Today I was at Southern Cross Station, one of Melbourne’s major, recently renovated railway stations. It is so big. I had to change trains there and I found myself standing still after I got out of the train. I had to look around me for a moment. I was just standing there thinking: “wow, this is such a huge station”. Very spacious, high ceiling and very impressive building really. I am blocking all the other people who are trying to move around. Only 4 minutes now until my next train leaves, so I better move. I took the escalator up, squeezing myself between all the other people, and again I found myself starring around, this time stunned with how high we were all going. Just incredible. I was feeling all wobbly on me feet! See for yourself: Southern Cross Station
Our performance troupe is performing next week at the Emmanuel College May Ball! The first number we do is a girls ’20s charleston. It is really fun and high energy and we are wearing are new dresses. I love it!
We went to Barcelona for five days with three of our good Cambridge friends. We were visiting a swing dance camp called Barswingona, we looked around Barcelona and we caught up with other dance friends from around the world. I had lots of fun dancing in Barcelona and here are some photos.
The dance floor was very large, very busy and full of good dancers (and a few too many who ‘thought’ they were THE BEST, but we ignored them).
One day we also danced on a square outdoors to live music.
During the day we went sight seeing and guess what we bumped into: a little jazz band playing in one of the main shopping streets. Of course we had to have a dance.
Everyone watching loved it, especially the funny Portuguese man who you see in the photo below. He walked up REALLY close taking footage and photos with his camera.
I not only ‘like’ dancing outside. I LOVE it!
I was reminded myself when a friend of mine took this photo of me at the Cambridge Lindy Hopper’s first ever Lindy Bomb! A ‘lindy bomb’ basically means you choose a place and time, you bring some fine jazz tunes, you invite your dancing friends and you DANCE 🙂
Don’t ask me what I am doing in the photo. It must have been one of my famous improvisation moves. They are all truly amazing, original and like nothing else!
So, proven here, Lotte is in her element when:
She is with friends and family,
outside in the sunshine,
in a nice location, like a park,
dancing Lindy Hop!
Dutchies — what is going on??
Check out this new thing, created by Dutch people, called Jumpstyle. Zot discovered it and we have decided it is very similar to the Lindy Hop charleston steps we do. The kicks are the same really, just the way they put them together is different. And yes, the music of course is VERY different from the jazz music we normally dance to.
But, we think we might spend an hour on some tutorials we found on YouTube and teach Jumpstyle as a warm up for our Lindy Hop classes 😉 Should be fun. It was certainly fun to see Zot practising this morning in our living room. He has got plenty of energy, that is for sure.
This clip is quite fun too.
Punting can be so romantic, idyllic and wonderful. At times the river can be a real stunning place, with the sun shining on the water and on the beautiful buildings. At this time of the year it is even more exciting and lovely because the ducks and moorhens have their ducklings.
So, we are in the boat, punting along, happy times, romantic times, lovely times.
“Look over there!”.
“Aaaah, there is a moorhen mum with her little baby duckling. Sooo cute!!”
Next moment, a big SPLASH! Gone is the little black duckling. Under water. It took one second and one big splash. The next moment it seems as if the duckling had never been there. The water is calm again. We could only know something had happened by the concerned, upset sounds of the mum.
I wasn’t sure. Some said the duckling was just diving and would come up soon. It never came up though…
My punting colleagues told me later that there are eels in the river that eat ducklings. I read about it and apparently BIG eels eat ducklings. Hope this is not going to happen on many of my tours. It will be an upsetting rather then relaxing tour on the river.
Romantic? Yes. But now I also know the river can be a place of life and death.
So, when I work, I punt on the river. When I get visitors and I take a day off, I punt on the river! Me and the river are getting to know each other really well 🙂
Phew – it is easier to tell you which muscles are NOT hurting, because there are not so many of them. Ouch!
Everything hurts, from typing to laughing. Holding the pole and pushing it makes my hands and arms sore. I can also tell you for sure you are using your stomach muscles — I feel them all when I laugh and just when I move around.
4 days of work in a row in my first week as Chauffeur. I am proud of my survival. I have had fun and learned a lot about how it all works. I have had people from many different countries in my boat and I am enjoying that. I also made friends with many of my colleagues and we have a fun time together. I did not fall in the water. Not yet…
I don’t like the current, the wind, the muddy bits and the noisy ducks.
I love the people who are punting for the first time, I love the wind if it goes my way. It is great entertainment when poles get stuck in the mud and against bridges, especially if it is not mine, haha.
Most tours punted in a day: 4 (for me that means about 4 hours of punting – soon I will have to be able to do it in 45 min)
Highest tip: 5 pounds
Next day I work is Sunday — first time to work in the weekend. It will probably be busier.
I passed my test 🙂
I am now officially a ‘Chauffeur’ -Punting Tour Guide on the river Cam- and I start on Monday. I am working 5 days next week and don’t know how I will survive as I am already super sore after the one tour I did yesterday for my test.
For this test I had to just give my first ever tour to one of my bosses. So, a 12 person boat, with 1 person in it, who probably knows more about the river than anyone else and I was giving him the tour! Yes, I was a little nervous!
I think I gave a very entertaining tour, for all the wrong reasons though, haha. My first tour ever, phew. Pretty clumsy. I was reminded yet again how easy it is to get stuck between punts parked on the banks, under trees and bridges and behind other punts on the river.
I also discovered I am not very good at talking and punting at the same time, let alone remember all the information;
“On my right hand (stick out hand..don’t loose balance, hold on to stick, oops we are loosing speed quickly, punt on) you see Trinity college which was founded in, ehm.., 1546 by…..(pushing the pole, turning the boat, sigh, sweat)..founded by….eeehm…eehem. (Shit, can’t remember, just talk on) The college is known for…ehm..bla bla bla”
I remembered so many names BEFORE I gave this silly test tour, all these Queens and Kings, designers of bridges and founders of colleges. Of course they are all named either William or Henry, Elizabeth or Margaret, which makes it very confusing.
My boss pissed himself laughing for most of the Lotte tour, especially because I simply named every lady Margaret. There were no more Elizabeths or other names in my vocabulary — they were all Margaret!
Anyway, he had a very simple tick list and timed the trip. A little reminder not to do dangerous things…stay on the right side of the river, never move the pole over the people in the boat. Tick for mentioning the names of the colleges and the bridges……okay, passed — start ASAP!
Wish me luck!
A little update on my training to become a punt tour guide.
I have been practicing the technique of punting and it is improving. I am slowly remembering more dates, names, history and facts. What I really mastered in the last week is to know all the dangers that are ahead!
1. Falling in the river
2. Losing the pole and having to wait for someone to help me out of trouble (as there is no paddle in the tour boats)
3. Hitting other boats due to someone else’s fault or my own
4. Talking too much on the way there, so there is nothing to talk about on the way back
5. Forgetting information or not knowing enough
6. Getting very quiet, boring people in the boat, so the atmosphere is making the time drag along
7. Getting injuries
I am making friends with colleagues now and they are very relaxed and friendly. I feel very unsure still about being able to go ahead, but everyone tells me they were all like that when they started. I know they are trying to be nice and helpful, but they keep telling me:
“the best way for this job is just to throw yourself in the deep!”
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