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.............. :)