Up at a reasonably early time, so I could have a beard trim and a bath before breakfast. The water was still hot on the stove from last night so it was a good bath and hair wash as today I am working in Pickering.
Breakfast, cereal as usual, and rang the bus company to ask about unicycles on their bus... no problem, as the rules say 'no bicycles' and I have unicycles, not two-wheelers.
I loaded my bike trailer with all my kit and cycled to Gillygate to Craft Basics, where I replenished my peacock feather stock... they do get very battered in my shows, with kids using them to balance on their hand. I got to the station in good time to lock up and unload and get to the bus stop, where I met a friend who was waiting for his fiancee... he was very happy, more so than usual, so we had a laugh, and then the bus arrived. Fortunately the bus driver didn't have a problem with the unicycles and I had a pretty relaxing ride to Pickering.
I went to the Forest and Vale Hotel, where Maria (who works for Lunchbox) had put together one of the best themed parties I'd ever seen. There was a large marquee with seaside- stuff there, including a beach, a donkey (life-sized model) to sit on, a horse-racing game, hook-a-duck and throw the hoop stalls, and me with my circus stuff, plus lots of other circussy stuff like mini stilts, two other unicycles, spacehoppers and more! In adjacent rooms there were 3 Nintendo Wiis, a crystal ball woman and a ball pool/soft play area. I didn't see beyond this, but there might have been another marquee too, for a bar perhaps?
I had some sandwiches and talked the event over with Maria and at about 2pm the guests (about 100 of them) were due to come out of the hotel and walk down a long ramp, within a long thin marquee, down to the beach area. I was waiting for them on the unicycle and led them down, and at 2.30, did the first half of my show (warm-up acts from the audience, juggling, devilsticks and balancing) which went OK. At 3pm, ice creams arrived and a tattoo artist offered transfer-type tattoos. One little girl kept on coming to show me her latest one, all up her arms.
Then at 3.30 I did part two, diabolo, yoyoballs and unicycle. This then continued into a freeplay workshop, mainly unicycle toys but juggling and devilsticks too, through til 5.30. Chris, the dad of the 2 year old boy this party was in honour of, was kind enough to get me a nice pot of coffee during this workshop time, and at 5.30, handed me my fee in an envelope. Lucky me, loads of fun and then getting paid!
I got changed clothes and went for the bus, which arrived at 5.55, with a change and 40 minute wait at Malton for the next bus to York. I got into York at 8pm, and was home by 8.30, knackered but happy. That has to be one of the best party events I've been to for quite a while.
If anyone wanted a really good 'do' organising, I would certainly recommend Maria Farrugia, who has a wealth of experience, see her CV here. She did this gig as Maria, a friend of the family, not as part of her Lunchbox work, and she's not actively looking for more work, but I'd still recommend her!
So, a bowl of tomato soup and a sandwich for tea. Lovely!