44. Feathers and sequins

Key to the success of the ball was going to have some burlesque feather fans a la Full Monty Ladies Night.  The team of Dancers tried to find these on line and after trawling through the internet we found some… but they were far too expensive for us as we wanted to minimise expenditure to maximise the amount we could raise for the Primrose Foundation.

One of the team cut out 18 cardboard fans and got blisters for her troubles and it gave us something to practice with for our rehearsals.  I raided Plymouth City Centre and bought £50 worth of pink feather boas as we would have to make our own fans.  One Friday afternoon during the school summer holidays the dancers descended on the Old Rectory for afternoon tea and fan making.  It is amazing what you can do with fly swatters, BBQ skewers, duck tape and a table of Poundland and Poundworld feather boats.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Michelle Hull, people smiling, indoorOur choreographer had arranged a contact of hers to come to one of the rehearsals at Fort Stamford to measure us for dresses for the Dare to Bare ball.  We had decided on gold  sequins, fixed with velcro and a hidden magnet… made to measure at a very reasonable cost.  We would look glam on the night.  We’d agreed on black shoes and bought or brought our own for comfort.  Black fishnet tights and some well fitting underwear would finish our look.  This is where Marks and Spencers came to the rescue.

Out of all the rubbish that cancer brings the Ball and team working together gave us a sense of purpose and a sense of fun.




Author: fionaosmaston

I live in Plymouth, Devon with my husband Nick and near my parents Sandy and Sheena. Our three children, Marcus, Phoebe and Miles are grown up. I am a geographer and love teaching Geography. My current role is as an Assistant Vice Principal in an inner city comprehensive school where I lead on coaching and initial teacher training. In August 2017 I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma and following a skin sparing mastectomy and endrocrine/hormone treatment I am now awaiting a final reconstruction. These views are my own and writing this story has helped me come to terms with where I am in this interlude of life which has been dominated by breast cancer.

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