30 Mar 2008
- youtube olive youre not alone
- alien eggs
- joj in the jago games
- the a z of football juggling contests
- shark aids
- game ooh hello
- means little farm
- finished with you you may go
- what year did abba and midnight runners come out and stop
- what a crappy slogan
- most annoying song beginning with c
Early start to pack away the germans and get them to the airport.
3 of them were there and waiting for me. The 4th was not around. She’d been told 9am. At 10.20 she showed up. In the meantime we’d come up with various theories ranging from “shagging her man” to “dead in some bins”.
But that was that. Away to the airport and then home.
Thanks for lots of people, the orgs. P&C for help with transporting my stuff home and generally being ace. The germans (Lisa, Sun, Mini and Tamali), will look forward to meeting you all at EJC. Patients and workshop folk for giving me an interesting time and lots of conversation. All the good acts I saw over the week. Sarah for being cool company (if a little mad).
Boo to a few who didn’t show, you know who you are.
Some photos were taken, they’re not great but they’re available here.
Saturday at BJC.
A knackered start after poor sleep despite the room being perfectly comfy.
But patients and random strangers wandered up from about 10:30. In fact for 2 days I was quite hectic in the clinic, worth the while if you ask me. Some good stuff noted.
I did make some young lady cry at one point and another lass paid by giving me a kiss. As if I’m that sort of boy!
Juggling was a bit poor. The hall had been closed to allow them to build the stage and then do all the tech runs etc. So there was a plan to parade and then juggle in the park where free shows were on for the public and it was where the games were to be.
I didn’t go as the parade started during my clinic session. It seems the weather put the kibosh on most of the planned entertainments and people seemed to just hang about and drink and eat and juggle where they could find space.
I did hang around near my room in the aft. The aerial room (2 doors down) was hosting a performance workshop so I hung there with P for a bit and ended up chatting with Tommy Baker and a couple of others. When the workshop started I entertained Norbi and Jon Udry in my room for a bit. Twas an interesting hour. Oh and I did hear Norbi propose to someone. A moment that deserves noting down for historical purposes.
I didn’t have to worry about queuing for the show as I was going to be sat in my box. Yes my clinic room was actually one of the corporate boxes and I was allowed to stay in it for the show. Top news!
So me and pals headed off for real actual proper food over the road. Lovely steak.
Back for the show.
The official video man was to be in the room as well but he was pleasant, chatty and happy to be as small and out of the way as possible.
Chocolate and beer and comfy seating and excellent view.
Started with rousing music and a smart passing routine with Luke and a couple of other Berliners. I think actually it was Jochen and Flo (aka Get the Shoe) [edit: Luke just told me it was Jorg and Flo]. A snappy start to the show, bit droppy but not to worry the good stuff was indeed good.
Tiff was up next with another “performance”. I highlight that as a positive not a negative. This certainly seems to be the place where loads of people finally got that they have to perform and not just do tricks. A cracking act with really hard ball tricks, good drop gags and personality. Great spot.
Aerial wotsit up after Tiff. A couple doing nice pairs work on a rope. Particularly of note was the bit where he climbed the rope but seemed like he was sort of slithering up it. Very odd but very nice to see indeed. Another grand act.
Some solo diabolo guy from America of all places. I wasn’t sure they did diabolo over there but this guy was pretty damned good. I could have used the line “He’s no Tempei” but I shan’t because he did do the tricks wot Tempei could do (and more besides).
(NB for those interested the original “he’s no Tempei” line was re Vux at Leeds where he kept trying to do the vertax genocide which was Tempei’s signature move, but kept failing. It wasn’t a comparison between the two.)
And speaking of Japanese folk, the first half was closed by Senmaru – the most famous Japanese person (after Merzbow of course). Bizarre tricks with odd props. Very nice teapot manipulation and nice finish with a bowl of water. Very pretty. The title of this post relates to this chap as he was making gags about westerners (and it’s a paraphrase of a Flight of the Conchords line – “She’s so hot, she’s making me sexist”). Nice audience engaging too.
Well what a first half. Nicely done to all involved so far.
Ooh I haven’t mentioned Donald Grant yet. He was compering and managing perfectly well. I’m not sure the voice amplification was as clear as it could be but hey ho. Didn’t worry me too much.
Peter Irish I’d been looking forward to. Multi-award winner and known for his foot juggling. Best bit was his jigging around, he needed to be wearing a leprechaun’s outfit. Definitely. How can you not like someone juggling a cascade in his hands whilst doing the same between his feet? Good show.
Clurb put the next guy down as a hat act. Lorenzo was indeed a hat act but it was more like him clowning around with hats as props. He did drop a few times when doing some actual hat manips (as all hat acts do – without exception – apart from Kris Kremo of course) but the whole act was a great bit of clowning.
I’d seen Max Lastic earlier in the day doing some practicing up in the aerial room. The man did put on a good show but professionally speaking I just think that he shouldn’t be applauded. The other physio I know there was also of the same mind. But well received.
Diabolo double act “The Sharpes” next. Sharing of diabolos that I’ve never seen before, good stuff. It makes me wonder how much stuff some of the young turks who go to all these events could come up with if they put more effort into working together rather than fighting for who’s best solo. Still not a duff act so far.
The finale was Erik Borgman. I heard he’d had a bad day with luggage troubles and that. But never mind he got all his bits in time and away he went. Badly (for him). He did fail quite a few tricks but the sympathy was palpable. Everyone who saw him at York was hoping for a repeat of the quality he showed there. But his fumbles and fails were a damp ending to an utterly fabulous show.
They all came back on in order to do a little snippet of something again. Nice to see the aerials guys juggle and the Sharpes did too. A nice speedy ending.
And that was it. Top show. At the Scottish earlier this year I did say that I was looking at a good year of conventions and this did not disappoint.
Top marks to Mamph and the other orgs.
Later on after lots of beer me and Clurb actually did our best passing of the week.
Solidity was demonstrated at 7 in various forms, and 8. At one point someone wanted to pass with us. In fact 3 people, they wanted to do a star. They weren’t that great and were clearly tired. Clurb rather obviously didn’t want to but gamely joined in for a bit while we failed time and again despite a star being pretty straightforward. I rescued her by offering to show them drop backs and this allowed her to get away.
Actually I didn’t mention that she found herself another man. Some dirty American called Daniel. How dare he? Passing with my bitch? Git.
(actually I met him later and he was very nice. Hi Daniel)
As it got later my body started to pass out but my head was still buzzing. So I spent a long time or so wandering around and saying goodbyes as I was to be leaving earlier than I really wanted to on Sunday.
Lots of people met and hugs and that dished out.
And I found out summat dead interesting re Sarah. My lips are sealed though so you’ll have to ply me with beer at Bungay if you want me to divulge.
As we’re on alcohol again a major ta to Meghan (aka Orange) for the pressie of whiskey. Top lass, ta again.
Went to bed to discover someone had nicked one of my pillows! In a room with a laptop, a camera, a DS, a wallet for some of the time, and cash. Someone nicked a bloody pillow. Ridiculous. I suppose that when you need a pillow you need a pillow.
Top day despite the enforced closure of the main juggly space.
29 Mar 2008
Friday at BJC
Early start with crappy weather waking me up. During the day I de-camped and shifted my stuff to my physio room and the car depending on how useful/valuable each bit was.
This turned out to be a good move as we were all warned about impending hideous weather.
And the room turned out to be a good place to kip as well. Hurrah.
Anyway that’s at the end of the day.
Absolutely knackered all day due to poor sleep.
Managed to get some good passing done and that’s my juggling finished for the day.
Presented by Pola this year (except for the important announcements at the end when Luke took over for some reason). 13 contestants this year.
Rod was picked out to help with the drops competition (126 btw) and the opening 15 mins of show saw him dashing around the place accepting pound coins off strangers whilst writing their names down for later.
Show kicked off by “Baby Bono” aka Ady Pole. Nice little routine with loads of “performing”. Nice to see. And it kept on. Loads of them actually “performed” ie they didn’t stand there and just do tricks. Very nice to see indeed.
We also had 2 girls in it this year. A new record.
Stand outs for me included: Ady for performing (see above), Sarah for pretty solid hard ball stuff, Reuben for very nifty and nippy 3 ball (think fast and accurate) with a nice personality, Luke Hallgarten for playing with expectations and engaging the crowd, Freddy Sheed for being ludicrously talented and prolly some others. Oh and Tom D wasn’t in the show except as a stage hand and he did have to be a stand for a table at one point. One of the funnier moments.
The standard just keep going up over the years. Very impressed indeed.
Winner of pretty much everything was Freddie. Deserved for technical merit, but not for the crotch pointing.
I also noted something worth mentioning. I was sat next to Clurb through this show. For those grumpy arses who think she’s just grumpy and negative for no reason should have heard the heartfelt “ahh”s coming from her direction when someone who was impressing her dropped or fumbled. Just like me she wants to see good stuff and people doing well.
We can call this one the International Stage after the delights of the BYJOTY just before it.
I didn’t have a pen and paper with me but as far as I can recall first act was Kiko (from Italy) doing some very nice ball juggling, combining foot juggling with normal. Nice music and well choreographed. An excellent start to the show.
Next up was another Italian, Cecilia. Letched at by the compere until he found out that she’s only 16. She’s been impressing us all in the gym anyway so this was her showing off good and proper. Shame the music kept dying but the juggling was good and she kept going well despite the tech hassles. Clubs from 1 to 5 with loads of movement and some proper hard tricks. Very good indeed.
Now my memory goes a bit awry. Apologies to all those I miss. But there wasn’t a duff act in the lot. A great show.
Vodka and Orange – spinning, poi and tutu. Physics themed version on Meg’s SJC act with Vodka as chavvy student.
Sylvia – more Italians! Hula girl who was at Nottingham. Still excellent hard hulaing (?huling) and rightly soundly applauded.
Some dancer doing tap dancing on a table and then adding in the beat of bounce juggling to the mix. Very nice and different and memorable (except his name, sorry him).
Wes Peden finished the show with a sweet 2 club routine. Lots of manipulation, movement, good music. Basically a very good Wes piece. I do hope that doesn’t sound dismissive, it’s not supposed to be.
As I said, not a duff act in the lot and the compere was decent and engaging too. Fantastic.
I’m not the greatest fan of renegades but this one had a couple of things that would make it memorable.
First was that Jay was compering and I’ve never seen him work before. Not that he did a lot mind you. No tricks, no nuffink. Except harass and cajole folk into performing. Some rubbish and some other rubbish as per usual.
And then the point. Apparently a couple of years ago Tom D lost a bet. His payment was to be to perform a poi act whilst dragged up. He was originally supposed to do this at Bungay one year but didn’t go. Then he was supposed to do it at the BJC last year but the lack of sleep and food got to him and he collapsed one night and wasn’t well enough to do it.
So this was where he paid. Drag consisted of a cheerleader’s kit. Poi was actually pretty good despite probable slight drunkeness. He rather stupidly asked for a drink at one point and accepted Mini’s proferrings. Bad idea. At the end of his act he dashed away quite sharpish to try and find some water. The magic of chili vodka. Well done for Tom though.
And then it was to bed. Just too knackered to do much else.
A fantastic day.
PS Just remembered the quote (ish). “That’s not insulating tape, it’s a cucumber”
28 Mar 2008
Day 2 BJC
I’m writing this early on the morning of day 3 after a shitty night of wind, rain and little sleep but more about that later.
A day of bits really.
Juggling: me and Clurb managed some good stuff today. Solid runs of 8 and weird 7 stuff too. Nice. She got her clubs mended and they became nice and shiny again. Then she lost one somewhere. No doubt someone’s just wandered off with it.
Workshops: Ran my posture and injury prevention thing again. A nice turnout of interested folk (including a certain Mr Turner). I even got an applaud at the end of it. Coo that’s never happened before.
People: Sat and chatted quite a bit. You do get nice people at these events.
Physio stuff: Ooh rushed off my feet I was. First clinic of the event; a whole 1 person showed up. Never mind, there’s free wi-fi. A few folk did come to ask me when I’m running stuff so I’m expecting much more activity today. And I might do a massage thing on Saturday after the show.
Shows: I saw the open stage this time. First act was a man playing a carrot, next was a man playing a saw but he also did an umbrella balance whilst playing “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” – best bit was when someone heckled “sing the words” so me and Jon did “ta da tada ta da ta da”s to the music much to our own amusement if no-one else’s. Next was Luke B playing with neither a carrot nor a saw. His act was notable for the sound not being there so we had to watch him juggle to live ukelele accompaniment.
Renegade: was on a bit later and I wandered in to find not a huge amount going on. Max Lastic was compering and trying to wangle acts. The only vaguely non-drunken rambling bit I saw was Team KD, still trying to sell as many of Void’s kendama as possible, strutting their stuff. Other good bit was watching Max trying to get Blue Cat or Jen9 to come on stage to do something. Neither was keen. He tried though.
And that was about it. A full day indeed.
I went to bed about 3 this morning. It started raining about 5, and got windy around 7. The fact that I know these times indicates just how much sleep I’ve had. I think I’ll be napping in a mo.
27 Mar 2008
Day 1 at the BJC.
We set off for Doncaster via Lincoln. The site didn’t open ’til 4 so I thought I’d show the germans somewhere nice rather than Leicester.
Drizzly weather all day but they seemed to like Lincoln.
And then to Donnie.
We arrived pretty much bang on 4 to see a full camping area. So much for opening at 4. I found out later that the campsite was open early.
Camped in slight drizzle and then to the site via Asda.
Cheap Easter egg bought (yay) and no drinks. Bad idea that last one.
Wandered and met folk. Did some terrible passing did me and Clurb so we packed it in and decided no juggling was better than what we were managing. And so to the “Welcome Show”.
We stood and queued in the drinks tent for the Big Top. Loads of bods already there and more coming in all the time. But we were late in (nothing unsurprising there then). And once the doors opened the queue started moving but all the latecomers got in first as the door of the tent was near the front of the beer tent. The queue was down to the other end of the tent you see (ie further away from the bog top). Realised I’d be standing for the length of the show and decided to not bother.
I’ve not heard any rave reviews though so I don’t think there was anything unmissable there.
Later on I was told I’d missed the renegade too. This was supposed to be after the first show so it seemed reasonable that I missed it. Ah well.
Later found out that I hadn’t missed it so went to sit in the big top but nothing much seemed to be happening. So after 10 mins I left again.
About an hour later when I’d gone to bed I heard the cheering and aahing going on. Ah well 2.
Worst bit of the night was realising that despite 2 thick duvets and a brand new air mattress I was bloody freezing. I discovered after an hour or so that the mattress was freezing cold. Good job my duvets are doubles as I managed to wind myself into the middle of them, all comfy like. And spent a toasty night after that.
Woke up to hear that Jon (next tent) had found ice on his tent first thing. Eek.
Anyway I’m now sat up in my clinic room waiting first arrivals of the day. Nice this free wi-fi stuff ain’t it?
26 Mar 2008
“There are no germans here” goes the next line but that’s no longer true.
Work was an irrelevance yesterday. Something to be got through prior to the BJC. Or more to the point to get through before driving to the airport to pick up germans.
4 of em.
Lisa (aka Lilly from rec.chat), 2 of her pals (Sun and Mini) and their mum (Tamali) to be precise. Never met any of them before but chatted with Lisa a few times. I’m their host for the BJC, picked ‘em up and will drive there. Should be a good week. This “not knowing them” business has raised eyebrows with a few folk. “But you don’t know them!”, well no but they’re jugglers; they’ll be sound. It’s a good bet at least.
But they are after all 4 women on holiday – my car was full to the extent that I couldn’t see out of the rear window; and I haven’t started with my stuff yet.
Luckily P&C can take stuff for us as well so we dropped a few less important bags round with them.
And then for the cultural tour of Leicester – ie going for a curry.
We had 12 bods turn up which was nice.
Me, P&C, D, Lisa +3, Jay and Sally (who I don’t think I’ve ever met before) and Phil and Camille.
Lovely food and pleasant company. Not much more to add. Lisa had never had Indian food before so plumped for the Korma but Mini excelled herself with a vindaloo. My Pili Masala was quite warm too.
Now I’ve just got to wait until 4 women can get ready before setting off today.
I may be some time.
But then they are german so they may well be perfectly efficient and quick.
25 Mar 2008
I’ve just had to switch the radio off mid-interview.
I didn’t think that the presenter was going to maintain a straight face in a serious interview; and I’m damned sure I couldn’t.
She was doing a thing on stem cell research and interviewing a scientist and a catholic labour MP. Can’t remember the MP’s full name but the scientist was a certain “Stephen Minger”.
You could just hear the titter in her voice as she said it. To not help further the MP’s first name was Stephen so she had to use surnames when asking questions. I had to look away.
But at least the MP involved wasn’t Ed Balls.
24 Mar 2008
A long weekend this one.
Firstly tho’ a rant.
I wanted to go to London for a coupl’o reasons. The train would be a waste of money as it’s a holiday weekend so there’d be engineering works, and as it’s a holiday it’ll be ruinously expensive.
So I chose the bus. So to the website. Picked me a pair of buses, typed in all my details, did the clicking on the toc stuff etc. Only to be told that my bus was full.
But it didn’t tell me which one. The bus there or the bus back?
The website kicked me back to the start. It didn’t show full buses anywhere but obviously allows you to choose them. It didn’t remember any of my details so I had to blindly choose another bus hoping that that one wouldn’t be full, and having to type all of my stuff back in all the while worrying that I’d have picked another dud. Harumph. Grumpy email duly sent to the bus company.
Anyway the lack of space on the bus I wanted meant a bloody early start on Saturday. 6am bus so 5am get up. Sigh.
The journey was quite entertaining. No traffic for a start. The people in the front row were all Indian (or some such) and the cafuffle was noisy and fun when they all had their video cameras trained forwards as we drove through a blizzard near Milton Keynes.
Off at Marble Arch for a long wander through to Waterloo. I was going to take it easy but the weather was pretty awful, partic when I crossed the Thames. So I ran to Waterloo from there and sat and ate chocolate and that.
Rebecca turned up without Matt who’d contrived to miss his train. He did show up about 10 mins later.
Walked to the Tate. Windy, cold and grotty. But the Tate was worth the trip. (see pics)
I bought me a couple of DVDs one of which hopefully will be appropriate for scary fillums nights.
Then I was taken to the market at Borough. Worth a trip if you’ve never been. German food was ate.
Back to their flat for warmth and food.
And that was pretty much the day. Pleasant and friendly like.
Next day was quiet and snowy. Stayed in for food and chat and then home. Not very exciting but jolly relaxing.
19 Mar 2008
Well what a day yesterday was: news comes in 3s it seems.
So we had Arthur C Clarke, Captain Birdseye and Anthony Minghella die on us in swift succession.
The only thing I remember about Arthur C Clarke was that he used to live in Africa and present a show about the world of the weird type stuff.
Captain Birdseye was a slightly scary hairy pirate who kidnapped children and put them to work on his galleon; getting pleasure from his fishy fingers their only reward.
And Mr Minghella was a fillum director. I can only remember 2 of his fillums. First was Truly, Madly, Deeply. Quite possibly the most nauseating drivel I’ve ever had the misfortune to see. It also allows the Mercans to wave it at us when we snigger at their ludicrous sentimentality.
The other one was “The English Patient”. A fillum so dull I had to watch it in 2 parts. A fillum that also has 2 love stories (at least) and they spent the lion’s share of it wittering on about the less interesting one whilst ignoring a great story with the other couple.
I’m told he was a great director. Ah well.
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