Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Sunday 28th August 11, Galtres Festival

I did a 10 til 1 shift with Graham, Mel and their daughter Alyssa. This was a more difficult day as there was a huge amount of rubbish to sort through... but we did, and started filling our third cubic metre of compost bin.  The weather was kinder, with a breeze drying off the mud... but the rutted surface was still difficult to wheel the green bins to and fro, so more help was given by the big tractor with the bucket loader.  Made the job a bit easier... and more fun, as we rode in the bucket too!

Got then their rewards and I had a bit of free time to float around, sorry, trudge through the caking mud, before my show.  I didn't want to do my circus show again, wanted to do the balloons so I took my unicycle, in my costume, and a full bag of 100 balloons, and at about 4pm started to blow up as many as I could fit into the spokes of my wheel whilst sitting on the stage. 

I had a lot of fun with the awaiting audience, inviting them to have a go inflating a balloon.  One girl had the ability... I'd say about 1 in 200 people can do it, and randomly, sometimes it's a child.  This time it was a 10 year old girl. No-one else could do it, including grown-ups, whilst I blew up and tied one after another to prepare for the show and workshop. 

My balloon show works well with a finite number of people there at the beginning, who see how to twist the balloon into a dog shape (and a few other more complicated shapes) and then are invited to have a go.  However, with people arriving all the time, there is always the chance that a balloon will be given to someone who hasn't seen the beginning and hasn't a clue what to do!  This is what happened but I think I dealt with it reasonably well.

At the end there were a long line of kids who for one reason or another hadn't got a balloon, so I had another half hour of inflating and making models, until I'd done the full 100 balloons.  It was a successful entertainment session.

I had a dilemma for the evening.  I really wanted to see The Falling Spikes, in the Little Top venue.  However, they were on at 11pm. And I had a gig the next day, in Spofforth, which is 18 miles West of York, and not easy to get to by public transport.  To cycle there would take 2 hours, and if I was to get there to start at midday, and go by train and taxi, I'd need to be on the 10.11 train to Harrogate.

My dilemma was that my bike was not in good order.  I might have to walk back to York, which at 15 miles away, would be about 5 hours walk.  So, if I left after the Spikes, and had to walk, I'd get back at maybe 6am.  Not a good start for a busy day in Spofforth.  However, if I left at, say 9pm, and had to walk, I'd be back at 2am, much more manageable for a 10am lift-off.

So as I took down my tent, I deliberated over this dilemma, and began to err on the earlier return.  So I spent my last vouchers, and gave several away, and as The Levellers took to the main stage, I got my payment for the weekend's work and then cycled gently off into the darkness.  I like cycling in the dark.  My dynamo is easy to take off the front wheel and I had several long stretches with no other traffic... of course, when something else approached, I flicked it on, but off again as it passed me.  As I approached Sutton on Forest, I needed to do something to tighten up the wheel, but after that, I cycled steadily all the way back to York, taking about 1 hour 45 minutes to get home, getting in at the same time that the Spikes were due to take to the stage.

I spent some time getting things clean... Gill too helped with this, and got to bed at 2am.

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