Pretty hectic morning as lots to do and not enough time to do it, but did manage to get down to the station in time. So the morning included a fair amount of paperwork, a trip to Country Fresh, taking the sacks of shredded tree collected last night down the garden from the front where they were making things look more untidy than usual. Also went to the shop for Gill, to get pasties for tea (she will eat with the boys on the train) and assorted medications. Had quite a bit of ringing to do, and email confirmations of work.
But by 2pm I was just about ready to go to the station with all my Fiddlesticks stuff and other things for 3 overnight stays, one in Hebden Bridge, one in Warrington and one in Sheffield. A busy weekend ahead.
Good chats on the train with a nice 'just retired' lady who's husband has a terminal illness and she wanted to talk... She got off in Halifax and very soon I was in Hebden. Jan, my handler from the Hebden Fringe met me and took me to the venue where I was performing, a school just off the main road. I had about 45 minutes to get ready, so I actually had a good 20 minutes reading a recent NewScientist (I'm still a month behind!) about Gravity, the mysterious force...
At 5.30 most of the audience had assembled, under a dozen adults and the same number of children, so quite a small 'intimate' event. As usual, we started with a couple of warm up acts from the audience, and then straight into my routine. At least 3 of the lads were already into circus tricks, and afterwards I found out they attend a circus school in Rochdale I think. So they knew what things were called and what they did, and were keen to come out and do stuff... excellent, and for me it was a perfect gig.
I finished on the dot of 6.30 but some of the people wanted to play so I let a 10 minute workshop take place before packing up and walking the 5 minutes to Mark and Jennifer's house. This is a 5 story 18th century terrace... amazing! Lovely to see friends whom I'd got to know in York and their two boys, one the same age as our eldest and a little one quite a bit younger. Their 17 year-old daughter is on the verge of leaving home and doesn't spend much time there.
Jennifer was just serving up a rice and beans meal, and halfway through this Gill and the boys rolled up, having had tea on the train as planned. Very soon Jennifer and Gill went out to see an actress called Linda Marlowe perform some of Carol Ann Duffy's poetry, from 'The World's Wife'. I did a little Fiddlesticks show for the boys and a neighbour Mark invited round, with her little boy. That produced riotous laughter and wonderment.
Then Mark and I left the older boys playing and went on a short walk over the other side of the valley and up to a place where there's an amazing view. Their youngest came with us and it was fun walking with him, carrying him sometimes, swinging him and having him on my shoulders. He's so small and it brought back memories of when ours were little.... lovely!
Got back in at almost exactly the same time as Gill and Jennifer who'd enjoyed the performance.