The Lake District, studio cleaning, and hyper-mobility.

A couple of our friends were on holiday near Ullswater this weekend, so we popped up yesterday. Pictures on my instagram

‘Twas a lovely day. We first had a huge brunch, then took a steamer boat (Lady of the Lake) across Ullswater, and walked up Hallin Fell. Such stunning views. And glorious fresh air, it was wonderful. Well worth going. We didn’t follow the proper path back down so there was one rather hairy moment of scrambling off a little cliff which would have been less scary if a) I didn’t mind heights, and/or b) the land below had been more horizontal… You probably could have just jumped down, but the land sloped away so dramatically and was covered in so much fern and foxglove that you had no way of knowing what you’d be landing on. It was quite funny though, and a good mini-adventure for someone like myself (who would not actively choose any pass-time involving being on the edge of height or sheer drops). 

Indian food for dinner and the day was done. Excellent company, beautiful landscape, fair weather. All was well with the world. 

Today we have been tidying our studio and throwing some stuff out. All in preparation of the year “off”. We made a good dent on the ground floor, but still have a day’s work upstairs at the least. In amongst all this, we’ve found various bits and bobs. Some books I forgot about, old patterns, Sparklewren gift cards, things like that. I’m considering doing a couple of give-aways as a result. Perhaps do a little competition or something. It might be nice, for instance, to give away one or two of my first Birds Wing style patterns, see what can be made of them by others. 

This evening I have been learning more about the potential problems in the selective breeding of dressage horses. It reminded me of something I saw Darcey Bussell say once. To paraphrase… that being blessed with a long and super-flexible physique, her fitness focus was stability rather than flexibility. 

I suppose those two things (stability and flexibility) combine to form proper mobility. Dressage has traditionally been about gymnasticising the horse, so that he can perform the playful movements he might do in the field under new circumstances (ie: with his balance changed due to the addition of a rider). The tradition formed over centuries, with regular horses that had a job to do. Breeding for hyper-flexible horses is like breeding for ballet dancers built like Darcey, but then training them as though what she still needs is more flexibility. The horses almost have too much “natural talent”, perhaps. And they’re often allowed (encouraged) to fling themselves around without a whole lot of stability. 

At any rate, I just found it an interesting thought. I wonder if there might be more connections to be made by looking at thoughts from human dancers of varying physiques. 

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