My ballet training was short-lived due to an incident involving a lost shoe. This shoe belonged to my friend Donna whose burgeoning dance career also faltered at this point. So after one lesson it was all over and I didn’t even get a tutu. Whether or not this had any impact on today’s events I will let you decide.
Today we tackled the Azalea Bank which runs parallel, but several feet below, the road that divides top and bottom gardens. This steeply sloping border is strewn with incidental boulders and holes, is full of bracken, brambles, crocosmia and, yes you’ve guessed it, mature evergreen azaleas. The difficulties in this task were fourfold: unsure footing and the effort of digging out brambles etc caused much cartoon slipping and sliding; proximity to the edge of road and a surfeit of walkers meant that curious dogs kept popping their heads through the hedge to see who was making all the racket, only to come shockingly eye to eye with the perpetrators; the amount of material that had to be transported again and again down dodgy steps, across the lawn to the compost bins (see Hero dragging sheet above); and lastly the handrail that runs the length of this border. Due to the retaining wall below this handrail is too low to duck under but too high to comfortably climb over, well for those of us with legs slightly shorter than Darcey Bussell. Given that this manoeuvre had to be undertaken many times over the course of the day, between myself and Hero we achieved some interesting (some might say artistic) positions, which became progressively more freestyle as fatigue set in. I would say more Contemporary Jazz Fusion than Classical Ballet.