Monday, 21 March 2011

Sunday 20th March 11

An enjoyable day... up quite early and after a session with muesli and my laptop, I went in the garden and dug out a cubic metre of semi-rotted compost, putting it into the next-door New Zealand bin.  When you compost relatively large volumes of fruit and veg, some materials get squashed and 'mummfied', so this digging out allows these layers to get broken up and mixed with air and twiggy bits, and the next time I dig this material out, it will be finished compost.  This first 'turn' also allows me to find whole onions which haven't decomposed, and I chop them and throw them back into the mix, and various bits of plastic... windows from envelopes, bits of tape from cardboard boxes, wrappers off cucumbers.  I take out anything I find which is a 'contrary' and bag it for landfill.

I came in soon after 1pm and had a good wash, lunch and then got ready for my paid work.  This was my third gig with the Jewish community in Leeds; the first two were actually in the Synagogue, but this year's Purim celebrations were in the Lubavitch Centre, on Shadwell Lane.  I got the 3.15 train, and had a good chat with an aging punk called Tony, off to see Stiff Little Fingers in Leeds. Then I waited for the number 45 bus which arrived soon after 4pm, and delivered me close to the Synagogue and Lubavitch Centre. The room where Rabbi Cohen wanted me to do my show was first used for a reading from the Book of Esther, an incredibly fast chant called the Megillah, where the Rabbi reads in Hebrew, and the listeners follow the words in their copy of the Book of Esther, and at half a dozen times during the recitation, they stamp their feet or bang or rattle something.  I felt quite honoured to witness this ritual.

The Purim celebrations are important, and there was another entertainer booked: Trevor Organ, a comedy plate spinner.  My circus show was split into two halves, and the children were rowdy and excited, making the gig quite difficult.  However, I got through it and most of the children seemed to enjoy it, but as things had started late, I didn't have enough time left at the end to give out balloon models to every child before my bus back to Leeds was due, which I wasn't happy about.  I suppose I could have stayed a bit longer, and caught the 8.47 bus, but Rabbi Cohen said go at 7.30 so I could get the 7.47 bus, so I did.

I missed the Scarborough train by 30 seconds but had only 20 minutes to wait for the slow train to York.  I snoozed.

And was soon home, with Trevor Organ's joke whirling round my head, about his dog Minton, who had a habit of eating shuttlecocks, whereby Trevor had to say 'Bad Minton, bad Minton'.

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