Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Birds and Ballrooms

Off the grid for the past couple of days because I'm still enamored with the Olympics. Though, with the conclusion of figure skating and a few other favorite sports, my unwavering focus is pretty much over for another four years.

Yesterday, whilst the rain lashed, the wind howled and I watched the competitions, I finished the first of 25 origami strands for the 1000 Cranes.  This is such a soothing project, I'm really enjoying the exercise.

I've divided things up into three work sections.  One day I'll do the initial folding, then another day I'll finish them.  Surprisingly, the hardest part is stringing these little buggers birds onto the silk thread. They don't want to stack up in perfect symmetry like I expected--or as I've seen in photos. Although that could have something to do with the person making them: no two are exactly alike.

The initial folds...then the finished birds...and finally, the first strand.  Now, only 24 to go!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Last night I watched the Russian skaters, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, do their stunning short program (today they did the long and got the gold).  I was totally mesmerized by their dance, and yes, I mean dance.  I forgot I was watching ice skating. All I could see was the glide, the synchronicity of movement, the stunning way two people could waltz together.  It made me think of days long gone, and the beauty of old Russia. This performance was swoon-worthy.  Absolutely romantically fabulously swoon-worthy, and they got the highest score ever in Pairs Skating.

[The YouTube video I really wanted wouldn't upload, though here's another one
 that might work instead.  I think there's no question why they won.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Do you ever wonder if you've been born in the wrong time and place?  Every now and then, I do.  I sometimes think industry and technology have just plain ruined things.  How cool to ride in a carriage rather than a car; have respect and manners still be part of normal life; recognize that the simple things in life are what truly matter.

Course, there really is no such thing as the "good old days" you know.  There's an exhibit in York (England) called the Jorvik Viking Centre that illustrates that perfectly.  This particular exhibit takes you on a journey through 2,000 years of British history...the smells, the people, the general sense of life as it was once lived.  And believe me when I say, I will never, ever forget the stench of the 14th century, or the eye-watering burn of the Industrial Age.

How they could recreate the smells of animals and refuse and sweat and smoke was just amazing...and gagging.  You rode through the 2,000 year timeline in a car-like contraption, each century unfolding to your ears and nose and sight.  It's a great exhibit, as is the medieval town of York, one of my favorite places in Britain.

So, not all was sunshine and roses in our past.

But, oh, how much would I love to waltz across a ballroom with a handsome, dashing man...just once.


  1. Kind of like the nostalgia some of the more historical cats around here have for the mining days. Sure, the Victorian era was interesting, but the noise and the smells and the fact all the trees got cut down. No thanks. I'll do with the ruins and stories.

    1. I imagine in a hundred years or so--assuming humans are still around--there will be folks pining for those quaint old days of 2014... ;D