27 May 2008
After my feting of my mobile phone company for offering me an ace deal of £7 a month they’ve gone and ruined it by sending a letter explaining the deal.
At no point is there mention of £7 a month. This is, however, a rather large mention of £19.99 per month.
If they’d offered me that I’d have said no.
Hmm, time for a bolshy phone call.
25 May 2008
Ah Bungay. (Pics here)
Home now. S’lovely.
That reads like I don’t like Bungay. Not at all true of course. But it rained hard today leaving the campsite wet and drippy and de-camping awkward due to the unrelenting heavy rain.
As at the BJC this year I sensibly decamped the day before, this time I slept in the car last night. Not quite as comfy but.
I made it there on Tuesday after only a slight detour for a map malfunction.
First job after tent upping? Pub. Of course.
Juggling? Did a bit.
Well that’s enough of the juggling. Let’s talk about what else went on.
Volleyclub? Did loads for me. Started with me and Clurb practicing and then Dave and Lynne and Mamph and Jake(?) and Rod and Blake and others joined in at some points to make things more fun.
Unicycling? Some. Was going to do some every day. Managed 3 lots. First one was terrible, 2nd was pretty good, 3rd was pretty good. Ta to Clurb for the shoulder. Still need to work on the fitness.
Animals? Dog next door. Ahhh. Cat on the site. Awww.
Travel? Nearly crashed the car in Halesworth. Ta again to Pete for the shout. As Bungay tradition dictates DB was lifted back to Leicester today as well.
Music? Time at Bungay for lots of different music. Major points for Void for playing a live Melt Banana set. Had some of Tom’s Jap techno thing as well. Marvellous. Oh and some local Germans spent some time banging away at their instruments too. Occasionally had to use some spectacular noise to drown it out.
Special mention required for DB for his hurling of my MP3 player across the length (nearly) of the tent. Impressed the onlookers.
Games? Not many actually. Croquet seemed to kick off in a big way this year. It’s one of those games like Bridge that makes no sense at all. I hope never to learn either games’ rules, the mystery will be gone and any interest thus evaporated. No Scrabble. Some DS stuff. No rudeness nor “purility”.
A wasted opportunity.
Work? Some taping done. Shoulder stuff done. Gym ball stuff done. Looks like a gymball workshop will be a grand idea sometime soon.
Now on to the interesting stuff.
People. They’re ace. Loads of them are anyway. I didn’t meet an unpleasant person at all. Very lovely to have a week like that. But I’ll mention some folk. You other regulars will just have to assume that you’re grand (you are).
- Abbie – ta for the paracetamol – just what I needed.
- Blake from Canada – nice bloke and up for volleyclub.
- Jani – over from Finland for the week and a really pleasant bloke. Nice to have met you – see you in Finland EJC if not before.
- Si and Em seemed a nice couple – see you in June.
- Leicester lot are as ever grand – working to get them tents down today showed you all up as magic. Ta.
- Sarah gets a mention too for coming out with sparklingly mad utterances. The pinnacle of which was in answer to the question “When are you going to learn clubs?” Her (on-topic) answer? “I’m thinking of getting my nipples pierced.” Apparently it makes sense. I’m going to save her blushes by keeping her other utterances private for now. But be aware that I can be bought. We also had a great half hour discussing potential jugglers as marriage material for her. We had certain ideas but any suggestions will be looked at for comedy potential too.
- Special cheers to Charlie, Alex and extra-specially to newbie Libby.
- and of course to Farmer Paul.
We had the pleasure of zooming off down the road a way to visit a circus. A little local thing. BUT. One of the performers was a certain Sarah B of BYJOTY and Shakira fame. She wasn’t at BBU this year because of her having run away to join this circus. Very annoying as she’s ace company. But as luck would have it they were just down the road.
She knew that one or two of us were going to come and visit at some point. On Thursday night they had 38 of us show up. We were their biggest audience of the tour and by far the most boisterous.
Imagine the scene. They’ve had 14 people in the crowd the show before. And 20 the time before that. This one had 50. And we were loud.
More specifically we were loud whenever Sarah came on.
Now I don’t simply mean when she came on to perform. I mean whenever she came on.
Cheer for putting a mat down for one of the other acts. Cheer for “walking across back of stage”. Cheer for dancing with lighty up thing in the dark too.
Apparently she got the chance to point out audience members to be “volunteered”. So we had the fun of watching Mini and 3 others doing the “lying down on each other whilst not falling over” thing.
Gawd bless ‘em but the other performers dealt with this very bizarre event wonderfully. The ringmasters both tried their best to get the non-juggler audience to join in and they did (eventually). The performers got into the spirit as well. Sarah and a couple called Si and Em were most worried because we all knew what the difficulty of what they were doing was. Em, bless her, came on to do poi and mouthed a “sorry” to us all and then proceeded to do a really cool routine with lots of stuff I’d not seen before. Very good indeed. The other performer who should be noted was the clown Alex whose nipples stood out a mile. Even without being doused by Rob. But her nipples shouldn’t be noted as the err stand-out bit of her act – she could clown and entertain and she did it well. Nice one.
The other thing the circus does is teach the school kids and some get to perform in the shows. 2 in particular were excellent. 2 lads did a clown routine involving classic clown gags. They did the ladder (actually it was an easel) in the face gag really well, they did the foot in the paint bucket gag. They gurned and acted their hearts out. Really good indeed.
The finale was when the performers all came on again to get their applause. Sarah was last on and this led to a standing ovation and nigh on a literal “raising the roof” wave of noise from everyone. It didn’t stop. At one point she came over to me and said something along the lines of “For fuck’s sake cheer someone else, it’s embarrassing”. Bless. Cue the tears and laughing combi that she does so well.
At the end Void and Pete kidnapped Sarah and we took her and Si and Em back to the site for a night of being at Bungay. They loved it and it was fun. So much so that they turned up again the following night.
Sarah at the site led to her getting cheers everywhere she went and for everything she did. So she’d enter the tent to cheers. She went to brush her teeth at one point rousing cheers and more cheers for demonstrating which brand of toothpaste she was using. Very odd indeed.
After the show I could no longer speak after shouting so much and trying to deal with the combination of a cold and tonsillitis. Seems to have improved since though.
And on to the main show on Saturday.
They’d done it as a “Bungay’s Got Talent” thing, organised by Ewan who’d spent the week asking folk to play and being rebutted at most turns. Clurb had been asked to be one of the judges but she eventually retired in favour of Mandy. T’other judges were Dave tB and Farmer Paul himself.
Last year the site got busy on the second Saturday as people arrived for a long weekend. It didn’t happen so much this year. Possibly this was down to the weather forecast being a tad appalling but it did mean the show was quite quiet.
First act on was Rob Fiery with a weird boxing match thing. Loads of in-jokes, lots of juggling and manipulation with clubs and hats – entertaining if a bit rough. He was triple-x’d off by the judges right at the end of his act. This led to the first appearance of Alan (last year’s compere) the Act Catcher who burlapped him up to be interviewed by the judges.
Next act was some kid trying to get us to sing. A: bad idea. B: he tried to teach us not only singing but doing actions to the words as well. C: it was a potentially religious song (thankfully he didn’t get to the “Isn’t God great?” bit that I felt was inevitable). And D: they didn’t bloody triple-x him for ages. Don’t make me sing – you wouldn’t like me when I sing. And anyway I refuse to sing potentially religious songs.
Mention for the compere. Bloke by the name of Pretentious Ken. Seen him before. I’m convinced he was a Bruised Fruit but everyone I’d expected to be able to confirm this was a bit “Was he? Ooh I can’t remember” about it when probed. He did the job (apart from his DNA gag which fell flat on the basis that the model he held up clearly wasn’t of DNA and couldn’t be taken as so by an audience as nerdy as your Bungay show crowd). Nice.
Belgian Martin and (?)Paul were up next with some smooth passing things they’d worked out over the week. Nice stuff and nice to see that they got a good applaud for a trick or two that me and Clurb have sorted ourselves. They were a bit droppy but considerably less so than me and Clurb would have been.
Monte came on 3 times. Buzzed off twice – it may have been staged it was difficult to tell but he was the only one to do the Bungay trick in the show. Nicely done. Monte was also responsible for some of the better heckles of the night.
Blake from Canada did some nice 3 ball stuff, some of which worked. Then he headed off into bizarre world with a coat hanger routine that at times looked like that game with tumbling monkeys in that whenever he put something on something would fall off at the bottom. Very odd indeed.
Sam came on. Small child on stilts doing 1 diabolo trick. A few times. Yes.
Sean did his Singin’ in the Rain diabolo and brolly act. Very smooth and as good as I remember.
James did some club stuff. Really very droppy but some nice ideas and what worked was very good at times. XXX-d off for droppiness.
Finale of the evening was Grant Goldie who was criminally unable to do an Irish accent. He did his hat routine and people laughed about Butlins. A nice routine but hats as you may know are not my bag.
So what happened next? Judges decided which won the top 3 acts.
Grant got third and a WJF CD. Belgian Martin and (?)Paul got second (but the best WJF DVD) and the “winner” was young Sam who got another WJF DVD. Some oddness ongoing there.
First. WJF? What?
Apparently the WJF sent some flyers (which were plentiful) and a couple of DVDs hoping that the orgs could promote the WJF event in December. They did but….. at Bungay? This is Bungay. The Bungay Balls Up. WJF and Bungay does not compute. We’re in a field, sitting and knitting or reading or talking rubbish or playing non-serious volleyclub or having a barbecue. The WJF? What?
And I do wonder what Jason G will think if he finds out that the top prize of a WJF DVD was given to a very young, hippy haired lad standing on some stilts and doing a v basic diabolo move – a few times – with only a couple of drops. Just the image he’s after I’m sure.
The show was over and the tent emptied again. So late to bed after more volleyclub.
And that was it really. The rain dampened Sunday and all us Leicester lot left after getting soaked when communually striking the tents down.
And now I’m home and I don’t want to be. Sigh.
PS I know I’ve over used the adjective “nice” somewhat. But I’m tired and I really need a nice sleep.
18 May 2008
Pals all gone to Bungay. Nothing to do this weekend but clean and get some paperwork sorted before being away.
What have I managed?
Today I have been mostly playing Super Paper Mario.
It’s a very good game but between that and getting up at 3.30 (because of sheer laziness, listening to podcasts and watching the iPlayer in bed) I have managed to do precisely bog all of what I had planned today.
Seems I’m in a Bungay frame of mind after all.
14 May 2008
Looking at the way prices are zooming up now I’ve been on a bit of binge of money saving.
I now have only the barest minimum of stuff on standby – my tv, DVD player, Wii and digibox are on one extension so that’s switched off the whole time I’m not using any of it, the heating’s not been on for a 10th of the time it was when K lived here, I don’t take baths now (still showering so no holding noses in a pantomime stylee), only one room in the house that doesn’t have energy saving bulbs and that’s only because I can’t be bothered to fit a new light there, I get my 25% discount on council tax as I’m sole occupier and of course I’m back on the bike more.
Another of my unnecessaries was my mobile phone. I was paying £22.99 a month and that gave me 75 free minutes of calls and that was that. Worth it for the free upgrades every so often etc…
Well I cancelled that and asked to go to pre-paid. They helpfully obliged and cancelled and someone just phoned me to tell me that everything was ready to be switched. Hurrah – an effective company.
But then he says:
“How would you like to have your 75 minutes AND 100 free texts a month for £7 including VAT?”
Hell yes I’ll have that. £16 saved per month for more service, marvellous. No free phone upgrades but I don’t need that, as long as the thing sends and receives I don’t need anything newer.
Just shy of £200 saved. My gas bills have gone down a third over the last 6 months (and that’s in winter), electric’s about the same (savings offset by rising price), petrol spend is about half of what I spent per month last year, house phone is cheaper too with free weekend calls and that. Food’s about the same even with the rises in costs as I’m buying less rubbish and throwing less away.
I think I’m doing well. Woohoo.
10 May 2008
It’s that birthday thing again (tomorrow actually but). Sometimes it seems like I get one of these every year.
I decided to do summat a bit different this year. We’ve done curries, we’ve done Chinese, we’ve done Alton Towers and so on.
I reckoned after Monday that I wanted to do that walk again this time with pals.
They were up for it; grand.
D turned up early and I sent him off to pick up P and C as I zoomed off to pick up Ruth and John (my ever so lovely South African hosts last December).
The weather has been superb this week and my main worry was that it could be too sunny. Luckily the clouds stayed low for most of the walk only giving us proper sun during the last hour or so.
As last time the walk was gorgeous countryside, some farm animals and a little bit of going the wrong way. Conversation involved work, P being chased by cows, me being bitten by a donkey and much much more.
Again the pub provided food, this time we were inclined to sit outside at a very slopey table. The food did manage to stay on the plates though (just).
A lovely lovely way to spend a day. Cool mates I have. Well done you lot.
08 May 2008
…I’ve seen in ages!
07 May 2008
Coo a random juggler has just called me a hypocrite.
Seems my “Random slagging off of someone I doubt you know at all? Why?” (on rec.j) comment got someone’s back up.
Which led to them telling me that I’m “perfectly happy” to slag people off on here.
Let’s start with the “slag people off” part. Since I started my blog I’ve made a decision about precisely one person based on their act(s). I said what I said and I did so on here. Later I changed my mind and apologised (without being asked to or prompted by anyone) on here.
And that’s it as far as I can recall. One person – mistake – apologised for.
I haven’t to my knowledge slagged anyone else off at all.
There have been acts that I didn’t like. I said so. I also say why and I don’t recall any instance where criticism was personal. Is saying you didn’t like what someone did on stage now the same as saying that you don’t like that person?
I’ve said people are arrogant. Is that necessarily a negative comment? In at least one instance I then went on to specifically argue that the person in question was right to be arrogant and that it wasn’t a problem (and explained my reasons). Hardly an ad hominem attack.
I’ve criticised podcasts and videos too. None of the criticisms are levelled at the creators or participants personally. Just the product.
Spot the difference between:
“The video was poorly lit and that music didn’t fit”.
“An over-rated juggler that gets attention because she’s a girl. She doesn’t even look good.”
I don’t recall any instance of a review of mine being remotely as coarsely personal as the latter.
But I’m welcoming comments so if you disagree say so. And I don’t just mean now, I mean whenever there’s something that you disagree with.
Oh yes and I meant to go back to the “perfectly happy” part. That is utter bollocks. I want to like every act, every convention, every show I see. I don’t like not liking stuff. If there’s something I don’t like though I am going to say so and I am going to say why. Doesn’t mean it pleases me to be mean. As I say I don’t think I am though.
06 May 2008
Ooh I forgot.
Mini told me that there’s a filthy lewd and probably slanderous rumour going round about me since the BJC this year.
Coo, never knew nuthink about it.
How terribly exciting.
05 May 2008
Well I said I was looking forward to this weekend and I was right to.
Saturday was the BCC, Sunday lazy until my folks arrived and today was grand too.
Folks turned up Sunday aft and we didn’t do a huge amount but they did have a go on WiiFit and embarrassed themselves thoroughly. Actually they weren’t bad and my ma came out at 45. A good 17 years younger than her actual age and younger than Charlie managed on her first go (NB This is work Charlie aka by far the fittest person I know)
Then they watched The Jungle Book and then to bed.
Today we didn’t rush in the morning before heading out for a walk in the country. We looked on a local map and decided a nice 8 mile round trip around Tilton would be a grand bet; and so it was.
Gorgeous weather, not too muddy ground and a nice pub half way round. As I said a grand day.
[edit: pics here]
And that’s not the end of it!
Me, Clurb and Rod headed out to watch El Orfanato at the Phoenix. Well worth the trip. Spooky, scary and with a good few jumps. It’s those fillums with kids that spook you.
Oh and I haven’t mentioned the very oddest thing wot’s happened to me this weekend.
I had an answerphone message from someone at the BBC saying
I’m researching Henry Stanley Tibbs and I’m after relatives. Can you call me back on……
Never heard of the guy but after googling him found this. Wow, another famous person in the family (t’other was Stanley van Beers).
As I say though I’d never heard of him before.
PS And Have I Got News For You with Brian Blessed was superb.
Some of us went to yet another juggly event this weekend. This time the Birmingham Circus Convention – number 13. Potentially unlucky.
Easy drive and no ridiculous starting time as it’s not too far from here. And sensibly we went via Sainsbury at this end rather than have to walk to Tescos there as we usually have done.
Once there we realised that there weren’t too many folk around. Meh it was still earlyish.
The gym space at Ladywood isn’t the nicest but as ever you go for the craic.
Mini and Emily were there and chatty. Tom turned up with huge amounts of mental Japanese music. Fak and Void showed up to chat a whiles as well. Jon and Lizzah also arrived and demonstrated their utter appallingness at direction taking.
Jugglewise me and Clurb did rather well. Hard patterns got less hard. What more can you ask?
After Mamph showed up we wanted to impress her with our ultimates. Pfft. She was having none of it. But then she had a go at passing with Clurb and was RUBBISH! I mean honestly.
The afternoon passed in some passing, chatting, eating and sitting on a field of daisies. Pleasant.
Me, D, P&C and Mamph headed out for a curry then and drove for a bit before finding a row of shops amongst which was a curry house. But then we also had the choice of eating at “New Johnny Wongs” or some Iranian place. Oh and the curry house was shut.
As we’d never tried Iranian before, we headed there.
As ever the menus are a mine of racist comedy – there was a starter called “Maste Kisse” which I reckon should just about give you an appetite for the main course if you know what I mean nudge nudge wink wink.
Food was lovely, really very good (apart from the over-limeyness of Mamph’s limey thing).
Back for the show.
Actually we were back in time for the Renegade – acts of note – only one – Freddy Sheed showing off whilst a very good beatboxer kicked off in the background. He was awfy good at doing didgeridoos that lad, well done.
Long break then the main show (ta again to Clurb for the running order):
If you’ve been reading rec.juggling you’ll have seen some comments re the comperes (Vicki and Kate). Points for effort re their costumes but they managed to break every one of Luke’s rules starting with the obvious “Don’t do a double act” – there were times when one would talk over the other then a pause while they both stopped to let the other speak. They or a stagehand didn’t clear the stage for the acts properly, they tried to entertain too much rather than get on with it.
The one saving grace for them was a long bit they did after the intermission which they probably did to give us crowd time to get back to our seats but then they screwed it up because it relied on “hearing the words they were saying” and they either shouted into the mikes so it was too loud or squealed and it was too high pitched or (mostly) both. I had no clue what was going on but my ears didn’t like it. And that has to be bad as my ears are rather partial to some horrific noise.
Anyway first proper act – Jon Peat. Now for someone who’s been commented on a lot and is apparently the inspiration for one of the BYJOTY participants he’s not been on stage much at all. Tonight was his 3rd ever show (after 2 BYJOTYs). You can tell. He sort of bounded on and started before his music, dropped, picked up, dropped, looked annoyed, picked up, dropped. Then after a while he settled down from his over-hyper start and showed off some of the snazziest 3 ball stuff seen on stage in ages. You know the “contortionist” where you have one arm behind your back reaching around and you do a cascade? How about a contortionist but with a shower, on penguin catches? And many more ludicrous tricks. Very hard, pretty droppy. He told me later that he couldn’t hear his music on stage. I wonder if the comperes were shouting as they couldn’t hear themselves as well. Praps.
MattDS up next with his devilsticks. Lots of stallings with one, nice balances and stuff. Then some swanky 2 stick stuff. Definitely too slow to start with especially after Jon’s hyper start. But there’s plenty there for devilstickers.
Will “Hexagonic” Streatfield did a globall routine – not sure why it needed to be a globall act. He’s a good juggler but the room wasn’t dark enough, the stage wasn’t high enough and the comperes don’t need to wander on before he’s finished.
John Booth – showing off some whizzy diabolo moves. Enjoyed it a lot; I have no clue what he did but it was fun.
Huge annoying break.
Norbi – doing rings you say? Why yes. He’d reverted to normal rings this time and the familiarity showed – far fewer drops and good timing, dancing, choreography whatever. Not quite as energetic as he was at that Leeds performance way back when but still Norbi on good form.
Dan Cooper – calm 3 balls. A nice contrast to Jon and loads of contact stuff in his tricks. Very nice and very well choreographed too. Another instance of the comperes screwing up. He came on and then left. Then the comperes rushed on and cleared Norbi’s props away then rushed off and on he came again. Very poor.
Jon Udry – I must mention this as a high point. As the comperes were wittering about Norbi, Jon came on set up whilst ignoring them and then assumedly told them to get off (or at least that he was ready). They rushed off before hanging around a second longer and Jon started. Well done that man. Into club stuff of some skill but a bit droppy again. A shame, I really like Jon’s stuff in the main and he was good but just droppy.
Then to home. With 2 loud female voices still reverberating through my head.
A strangely quiet day otherwise, a few people I expected to see were absent. Ah well
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