Pilates-Inspired Romance & Teeny-Tiny Muscles

My friend and I went to a Pilates class the other afternoon. After my dabble with yoga with the Italian mamma Elena, I decided the release was an addictive, enjoyable thing to do with forty-five minutes of my week. I slept better after, started to eat better and have generally become a nicer person.

When it comes to being an au-pair, it is important to make the children think they are always right, whilst in fact proving later they are wrong: this applies to timings, homework, brushing hair, brushing teeth, TV times etc. But to apply this kind of command, you need a calm collectiveness that I’ve discovered can be  found and maintained by yoga (or Pilates, or by the time I’ve written this three more vaguely similar workout techniques will have appeared all over adverts).

“After my dabble with yoga with the Italian mamma Elena, I decided the release was an addictive, enjoyable thing to do with forty-five minutes of my week”

So my french friend Anne-Sophie and I got our Sweaty-Betty’s (sweatpants for women who don’t ‘sweat’ ever, but maintain a glowy, doe-like sheen before, during and after a work out). This is as much not me as I wish it was.

So, there ended up being four of us in the class.  Only four, I was quite embarassed. No room for hiding or shirking any yoga responsibility. The class was made up of my friend, the instructor, another lady and myself. The instructor was French, but spoke fluent Italian. He was quite small, but very well built, with slightly crooked teeth. Anne-Sophie liked him immediately (don’t ask.)

The lights dimmed and a hush fell upon the room as a reedy, whispering sound came from the instructor’s iPod, which he took out what looked like a bag made of bamboo leaves. The music was entitled: The moon song of the winds that graze over the grasses of Mount Kilimanjaro, in the springtime, on horseback, serenely. I

The main focus of the class was to relax, wake up and tense your tiny, vital stomach muscles near the pelvic bone, (the ones you never use and may not know exist but are really, really important). The instructor helped show us where they were by pressing down on our stomach muscles, and I don’t remember thinking I’d signed anything for that yoga-related intimacy to be ok. I was very uncoordinated at first, then got more into it as the song merged from Grass Grazing to River Wallowing. The music was calming at least and I couldn’t even hear any noise from the street. There was a little window that poured sunlight into the studio, so that was nice and probably a bit of a prop too.

“Main focus…was to relax, wake up and tense your tiny, vital stomach muscles near the pelvic bone, (the ones you never use and may not know exist but are really, really important…)”

In the end Anne-Sophie got a date of it, (and probably a couple more free sessions if you know what I mean) and my teeny-tiny stomach muscles that had probably woken up with a jerk felt a little bit firmer than they ever had, so I left feeling like the cat who got the (non-fat, no dairy) cream.

“In the end Anne-Sophie got a date of it…and my teeny-tiny stomach muscles that had probably woken up with a jerk felt a little bit firmer…so I left feeling like the cat who got the (non-fat, no dairy) cream”

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Jellyfish Cocktails

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The Style Section

After some winks and nudges, I have been asked to provide a The Signorina: STYLE section – to document Wish Lists and a Comment area on the ever-evolving and ever-fascinating world of Fashion.

Jazz Go For It

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The only thing to do when confronted with long, gloomy faces bumping into you and the moping melancholy of late Jan/early Feb is to face the rainy cobbles and go to a fizzy Jazz Bar, where big hair and big bottoms rub up against you.
The only difference between a rainy London street and one in Rome, is that Romans are nonchalantly chic, immaculately dressed in moody, dark Gucci and Belstaff and – and that’s only the dogs and children.
On the other hand, in London wellies dabble about the pavements, frumpy, wobbly and out-of-place, (get a field people!) Anyway, that isn’t why I’m here.

“The only thing to do when confronted with gloomy, long faces bumping into you and the moping melancholy of late Jan…is to face the rainy cobbles and go to a fizzy Jazz Bar where big hair and big bottoms rub up against you”

A French friend, Anne-Sophie (you’ve met her before) and I went to an exceptionally sexy place called Gregory’s Jazz Club. If you are ever on Via Gregoriana 54, Rome – squeeze by shaking cleavages and shiny brogues of men and women lounging about like panthers around the doorway, find yourself a nimble stool balancing next to one of those tall mahogany tables. It is where Jessica Rabbit’s and bottle-necked politicians fight for bar space. I was wearing a simple, black dress, but my friend had this long, glossy number on, (it may have even been monogrammed if I remember correctly,) ridiculously exposing one long leg, (Angelina Jolie would have turned in her LA king-size bed.)

“Do you ‘fink tis too much?”

Think low, ambient lighting and by a mere, mute hand wave, order one of those transparent cocktails that look like liquified jellyfish with ice from a waiter with a twinkly eyes and slicked back hair. Once the tuba man bounds to his feet and the music starts, you will forget where and who you are and your troubles will pump out of your brain.

It was one of those Wednesday jam sessions, which is apparently the most buoyant night of the week. The atmosphere was built to be twinned with the wild, jazz encrusted bars that sprung up around New York towards the end of the forties. Think Ben Webster and Lester Young.

“Once the tuba man bounds to his feet, you will forget where and who you are and your troubles will pump out of your brain”

It is Rome’s own personal date with live jazz.

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La jam session del mercoledi’ è l’appuntamento storico con il jazz dal vivo al Gregory’s

Do we know who Gregory is, however? A sleepy, large man who looked like a black and white Battenberg bellowed over his gloupy, fish bowl of wine. Apparently,

“He’s an aspiring musician who spent years busking on the piazza’s of Rome whilst working in his father’s empty restaurant near the Jewish quarter. Forbidden from entering these sordid, smoky joints his saxophone saved his life, represented his destiny and guided him towards escape from the mundane: he ended up wooing and marrying a young woman from a powerful Roman family. A spark of rebellion spluttered to life between them, and she encouraged Gregory (Gregorio I imagine, no one like that is a ‘Gregory’) to set up a jazz bar in what was then an abandoned cinema.”

Did we want to be backing dancers, we were cornered and questioned later on in the night? Oh! You know what?

No thanks.

Is Gregorio’s story true? Brimming as it was of a Hollywood screenwriters dream, I am pretty sure the large man with his large glass and apparently large…curiosity was just trying to nab one of us for the evening, distracting our imaginations with vintage who-ha.

If this is even vaguely your thing – get down there now. A tip? Glide around like you’re there all the time and you’ll fit in immediately.

http://www.gregorysjazz.com/prossimamente-in-concerto.asp

“If this is even vaguely your thing – get down there now. A tip? Glide around like you’re there all the time and you’ll fit in immediately”