Archive for Juggling

BJC replayed

I went to a BJC!  Must be years since I attended one for more than just a show.  This year’s is still ongoing and in Nottingham again.  Best BJC I ever went to was in Notts in 1997.  Second best one was in 2007 – again in Nottingham.  Great.

Well actually we only went for the show and the “games”.  Normally the games are in a public place in the host town but unfortunately there was stuff on the market square on Sunday so it was taking place at the castle.  Still, never been to Notts castle – but I wasn’t expecting a £20 ticket to get in.

So we got there late, of course, cos of traffic and that.  And there were the games.  But I couldn’t see anyone I recognised.  At least for a bit.  So we did a bit of tourist stuff which ended up with R singing the Robin Hood theme whilst L ran up and down as if on a horse, whilst wearing a Robin Hood cloak. Over and over again.

That’s when Nicky and her wee lad (M) arrived.  Yay!  Not seen her for years now.  And after the initial shy kid act he and our 2 wee ones were off and playing.  And then Tom D showed up briefly whilst on his way to a camping shop.  And then ^Tom_ – blimey it’s a long time since we last met – we reminisced about hiking in the Lake District and various shows we’d seen (but sadly forgot to mention the carpet trippy up game at the Karlsruhe EJC).  And briefly Nick who I lodged with in London for a few weeks.  Sadly missed Dr Helen and Silver Paul.

We didn’t watch the games but stood and chatted until it was time to go.  And then, via a ridiculous walk, and meeting uncle D, to a pizza place for tea.

And then R, L and J were away home.  As was Nicky and M.  Hopefully it won’t be another 4 years before we meet them again.

Me, D and N were off to the show.  We were the last people to get our tickets and we’re off up to the circle to find some seats.  Considering there were few tickets left when we booked there were a lot of empty seats.  Ah well, we were in the middle near the back of the room so a good view.

Balloons were being knocked about and passed around as usual.  And there was an annoying kid.  Really annoying.  Very very annoying.  We also had a guy who had clear learning disabilities near us – shouldn’t have been an issue but he was loud and inappropriate – which the annoying kid thought was hilarious (whose mother had a weak stab at shushing him but totally ineffectively.  Grr.)

So the acts.  The first was some Brazilian bloke doing curvy sticks.  It was a bit like watching a modern jazz concert as occasionally people would clap for no discernible reason.  I saw a bloke moving sticks around awkwardly.  Others clearly saw more.  Ah well, my loss.  They did plug him doing a workshop the following day so you too could learn how to move sticks about awkwardly.

Then a girl with one blue juggling ring came on.  She did some quite nice moves and catches but the whole routine didn’t grab me.

3rd were 2 hat jugglers.  Some of it was pretty good and actually had some of the few bits of juggling in the show.  But sadly some of it suffered from the bane of hat routines which was quite a lot of droppage.

Last in the first half was a French bloke doing a 10 minute snatch of an hour long show.  He used 1 club and had quite interesting music.  But again it was 10 mins of start-stop manips and no juggling – oh no sorry he did do an occasional short sharp trick – and dropped these as often as not.

And then the intermission during which I got to meet Mamph and her nearly exactly 1 year old.  Aww – lovely to meet them.

Second half then – hoop lady from Sweden?  Quite funny at times – and some juggling – without drops as I recall.  Was ok.

Then Anni from Germany did her show “Paganini”.  You can tell I liked this one cos I can remember her name and the act’s name.  She tied her hands and did club balances and manipulations – it was funny and skilled and well choreographed.  Genuinely a lovely routine.  Very good.

Penultimate act (ok so the order of acts may be wrong) was a Cyr Wheel routine (linky to show the prop – not the same performer).  I know little about this skill and prop but it was very impressive.  N’s favourite act (apart from the headliner)

And finally the headline act “Guillaume Karpowicz” doing a diabolo routine.  My first thought was “Oh no his outfit perfectly matches his prop” so there’s a risk of not being able to see his prop.  But it was properly properly ace.  Brilliantly performed, very hard stuff done superbly.  Music was great and fat the routine perfectly.  Very impressed with this one.

The host (?Rosie?) had held the show together well with some humour and did the job IE told us what was happening and names and that.  Ducks and children was my favourite bit of her shtick.

All in all a show of 2 halves.  Could maybe have done with maybe some juggling in it…maybe.

And then we were off.  Bumped into Lizzah and MBM in the foyer and then off for D to whisk us away in his swish car to where we’d parked our car earlier.  Nothing like stepping out of an BMW M series car to get into an ’04 Zafira – the contrast was rather stark!

A lovely day with some lovely people.  Let’s not make it quite so long until the next time.


Bungay Ballsed Up

Now well this is a different kind of post.  Mostly confessional and an explicit apology.

Sunday morning at BBU.  See previous post to see details of 2 sleepless nights and feeling a bit out of sorts.

Anyways breakfast.  The kids had been promised pancakes.  I cooked them some.  But then a pathetic petty disagreement with N happened.  In normal circumstances this would have been very ignorable but the combination of tiredness and general stressiness didn’t work well in my favour.  And I completely flipped out.  Ludicrous over the top shouting and snark and basically being a total tosser.

I managed to spot it and absented myself from the situation and had a lie down.

I apologised later to N and R.

BUT I also want to apologise to those nearby who clearly would have heard this ranting imbecile flipping out at a 10 year old about something so bloody trivial as a sodding pancake.

I am an idiot.  Sorry.


Bungay Balls Up

We did the Bungay thing again this weekend.  Was generally lovely but with a sour flavour (more of that will be in the next post.  I’ll get to that eventually.)


We’d originally planned to go late Thursday but this was just unfeasible given the times of work.  We’d have arrived at 10pm and then have had to set up the tent and stuff.  So we decided to start on Friday morning.

Friday night was disturbed by J vomiting.  Ah bugger.  He still wanted to go on holiday and even negotiated getting a sick bowl for the journey just in case we were thinking of not going ‘cos of him being ill.  In the morning he seemed ok so we packed up and set off.  And he was fine.

The journey took us about 5 hours.  Traffic was awful.  We needed to keep stopping for poo breaks and the like.  All a bit of a mare really.  And finally there.

We headed to our normal spot only to be told that the spot was really for quiet people (IE without kids).  We did really want to be there tho.  R and L went off to the loo whilst I continued chatting.  When R came back she let fly and had obviously been thinking about it.  We ended up staying put.  It did sort of put us on the defensive straight away.  Maybe even if there’d been a sign up we’d have been ok but we had already decamped the kids and most of our gear.  Not a great first impression for either them nor us.  But the tent got put up and we asked some of the local tent owners if they were happy and they said so.  Phew.

We spent that evening getting food ready.  And then P&C turned up with kids.  Huzzah!  Then playing and eventually kids to bed and a small amount of socialising.

That night was pretty bad.  It wasn’t cold particularly but J and L were on a blow up mattress wot deflated overnight and both of them ended up in our bed.  There wasn’t enough space so we didn’t really get much sleep.  After breakfast we pootled around the site, chatting and wandering.  The kids played with little r and Dorrie and generally had a whale of a time.  In the afternoon we headed to the Aviation Museum at Flixton.  It was shut.  Opens Sunday to Thursdays only.  Great.  So to a playground for the kids and then back to the site.  Saturday evenings at BBU is all about the show.  The compere was the same guy as the last time I was there.  He was grand and this was the first show that J really got into – he was proper laughing when little r wandered onto the stage area and the compere mimed pouring a bottle of water over her.  He kept recalling this moment on occasion for the rest of the weekend.

Other acts of note were little Ben with the smallest violin ever (must have been a 1/16th size – tiny wee thing) doing his first ever performance (as far as I know); I missed his big sister doing her thig ‘cos I was re-inflating the kids’ mattress; teh Bizcups doing rings – always a star; ?Adam doing hard ball stuff; and Siteswap Ben doing fantastically good stuff with balls.  It was a short but perfectly formed little show.  I enjoyed it.

So kids to bed then a bit of chatting.  And to bed – properly cold night too.  The kids were again disturbed by the crappy mattress.  And we didn’t really sleep.  Again.

And so to Sunday morning.  All a bit bleary and tempers flared.  Again see next post.

P&C had gone by now – they’d left v early – rather sweetly they’d left us a working mattress for the kids.  The morning drifted on with not much going on and eventually we wanted to find a local pub for Sunday lunch.  It wasn’t on the satnav so I winged it – and lost.  We failed to find it so gave up after a while and headed back to the Aviation Museum – mainly because of the pub next to it.  We wanted food – but wait…there’s a sign on the door of the pub.

“We don’t want your bloody kids here, take them away to somewhere they’re wanted.”

OK it wasn’t actually that but the sentiment was the same.  So that’s the camp site and this pub so far.  Sigh.  We weren’t staying and headed off for another pub.  We got there at 2pm.  They stopped serving food pretty much as we walked in.  And to Halesworth to see if there was anywhere there for food.  We got to a pub at 2:30.  They stopped serving just as we got there.  And the next cafe had stopped as well.  Eventually we found a hotel – they’d stopped serving too – but did do sandwiches and chips through the afternoon.  Ah well it was that or snacks from the co-op.

And back to the Museum.  It was a struggle to be honest.  It rained, was cold BUT the place was at least open.  I don’t think we were in the mood tbh.

The evening was spent as usual at BBU.  Restful and that night was quiet (hurrah).

Monday was pack up day.  Quiet and busy.  Too short a trip and one that wasn’t as restful as I wished (to put it mildly).  And home.


Long day out

It was the BJC a couple of weeks ago and it was up in Pickering.  The big “gala” show was in Scarborough on Saturday.  We couldn’t afford the time or money to go for the week but we did decide (ok I may have been quite pushy) to go for the show on Saturday.  It’s a reasonable way up there, in fact it took us 3 hours to drive up, but we felt a day at the seaside would be fun for all.

We set off a little late but still got there at 1. Doors opened for the show at 7.00 so it gave us around 6 hours to play and look around.  We played on the beach for a bit.  N and J made a little sandcastle with the brief help of a little boy who got shouted out by quite burly looking grown-ups and then scampered off.

We had a lovely meal of fish and chips (for tradition’s sake) at a place that really did do gluten-free food on its menu but then ruined it by saying that fried gluten-free food is done in a fryer that also fries gluteny food.  So that’s of no use to anyone then.  We’d brought food for J along with us anyway so it wasn’t a major issue just an indication of the general lack of understanding that food places have.

I managed to leave both J’s coat and my camera at the caff as well.  By the time I spotted this we were a good way away heading towards “Luna Park”.  Sounds great but in reality a tired dump of over-priced, under-performing “attractions”.  R took the kids whilst I drove back to get our stuff.

Once re-united we all played a bit in the park before it closed rather early.  This happened earlier with the donkeys – N wanted a ride, “after food” we said. And the donkeys walked home, away from the beach, past us as we ate.  She was glum. Twice.

Walking back to the car we bumped into BJCers who’d clearly just been bussed into Scarborough for the show.  I saw a few recognisable faces and a few tedious show-offs (really please don’t walk around with a ball on your head – it’s little wonder you’re walking around on your own).  We saw some young unicyclists bouncing up and onto some street furniture.  And then Biskup yelled at us from over the road, yay for Biskup – long time no see.

A couple of other folk also said hello, hi Abby and friends.  Sadly we missed loads of you.

The show was in a lovely old venue that suffered somewhat for having columns in the way for most seats on the balcony (certainly those seats on the side balcony).  We picked seats that weren’t great but the area was quiet so hopefully the kids wouldn’t annoy too many folk.

As soon as the show started more people shifted down to where we were as their view was poor or became obscured by other people moving or standing up to see.  As I said, the balcony views weren’t great.  So what about the show?

I have no idea.  I spent the first half fielding 2 kids, N was good and enjoyed the show.  J yet again spent his time playing with the foldy-uppy chairs and running up and down the rows.  L just cried and wouldn’t go to sleep.

We finally got her to sleep during the intermission so only had to cope with J running about.  He didn’t want to be cuddled or held so carried on running and playing with chairs.

As far as the acts went I saw a bit of Steve Ragatz (very good), Eugenius Nil someone (very good), a pair of German girls (pair clubs, not as slick as could be maybe), a trick cyclist (N loved this one) and that was about it.  The headliner was some Russian whizzkid apparently – can’t say I can remember anything about the act tho.  And there was a poi act that went down a storm.  Completely missed it. 

Sincere apologies to those put out by the babies.  I think we’ll wait a few years before the babies get to go to another show.


Return to ChocFest

It’s been a good while since I got up to York for a ChocFest but we finally managed to get it sorted this year, yay!

I think it’s the first time I’ve ever taken part in the Chocfest Chocolate Cake Competition too.  We sorted a decent first ever stab at a gluten free cake for J and took that along.

Unfortunately we had to leave early to get kids home and to bed so missed the show and the cake comp judging. N very keen to find out if we won (we won’t have).

The day was spent chatting to Tom D, Fak, Naomi (another one), Nathan and family, and Silver and family. N and Fred played a lot, J had great fun and L was passed around to all and (occasionally) sundry. No juggling done of course but it was lovely to catch up with a few familiar faces. There were an awfy lot of unfamiliar faces there too. I spose that’s what happens when you don’t go to these things for ages.

We had dinner locally before coming home. I can’t remember the name of the place at the mo but it was proper classy. We had a telly on our table! It was showing the BBC news channel but N wanted CBeebies. I think it was after 7 so that wouldn’t have shown anything anyway so we got them to turn it off. Who really wants a telly at the table? Oh apparently everyone else who comes here. There were some properly big fat jabbas filling the house. The food was fatty and plentiful and cheap. Steaks were overdone, chips were good, ribs were ok. We left full but unsatisfied.

Hopefully we’ll be at more events this year, see some of you soon.


Harking back

Blimey it looks like I might be going to a juggling event again, that’ll be two within a year!  Not sure when that last happened.  Anyways with a little bit of luck we’ll be heading up to Chocfest (with gluten-free cake) on Satdy.  Yar!


Births and deaths

It’s mine (and DB’s) birthday on the 11th May but my birthday was somewhat overshadowed by the birth of little Louie on the 10th this year.  She’s lovely if a little small for a person (about the right size for a newborn though).

This week also saw the death of one of my regular go-to websites.  The IJDb has finally closed after 11 years of life.  I spent more time there than pretty much any other site using its rec.juggling interface for the majority of the time.  I met numerous people online first through its pages and chat room.  Hello to Lisa, Sun, Mini and their mum, Popstar Dave, Greg and more.  I remember meeting Fak and being surprised that she was female.

Hopefully another site comes along to replicate this loss.

Major thanks to Colin and his minions and all who gave the community its colour.  RIP IJDb.

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May 2011

Ahh Camping.

We had 8 nights this May starting with the rest of the family’s first BBU.

The drive was a complete mare.  Something like 5 hours with many stops involved.  Once there though a few lovely people helped with baby-sitting and/or tent upping.  We did only have one request along the lines of “How many days have you packed for?” as we dumped a house worth’s of stuff into the tent.  Mildly surprised at that.

Bloomin’ cold it was at first.  That first night was a bit of a nippy one.  But we all survived that one well enough and the next 3 days were just relaxed and happy.  Very nice people, lovely location and decent weather. Oh and the friendliest juggling convention took place around us too.

On the Monday we had to decamp, re-pack the car, drive north, unpack the car and re-camp.  That was a long day.

The new site was just outside of Cromer.  We’d packed up in 22 degree sunshine and were dressed for summer.  As we got nearer Cromer the weather turned; we lost 8 degrees and gained rain and wind a plenty.  It heaved it down with rain that night which gave us a rather rough view of Cromer as we went out for fish and chips.  Not the best first impression.

After that though the weather was pretty darn nice and so was Cromer.  At least it wasn’t bad for an English seaside town.  Proper pier with theatre too.

We zoomed over to Hunstanton for a day with my folks and niece and nephews which was fun despite Hunstanton being a dump and losing 2 children at one point.  The following day my folks came to Cromer for a rather lovely day of lazing and walking and beach sitting.  And that was about it.

Things of note were that the businessmen of Norfolk seem to be untrustworthy dodgy types.  There was a children’s fair thing on the seafront at Cromer where you had to buy tickets from a central place and signs up all around to insist that you don’t give cash to the staff!  Nice way to treat your staff – “hi thanks for working for us, we don’t trust you.”  In Hunstanton too the refrain “No refunds” was apparent on a goodly number of signs.

We went at one point to a crazy golf course only to find another “no refunds” sign, a price of a fiver each and another sign that said “No followers”.  The group in front of us were debating this as they had a very young member of their family but the rather dodgy looking people in the hut were not shifting on their no follower rule.  This kid was no way old enough to play the game so they were being total arses.  We decided not to spend that much money when it involved giving it these shysters.

Oh the town should be renamed “Hunstanto’n” as no-one there seems able to use apostrophes correctly.

After Cromer we packed up and headed to Manchester as R had rather sweetly bought us tickets to see The Fall live in their home town that Friday.  Hellish journey!  Getting northwest from Cromer isn’t easy.  In the end it took us 6 hours of slow and tedious roads.  The show was fun whilst it lasted but it didn’t last very long at all so a long day’s drive for about 60 minutes of entertainment (including support poet “a low rent John Cooper Clarke” and band).  Officious bouncer helped to annoy many, R couldn’t see anything and it was awfy hot.  Luckily R’s sister is lovely and looked after the young folk for us (with the excellent help of her daughter) whilst we were out.  And finally home on the Saturday.

All in all a lovely week.  I think we need less stuff and a wilder trip next time.  Maybe Glen Brittle?

Have fun.


Food in Notts?

I’ve just bought the family some tickets for the BJC show on the 17th.  Any BJC attendees who want to join us for food and drinks pre-show let me know and we can meet you in the city centre sometime that afternoon/evening.

See some of you there.

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I was driving through the market town of Belper yesterday and what did I see but a man walking along wearing his Nottingham BJC 2007 hoody.  Never seen a random man with a juggly top before.


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