Monday, 17 September 2007

Saturday 15th September 07

I slept well and was woken by a shout from Meg as I'd asked, at 8am, and had a pleasent breakfast. Meg was helping with a Farmers Market at her church, St Michaels, which is just 2 minutes walk from their house. The bus stop is right next to the church and the bus came very soon, dropping me off near Adelphi Street, which is where the University of Central Lancashire centres around.

I easily found the Harrington Building and waited for the person who was our named contact. Various other entertainers rolled in, including my friend Robin Ellwood, who does 'Visitation Productions', playing various characters including today, Madge the Cleaning Lady. Robin is a very big guy, perhaps 6 foot 6 tall, and almost as wide (I jest!) so he makes quite an impact in drag and being very OTT. He also does a robot character but I didn't see him do this during this weekend. My friend Hugh Barwell the accordion player came, he's got a new digital accordion and it does an impressive array of different sounds, including trombone and trumpet, Scottish accordion, saxaphone and double bass. It is truly a lovely instrument, and Hugh is so good at it, he has a vast repetoir and a good style. ( Then 'The Wonderful Stevie' arrived, who does contact juggling and some other circussy stuff, and a pair I didn't know so well, Muttonchops and Mark Wazzjazz, who play drunken strolling players with a wide knowledge of tunes on a banjo and tiny saxophone. They started the day with a can of lager each! There were some other entertainers too, but I didn't see them until I had started working.

I was placed outside the Harrington Building and so was Hugh, which was excellent as I had some lovely music to twiddle my devilstick to, and it was fairly quiet, audience-wise, certainly for participation. However I did engage with a group of six chinese students, one of whom displayed quite a talent with the devilsticks, so I suggested that I taught them to juggle. This particular young woman learned the 3-ball cascade in about 5 minutes, and was well pleased with herself. I was also extremely pleased, as it kind of justified my being there and having a generally quiet day.

At about 4pm I gathered myself up and strolled into town and caught the No 25 bus, back to Ashton, and as I was still in costume, some of the bus passengers had a giggle, which was good.

And as I was still in costume when I got back to Meg's, I did a mini show for her neighbours, then we walked the 10 minutes along to her son John's house, as he had never seen my skills, and she thought he would be intrigued. He was pleased to see me and remembered that I'd sent him a letter following his Countdown success. I demonstrated the various tricks I do outside his terraced house, and some neighbour's children came to watch. I finished by making them some balloon models, it was good to have an appreciative audience. The taxi-driver was right, it is lovely to bring fun and colour into peoples' lives, I feel very lucky to be someone who can do that.
When we got back to Meg's, I picked some apples for her, using a step-ladder, and she got a stew together for when Stephen was due in after 8pm. We then settled down with a drink each and watched some overacted 'Casualty' until Stephen arrived home. I was very happy to see him again, and we had the aubergine-based stew together before retiring to bed.

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