams. seems bus drivers either a) don't really give a shit, or b) are very kind. i have played the dumb australian tourist card at least a dozen times, and have scored many free trips as a consequence. not deliberately, mind you. accidentally. and i've tried to pay every time. seems that friendliness thing is paying off.

Posted by dogpossum on July 15, 2004 10:31 PM in the category england