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20 May 2012

Post 340: A crackerlacking trip to the Albert hall, and my friend Isa survives a triathlon


If you’ve ever tried to pick-up a girl on a dancefloor (I mean physically), don’t, it won’t end well. This is quite difficult advice to corroborate after seeing Swan Lake on ice

on Friday where the blokes can’t help themselves picking up the girls while wearing bloody ice skates on ice. I remember trying ice skating a few times over the years and being lucky not to end up with two broken wrists. I remember not being a fan of ice dance because it was a bit gay. My, haven’t things changed. I hope that upsets someone. Sheesh, some of my best friends might be gay...
Anyway I’d been to see Swan Lake (just the ballet) at the Albert Hall a couple of years back and had been suitably impressed then, not only by Tchaikovosky’s iconic music, which you’d happily pay to see an Orchestra just play, but also how they used the space in what is unquestionably the greatest room in the world, the dancing and the costumes were pretty good too.

I was rather intrigued by how they would do it on ice?

Now, I’m wondering how they ever did it without ice. It was astonishing, I’d obviously expected the protagonists to be competent ice dancers but these people were Olympic straight sixes competent for the best part of two hours. It was pleasing to me to think that my mother (who I’ll definitely be taking next time) will be sh*tting herself with delight all the way through it because ice dance is her favourite thing bar none. Instead the angels that took me were my friend Gaelle and her daughter Lucie

both of whom I just love, not in a creepy or Gary Glitter way, in a Jerry Maguire falling for Renee Zellwegers son way, or possibly Gaelle being a sister and Lucie a favourite niece way. They took me for dinner in the stupidly overpriced (but delicious) Albert Hall cafe Consort. Gaelle and 12 year old Lucie are a hilarious double act who wind each other up and play off each other something rotten. Trying to eat dinner with the two of them was a challenge! I can barely talk and eat. You can imagine that laughing and eating wasn’t the easiest. Lucie was busy punctuating her conversation (deliberately – to wind me up it transpired) with the latest way that kids her age mangle the English language. Lots of ‘OMGs’, ‘LOLs’, ‘Coolios’ and ‘Chillax’ (ironically the most infuriating word of all time) and the inexplicable ‘crackerlacking’, but Lucie gets away with it because it’s all done in the queens English with a disarming smile (ironic or not it still works on me) and because there’s not a hint of ‘Ghetto Princess’ like ‘arks’ or ‘innit’ she’ll continue to get away with it.
Evenings like this are why it’s worth being alive. Being in the company of friends is what it’s all about, and being able to share experiences.
Speaking of which, I think just by being there it made it a bit more meaningful for my friend Isabel for me to have showed up yesterday to her triathlon to cheer her on. When she crossed the finishing line,


I know I wasn’t actually taking away the pain – I just wanted to share it, like someone going to visit someone in hospital. Still, Isa is raising money for the trust which pays for my training and physio equipment. Isa’s aim with this triathlon is to raise enough money to buy a treadmill and a safety harness. Stepping is probably the best kind of exercise for me. I’m pretty sure the majority of people won’t know why. I’m one of them but I can confirm 20 steps is harder than a long distance run!
Anyway Gary and I had a fun morning finding the Eton Olympic Rowing Lake.

It must have sounded funny to the people we asked for directions from. ‘We’re looking for the triathlon?’ from an out of shape middle-aged guy and a bloke in a wheelchair.
The smart advice I’ve had this week:
Is not to fight those things that you can't change but work doubly hard at those you can - otherwise you lose sight of the small simple pleasures offered to you.

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