Sunday, 10 July 2011

Propapalooza UK - Yip!

If you've been reading this blog for a couple of months - or if you've been digging back into the archives - you'll know that we are mega-fans of  Tammy and Mary's Yip! bellydance podcasts. If you don't know about them already look at our past Yip! post here because we've got far too much to talk about today to be repeating ourselves! But basically Yip! is pretty awesome and we love it!

With all that in mind, you can imagine the excitement here in our little corner of England when we heard that the Yip! girls were planning to celebrate their second anniversary of podcasting with a Yip! Propapalooza party weekend - a hafla, prop workshops, raffles, auctions - squeal! However, our leaping for joy came to a pretty quick end when reality sunk in ... a) No matter whose car we all piled into we wouldn't be able to make it to Orlando and back in  a weekend and b) Even if we drove very VERY fast the large puddle in between the UK and Florida might cause us a few issues. Soggy 25 yard skirts for example.

So we sulked.

Until .... our lovely friend Jo - who you've heard about before on here - came up with a wonderful plan! We would have our very own Yip! party, right here in Manchester, England! Jo masterminded a great day of celebrations, hosted at her place with a select number of Yip! devotees ..... and so Propapalooza UK  was born. There were of course time-difference issues; whilst we'd love to have had our celebration at exactly the same time as the Yip! hafla it would have meant we'd have had to start at 2300 GMT, and some of us are way too old for that. So we started early - any excuse to get a party going! We had a totally fantastic day - and this is how it went:

Our party kicked off early in the afternoon, once we all (Cayte, Sarah and our beautiful friend Jan) arrived at Jo's place and had said hello to the cats (and to Jo of course)! I'd like to make us sound cool, calm and mysterious by saying it started sedately but sadly we don't do sedate. The grown up image you see in this photo is all a front for manic giggles of excitement ..... which rapidly descended into demented cackles and general raucousness!!!!

Jo decided that before we could go shopping we all needed to calm down - and so food was in order! And wow, what food! Jo was the perfect hostess and had produced a real Moroccan feast - tagine, homebaked bread, BEAUTIFUL carrots (I can't remember what you'd done to them Jo but you made me actually like carrots which is truly something! They were gorgeous - Cayte x), dates and oranges in cinnamon, hummus, yoghurt dip, something fabulous with butternut squash, olives .... and it was all incredible!!!

But it didn't end there --- there were more delights to come! Delicious vegan chocolate cake from Jan, Sarah's legendary peach and amaretto muffins, strawberries, raspberries, cream. (I am reliving it as I write. I need ALL the recipes NOW girls. I think you all need to go into a catering business together - I am putting myself top of the list to be your official taster. Cayte x) There was even mint tea out of a proper refined tea pot!!! (What English party would be complete without a tea pot?)

We can't go on without mentioning our two VERY Special Party Guests - the beautifully cute Gretel and Pickle! Pickle was extremely interested in the food - not that you'd know it from this photo where she's pretending to be all languid and innocent! They are lovely cats - and are so petite and dainty!!!!

Poor old Gretel on the other hand wasn't having a good day. After an op this week she's stuck in a satellite dish which was cramping her style a bit! She did get a bit of freedom later in the day, but oh what looks of contempt she gave to Jo and Jan when her partying was curtailed as they put the offending collar back on her!

So, well fed (but not appreciably calmer!) it was off to the famous £1 a yard fabric shop (Jo, how DO you manage to live so near to it and not visit every single day?) We all spent of course - purple silky fabric for some palazzo pants for Cayte (who is however now losing that focus and contemplating more pantaloons to add to her ten pairs .... serious addiction!), silvery grey pantaloon fabric for Jan, rose print cotton for a bustle for Jo and some fuschia coloured cord fabric for a skirt and bag for Sarah, together with some pink silky fabric for bag linings. Sorted - or so we thought till we spotted the charity shop across the road where the shopping had to continue with pants, corsetty tops and wraps (all on Special Offer - which just makes you feel so guilty in a charity shop!)

Now of course shopping does make you very hungry - so it was time for more nibbles as we settled down with dance dvds. We'd got an array to choose from but went for old hafla and performance dvds that we were in - which of course, as some of them were a few years ago raised the raucousness level a notch further. Flippy hands, shoulders round our ears --- eeek! Not to mention all those little fun memories you have of such events! Cayte and Sarah were also very pleasantly surprised to find they rather liked a more recent video of a Sakura performance that they had been studiously avoiding watching - result - and it was great to see Jo's mesmerising sword performance to Orange Blossom's 'Habibi' again.

It was a bit of a shock to find we'd been partying for eight hours - the time had just flown. However there was time for one more thing; the Lucky Dip! (Cayte and Sarah were feeling very spoiled as they'd already received beautiful birthday pressies from Jo). And what a great lucky dip it was --- something for everyone and totally gorgeous prizes! Lush smellies, Celtic clips, sparkly pens and make up, Gingerbread Bunny goodies, Tempest corset belt patterns, bellydance cards .... everyone was delighted with their haul!

All too soon it was time to head off home, tired but very very happy. We'd like to say a few HUGE thank yous ------ to Jo for organising and hosting the Manchester Propapalooza so wonderfully, to everyone who came (including the cats!) for being such amazing company and last - but not least - to Tammy and Mary for starting the whole thing! Lots of love and kisses to you all - here's to the next one!

Until next time, happy dancing!


  1. We had a fab time!!! Thank you Jo for hosting and for the fab food! x

  2. I loved reading about your super awesome party!! The pictures are so fun to look at, and during the food descriptions I was literally salivating! (Sarah's peach and amaretto muffins sound especially delish! Recipe???) And now I reeeeally want to visit that fabric shop! I could do some serious damage at $2-ish a yard! The next time you plan a party let me know and maybe I'LL have time to drive down for the weekend.... :-D YIP!!! Mary