Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Saturday, 17 September 2011
I am a regular reader of the Herald newspaper and in particular I enjoy the 'Your say' page which has letters discussing all sorts of issues concerning Plymouth. Recently I have enjoyed David Luckham's letters written with a slight tongue in cheek attitude but really addressing some of Plymouth's most pressing problems.
On Wednesday I read Plymouth City Council leader Vivien Pengelly's rather feeble response to David's valid points, I say feeble response as it wasn't really a direct response to any of David's questions about lack of infrastructure, a poor tourism drive and a general failure of the council to spend money on the right priorities. It was merely more of the usual rubbish we are fed by P.C.C to cover up the dissatisfaction of the electorate.
I knew that Vivien would use the Life Centre in her argument, this £65 million pound white elephant has already cost the taxpayer a fortune, most people won't be able to afford to use it, it threatens local businesses and community groups by offering direct competition to their activities and it is a complete eyesore. I know that some, including Vivien, are harping on about the fact that the centre will be used by teams visiting the Olympics but the Olympics are hardly a regular event. While it might be nice for Plymouth Divers to have an Olympic pool they have already achieved gold medals without it and diving in Plymouth is carried out by a very small minority.
My biggest problem with Vivien's response is her attitude that we should be over-grateful for the things we have already paid for even if, like the Life Centre or the World Cup Bid, we didn't ask for. Imagine if plans had gone ahead for a bigger Argyle Stadium, we can't even fill the stadium we have and if things don improve we won't have a football team to play in it either.
Vivien points out that the council is putting more money into roads, well isn't that the council's job anyway? I am fed up with seeing expensive signs on our roads stating 'Congratulations, you've been upgraded'. As taxpayers we have already paid for these works and would prefer a sign with an apology from the council for taking so long to do the job in the first place. I can take one small mercy from the fact that Plymouth has stopped plastering its website and stationary (at great expense) with the word's 'Best achieving council'. Perhaps I should follow suit and give myself a medal each time I manage to turn up for work?
Vivien may see us Plymothians as whingers and cynics but I think we have every reason to be so, I can see why Vivien is so motivated and optimistic as she has a generous salary to give her piece of mind and she has apparently opted to keep her salary, and that of Barry Keel, generous despite advise from home secretary Eric Pickles to take a 20% pay cut. Vivien has repeatedly denied claims that any senior council members have received pay increases but looking at the latest pre-audit figures from the council it now appears that the gravy train is still alive and well.
Don't get me wrong I am very proud of Plymouth just not proud of our council.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
After a 7.5 hour journey from Plymouth to Bradford on Friday 2nd September followed by a 1 hour journey from Bradford to Bolton and a 1 hour return journey from Bolton to Bradford on the Saturday then another hour long Bradford to Bolton run finished with a 5.5 hour Bolton to Plymouth drive on Sunday neither myself nor my husband are missing the motorway. Our trip was not in vain as I was judging at the United Kingdom Pole Artistes Championships organised by JLN Fitness and it was a fabulous night. I will link to the review of the event once it is published.
To kill the monotony of the motorway slug my husband and I have an A-Z game to keep us amused for part of the journey, it started a few years ago in a more simplistic form, one of us picks a subject e.g. colours and then the person who picks the subject picks a colour for the letter 'A' e.g. amber and then the second person picks a colour for 'B' e.g. brown and so on....
As the game has evolved we have covered more interesting subjects having tired of the traditional ones like colours, flowers, girl's names etc. More recent topics have included diseases, things relating to death, crime and body parts (my husband always seems to focus on genitalia). I think I picked the best A-Z game when I chose an A-Z of things you can both see e.g 'A' for Astra if one happens to be in view at the time.
Now the PDC Syllabus has expanded we had to do an A-Z of pole moves, unbelievably I lost the game as I ended on the letter 'Z' and couldn't thing of a move beginning with the letter Z - of you know one please let me know so I can win future games!!
On the subject of pole I had the opportunity to witness some classic pole language at the Pole Jam at JLN on Sunday 4th September, the conversation between several people, some of whom were hanging upside down at the time as you do, went something like this:
"What's it called?"
"I think it is a pendulum or half moon"
"Do you use classic grip or cup grip?"
"Generally cup grip I think although for the other variation I use twisted grip"
"What about the Scorpio walkover?"
"Kind of twisted grip but with the shoulder blade on the pole and the head down"
"Which leg do you kick with?"
"Not sure?" (person then attempts the move to see which leg they kick with)"
"How do you do the toothbrush?"
"Do you mean the side tabletop?"
"No the grip is different I think more like a cradle?"
"You mean a tuck?"
The conversation continued from there but made me chuckle as anyone who doesn't pole would wonder what on earth we were all talking about!
Anyway back to the motorway tales, aside from our A-Z game I have to note the best ice cream van I have ever seen; it was a purple and green vehicle with the name "Ices with Attitude" and in true ice cream van style it had a safety logo on the back to warn drivers about the risk of children running into the road, it read "Don't skid on a Kid!"
The weekend was remarkably lacking someone as Brian was in Paris, you can see more of his Paris antics on his facebook page.
I will keep it brief today as I have another long slog tomorrow to London and back for the on-line judging of the United Kingdom Professional Pole Championships which should be very exciting despite the arduous train journey (Plymouth needs more transport links!!).
I will follow up my Plymouth Pay Protest very soon and have a much needed whinge at Plymouth City Council.
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
Pole Essentials Book Review by PDC approved instructor Sam Remmer.Pole Essentials is a new pole dancing resource written and compiled by PDC approved instructor Goddess Star Monroe. The book is a great A4 style paperback featuring a catalogue of over 70 moves accompanied by beautiful black and white pictures and guidelines for safe execution of each move. There is also space to write notes next to each move to aid your pole dancing progress.
The book is described by Goddess as "a reference manual, a pole journal or just as an inspiring reminder that you can achieve anything you deserve"
In addition to the moves there are a whole host of resources such as pole dancing websites, quotes from accomplished pole dancers and some inspiring words of wisdom, from GSM herself, to motivate you and inspire you.
Pole Essentials is the sort of thing that every pole dancer wants to add to their collection of DVD's, grip aids and other pole dancing must-haves.
My copy of Pole Essentials arrived in the post and I couldn't wait to open it! It has a sleek black cover and is extremely tactile. Although of have my own copy of the PDC Syllabus CD-rom I still wanted the Pole Essentials hand book to add to my plethora of pole dancing items.
The book is ideal for all abilities so you don't have to be a super advanced athlete to benefit from the book. The quotes and notes make the book perfect for a bit of bedtime reading or simply as a coffee table accompaniment. I can also see this book sat on the shelves of many pole dancing studios.
I would recommend the book to all and expect to see this item becoming a pole dancing best seller.
So what made Goddess Star Monroe (pictured right) fall in love with pole dancing and have the desire to write a book?
When did you start pole dancing?
I started pole dancing over 10 years ago, I dragged my girlfriend up to a gentleman's club in London, they were doing taster courses in the evening. I don't think we stopped laughing throughout the whole of the experience. Not sure if I learnt any moves but I remember cavorting around on the stage quite a lot!
What got you into Pole Dancing?
I loved the sensual side of pole dancing, it was a unique way to express and move my body that I had never really experienced before.
Currently what is your favourite pole dancing move?
I am currently working on all the moves, slowing them down and really working on building my strength and technique. So I don't particularly have a favourite move more of a preferred way of pole dancing - very slow and controlled - aka Zoraya Judd.
What is your pole dancing nemesis?
Pantera's knee hold.
Funniest class moment?
Probably me telling one of my students not to uncross her legs when up the pole - except that I was up the pole and uncrossed my legs and fell off!
Favourite type of pole to dance on?
45mm x pole.
Favourite music to dance to?
Slow and moody.
Spinning or Static?
Which pole dancers inspire you?
Zoraya Judd and Caterina Gennaro.
Have you or do you plan to enter any pole dancing competitions?
I did have a wild idea to compete this year but having competed in body-building competitions before I know what kind of commitment is needed and at the moment my energies are focused on writing my 2nd book. Who knows in the future though!
What hobbies do you have aside from pole dancing?
Baking cakes!!! I adore baking and organising events!
What are you pole dreams for the future?
I love what I have achieved through pole dancing in the past 10 years, currently I am happy teaching and inspiring my students but for me the future will be in public speaking and running large scale women's events - my passion is to inspire and empower women to fall in love with being themselves and I want to meet and help as many women as I possibly can. It would be an amazing experience to have pole dancing exploratory sessions at my women's events!!! Now that would be mind-blowing!!
Buy your own copy of Pole Essentials here!
The book retails at £19.99 with UK postage at £2.00 and the rest of the world at £4.