Saturday, 10 September 2011

Saturday 3rd September 11

Quite an early start... had been asked to be in Chapel Allerton by 11.30, to be working at midday.  So I worked back and left the house at about 9.15, and got a train bound for Leeds at 9.57, due in at 10.30ish.  This all went smoothly.  I then walked along to Vicar Lane to the bus stop outside the Co-op Bank which I'd found out (by phone this morning) was the place to wait for the Chapel Allerton buses.  I got chatting to two lovely people, who used to live in Chapel Allerton, but now live in another part of Leeds, but who go to the Chapel Allerton Festival every year.  They were in their 80s, and the woman was very chatty and lively, curious about my unicycles and entertainment.

The bus came.  As I queued, the bus driver shook his finger at me through the windscreen.  He said 'no bicycles'.  I politely told him that they weren't bicycles, but in fact unicycles. He was adamant that he wouldn't have them on the bus, and he began to sulk.  Several people, including the 80+ year old couple, chimed in and said things like, 'he's going to a charity gig' and 'they are the tools of his trade', and eventually he, grumbling, let me have a ticket.

The journey didn't last long and the lovely old couple told me when to get ready for the correct stop.  As I left the bus I slipped the driver a pound coin and said 'get yourself a half pint on me'.  He still looked grumpy.

The day got a lot better from here on in.  I found my 'handler', Amy, who talked me through what she wanted me to do.  I did a half-hour very quick run through my show, then a fair bit of unicycle-about and when it got too crowded, some walkabout, and later, a one hour show, followed by more random interaction... mainly giving out balloons.

It all drew to a close at 5pm and I was glad to get on a bus (easily this time) and then walk to the station and come home.  Another tiring day.

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