Monday, 1 September 2008

Monday 1st September 08

Woke up thinking about making a phone call to the bus company about taking my unicycle on the bus to Pocklington today and to the company who haven't paid me as I told them that if I'd heard nothing by 1st September, I'd start some actions to recover my payment.

The bus situation resolved itself... I did eventually get to speak to someone in charge and they suggested that putting the wheel of the uni in a bin liner would make it a lot more acceptable to have on the bus. So that's what I'll do....

I rang the non-paying company and eventually spoke to someone who knew about the situation and they assured me that the paperwork was being dealt with and that I'd get a cheque 'within a couple of weeks'. So if it's not with me by 14th September I'll have to do something more official. I did thank the lady and asked her to pass on my thanks to everybody who was dealing with it. Hopefully that will help get things moving...

A neighbour came to the door to ask me if I'd like some small conifer trees that they were taking out. I chatted to her about the trunks being useful but the leaves and twigs being less so, but that they were compostable and could go in the green bin or to Hazel Court. I offered to lend them my loppers to strip the twigs off the trunks, and after getting dressed, took them round and did one of the trees for them to show how I'd like to receive the tree trunks (which are only hedge height, 2 metres or so).

I did about half an hour's stacking and then came in to do emails. A friend has contacted me saying the thesis tools website she's tried to contact is not responding... and yes, when I tried, I couldn't get to my questionnaire either which is worrying. I have about 70 responses to my questionnaire on it and this is raw data for my book. I hope it comes back up and I can retrieve the information!

I had an early lunch and got myself ready for the bus to Pocklington. Gill decided to come too, with the boys, as it's a good place to visit and as it's the last day of the holidays Gill wanted to make it a good day. So we all got the X46 at Milson Grove (although it was late and that made me wonder if it was going to come and whether I would be able to get to work...!) We sat on the top deck and the skies were beautiful, clouds and interesting light.

My 'handler' met me at Pocklington bus station and drove me to POP Club which is held in a school building about 5 minutes drive from the bus station. I was welcomed by over 20 very enthusiastic children, as this was the second time I'd visited this summer and the first time it was fantastic! I managed to put my stuff down and go and get changed and within 5 minutes I was starting my show.

As most of the youngsters had seen my show before, I varied my routine a bit and we started with a chap who'd learned to juggle 3 balls since he first saw the show. He was able to just do a 'three-ball flash' (each ball thrown once and caught) and then he did four throws, and next a 'three-ball-cascade' where the balls were each thrown, and caught, at least twice each. When he did this he got a massive round of applause and cheering. Then I asked for a volunteer who could juggle two balls but wanted to be able to do three. The two-ball pattern is what I call 'school-girl-juggling' because the ball is thrown up with one hand, caught with the other and passed to the original hand in a more-or-less circular pattern. With 'proper' juggling, the balls are thrown up with either hand. The girl who volunteered was not able to do the three-ball pattern, but she still got a big round of applause for coming out and demonstrating the two-ball pattern. I also explained a little about the curve being called a parabola and how it is made up of an 'up', an 'accross' and a 'down', the first two being variable depending on how much force the thrower puts into it, and the third is gravity which on Earth is constant.

I then moved on to devilsticks, balancing, Derek the Diabolo, yoyo balls and finally unicycle. The show was very well received and they all enjoyed themselves as much as I did. There was a few minutes after the show and workshop for them to have a drink and a biscuit, and I got the 'freeplay workshop' ready. I laid out most of the equipment and when they were ready, spent a few minutes showing them the things I hadn't explained in the show, mostly diabolo which is really quite complicated to do, as there are three things you have to do simultaneously. Then I let then loose on the stuff, and did 3 minute blocks so everybody could try everything, well, almost!

Whilst we were coming to the end of that I started to inflate balloons for the balloon animal workshop, and at 4.10pm, I got everybody concentrating on the art of balloon modelling... and again, most of them loved it and succeeded in making something, although some of the animals looked a bit mutant. Finished off with the usual competitions to get rid of the animals I made, and by 4.50pm we were finished.

I got changed, was given my cheque, was driven to the bus stop where Gill and the boys were waiting... they'd had a good time at the Burnby Hall Gardens. They'd also done a bit of shopping and were all happy. Lovely bus journey home, nice tea, busy evening at YorkLETS core group meeting and late night on the computer doing a paid blog post on clothes swapping aka swishing.

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