Pole (Dancing) Fitness – Tried it, it hurt!

It was on my never ending life list, how hard can it be?

Back in 2018 I entered a raffle and there were lots of prizes that I would have loved to win, I even donated a photoshoot as a prize myself, all in aid of Whizz Kidz, a great charity that helps to provide mobility for disabled children. I won – hoorah!

I won 4 classes at The Pole Fitness Academy in Witney. Great, I thought, that’s about as far from my comfort zone that anything could ever be but it was on my never ending life list so here’s an opportunity to get another tick, something else done and achieved.

I’m not sure I can honestly call it an achievement.


  • Seriously, how fit do you need to be! I imagined that although I would never be an expert I’d at least manage a glide or two, a slip down the pole even if slightly rough at the edges but honestly – it’s hard very, very hard.
  • You need muscle strength, all the muscles. I could say it didn’t help that I had a damaged rotator cuff on my right shoulder but I doubt that it would have made much difference even if I was in (my) peak fitness.
  • It looks easy, just grab the pole then rotate and slide gracefully to the floor. In reality I did a pretty good impression of a baby Elephant lurching at the pole and clinging on for dear life before crashing in an undignified heap on the floor – several times!

(This is not me – obviously 🙂)

My final attempt at the basic move resulted in me kicking the pole as I did it and ended with a cut toe and blood all over the floor. I fetched some paper towels from reception and cleaned up the trail from my wound (that would not stop bleeding and really hurt) then sat at the side and watched the others practice their moves. At the end of the session I left with a slightly pained smile on my face and a promise that I’d see them next week.

I have never been back.

I tried, I’m glad I tried but I am to pole dancing what an elephant would be to Ballet.

It’s not giving up it’s knowing your limitations, accepting them and moving on.

(If you want to give it a go I will recommend The Pole Fitness Academy, they have a few branches and the trainer was very patient with an unfit, uncoordinated newbie).




GSB V.02

It’s been a labour of love, several months, 99 Granny squares, a shed load of yarn, blood (from the blisters, yes really blisters from crochet – who knew?), sweat (have you tried making a blanket without having to be under it for at least some of the time? These things get warm you know, that’s kind of their purpose in life) and I want to say tears but that would just be for dramatic effect, making my blanket has been fun so no crying involved.

At the start I thought I needed 120 squares and I decided to use this design.

Square 16

Turns out a standard double bed works just as well with just 99 squares, a couple of rows to join it all and a border.


The pile on the left is ready to go, the pile on the right still needs the ends sewn in…


There are gaps to be filled.


Some assembly needed.

There are a few different ways to join your squares. I chose this one

It took a while…

So close… just the ends to tidy up now.


And I am done. Ta dah! My first, final, finished, double bed size, handmade, granny square blanket. Let the snuggles begin.



A Quick Drink!

It seems like I’ve tried to file my photographs into some sort of order for ever.

When you’re 54 years old and have been taking photographs since your teens there are a lot of photographs and a lot of filing to do.

What do you do with them though? I love taking photographs and documenting life and memories but (thankfully) social media wasn’t around for my 20’s and 30’s so most of my images from that era are just stored on my Mac. I’ve digitised the hard copy photographs that I’ve got in albums and the negs that I’ve had boxed up that go back even further, back to the days that my parents were in their youth. It seems a shame to leave them hidden so I’m jumping on the ‘Throwback Thursday’ train and I’ll stick a few of them on my blog.

Here’s the first – a very drunken night out that started as one of those legendary ‘quick drinks’ after work, sometime in the late nineties in Bertie’s Wine Bar in Wimbledon.


Chipping Norton Museum

So, Chippy’s got a museum. We’ve been residents for a year and a half now so it was well overdue a visit to a little bit of local history.

It’s only £2 to get in with no time limit to how long you spend there, and the curator on the day we visited was full of information and enthusiasm. We weren’t there for long but it’s somewhere I could lose a few hours in the photograph albums they have there so I’ll be going back.

I didn’t know that Chippy was once the home of British Baseball…

In 1917, the first organised baseball competition was held at Churchill. Eight scout teams from Chipping Norton and the surrounding area competed for the Spalding Silver Cup. The Chipping Norton Pioneers won, and the cup is on display in the town’s museum. (Text Quoted from The Oxford Times,)


Some of the mannequins were a little disturbing and it seems only fitting that my photographs from the visit are in Black & White. If you’re in town on a Saturday with some time to spare pop in and say hi to Chippy.