Thursday, 16 August 2007

Thursday 16th August 07

An early start as two gigs today, the first in Starbeck near Harrogate. But over breakfast, had a game of chess with my nearly-10 year old, I beat him, as usual, but he took it well and it was a good start to the day.

Got to the station in good time to get the 9.10 to Harrogate and was met in Starbeck by one of the playscheme workers and was soon at Fairfax Community Centre for several hours of fun fun fun!

I was warned that the playscheme had three lads with autism spectrum disorder, one of whom would be disruptive and quite a handful. I told them I was ok with this and had got lots of experience of 'difference'!

So then the kids started arriving and the most lively 'lad' came in and came straight for me, in my colourful costume and silly hat, and sort of 'bounced' off me, without touching me, but it was if he'd been repelled by a magnetic repulsion or elastic or something, quite spectacular. I didn't notice the others come in, as they were much less of a 'personality'. The first 'lad' was a handful, he was noisy and zoomed around and interfered with the equipment and his carer, who's been with him for 4 years, was very good and kept him occupied as well as he could. The second boy with autism was quiet and gentle, his minder had an easier job, but the child needed to be restrained quite often from fiddling with stuff and doing inappropriate things, the other one needed almost no 'care' at all, as he just went aroung doing his own thing, not interacting with anyone or anything much, sometimes having a little play with the feathers or taking an interest in the diabolos the others were playing with.

So I did a one hour show and workshop, then a workshop, then lunch, then workshop whilst I prepared for the balloon show, which was from 1.15 ish to 1.50, when I shoved everything into the car and was driven back to the station and I got the 2.06 train back to York, a fast cycle back home, change of tee-shirt and off again to Dalton Terrace for a 6 year-old's party, arrived just in time, did my one hour show then whilst they ate tea, I blew up balloons and then we did the balloon workshop, loads of fun! Finished soon after 6pm and came home feeling brilliant!

I had the remains of the nutloaf for tea, plus an out of date 'organic pot rice' thingy, which was destined for composting, but thought I'd try it out. I've never had a pot noodle or any similar thing, so this was a first. It was ok. Fresh-cooked rice is better.

Then I did a bit of compost management in the dusk, came in for 9 and had a bottle of Kopparberg pear cider, yum.

Got an email from Community Care inviting me to submit another column which could be put in instead of my already written one on 'sustainable communities', they'd like me to write about the Heathrow protestors, the Camp for Climate Action. To be published on 30th of August... I might be able to, will need to think about it overnight.

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