Alison Crowther-Smith

Archive for November, 2017

New Workshop Dates for 2018

Friday, November 10th, 2017

I have added 2 new dates to the Court Cottage events – these are repeats of events that quickly filled up.  There is a repeat of Gift Knits, and this is on 22 September; and a repeat of Moons and Stars Fairisle and this is on 23 September.

I am also adding new external dates for 2018.  I will be teaching in Bovey Tracey in February and March 2018; and in Dawlish in April and October 2018 – I will add details and links nearer the time.

All my Court Cottage courses for 2018 can be viewed here.

Do come!


Christmas Workshops 2017: images

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Crocheted Heart Wreath with Lights, Mini Jumpers, ‘Frozen Hearts’ Picture Frames, Icicle

Heart Wreath 1

christmas 2017 icicle in bauble

christmas 2017 hearts 2

christmas 2017 montage

christmas 2017 3 jumpers



Strictly My Own Opinion

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

I am, as many of you know, a very enthusiastic fan of Strictly Come Dancing.  It is an on-going source of sadness and frankly, bewilderment, that I am still waiting for the call to join the ranks, but maybe next year.

In the meantime, every year a similar pattern develops.  I watch the Going-In show.  This year’s was especially terrible.  I watch the Pairing-Up show. I complain at length to anyone in the room that I don’t know half of them, have barely heard of another bunch, dislike three of the four I do recognise and really only like one.

Then the dancing starts and I am quickly able to forget that I had never heard of this or that soap star or sports person or weather/anchor person.  They become part of my late autumn/early winter routine and I feel I have known them all my life.

So, this year I was a bit uncertain because Len has of course retired. I say retired. He appears to have gone on to present a sort of game show, I am not entirely sure as I only saw a clip and he was very mahogany.  I was miffed that Darcy was not appointed as Head Judge as I really like her. I like her now.  At first I didn’t so much but she has almost stopped saying:  ‘yeah?’ after and during every sentence. Almost…

What do we think of new Head Judge, Shirley?  I am going to tell you that (as with almost all the dancers in week one) I had never heard of her and her so-called Latin credentials don’t impress me much.  What I find really odd is that the programme makers sacked (OK, moved) former judge Arlene in what I considered to be a blatantly sexist and ageist move some years so and instead we had the attractive, and much younger Alesha Dixon – great amateur dancer, nice woman I suspect but not a judge.  I didn’t care for Arlene much but I was still incensed by her treatment.  And now they have replaced Len with a woman who I think is strikingly similar to Arlene. They look quite alike.  They both have harsh, difficult-to-listen-to voices.  Why did they do that?  I mean, great if they were trying to address telly’s openly hostile treatment of mature female personalities – which I doubt – but she is not a good fit.  Maybe she will grow into it.

So far, I think Shirley is doing a mediocre job at best.  I give her a 4.  Her marking is incredibly more inconsistent and I think she really is starting to play favourites…she is spoiling it for me.  Craig and Darcy are now the voices of reason, Bruno is – well, he’s Bruno.  But Shirley is mainly just so dull.  What she is saying may be right, but now (Hallowe’en week) I am watching it on iPlayer on my PC so I can fast-forward through the Shirley bits.

The other thing that I just can’t be doing with any more are the daft introductions before each pair dances.  I like seeing the rehearsals but not the silly messing about.  Please make it stop.

As for the contestants, so far I have been very happy with the decisions of the Great British Public (muses:  should the influence of the GBP on our nation’s fate be limited in future to voting on reality TV programmes?  Answer:  might be safer). The ones who have left were all the worst dancers and the recent leavers failed to improve so that’s fair.

And I absolutely I love Debbie.  She fantastic and so is her partner.  What a role model.

More SCD blogging to follow!