Saturday, 8 January 2011

I PROMISE I haven't forgotten about this blog, promise promise promise!
Lots has been going on of late, including my first appearance in a MUSIC VIDEO!
It was such fun, lots of nice people met and I even saw myself on MTV and the X-Factor (not performing, just in a clip of the video. We did get offered the X-Factor job but they weren't interested in paying us for about 3 days worth of work, so bollocks to that!)

Anywho, other than that things are good. Moving to Brighton in just over a week with two super nice guys whilst Jojo is in Thailand with Spark! circus, adventures!
Two job applications that I'm really excited about as well, both at the university of Sussex student union - fun times by the sea :p

Oddness though - there appears to be another 'Tess LaCoil', whom I've met and is actually a lovely lovely girl. I find it odd as we've known each other for a while (albeit only in a hooping way) and I'm fairly sure I gabbed to everyone about the creation of my website and my steampunk themed performances and yet there she is..... At least I own the domain name, though I haven't done a great deal with it yet. I'll get Tara to help me on that one hopefully! I guess I just find it strange that someone I know and have a lot of hooping friends in common with should choose such a specific name - did she know and choose to ignore the fact that I'd already registered the name? Is it a pure accident? Who can say.

Anywho, I'm starting to chirp up a bit after the crap sandwich that was the start to 2011; a quick rundown just for prosterity.

- Car needs new clutch (between £350-£400). Discovered this upon leaving Ticehurst on NYE. Ignored almost undrivable car and decided to just go for it.
- Ciaran's father died on new years day which is, needless to say, horrific. So much love for that guy.
- Someone has been fraudulently using my debit card to send £80 bunches of flowers to someone in London.
- Spent £70 on taxing a car that will be sitting up the road until I can afford to fix it.


Plus, and this is certainly not a crap-sandwich event but still sad, Sam has an awesome interview coming up for a position at Flamingo land, which is near York. THAT'S FAR AWAY. Not as far as South Africa I'll grant you, but still pretty far. It's an amazing job and he'd be great at it, but fucking York? Makes me sad :(

Anyway, I'm still focusing on me this year, this will be the year of Cazz. Illumi-nation hoops are hopefully being made and will be on their way to me in the next few weeks. Fire wicks should be on the way to me courtesy of my mother for Christmas and I WILL will will will will get a decent job.

Until next time! x

Thursday, 30 September 2010

UK Hoop Gathering part 3 - final days and godbyes!

Glorious, glorious sleep.
That's what I finally managed to get on Saturday night (after a healthy dose of 'MORE DANGER' and 'DO IT NAKED') and awoke bright and early on Sunday for the first seminar with the lovely Gail O'Brian..... sadly for me this workshop was mainly focused on floor starts, throws and kick starts which, with a decidedly dodgy ankle I was rather ill-equiped to do :( Still, I made the best of it, wrote down everything I learnt and came back to it all later - I will prevail!

In the afternoon was 'Expression Session' with Rico who I think we had all rather fallen in love with after his brutally energetic performance from the night before. This particular session was more about feeling the hoop, feeling our relationship with it and redefining our planes - hooping on the vertical plane can be a little tricky and certain moves - duck outs, passes etc - suddenly become almost impossible! Not with the help of Mr. Rico! I finally managed to execute a vertical shoulder duck out BUT it comes and goes.

Sunday was by far and away the best day weather-wise - the sun came out, the rain stayed away and, for the first time all weekend, I felt the sun on my shoulders and developed some truly awesome strap marks.

The sunshine made for a perfect closing ceremony too. As we gathered in a circle to celebrate the love, the sharing, the knowledge and the joy of the weekend Frenchy guided us through a meditation, focusing on our heart shakras. As a group, as one, we channeled the energy of Wild Ways through our hearts and back into the soil, taking with us a little piece of everyone we had met and sharing in the love we had all poured into our craft over the weekend.

I don't want to end my write up by detailing the drive home - it was glorious to have Lorna to share the navigating with and, needless to say, the drive was long and dull.

What I have taken away from this weekend will last me a lifetime.
Things had been, well, a little rough at home before leaving - life, jobs, relationships, they were all feeling the strain of a difficult period in my life. However, being around such inspirational, loving, warm-hearted, beautiful, joyous people made me see what life really is and what life really can be - spectacular. My head truly changed, my heart was turned and I truly believe that UK Hoop Gathering inspired my new mantra -


Monday, 6 September 2010

Part 2..... Saturday.

So, as it turns out, while I was lying in the sky lodge all night unable to sleep, so was everyone else! It was suuuuuper cold and pretty damn noisy on account of all the rain, but still, up and early we got up and headed off to our first workshop - 'Winging It' with the lovely Ems of Hooping Mad!
Basically, the jist of it was elbow work - elbow passes, stalls, reversals and general awesome-ness. I have to say, I'd always considered elbows to have a fairly finite number of moves but goddamn was I wrong! I learnt some awesome stuffs and neeeeeearly got the horizontal elbow pass down (which I have completely neglected to practice since thinking about it - bad Cazz.)

One of the loveliest things about the weekend was the down time. In between workshops and meals and during the evenings we were free to roam about the grounds of WildWays, practice what we'd learnt and generally hoop to our hearts content. This gave my a great opportunity to practice my teachings skills as, having willfully neglected my dissertation for 2 months and hooped constantly instead, I got pretty good pretty quick so had lots of tips to hand out to the newer hoopers! I felt a bit funny being video'd at one point - the lovely Camille wanted to see the difference between a regular vertical duck in and a vertical shoulder throw..... it was pretty cool though. I'd totally forgot how much fun I have teaching people and it did give me the bit of confidence I needed to realistically think about starting up a hooping class. Watch this space!

The afternoon session was with Sharna of Inner Spin (one of the greatest hoop dancers in the world and my mentor I have to say!) and Diana of Hoops Whirled. This particular workshop was really about finding expression and feeling in our movements and making small adjustments that make big differences. For example - we were challenged to maintain a flow with our hoops while keeping both hands firmly attached to the hoop. This resulted in some super twisted limbs and tangled people but that's probably the best way to find new rhythms and moves!
As well as challenges we also tried to identify stumbles and hurdles in our own hooping path - each group had to identify a problem of their own and, as a group, we gave advice and tips on how to make the moves more fluid. This was a wonderful aspect of the workshop for me as I was able to realise how much I knew and how logical my approach to hooping is - it was the beginning of a lot of people coming to me for tips and tricks which I loved! I don't mean that in an egotistical way and I don't mean to sound big-headed. What I loved was being able to help people, being able to share the love and make things easier or more sensible. Helping is best!

As much fun as Saturday night was, I was mainly sitting down having gone over in my ankle on the way down to the yurt for the UKHG renegade circus.... DAMN! I was super annoyed but, determined not to let it get in the way of an awesome weekend, I carried on regardless!

The evening's entertainment was freaking AMAZING.
The first performance was the lovely Carmel who very kindly, and VERY bravely, sang a song by Zero 7. It was literally the perfect way to start the evening and we were all blown away by her voice. She remained completely calm and her voice was beautiful - yey Carmel!
Next up was Rico (zomghawt) with his amazing claw-staff-hoop routine. I have never, in my life, seen anyone move the way he does. There is something raw and overtly masculine about the way Rico hoops which, as obvious as it sounds, is something very special as hooping by it's very nature is a very feminine movement. Rico mainly worked with horizontal shoulder work (with the addition of some very cool movements involving his hat) and as a performance it packed quite a punch!
Diana and Sharna then wowed us all with a very nicely polished and well thought out routine called 'Super Hoopers' about a poor, miserable woman who needs saving from her boredom! Diana looked fantabulous in her cape and, with her super hooper powers inspired Sharna to strip off down to her magical mutli-coloured UV cat suit and hooped up a storm!
We were then treated to a very special poop/juggling balancing act by the ace Mr. Bags! I can only assume that bags is completely mental, coz the culmination of his act was him, balancing a wheelbarrow on his chin, whilst hula hooping. I'm not even kidding. A wheelbarrow. And hoops. It. Was. Awesome.
Gems and her magical hoop routine were followed by the Dreads 'n' Hoops crew (shortly to be known as 'Cute little bobs 'n' hoops' owing to Gems chopping off her dreadlings!) with some rather swanky glow hooping :) Gails performance was pretty spectacular too, though no naked! LAME. We were promised a pants-off dance-off after the escapades of 'Push It Forward' :P
Ems and her glittery pants wowed us all with some super speedy hooping (that girl is like the energiser bunny on speed with her hoops) and the occasional fudge up was totally ignored owing to her 'mazin silver sequined pants which she wantonly pointed in the audience direction! Ems was then joined by Gail for some pretty tricky looking partner hooping - I have video which I will try to post here (internet connection permitting) because trying to describe it just wouldn't do it justice. It looks absolutely incredible and I'm gonns steal a hooper so we can try it out!

After the performances we were all invited to try fire hooping for the first time had we not had our first 'burn' - I had only ever spun off someone else's wicks right at the end so I was eager to try. It was mint! The noise is amazing and I'd totally forgotten how much easier everything is with a heavier hoop. Still, I soon had to go sit down as by this stage my ankle was starting to throb a bit. Still, I got to hang out with the workshops tutors for a bit and watch Sharna and her twin LED hoops of goodness practicing - it was all pretty mint!

Saturday wasn't a big night for us lot in the Sky Lodge - having not slept at all the night before most of us were in bed by about 1am, but not before some NAKED! I won't go into naked details, but it was basically a giant hippy love-in :P

Thankfully, sleep was forthcoming on Saturday night, probably coz we were all so knackered.... still, more fun was to come on Sunday!

Still to come, part 3 - SUNDAY!

Monday, 30 August 2010


I am a woefully, unforgivably, disasterously poor hoop blogger. BUT, the reason for this is SO MUCH AMAZING HOOPING!

There is every chance I will forget too many things for this summer to have seemed as hoop-tastic as it has, and for that reason I will be focusing on the amazingly awesome and truly head-bending UK HOOP GATHERING 'THIRD TIME LUCKY' 2010!

So, to begin with.......

It all kicked off on Friday the 13th (ooooooh) of August, bright and early, packing my stuff into Blue Steel, pausing to say a little prayer that she wouldn't have one of her 'moments' on the motorway and then it was OFF to collect my new hooping buddy Lorna. UKHG tries to be as green as possible so when a hooper from Tunbridge Wells emerged I was more than happy to offer a lift - any hooper is a good hooper, especially local hoopers!

So, we hit the road. Hard. So hard in fact that I managed to get a speeding fine (which I didn't find out about until I got back, but it has in no way detracted from the amazing weekend, trust me!) We wound our way up the M40, past Kidderminster and eventually arrived in deepest darkest Shropshire to the Wildways Retreat. I can only describe the setting as perfect - the views were stunning, the energy was amazing and the grounds provided plenty of inspiration and entertainment, inluding llamas!
The lovely Jenny, Lorna's scouse friend, had bagged us beds in the sky lodge - most amazing tent ever. We explored a bit and soaked in the energy of the land before heading up the hill for the opening ceremonies and cuppa.
Before long we were throwing balls at each other and attempting to learn each others names - note to self: hair dye and funky trousers WILL make you more memorable.... The lovely Gems and Frenchy explained the lay of the land, let us know the very few rules and gave us a glimpse of what was to come with some ridiculous hoop experiments but much laughter ensued! Favourite quote of opening ceremonies - 'There's only one shower so just be a hippy and don't wash' :P

The first thing on the agenda was a new experience to most of us called '5 Rythms Dance' - it was essentially an exploration of self and space in the yurt and a great way for everyone to loosen up, warm up, let go of their inhibitions and anticipate the creativity and flow of the rest of the weekend. Oh, and sweat. A lot. It was amazing though and, given the events of the previous weekend between Sam and I, a great outlet for a lot of anger and frustration. I was glad not to be the only one to find themselves quite emotional at the end.

Friday evening then devolved into madness and hooping and fire and 'MORE DANGER' in equal measure :P Frenchy did a sterling rendition of her street show (having just quit her job to become a street performer full time) and there was, indeed, more danger.
Then the general tone was just lots of fire, glow and fun. The music was amazing and it was a joy to share tricks and tips with so many people on such an informal basis.... I had quite the starstruck moment when my shoulder toss move (sounds dirtier than it is) attracted a crowd of 'ooohs' and 'aaahs' :)

And so Friday drew to a close..... sadly none of us in the Sky Lodge managed to sleep at all for some unknown reason - perhaps it was all the energy flying about! The incessant rain didn't help either. Still, there's no stopping a determined group of hoopers!

Part 2 - 'Saturday' to be continued.............. :)

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Fnar fnar fnar.
I'm sitting here in the charming kitchen of Mr and Mrs Pilcher who are currently in Majorca and for whom I am house-sitting, having wangled my way onto their net connection. Tis a hard life this house-sitting gig. For example, this afternoon I will be heading out into the paddock to do some hooping in the sunshine before taking a quick dip in the pool to cool off. Tough stuff!

In other news - I had a few beers and decided that it WAS a good idea to put a £50 deposit down on my ticket for this years SWHoop convention. YEY! Fun times in Brizzle with Emily Bee and co. Baxter and Brecken will be there as well as the lovely miss Sharna Rose and Ems of Hooping Mad. That's a lot of hoopy love.

In other other news - SAM GETS BACK ONE MONTH TODAY! Huzzah I tells 'ee. I have a strange, sinking feeling that his flight gets in at 6am or something equally anti-social and I am, of course, designated taxi driver. Small price to pay to get my big hairy lover back though.

Anyhow, duty calls and I simply must go and read a book in the sunshine.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Woop! I found my Southern Lights neighbours on facebook! Huzzah I tells 'ee :) An awesome lot they were too, so glad I camped where I did. Such charming folks they were that I was even wrapped up in a duvet upin complaining about the cold - Steve and Matt win prizes.

This is blatently a side effect of festival going that I neglected to write about yesterday - the people. It was almost overwhelming to be surrounded by such a huge group of supremely talented people and gloriously friendly folk - nothing like awesome people to make you feel quite insignificant! Still, I was sad to leave so early and will miss my circus friends in the mean-time.

Still wearing the wrist band though ;)

Monday, 14 June 2010

That's me there in the middle! My dear darling glow hoop doesn't show too well in this photo as I was doing a lot of vertical stuff, but Ems is on the right and I'm fairly sure on the left is Gail..... either way, huzzah!

There will hopefully be more pictures later, I think I was snapped once or twice so watch this space.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Southern Lights and suburnt thighs.....

I can barely keep my eyes open (at the grand old time of ten past nine in the evening) due to not really sleeping at all last night BUT, I had to get some of this down lest I forget..... Southern Lights was b'oody brilliant!

I didn't go until Saturday morning due to the complete lack of hooping workshops until Saturday afternoon, though I did miss the LED ball.... still, fun times! I got there just as the beginners hoop class was starting so I watched many MANY newbies flinging hoops about. Tent pitching happened and I introduced myself to the neighbours - Coz, Bas and Lucette (I think) who between them had virtually no circus skills, which meant I got to do a bit of teaching! Steve and Matt, more skill-less visitors, were on the other side and I inadvertantly managed to camp literally in front of Lorna's mum and dad - tres bizarre! Other good news also included Ms Emily Bee and Bags being aboot after all and Emma from Bristol along with Gail and other super talented people, with whom I had a fab time glow hooping on Saturday night....... apparently there will be pictures!

So, either way, Saturday was just playing, wandering about and locating important things like the bar and performance stages. The show case in the evening was freaking amazing - Looop flew all the way in from Belgium and did some amazing partner poi, swiftly followed by Bendy Ben and some of the best juggling EVAR! The finale act was a half French, half Russian street performer who, whilst dragging on a little, was doing some fantastic balance work.

The fire show was FREAKING AWESOME - SaFire did a fab 3 hoop fire demo which was kinda the highlight of my weekend as I had been waiting to see her perform for aaaaages, and she's usually miles away in the United States of Canuckia. She won't be at the third UK Hoop Gathering, which sucks balls, but still, was nice to chat to her and her workshops were super - I learnt a ton and even managed to get the hang of vertical chest hooping.
I had to scamper pretty sharpish after the final tute which was a shame but I did managed to leave a message in a bottle for them before practically walking over them on my way out.... They were awesome and I really hope I see them next year!

That was a very superficial and not at all well put together account of the some bits of the weekend and I'm sure I shall come back and furnish it with greater detail at some point in the future. Mostly though I want to remember how OH SO BEAUTIFUL the setting was...... Rolling hills doesn't even cover it. The sea was glistening in front of us all weekend and the sun was blazing. Good times!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sunshine and strap-marks.

Well good god the weather has been amazing. I decided that today was a good day to spend out of the sun, but the previous 48 hours were spent gloriously sun-bathing and ignoring the fact that I'm still unemployed, being forcibly removed from the only village I've ever been lucky enough to call 'home' and won't be seeing my boyfriend for a further two months..... and it was great :)

Today on the other hand was spent indoors, giving my poor pale skin a bit of a break and dyeing my hair a nice reddy colour. I of course have bright orange patches of skin all around my hair line but that can be taken care of at a later date.
Tomorrow night is quiz night, then comes another Friday night when I will hopefully be heading to Yalding to see Ms. Sharna Rose and then to the Bull to hopefully drink considerably less than I did last week, or last night for that matter. I feel asleep last night with contacts in and teeth-unbrushed. Haven't done that in a VERY long time!

Hoop wise, well, I think I've had an almost breakthrough - I seem to have lost my fear of 'letting go' and actually dancing in front of people. It's taken me a good few weeks of daily hooping in our communal field to get over the fact that someone might be watching and to just let go, find a rythm and go for it. I still feel the pressure to fuck up less, but that can only be a good thing frankly! The poly is working out well too, I'm making decent progress with re-learning things with a lighter hoop, and it's really nice for breaks, which are also coming along well!

Other than that it's birthday plans as usual - Nancy (the pint sized Canuck currently co-habiting with my brother) got me a LOT of multi-coloured bunting for the great event and I have big plans for buying booze in a few days time. Before all that though is the arrival of the Bristol housemates! Matt, Simone and Jacqui are heading down for a spot of countryside-ness over the bank holiday weekend and I'm sure we'll find a lane and a football at some point and revive arguably the greatest sport of all time - LANEBALL!

Friday, 21 May 2010

THIS is VERY exciting........

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Slight fail on my behalf... I totally failed to make it over to Maidstone for Big Tricks, Little Top which sucked balls. I just couldn'y justify a) the petrol costs or b) the cost of the class having spent £45 on groceries, £40 on vouchers for my cousins wedding gift, £15 for a new air bed after my dear friend The D-G-H put a hole in the last one... which I only discovered once I got to Glade! Grrr. Either way, it was an expensive day so half a tank of petrol wasn't exactly what I wanted to be spending :s

Anywho, I'm still working with the polyethylene which is fantastically satisfying from a breaks and throws point of view but a bit frustrating from a body work point of view. I have to move a lot more to keep it going and the size still presents a small vortex problem.... BUT the throws look AMAZING and absolutely fly :) It also means that when I lose it I *really* lose it... I had to chase it half way around the back of the church yesterday, much to the amusement of the boy who was watching through his bedroom window :p

In other news I'm currently planning my 25th, which is mildly concerning. I'm not really worried that I'm turning 25, frankly ageing is not something I'm worried about just yet. BUT what does worry me is the possibility that, in spite of me putting all this effort and buying food and sorting shit out, no one will turn up :( I do this every year, worry that no one will show, but this time I'm NOT in Bristol, all my friends are NOT just up the road and it's a lot more complicated. Plus some of the locals have already said they can't make it, which makes me really sad coz they've all been such a bit part of my life for the last 6 months. Plus Sam isn't here, so I'll have no one to give me a big birthday morning hug when I wake up! Basically I don't think anything will top last year and me opening the door to what I assumed was the postman but it actually being Sam who came home a week early to surprise me on my birthday - it was literally the best birthday ever :)
Either way, the good people should be here and I'll just have to get shit-faced if all else fails!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Finally got around to registering my chosen domain names - I am now the proud owner of:



I'm not even close to being ale to perform yet, I need to work on my repertoire and get me some fire hooping experience, but it's a place to start! Hopefully I'll find some amazing people to learn and share with at UKHG :)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Damn you clouds.....

Thwarting my every attempt to hoop..... buggerations.

Yesterday was a good day though - neighbour Greg is in the process of erecting a potting shed in the communal field behind our houses and, for most of yesterday afternoon, I sat in the sunshine with Nina and her lovely little boy Adam watching him dig a hole! Adam of course insisted on 'helping' which meant he flicked mud at Greg, whilst calling him Jim and periodically jumped on his mum. Even Obi the dog came out to play - Obi sounds like a hell hound from the other side of the gate but once they let him out he's a giant softy, like a giant bear-cub!

Anywho, the evening was spent in the very pleasant company of the Ticehurst locals soaking up the last few rays of the sun and, in my case, drinking far too much :s I was fine when I got home (courtesy of the ever-chivalrous Adrian) but when 4.30am rolled around I was feeling less than shiny. 9.30am felt far more dignified though - even Greg and Groper were up by then and making attempts at shed-erection (how rude.)

So now the clouds have rolled in so my afternoon of hooping has been somewhat halted by the cold (and, to be fair, the presence of two 30 somethings attempting to make a shed in the field). Perhaps with my afternoon I shall work on some breaks and reversals in my room.... let's hope Wellington hasn't taken up residence in my hoops, again.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


This was formerly a whiney post written when I was in a bad mood.
It has since been fed some cookies and milk and told to lighten up a bit :)