Thursday, 24 March 2016

Cardiff, So Many Birthdays and the Miracle Twins

This week the last Tango tour takes us to the vibrant and colourful city of Cardiff. So many people from so many different walks of life decorate the city, there never seems to be a dull moment on the streets. Artists painting, musicians and singers using the street bins as drums to entertain passers-by, and the many traditional and talented buskers singing their hearts out. 

The city must have known we were coming as on Wednesday to add to the colourfulness already there, an Italian Food Market set up right in the centre minutes away from the theatre, perfect. 

I do enjoy my walking around the city centres when on tour and always look forward to the quirkiness of the many arcades in Cardiff. The indoor market is fun to have a browse in and I always find something silly to buy and take with me. This year I came across a fabric stall and came away with something not so silly, £88 of georgette in various colours. Let me explain! Jimi bought me a fantastic sewing machine for Christmas as I have always wanted to properly learn how to make my own clothes. I have in the past, many moons ago made a few bits and pieces for myself. I remember one time I even made Vincent a pair of trousers which he actually wore on the TV show 'Dance Fever' when we performed. Luckily they somehow stayed on lol. 
As soon as I have some time to invest I am going to learn some basic skills and hopefully make myself some new costumes, if they look ok maybe I'll share the results with you all.

March is always a particularly busy month for birthdays, and this year it was even more so than usual. Pablo's birthday on the 7th mine on the 13th Vincent on the 15th and Jimi's on the 20th. 
Thank you so much for all my lovely birthday messages, I received so many cards, presents, flowers and various gifts from family friends and our lovely cast and production team. 

On Tuesday night seeing as it was Vincent's birthday we celebrated both our birthdays with two delicious cakes. We went to a bar opposite stage door called 'Barley and Rye' which was very pleasant, we enjoyed good food, drinks and were armed with our cakes, It was a lovely evening shared with everyone. 

I have to say Vincent had one of the most amazing birthday presents ever on Tuesday morning. Wynne Evans who presents BBC radio Cardiff sang him happy birthday live during our radio interview. If you haven't put 2 and 2 together, Wynne Evans is the man from 'Go Compare'. It was brilliant, he's such a lovely man and it was a pleasure to meet him. What a voice. 

We are often asked to help and support various charities out there and we always do our very best to help as many as we can in some small way. 
Occasionally a charity will come along that has a deeper meaning to you, simply because you have had a particular experience in your own life or know someone close to you who has. 
In this case I would like to share with you the story of my sister and her miracle twins. 
I am very lucky and blessed to have a very large family. I have a total of 14 beautiful nieces and nephews, yes 14 ranging from 1 year old to 20 yrs old. 
In 2005 one of my sisters gave birth at 24 weeks and six days to 2 very tiny twin boys. They were 3 months premature born on the 27th June 2005. Paolo weighing 950g and Zion weighing 915g. 

They were both kept in an incubator till they were strong enough to go home which wasn't till 5 long months later on the 5th of October that year. I remember going to visit at the hospital and feeling very hot and queasy, they were so tiny and fragile.

As my sister was sending me the photos the other day she said "gosh brings back all sorts of memories". Its such a difficult time for anyone in that situation to go through. 
Luckily Paolo and Zion are 10 years old now, strong, fit and healthy thanks to the amazing support given to them, and also to my sister and her husband at such a crucial time in all their lives. 

I'd now like to introduce to you the below charity and event and ask if you can share and support in any small way you can. Thank you very much. 

Think you have what it takes to help Sheffield’s tiniest patients? Join our Buggy Push hero squad and take part in a 5k family walk around the lakes at Rother Valley Country Park on Sunday 22 May 2016.

This year it’s a superhero theme so there will be capes provided to everyone purchasing a ticket and we want to see lots of fancy dress too!

The walk will start at 11am and we’re hoping the sun will shine so you can join us for a picnic on the Green afterwards. Everyone is welcome and you don’t need a buggy to take part – bikes, trikes, scooters and space hoppers are all welcome!

This is the third Buggy Push for the Charity, once again it is being kindly supported by DuoCall. We’re hoping this year will be even bigger and better than last. 

Tickets for the event cost £12.50 for adults and £5 for kids aged five to 15. A family ticket for two adults and two children under 16 is available for £30. Each paying ticket comes with a free superhero cape and under-fives are free.

All of the funds raised will go to support Sheffield’s tiniest patients and their families at the Jessop Wing. So why not make it a sponsored walk and collect sponsorship for taking on the challenge?

Sheffield hospitals charity - More than 7000 babies are born in the Jessops Hospital in Sheffield South Yorkshire every year. The hospital supports families through all stages of pregnancy, from conception to care after birth. This includes caring for critically ill and premature babies in one of the largest and most specialist, Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the country.

Babies being treated on the Unit require constant 24 hour care, sometimes for weeks or even months. Each day can be a struggle and your support can help these families, during what can be one of the most stressful times of their lives.
Donate and support
text JESSOPS to 70660* to donate £3 to support babies and their families at Jessops.

*Text costs £3 plus network charge. Sheffield Hospitals Charity receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Customer care 0114 2711351. Registered Charity No. 1059043

Pablo's World!

Looks like Spring is round the corner, I love lying in the sunshine, hope that means a lot less baths for me!!!

Went on a lovely walk for Flavia's birthday, I got to paddle in a big lake which is one of my favourite things to do, hope it's someone else's birthday next week I love all the wrapping paper and especially chewing up the cards!!!

One of my many birthday presents, Flavia took it away as I accidentally chewed off an ear, it just fell off and I accidentally ate it. Hope I get to play with it again!!

You can see our Tour ScheduleBuy Tickets and meet the New Cast for "The Last Tango" here
Tweets Of The Week
What an amazing cake !!!
First tweet of the week goes to 
MrsRachelWhitmarsh ‏@rjwhitmarsh10
@FlaviaCacace @vincentsimone @VFVincentFlavia come to see you tomorrow this was my surprise from my hubby xx

Second tweet of the week goes to jamie hughes ward ‏@jamiehughesward

It's such a small world isn't it, jamie helped me and Louis with our dirty dancing lift during Strictly 2012 and now he is one of our amazing cast members in 'The Last Tango'. 

Monday, 14 March 2016

Woking, Lots of Food and Pablo!

This week we were lucky enough especially for me to be in Woking with 'The Last Tango', the closest of the venues to home, and after a week off it is a true bonus.

When I saw the outside of the theatre I wasn't sure if we were starting in a film or onstage, love it!

I do love the Woking Theatre especially because I believe it has the best seating layout for the audience. There are not many theatres where all the seats have a great view.

I guess the reason I am so aware of this is because we have so many family and friends and past students coming to watch the show, it is always very exciting receiving text messages of people from the past to let you know they will be at Stage Door to see you afterwards. I always find it a little bit emotional remembering back to the days where teaching was a part of our daily routine, but then I find most things emotional.

It was also the first time that many of my family came to see the show. I tend to get quite nervous beforehand when I know they are in, but then once the show actually starts I remind myself that I will be doing another show tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that so what's the point of getting nervous lol. I try mostly to focus on the story we are telling, rather than the dancing and allowing myself to become wrapped up in the music and nothing else. Which is sometimes easier said than done!!

One of the great bonuses about being home is I get to eat some fantastic food made by Jimi. Some of this weeks delights.

Flaky pastry open tart with spinach and mushroom, pinenuts and fontina cheese.

Salad TiƩde with poached egg and sourdough croutons, delicious!

I have also noticed a real positive change in Woking since the building work at the back of the theatre has been completed, a very pleasant square has been created with plenty of shops, great places to eat and obviously the very convenient Peacocks shopping centre.

Continuing on the food theme, because food is very important to me, two of my favourite places to eat are located minutes away from Stage Door, perfect!

The first is 'Carluccios' one of my favourite Italian restaurants, it is located in many of the cities and towns that we go to and I'm always hunting them down. My favourite thing on the menu is scrambled eggs and mushrooms on sourdough bread a cappuccino and a plain croissant.

Another of my favourites on Tour is 'Pret', there are so many around, I like the organic coffee they have together with the natural food. My favourite thing there is the avocado and crayfish salad, chocolate rice crackers and the lemon and ginger drink.

It wasn't till someone mentioned the other day that I realised that my dressing room is like a little supermarket, I'm always afraid of being hungry and to avoid that I always have a variety of things I like in case I get peckish and I can't get out in time. It's a horrible feeling dancing on an empty stomach so always good to have bits and pieces to hand. I often end up feeding Vincent who is not quite as well organised as I am.

All in all Woking has been a fantastic week, thank you to all our friends and family and audiences who have come to support us. It is quite unbelievable that we have been back to this theatre six times. Hope to be back again soon.

Pablo's World

Well this week I go from puppyhood to manhood, yes I am 1 !!

Flavia keeps telling me that I am a puppy till I'm 18 months but I don't believe her.. I was allowed to get very very mucky the day before my birthday which was really fun..


I am so happy to announce that my Tanning Mist will very soon be available online, it is one of my very favourite products. It gives you a beautiful deep rich tan, which is easily applied as a mist onto the skin and blended with a mitt. If you love your salon spray tan you will love my tanning mist.

Also check out the below link if you happen to be in or around Harrogate on the 6th May

Final thought