My Desktop has a New Beginning!

I finally opened the box with my desktop.  I connected it and it was fine.  Then I tried to add the internet.  Not so fine.  I had computer errors coming from every direction and the only way to sort it out was to re-install the Windows software.  I lost everything that was on my computer.

Since I bought the laptop a couple of years ago, I haven’t used the desktop much.  Fortunately, I uploaded the photos onto the internet and the music is on my laptop and MP3 player.  I don’t care about the lost documents.

I sold my house and bought a new one.  Everything I did on my computer before I moved into my new home is now obsolete anyway.

I had to re-install the Windows software and all that went with it.  It has taken me a whole day to do it.  I don’t know how many times that I have restarted my computer.  The whole procedure has been pretty time consuming!

It turns out that I really don’t need as much software as I had before.  My computer automatically forced itself to downsize.  I have a lot more room on my hard drive than I did before . How amazing is that?!

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Stayin Alive in Eastbourne

The tribute bands are performing weekly at The Bandstand in Eastbourne.  Tonight they had Stayin Alive, a Bee Gees tribute band.  I saw them practicing when I went for a walk this afternoon.  They weren’t bad and I thought if I had some time, I would go and see them this evening, which I did.

Now, The Bandstand is out in the open, but they tend to block off areas that you would normally be able to walk on and view it from a height or below when there is a performance.  When they were practicing, I could hear them from a block away.  Technically, you wouldn’t have to pay to see any of these bands as you would still be able to hear them.  I decided I would go for the full experience and paid my £7.75 entrance fee.

 

Stayin Alive during Practice

I thought there would be more people, and I heard someone say that it was busier the week previously, but I don’t know who performed last week.  I had a very good view of the crowd and was very happily people watching before the show started.  The group arrived and yes, they did sort of look like the Bee Gees.  If you closed your eyes, you could almost believe it was really them performing.  Apparently, they won best tribute band last year!  I thought they were very good.

As soon as the band started performing, an elderly lady, very nicely groomed and dressed, albeit wearing a bright pink cowboy hat, walked up to the front of the stage and started to dance.  It was apparent that she may have had some issues.  She was with a group of people that were mentally and physically challenged.  What struck me about her was how normal she initially looked and how well cared for she was in her appearance.  She had a great haircut.  It was only her facial expression and physical movement that gave away that she may have had some issues.  Eastbourne has many people like that.

There were quite a few people at the concert with similar issues.  One of the things I noticed about all of them was their complete and utter abandonment to the enjoyment of the music.  They moved what they could and all had smiles on their faces. They were totally uninhibited.  I found it quite moving and found myself to be a bit envious of their lack of inhibition.  It did bring a tear to my eye to see people enjoying themselves in this way.

It reminded me of children.  Children can get away with so many things, like wearing Spiderman costumes in broad daylight or headbands with stars on top that move around, or fairy wings.  I want to wear fairy wings, but could only get away with it at a fancy dress party.  Children are so free and uninhibited until we tell them they need to grow up.  If they carry on with these traits into adulthood, they are called eccentric or other things.

Eventually, other people came up to The Bandstand to dance while the group performed.  I guess they decided to say to heck with it and just get up and strut their stuff.  It was mostly women granted, and all ages!  They were having a whale of a time.  There were even a few people there in wheelchairs!  I settled to tapping my feet and moving my upper body and singing along with everyone else.  The band encouraged people to get up and dance and boy did they.  There is no way that you would have been able to experience this without a ticket.

Those with the most challenges in their life carried on until the very end.  I guess it gives Stayin Alive a whole new meaning!

 

The Bandstand

Belly Dancing in Eastbourne

I have wanted to learn how to Belly Dance since I was 9.  A Lebanese family lived across the street from us.  From them I learned a few Arabic swear words, learned how to play backgammon, had Lebanese food, and listened to Arabic music.  The ladies in the family would occasionally sing and dance.  I am not sure if it was Belly Dancing, but they could sure move their hips and arms gracefully.  I actually enjoy listening to Arabic and Egyptian music.  I had my first taste of modern Arabic ambient music at The Buddha Bar in Paris.  There is something about it that makes me want to move and sway.

Belly Dancing has always been perceived as entertainment for men.  I have always thought of it as a way of getting to the core of a woman’s femininity and expressing that through the music.  Kind of like the Goddess Diana when she would dance in the woods under the full moon.  Or like the way Isadora Duncan would interpret music in her dance.

Having been scuba diving in Egypt a few times now, I have witnessed various styles of Belly Dancing.  I have seen the skimpily clad young ladies performing in restaurants for the tourists.  They always seem to focus on the men.  I have also seen Egyptian Folk Dancing at the hotels where the women dance with men, in traditional clothes.  Their movements are just as complicated and yet they seem more graceful and entertaining.  They also look like they are enjoying themselves more.

When going into the local markets, I always have to steer clear of the shops that sell Belly Dancing costumes, such as the sparkly bras, jingly scarves, harem pants, etc.  Once a shopkeeper sees that you might be interested in his wares, you are practically dragged into the shop and then it is very difficult to leave without purchasing something.  For me, looking at the costumes was like looking at beautiful shoes, except that I didn’t know how to do the dance that warranted buying the clothes!

On one of my Salsa nights at The Fishermen’s Club, The Sea Gypsies entertained us with a few numbers before the Freestyle started.  I had been talking to one of the dancers earlier in the evening.  She was a beautiful, tall and ample woman.  Apparently, having a bit of meat on one’s bones is an advantage in Belly Dancing.  The dancers were women of various shapes, sizes and ages.  To me, they all looked beautiful in their diversity.  They looked happy and confident and I think that is what really matters and contributes to being a good dancer.

I went to my first Belly Dancing class at the Natural Fitness Centre last Sunday morning.  If I said it would be easy, I would be lying, and that was the beginner’s class!  Alison is a great instructor and she paid attention to what I was doing to make sure I was comfortable.  Most of the women in the class had been doing it for awhile and all had a jingly scarf tied around their hips. (I knew I should have bought one in Egypt when I had the chance!)  Apparently it makes it easier to know if one is doing the hip movements correctly if you can hear the jingle.  It also makes the class more fun!

The class started off with stretching exercises to get us all loosened up and then we worked on some hip and arm movements.  Body posture is completely different to Tango and the butt is definitely to be tucked in.  Focus is put on isolating various muscles and moving them in a different way.  We worked on snake arms, body rolls, and hip movements.  As it was all so new to me, I just tried to keep up and do the best I could.  I have already forgotten how to do some of the moves.

To make the class more interesting, they are working on a routine that they have been practicing for the last 5 weeks.  I am not my best with choreography which is one of the reasons that I have stopped going to a lot of dance classes and is the same reason why I can’t bear aerobic exercise classes.  I am not great at remembering the routines and is also a reason why I stopped going to line dancing classes many years ago. (I actually enjoyed it, but as soon as I managed to get one routine down, they would start on another one and I would end up forgetting the one I learned previously!)

I tried my best to follow along and try and do the shimmies and arm movements.  I got lost a few times but got back into step.  I can’t say that I was graceful or doing everything right, but I gave it a go.  Although Belly Dancing is a dance of improvisation, I can see how it helps to learn a routine or two when dancing as a group.

After we practiced the routine, we followed that with a cool down and more stretching.  I can certainly say that I have used muscles that I never knew I had!  Unfortunately, there is no class this Sunday and I will have to wait another week.  I am really looking forward to it.  There is also a beginner’s course taught at the adult college and all the information can be found at The Sea Gypsies website.  I have to say I really love the name, The Sea Gypsies.  I think I might well fit in. 🙂

Now, I just need to order one of those jingly hip scarves.  What colour do I get?