What Happened in November?

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What is it about the end of the year that means the closer we get to Christmas, the more each month is speeding up?

I thought I started dealing with my Christmas gifts plenty early this year – hell, the crochet gift I just finished I started mid-October – but I haven’t even planned out any other gifts aside from the ones I’ve bought yarn for.

I’m so disorganised this year, and I’m trying not to get anxious about it!

1st November – APDM Delivery Day!

I was so excited when Ally from APDM got in touch to ask if I wanted to contribute to this awesome magazine! The article I wrote, “Performing with Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder”, talks about how my first showcase performance was a key part of my mental health recovery journey, and how staying true to my style helped me overcome some of my anxieties.

1st November – Olivia’s Townhouse Nottingham

Emma is facing into the camera. Her hair is down, and she's wearing eyeliner and lipstick. She's in a black dress and has a gold necklace on. In the background is a dancefloor lit by neon pink lights

I was invited along to the opening night of Olivia’s Townhouse in Nottingham, and brought Nick along for the ride. I’m so glad I did, because the venue was so badly organised that it would have sucked going alone. The venue didn’t open until an hour and a half after the start time, the live act had so little space for his equipment that he was fighting a feedback loop for the first ten minutes of his set, and for a cocktail and pizza place, the cocktails and pizza weren’t anything special.

I get the impression that the PR company who invited me was held back by the venue, particularly given that the event had already been put back once because the venue wasn’t ready. Still, it was a pretty venue, the staff were lovely, and I got three free glasses of Prosecco, so it’s not all bad.

9th November – Jazzy K Workshop

I didn’t get any pictures or videos from the workshop for reasons I don’t feel ready to talk about yet, but the workshop taught me a lot of new techniques I’m interested in trying out in my own practice.

17th November – Blood Donation #6!

I might sound weird for saying that I was looking forward to giving blood, but it’s true! Unfortunately, my appointment was cancelled on Blood and Burgers night – which is where a bunch of us get together to give blood, and go out for burgers afterwards – but I was still able to donate a few days later.

It also means I’ve managed to do 3 donations every year I’ve been donating, and I’m hoping to keep that up next year too!

24th November – The Full Peach Experience!

The wonderful Peach Lee Ray invited me up to her studio, Feelin’ Peachy, for an hour and a half of private coaching! That hour and a half flew by as she taught me so much, including so many fundamental bits of knowledge that I wish I’d learned sooner. Keep your eyes peeled for the full review (and interview!) coming up soon!

29th November – A Wedding!

Emma and Nick are smiling and facing the camera. They're both wearing glasses. Emma has her hair up in a half-ponytail and is wearing a red dress and black cardigan. Nick is wearing a suit with a blue shirt and dark blue tie.

I absolutely love weddings, and I can guarantee I always get a bit weepy and emotional. Last Friday, my uncle and his long-term partner got married, and it was beautiful! The ceremony was small and intimate, and was followed by a reception meal at a local restaurant. Super chill, sweet, and a lovely day all round.

November Blog Post Round-Up

I told you all I’d finally get round to reviewing this awesome book, so here it is! I loved reading Things No-one Will Tell Fat Girls, and while I’m still struggling with my body image, dipping back into this book when I need to has been a huge help.

The cough totally intentional cough theme of this month has ended up being body image, because it’s been on my mind a lot recently. While I consider myself part of the body positive community, one of the most toxic ideas in this space is that it’s possible to love your body 100% of the time, always, and forever. It’s not realistic, and I wanted to talk about what to do when bad body image days inevitably hit and how to help yourself heal through the process.

Yep, I finally got organised and published this year’s Christmas gift guide before November! This looooong list is perfect not only for the pole dancers looking to treat themselves, but also to pass on to friends and family who might not have a clue what to buy them – and yes, it also works as a cheeky hint that you want a pole from Santa this year!

I am a warning. You don’t want to look like me – Medium

Yep, I wrote a post based on a fatphobic comment I read on Facebook. It’s a ranty ramble about how health concernists don’t give a shit about your health, why being fat isn’t a bad thing, and the pressure to lose weight.

Gaming

Four characters from Destiny 2

Yep, I’m still playing Destiny 2. It’s become my go-to video game these days. It’s the first MMO I’ve ever played that hasn’t demanded an unreasonable amount of time, which makes it a great game for unwinding in the evening.

We’ve played Pandemic* a lot this month, as it’s the game we always end up playing when Nick’s parents come over for dinner. Not that I’m complaining – the only problem is we haven’t won a single game of Pandemic yet this month! In totally unrelated news, I’m banned from shuffling the cards now.

(Pssst…check out my quick review of Pandemic in September’s round-up post!)

Reading

The book cover of Playing Big by Tara Mohr

Currently reading:

Playing Big by Tara Mohr*

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood*

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini*.

Watching

The Dragon Prince (Netflix). Okay, we binged this in less than 24 hours because I would die for Zym. I’m not even joking. TDP is the newest creation of Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond, who produced Avatar: The Last Airbender, so if you love that show like I do, then watch The Dragon Prince! It’s got dragons (shocker), magic, it’s brilliantly written, and one of the main characters is voiced by the same guy who voiced Sokka in ATLA. It’s amazing!

Final Space (Netflix). I’ve described this in the past as “Rick and Morty, for people who don’t like Rick and Morty” and I stand by that. It’s similarly absurd with great characters, and does surprisingly hit you right in your feelings.

Iliza Shlesinger – Unveiled (Netflix). I’m a big fan of Iliza – and I got to see her Elder Millennial set live in Birmingham last year! In this new special, Iliza covers her wedding, the wedding industry, feminism, and features Blanche in a tiny wedding dress. RIP Blanche.

Daybreak (Netflix). This was a bit of a slow burn for the first few episodes, but definitely picked up after around episode 3. I think the best way to describe it is a high school teen drama – but set in the apocalypse. It’s funny, heartwrenching, and you’ll definitely be taken on a rollercoaster of emotions around certain characters.

QI (Netflix, BBC). Season P has just turned up on Netflix, so we’re working through that right now. There’s not many panel shows that I really watch these days – mostly because I don’t have a TV license – but QI is the one we always keep up with.

Elementary (Amazon Prime)*. I honestly can’t believe that I’m actually enjoying an American adaptation of Sherlock, but here we are. I probably wouldn’t have touched it if it wasn’t for Hbomberguy’s endorsement (and criticism of the BBC adaptation, which really opened my eyes). It’s actually a really good modern adaption of the Sherlock stories, so it’s worth checking out.

Pole and Fitness

This month has definitely been a rollercoaster for pole!

Earlier in the month, I was feeling so deep in a pole rut that I was having to force myself to the studio once a week. The dark nights aren’t making it easy to leave the house, and I’ve spent the last few months feeling like I wasn’t making any progress at all.

The workshop I was really excited for didn’t help me feel any better about being a fat girl in the pole world. I felt (and still do, in some ways) very much othered in the pole world because of my size and how my body works.

Then, I went to visit Peach Lee Ray at Feelin’ Peachy, and in only an hour and a half, she showed me the light.

We’d talked previously about what I was struggling with, and in the lesson, she gave me a lot of practical advice that not only got me the closest I’ve ever been to my Cross Knee Release, but the first one-handed Skater and Peter Pan that I’ve ever done!

I’m going to be publishing my review and the interview some time within the next few weeks, and I’m really excited for you all to read how the magic of Peach helped me find my love of pole again.

Lifting

I want to get back to weightlifting regularly, and for some reason, I decided starting again in the winter – when our garage/weights room is freezing – was a stellar idea.

I’m effectively starting back at the beginning and doing a simple full-body routine instead of the upper body/lower body split I used to do, but I want to build the routine back up to ideally three days a week before I adjust what I do.

My strength has gone down a little since I last lifted, but that’s to be expected. In my next session I’m probably going to be putting most of these weights up, so we’ll see where I am by the time January rolls around!

Current Weights:

Barbell Squats – 3×8 15kg

Bench Press – 3×8 15kg

Row – 3×8 15kg

Deadlift 1×8 40kg


Join me in January where most of what I’ll be talking about will inevitably involve Christmas.

In the meantime, you can keep an eye on me over on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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