Monday, 20 December 2010

Sunday 19th December 10

Not too bad a start this morning, as I didn't have to be on the train til 10.13 to go to Northallerton.  However this still meant leaving the house soon after 9.30, as I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get my stuff to the station on the Cycle Heaven bike, which only had a pannier rack.  I'd left my trailer at Cycle Heaven, and will pick it up tomorrow.

So I didn't take my one-wheeled unicycles... partly as there's no space at the Black Sheep Brewery to ride the unicycle, so they are there mainly for show, to provide a backdrop for the show and workshop.  I managed my sticks, balls and diabolo bag on the pannier rack, and my costume, balloons and 4-wheel and 2-wheel unicycles on my back, in a rucksack. 

So, I got the train and chatted to a nice Occupational Therapist from West Yorkshire, whom I'd be really happy to have more conversations with, but Northallerton is only 20 minutes North of York, so our chat was truncated.

I'd booked a taxi last night so Keith was waiting for me, and he drove me all the way to the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham. I got there at about 11am, and was due to be available from 11.30, as people start arriving then. I had a coffee and got changed into Fiddlesticks gear, much preferred to the Father Christmas garb. 

Quite a few people are regular Black Sheep Brewery Christmas Lunch attendees, and so some of them have seen me just about every year for I don't know how long... best part of a decade I think.  This event attracts lots of families with children, and many of them know what to expect from me.  My 'dog's dinner' balloon  was the most requested.  I did some welcoming whilst devilsticking, then table hopping with balloons and humour, then a circus show and workshop, and worked continuously from 11.30 til 3.30, with no time for my sandwiches. 

At 3.30 I quickly got changed and was given an envelope with my payment in it, and I signed for that. The taxi was waiting and I was taken back to Northallerton, paid the taxi driver the £50 for both journeys, and had my sandwiches whilst waiting for the train back to York.  The people sitting opposite me on the train were supposed to have caught a flight from Newcastle to London, but due to the snow, Heathrow is shut so they had to catch a train.  But this train, supposed to go to Kings Cross, was stopping at Doncaster as there was a problem with the overhead wires near Peterborough and no trains were getting through.  So they got off at York as they had the chance of having their tickets refunded, or to resume the journey tomorrow. 

I was lucky to be able to get on the bike and cycle home.  I didn't need any evening meal as I'd only just eaten lunch at 4.15pm.  But I hoovered up a half-plateful left by one of the boys when I was a bit hungry at 8pm.  I made up a load of muesli and kept the stove going.  Also enjoyed a programme about the origins and history of Father Christmas, appropriate, as in just a few hours I'll be 'doing' him in the streets of Huddersfield.

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