Thursday, 25 August 2011

Sunday 14th August 11

A work day but not an unpleasantly early start; had to be in Leeds to be picked up by Alan at 1pm.  So I set off for the 12.15 train at 11.45, although a minute into my journey I realised I'd left my rucksack with costume and balloons in back home, so I turned round and went and got it.

But I got to the station in plenty of time, and bought my day return and was waiting at the meeting area for 12.50.

The weather was not perfect for doing outside entertainment, as just as my audience were gathering at Middleton Park, it began to rain.  It isn't possible to do devilsticks in the rain, and wet diabolo string doesn't behave as expected, either.  So I changed the order of my shows and did the balloons first, filling the time when I was blowing up balloons for the workshop with getting volunteers out of the audience to try to blow one up.  It is nearly impossible for an ordinary person t inflate modelling balloons (260s anyway!) with their lungs, so whilst I blew up about 40 of them, a succession of mainly children failed to blow any up. There is a knack to it, but basically it's strength, pure diaphragm and chest muscle power.

So the balloon workshop went well and was attended by over 60 people. I didn't have enough balloons to go round with the ones I'd shoved into the spokes of my unicycle, so I had to blow up more to accommodate the large numbers of participants.  At 3 I did a shortened version of the circus show, and we had about 35 minutes left to have a free-play workshop.  Everybody had a good time, and Alan, the chap who books me, seemed happy.

Alan took me back to Leeds station and I got the York train 10 minutes after getting there.  I was back in York soon after 5pm.

When I got back home I immediately got the big ladders out and picked a load of Jargonelle pears... lots are falling off the tree and therefore they're ripe.  The wasps and butterflies are having a great time!  I picked 2 buckets full but also took out a lot of dead wood and climbing hop and honeysuckle which has got somewhat over vigorous. I spent over 2 hours up the tree.

During the evening I sorted out lots of the pears, setting them to dry, as they don't keep at all.

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