things have gotten dire. last pair of knickers. last pair of pants. all else is in the laundry, being washed. it may or may not all come back to me. then i have to get it dried. tricky in this climate. they have these big drier thingies that look like fridges, and they’re pretty good. but there’ll be that moment between getting up and walking the 10minutes across town to the driers where i’ll have nothing to wear. lucky herrang is 24hours a day.
i am so sweaty all the time, i go through clothes at a phenomenal rate. so does everyone.
herrang fashion: loose, comfortable trousers; tshirt, thongs or sandals by day, and the same with dance shoes at night. loose, comfy tshirts for men, smaller, tighter tshirts for women. the dress standards are definitely casual. except on the party nights. then people dress up like fools: check out these pictures.
this one is my favourite. that nursey there is a lovely german boy. and the wrestler is a lovely girl. ah, herrang.
but now i have a cold. everyone’s got it. and now i do too. poop.
didn’t stop me staying up til 7am dancing. the thing that’s really giving me trouble are my feet – the joints in my toes are really really hurting. i worry that i’ve done something nasty to myself… oh well.
the dancing is good. my dancing is now better than it has been in a million years. the dancers are also good – good company, good fun, good music, good dancing. it’s like being on holiday with a couple of hundred totally excellent people who love to dance and do interesting things. …which i guess is actually the situation. i’m still very tired, but now that i’m nocturnal, it’s not so much of a problem. the sun is only down for about 6 hours at night, so it’s not so hard to stay up. i’m super fit again, and have dropped so much weight i have to safety pin my pants on. last week i was doing classes, so that was 4 and a half hours of dance classes during the day, with one or two casual classes and a bit of practice as well. then hours on end of social dancing. all we do here is eat, dance, talk and muck about. and people sleep whenever and wherever they can. in the cafe between songs. in hammocks, in the gym on mattresses, on the grass between classes.
the cutest thing i’ve seen so far has been two swedish girls squashed into a hammock sidebyside, battling with a mosquito net. they were giggling and tired and hidden away under a tree. very sweet.
now i am in herrang. they have wireless internet here, but i simply don’t have the brain to do anythign complicated with it. it’s been a wonderful week – lots of dancing, but more excellently, lots of talking and makign friends. there are quite a few hundred people here, from all over the world (mostly europe), and all of them are interesting people who like to do things.
my dancing is now kicking arse, but i’m absolutely exhausted and getting the beginning bits of the herrang cold. sore throat, congestion in the sinuses. my cough has returned. but i feel good.
i am not, of course, working terribly hard. but my hindbrain is ticking over.
people are very interested in my work, and have offered some really interesting comments.
i simply can’t write any more now. i’m tooooo tired. and brain dead. 24 hour dancing takes it out of you.
the sun has just about gone down. i’m in today. i had a walk round cricklewood (and surrounding bits) and i’ve decided i love it. otherwise, i stayed in and fell asleep on the couch again. i’ve really tired myself out this week. still feel, even though i’ve been to a lot of places and met a lot of people, that i’ve missed out on london. it’s just too damn big. i do love this city. i have one full day left, then i’m off to herrang. i’m almost ready to finish off this holiday. the family stuff was very tiring. and staying with strangers is also a bit tiring. most excellent, though. i’d rather stay with people than in boring, impersonal hotels. this way you meet lots of people, get the goss on where to go, etc. but i’m still tired. i really can’t be bothered doing herrang, which is a shame, as that’s the point of this trip.
workwise, this trip has been useful. comparing the london and melbourne/australian scenes has really helped me figure out how the melbourne scene works in more complex ways. i can make more informed comments about things like class, demographics, etc. i am wondering if i will be able to hack the just under two weeks of herrang, and then camp savoy. someone asked me last night why i was leaving herrang early for camp savoy, and i really had to think… i do think it’s the best idea. especially from a work perspective. the herrang dancing will be better, i think, but the camp savoy stuff will be interesting.
i’ve met so many lovely dancers since i’ve been here. and i’ve chatted with so many really nice strangers during the day. despite themselves, london is being aggressive-friendlied. soon they will all thank bus drivers as they de-bus. and smile and make eye contact…
this has been a damn good trip. even if i did take a stack on the dance floor night before last. haven’t fallen over in ages. not since dave lamb tipped me on my arse at mayfields one night. but the other night david and i were dancing, and OO-pah! i was on my clack. i thought it was just a matter of overtired girl stacking it in a fast song. but david said it was all his fault: he pushed me then stuck his leg out and down i went. i was a bit surprised and i bruised and grazed my knee, but i didn’t cry. he was embarassed, but i wasn’t. it reminded me that it’s important not to take this dancing thing seriously. luckily i’ve not got the whole serious thing going on these days, but it was still an important reminder. it’s meant to be fun. laugh when you fall down. laugh when you stuff up. say thankyou for dances, introduce yourself, learn people’s names properly and tell people when you enjoy the dance. dance with beginners whenever and as frequently as you can: they enjoy danc
ing more than anyone and get the greatest pleasure from the simplest moves. these are things it’s important to remember.