Oh my, it's my first rant of 2017. Jeez I'm slow to get going this year. Now this one is all about the S's. And I'm going to start with switches. Ah, switches, specifically light switches. You flick them on and off and the lights respond. One might say, it's magic. But then, cue a gadget mad man who wants to have a smart home and gets the stupid Amazon Echo for Christmas, and suddenly I am no longer in control of my lights. She is. Alexa. The one who inhabits the Echo.
Now having to walk in your living room and ask the disembodied robot voice to turn on your lights is not only weird but it's also slower than actually flicking the switch on, especially as half the time she chooses not to understand what you say, or not to connect to the Wi-Fi. And in the morning, you creep in, desperate not to wake said gadget mad man as he's just finished his law degree, and you whisper to Alexa to turn the lights on and she screams in reply: 'You asked me so nicely, but I'm sorry I didn't understand the question.' At which point everyone in the building is awake and I'm cursing her and running around trying to shut doors and shut her up. (I may have slightly over exaggerated here, but it was fookin' loud.)
Now, I'm a nice, polite person, considerate of others and all that jazz, and I started to get used to her and I thanked her every time she put the lights on, or switched them off, even though she's not real and I know that, I really do. But when I came home one night and sang her name, and asked her through the power of song to switch on the lights, and she didn't even respond, that was the final straw. You bitch. I am singing to you and you don't listen. I mean, you responded to the TV when we were watching an episode of The Good Wife and someone yelled Alicia and it switched you on. That's not even your name! And she responded when someone was face timing us and they said Alexa all the way from Exeter through the screen to switch her on. But a song from me: nothing.
And now, we have a new switch on the wall, so I don't even have to talk to Alexa anymore. I mean, it's not my original switches and I fear they may never be used again, but at least I can control the brightness of the lights, though I still don't like that fact that it controls all three lights at the same time, Sometimes I just want one light on. Fookin' smart homes, ain't so smart. They don't know what you want and you still have to work at it. And yes, my mind is stuck in the 20th Century and I'm quite happy about that.
Okay, so that covers the singing and switches. Now onto the sweating and sorry. We started swing dance classes two weeks ago and not only is it amazing fun, but it is a shit hot work out. An hour of bouncing around and practising steps. The first week I was so out of breath and my legs were killing me. But this week was so much better and I was able to keep up. I could have stayed an extra hour. I have to say though, we did think we'd be dancing just the two of us together, learning the moves, cutting up the dance floor. Ha ha, how wrong we were.
These dance classes don't require people to have a partner, because they split you leaders and followers (I had such an issue with this in the first week, because I don't want to be a follower just because I'm a woman. I hadn't realised just how sexist dancing was until I tried to take part in it. But then it's a battle isn't it? Do I really want to be lifting grown men - if we ever make it as far as lifts - and twirling them around? But then why can't I lead? Ahhhhhhhhhh! So I gave in and became a follower, though I don't like to think of it like that, and quite often I was leading the leader because they weren't doing the move on the correct beat. But still, that was a tough pill to swallow.) and then you all the learn the steps and you rotate partners throughout the lesson, so you end up dancing with twenty or thirty random people. Fun, fun, fun, except for the sweat factor.
That first week I had underestimated how warm it would get dancing the Charleston and had put too many layers on. Needless to say, sweat ensued. But then you realised that everyone else was sweating too. And then came the apologies. Ah, we Brits do love to apologise. I'm sorry. Oh, I'm so sorry. Sorry. Ha ha. But then you look across and see the guys sweating through their shirts and you think, ah well, I'm not the only one. The guys had to hold your back and we had to hold their shoulders in a side by side dance, so there was a lot of touching and sweaty wetness. This week was a little better, as we were in tandem, one in front of the other and we only had to touch by hands. A lot less apologising. And a lot less sweat on sweat. Still, it is so freakin' fun. I can't wait for next week.
Before I go, I must leave you with an oil alien that I created last night, when I splashed some oil in a pan. I was making risotto and just about to fry the pancetta, when I discovered that my flick of the wrist had created this little beauty.