The 29th British Juggling Convention, Perth
My BJC started at the stupid time of 4:30am at Kev's house. I'd followed him back to his place from TWJC the night before navigating an excessive detour due to road works. The late night combined with pre-BJC excitement meant that I had almost no sleep. Pretty much everything was already packed & in the car so we were away & driving within 10 minutes of the alarm going off. After a short trip we left the car with APH who then ferried us via bus to Gatwick North Terminal. We met up with John Shearing who had caught the train in & checked in early. Strangely my rucksack was deemed 'oversize luggage' but Kevin's monstrous bag that could possibly contain two of my bags was ok. I later learned that it was the straps that was the problem, not the size. Shame I forgot that my rucksack is actually a Transformer & the straps can be cleverly zipped away.
We had a cup of tea in the terminal while Kevin went to double check our return flight information at the BA help desk because we had some confusing changes to our flight times. He was gone for quite a while due to a problem with the computers but he managed to return to us just in time for our names read out in a stern voice over the public address system telling us to get to the gate immediately which was thoroughly satisfying. A quick sprint through the North Terminal labyrinth & we made it to the gate just as they were starting the disembarking process. We pretty much fell into the cabin puffing & wheezing, me wearing my heavily patched up convention coat looking like a tramp & Kevin wearing a black & white polka dot top hat with a bright pink feather & a pink BJC logo on the front. Glaring back at us were a lot of serious looking middle aged business men in sharp pin-stripe suits. I think we made a lot of friends with that entrance. We weren't the last ones to board though & we didn't delay take-off.
I've never flown with British Airways before, having always used the low budget airlines. It was a comfy flight with excellent service, the better baggage allowance & much more accommodating attitude of the company in general is definitely going to make me consider using them more in the future. The very welcome in flight breakfast was satisfying too, even if I did keep burning my wrist on the hot container.
We were pleasantly greeted in arrivals at Edinburgh airport by the lovely Dee. I'd worked out a bus & train combination to get to site as cheaply as I could, but Dee had managed to find a couple of buses that worked out a fraction cheaper so we ended up all travelling together. It was great to get a few tips from an obviously very experienced traveler!
It was a 2 hour-ish bus journey to Perth through some beautiful countryside with Dee being an excellent tour guide. After a 10 minute walk from the bus station we found Bell's Sports Centre just after midday. On the fields outside the centre a very small area between two rugby pitches which would be in use during the festival had already been fenced off, we immediately knew camping space was going to be an upcoming problem! There was still a lot of set up work to be done so we dropped our bags in the reception area & got on it. I ended up unloading barrels of beer from the wonderful people at MòR Brewing. Speaking to Jak, he said one of the reasons he chose them was for the puntastic names of their ales (MòR tea vicar, MòR Calm & Wise, MòRticia etc...). The brewers were surprised & very glad of the volunteers on hand to help with the grunt work. Naturally I mangled two of my knuckles lifting a barrel off of the trailer.
On a tip from Gandolph I commandeered an abandoned shopping trolley to help with unloading more drinks & supplies from Ron's van. Fundamental rule for site setup: if you see a set of wheels going spare, grab them!
Kev & I then helped with carrying tables & chairs for the bar & board games areas before making a quick sortie into town to pick up some supplies from a supermarket for the week. We came back & assembled on the sofas with a number of other volunteers waiting for any calls to action which strangely never materialised. Odd to see everything so in control!
After a while the registration desk was declared open for volunteers so I picked up my welcome pack & then went to set up camp in the glorious sunshine. I picked a spot just off of one of the fire breaks & pitched with my tent entrance facing the security fence so that I could use that to help me clamber out of my tent in the morning. I think my 3 man tent took up about a third of the available space. We'll be extending the camping area shortly then… By the time we'd finished a growing crowd of non-volunteers had grown outside the campsite entrance & were being kept at bay by Jon Peat. Jon can handle anything so we left him to it & went into town to get some fish & chips.
We returned just before a brief rain shower & I had a quick nap before toddling off for my scheduled reg-desk stint at 8pm which turned out not to be the case due to a bit of shift confusion so I signed up for a shift the next day instead before proceeding to the bar & enjoying a few drinks & chatting with friends. After sadly missing last year's BJC it was lovely to meet up again with a lot of people I haven't seen for two years. It was a long day though & I was severely flagging by around midnight so had an early night.
I had a good night's sleep & woke around 7.30am. I wandered over to the main hall & had a quick snakeboard around the handful of other early risers. I then picked up Kevin & we went for a walk along the beautiful River Tay. Fak blitzed past us on her morning run which made me feel ill. We enjoyed exploring the statues & the alarming high water marks & dates carved into the stone bridge. It is an impressively wide & powerful river evidenced by the rather large tree currently wedged against one of the bridge's piers. We then met up with Paul & Louisa (not Laura) for a tour of many closed cafes around the town before finding a Wetherspoons & digging into a massive Scottish breakfast with my first experience of haggis which was very tasty. Paul spread hot butter on his crotch.
When I got back to site I reported for registration desk duty. I've never sat on a reg-desk before but I was given ample training from Steph & was superbly supported by the wonderful Fak. We answered a lot of questions, I have to say most of the answers to which were already in the info booklet. I probably could've been more helpful as one poor guy was subjected to:
Him: "What's the best way to walk into Perth?"
Me: "Have you seen the Ministry of Silly Walks sketch...?"
I cocked up our first transaction with the till due to the decimal point confusingly not being displayed until after the transaction has been entered. I was initially nervous about reg-desking but it turned out to be a lot of fun.
After being relieved of duty by Susannah & Guy I found Kev mopping up the aftermath of an exploded fizzy drinks bottle in his tent. We then went for another jaunt into town so Kevin could buy a duvet & Paul could buy another set of trousers so he could make a sandwich. I think we took every wrong turn possible & managed to take 20 minutes to get to a shop 2 minutes walk away. We did find a nice looking noodle bar for later use though.
Back on site I had my first juggling session of the festival which was also my first bit of juggling for almost 2 months which felt great. Working on my handstands did me the world of good too.
Anna presented me with a complete set of volunteer badges for work I'd done with pre-reg before the festival. Six standard round badges each featuring a performer from the Gala show & one large square badge featuring everyone. These will make a nice addition to my bundle of passes, badges & other juggling festival memorabilia.
In the evening we sat down for the Open Stage which was the first show of the festival. Tom Derrick was our compère for the evening who in between introducing the acts supplied some truly awful puns, a useful rundown of Scotland's surprisingly strict drinking laws & performed some of his stringless tennis racket material which was lovely to see again. He also looked stunning in a corset.
First on stage was a young lady whose name I can't remember in a splendid polka dot outfit who performed as a puppet character with poi. She maintained character beautifully from start to finish while presenting a clean routine which included some nice moves particularly the contact body rolls with the trailing string whipping round.
Cat Learmonth & Cai Lear performed a Punch & Judy show which contrary to expectations was laugh out loud funny. The routine was true to the traditional characters but the story was tailored to us jugglers & easy to get caught up in. Also included a nice burst of some rock hard 5 ball juggling from Cai.
Tiff blew the roof off the hall with an epic rendition of Gina G's 'ooh aah, just a little bit' on the banjo. I loved his, "Stop it! You're putting me off!" outburst. Everything works better with a flat cap & a Yorkshire accent.
Ieuan performed a ring juggling act that was a bit droppy in places but nicely put together with a lot of variety balanced well throughout the routine.
Callum & Lisa performed a glow hoop act. There were some nice moments where for example they would be performing an isolation with the hand travelling around the hoop in one direction, but the flashing sequence of the LEDs made it look like the hoop was turning in the opposite direction which made for a pleasant visually confusing effect. Unfortunately this sort of effect was limited so for me it still falls into my 'unnecessary glow' category. But still nice to watch.
Tiff returned with his jolly 3 ring juggling & spinning routine that I'd already seen at Crawley earlier last year. Still enjoyed it on the second sitting.
Claire Stephens sported a high-vis waistcoat & hard hat for a slick, fast paced hoop routine again with a lot of variety. I heard she was suffering from terrible nerves before the performance, but I didn't pick up on any sign of that at the time.
Closing the show was Ed Cliffe with his signature cigar boxes & contact ball work which he has really made his own. I was a bit non-plussed with the drawn out ball on head build up but once the routine got going I was thoroughly absorbed. As usual his routine contained lots of intricate cigar box moves with the ball balanced & rolling around on top & interesting dynamic spins of the boxes on his finger tips using the weight of the balanced contact ball to hold everything in place.
Top act of the show for me though was Doris from Germany with an ace vampire themed freestyle unicycle number complete with red silk lined cape. The look, the music, & all the cape flapping combined with ridiculously high level tricks had me transfixed throughout. Years ago when I started writing festival reviews I used to focus on lists of tricks that people were doing, then I stopped really caring & started writing on how people performed & how acts made me feel. However, for this act I'm going to have to return to my roots & point out a very long & controlled hand walk, bouncing while standing on the forks with legs crossed around the back of the frame & (I think this is what I saw but I'm still not 100% convinced I believe myself) throwing the unicycle tire first at the ground so that it bounced & flipped over 360°, jumping & catching the unicycle mid air then landing & bouncing while standing on the forks. This trick left me agog. Well deserving of the standing ovation.
After the show I spent a long time chatting to people about the show, & to Matt in particular about workshops. Matt also tried to educate me on the finer points of high end whiskey but I'm afraid I think I'm a bit of a lost cause. From the sample bottle we had to work with I managed to pick up on the smokey taste but beyond that the only thing I could detect was, "Holy shit my mouth is on fire, let me cool down with some chili vodka".
I went back to camp to fetch my juggling kit but after chipping my way through the ice to get into my tent I decided to turn in sooner rather than later.
I slept very soundly which was just as well because it was set to be a busy day for me. I started by packing in another big fried breakfast (haggis is awesome!). I spent all morning in the main hall juggling & hand standing. I also had a long & interesting chat with the ever lovable Max Oddball mostly about the Oddballs Empire. We then picked up some clubs & did some 6 to 8 club passing. I feel that most of his tricks are designed to fool his passing partner which certainly kept me on my toes!
I also managed to pick up a load of Juggling Edge stickers from LP printed by Gravity Outlaws which I would enjoy giving out over the coming days (still got lots left, grab me at a future festival if you want some).
Throughout the week the puppet making workshops kept many people engrossed as they lovingly brought their creations to life. Anna & Susannah especially were very much in love with their final creations which was lovely to see.
After a quick bit of snacking I attended a meeting to discuss improving the BJC's online presence. It was attended by a good variety of interested parties & there was a general consensus that we need to clean up & coordinate the various online BJC promotional & educational efforts better. We also identified two audiences which I don't think are served at the moment (suppliers & press). I'm one of a number of people assigned tasks that we agreed would improve the situation. It's going to take a while to get up & running but stay tuned for an announcement in the next couple of weeks for more detail about what's going to happen.
Following the meeting I made my way to the coaching hall for the Fight Night Tournament qualification rounds. Not for the first time I started off the process by incorrectly writing Jon Peat's name on the top of my score sheet. I know everyone wants to be Jon Peat a little bit, but my fixation is becoming a cause for concern. We had 26 players sign up, many of which I had not played before which was good to see. We were split into 2 groups & everyone in group 1 had to play against everyone in group 2 so 13 matches in total. Jon Peat steam rollered me 3-0, but everyone else I scored at least one point against. I even managed to score a point against current world number one, Luke Burrage which I was delighted with. Closest match of my qualification run was with Cameron Ford who I'd never fought before. It seemed to go on forever because our styles tended to cancel each other out pretty effectively. It was one of the last fights of the session so both of us were already very tired. Every point was closely fought & consisted of dozens of attacks & responses each. My right knee was screaming at me with every lunge. I managed to scrape the win 3-2 & my legs genuinely gave way at the end. I didn't want to go through that again.
Once I'd finished all my matches I totaled 7 wins & 6 defeats which I thought was pretty disastrous. However, I still managed to qualify as the 11th seed which I think is an indication of how much closer the competition is now. Brook Roberts went through as the number one seed with a perfect qualification run.
I then had a quick snack before joining in the Ceilidh dance which was hastily organised last minute by a number of attendees. Instead of a band we had recorded music some of which was edited onsite into the required measures & managed by Andy behind the sound desk & our caller was BJC 2005 organiser Graham Benson. Knowing that I needed to conserve energy for the Fight Night finals immediately after the dance I thought I'd join in, but I'd take it easy.
Did I fuck.
I had great fun dancing & being ridiculous with Nicola, Jamie & Lizzie mostly, all of whom danced with exuberant enthusiasm which obviously I had to echo. There were times when the calling wasn't exactly in time with the music so there were several occasions where the people keeping time & people following the caller collided which was good fun.
Straight after the Ceilidh it was back to the coaching hall which was now fully set up with a ring complete with umpire's chair ready for the Fight Night tournament. My first fight was against... Cameron Ford! & it was more of the same, we had the longest fight of the tournament at over 6 minutes. I think it was clear how tired both of us were because we each made a lot of mistakes. I was a tiny bit disappointed with the result because I believe I was up 4-2 at one point only for Cameron to grind out the win at 4-5. I thoroughly enjoyed the battle though, I think the best man won on the day & most importantly I think we put on a good show.
For the rest of the tournament I enjoyed mucking around & cheering on the other competitors especially fellow Jon, Jon Peat who suffered a full on body slam from Ian & took a club to the face from Luke. This was on top of the swollen cut lip he picked up during qualification! The final saw the top two seeds Brook Roberts vs Luke Burrage going head to head for a very closely fought bout which saw Luke take the win 5-4. Props to Brook for donning a headband to really look the part.
It was a good fun tournament to compete in but I felt it needed more loud, rocky music (or even Rocky music) throughout to boost the atmosphere for the audience. See the FNC website for the full results.
After licking my wounds in the shower I spent the evening chatting with Nicola & Helen mostly for as long as I could keep my eyes open. Which wasn't all that long.
After another sound sleep I woke early at 6.30am with a chilly nose (I haven't successfully worked out a method to keep my nose warm yet) so relocated to a sofa in the warm hall & spent some time writing while relaxing to some chilled tunes from the sound system. Some kind chap gave me a Magnum ice cream which was very welcome & a lovely thing to do. Around 8ish I met up with Kev again for a genuine breakfast. During the walk to the pub we were both surprised by how much the water level of the Tay had risen since the day before.
I decided not to join in the parade & spent pretty much the entire day juggling, hand standing & snake boarding in the main hall instead. I managed to make some good progress with fixing a minor annoyance with my left hand when doing 423 lazies which was satisfying. In the afternoon I noticed the security team & Dr Alice dealing with a guy who appeared to have passed out in the hall on one of the acro mats. I later learned that my sympathy was perhaps misplaced as his condition was self inflicted & drugs related. He'd also been involved in earlier incidents that could have jeopardised our festival. But very well done to the security & the organisers for dealing with the situation exceptionally professionally & taking good care of him.
In the early evening Kev, Paul, Louisa (not Laura) & I went off in search of the noodle bar we spotted earlier in the week. True to form we completely failed to find it, so we sat down for a meal at Jade's Garden Chinese restaurant instead. It was a very beautiful setting, the staff were friendly & very helpful & we all stuffed ourselves with delicious food. It was a welcome change of pace & set us all up ready for…
The Gala Show
After another short walk (not having to faff around with buses to get between venues this year was fantastic!) saw us at the Perth Concert Hall for the public show, titled iJuggle. In the atrium before we took our seats Jon Peat & I were entertained more than we should've been by the network of screens showing a looped video of a group performing a Mexican wave. A few minutes later we were in the auditorium with comfy seats, good leg room & a nice uninterrupted view of the stage.
Ian Marchant guided us through the evening interspersing acts with a variety of vaudeville era skills such as flipping five spoons into five tumblers on a tray, the golf club trick with walking sticks & also Michael Pearse's table cloth trick, which was a lovely tribute after the very sad news that Michael (aka Pearse Halpenny) passed away earlier in the week.
I was very surprised by the large number of non-jugglers who cheered when Ian was gauging who was in the audience. I'd be interested in the numbers but it definitely sounded a lot more than any other BJC show I've been to. Good for you Perth.
The first act of the evening was Thomas Bounce showing off his signature bounce juggling with 3 to 6 balls on a flat surface with two 'V' shaped surfaces either side. There were a couple of unfortunate drops but I loved his low & tight patterns & the smooth transitions between the different angled surfaces. His act went down a treat helped in part by all the fans he'd picked up earlier in the week in the main hall. There always seemed to be a flock of people around him whenever he was practicing & Thomas was talking to all of them. Thomas is friendly & professional way beyond his years.
Next up was Cai Lear who's act started off with an odd soundtrack of a radio tuning in & out of disjointed news quotes which I didn't really get, but then the music cut in & he showed us a routine combining shaker cups & bounce balls with lots of tennis ball & can style tricks. I thought the technical skill was superb, but I was a little frustrated at losing the white balls against his white jacket.
Following Cai were Gemma & Stephen with a duo silks routine. I was underwhelmed by this act. I think it suffered from unfortunate rotation, I never felt I was being presented with the best view of the act.
Closing the first half was Gail O'Brien. There was a very brief moment when I was worried that I was going to see a generic hoop routine but I couldn't have been more wrong. Gail performed loads of interesting off the body moves that I had never seen before, I particularly liked the body rolls where the rolled hoop was collected ring grind style in another, then flipped back into another move. I also thought I was immune to gimmicked props but Gail's powder filled(?) hoops created lots of neat effects. My favourite was when she'd aggressively whip a hoop sideways from an isolation temporarily leaving a cartoon-like smoke ring hanging in the air. A wonderful act full of surprises, a real joy to watch.
After the interval we returned with a spectacular poi swinging & passing routine from six person troupe Alba Circus. The act featured good humour, lots of nice synchronised movement & some really big passing set pieces that filled the whole stage. Very Gandiniesque I thought. I also think this might be the first time I have ever used the words 'spectacular' & 'poi' in the same sentence.
Holding a BJC in Scotland meant that Donald Grant was an obvious shoe-in for the show. His act may be older than most people in the audience but it is still exciting, high-level & full of cheeky up-kilt moments. I've long since lost count of how many times I've seen Donald perform, but I know it won't be the last & I'm very glad of that! Of all the volunteer badges the Donald was the most sought after!
The headline act for the evening was the excessively multi-talented Matthew Tiffany showing us all the tricks. Five balls with a head balance while standing on a rola-bola, spinning a ball while spinning one ring round the arm while spinning two rings round one leg, while balancing a pole on the forehead while juggling two balls in the other hand, & the best trick of the night for me: juggling while keeping three balls going in a triple Salerno ring. All with a constant stream of very juggler specific jokes.
Well done Emily & Sam for putting together a great show, sorry you couldn't be there to see it Sam but congratulations on the new baby!
Back on site in the juggler's bar there were many toasts in Pearse's memory. I spent time with Matt & The Void trying to recall past BYJOTY winners. I also popped over to one of the arts & crafts tables to see what all the fuss is about 'adult' colouring books. Disappointingly it turns out they are just more intricate pictures. They are supposed to be a great stress reliever but I found myself getting wound up as I raced to finish as much as I could before Renegade started. We had a nice chat with Jane about running a juggling club & various festivals. I have never seen her looking so relaxed! We also met Hermione who was creating the most beautiful psychedelic elephant I have ever seen. Andy interrupted my zen state of mind by hawking raffle tickets which resulted in the traditional argument about how much I don't like raffles. Inevitably I bought a strip of tickets anyway & gave them to Hermione. Well mugged that man.
I went & sat in on the Renegade for a while. It was being hosted by Logi who heroically stuck to the 'free backstage hugs' story throughout the night. He also had the most wonderful high pitched Irish, "What?" response to any heckle he didn't catch that made me chuckle every time.
Act wise Tiff & Paul did an epic performance of, "t'devil went down to Yorkshire" on the fiddle & guitar which was sheer genius. Again, everything works better with a flat cap & a Yorkshire accent. Young Molly also sang a lovely song accompanied by her dad on the guitar which I really enjoyed too. Graham whipped a toy bunny off of a pedestal while standing on a rola-bola with a spinning plate in his mouth & juggling two clubs in his free hand. I stayed for most of the night into the wee small hours, other stuff happened but to be honest I was just waiting for Logi to tell the over-excited young heckler in the back row to, "shut up ye stupid eejit" but it sadly never happened.
I'd like to apologise on behalf of Tunbridge Wells Juggling club to anyone on the camp site who was woken by the sound of Kevin falling over & crashing noisily into the fencing as he exited his tent on Sunday morning. & to anyone woken by the sound of me laughing at him. After the usual breakfast ritual & confirming the return bus times I had a nice long juggle in the hall before attending the BJC meeting (I thought we were going to call it something else to make it sound more accessible?). The increased publicity of the meeting & blocking off all other events for the time slot obviously worked because the attendance was easily double what we usually get. There were lots of very positive comments that were well articulated. I think a lot of the praise was a result of this year's team really focussing on doing the basics as well as they could & allowing the attendees time & space to organise their own entertainment.
Looking to the future we had a proposal to return to Nottingham for 2017. The team did well to weather the far too many inappropriate questions about micro details. We don't need to know the colour of the door handles at the proposal stage. There was also interest from two possible teams for 2018 & a possibility of an EJC in 2019. Full minutes will be appearing online in the near future.
British Young Juggler of the Year
The final show of the festival was the BYJOTY competition. This year's event was hosted by 16 year old Harvey who did a great job of keeping the show moving for someone of such a young age. He spoke clearly & confidently with enthusiasm which maintained the atmosphere throughout the show.
The first competitor of the night was Adam juggling 3-5 balls. It was his first time ever on stage & was clearly terrified of the experience but I think he did very well to not let his nerves affect his juggling noticeably. His act would have been boosted immeasurably with a bit more confidence which will come with experience. There were some uncomfortable moments where he was gingerly tip-toeing around his props as if he were walking on egg shells. Don't tip-toe! Stamp! I've talked about moving on stage before & I'm still right.
Next up was Lucy, with a nice freestyle unicycle act. She performed lots of impressive feats with a good deal of variety, a controlled 3 ball cascade while wheel walking being my favourite. Unicycle acts have traditionally been excluded from BYJOTY (with the exception of Sam Goodburn & Lucy the drag act, but they were more juggling on a unicycle than tricks with a unicycle), but I think they make a good addition to the competition as a show because the nature of the prop means the performer has to use all of the stage, which is something that many young performers neglect to do.
Nathaniel did some technical club & ball juggling. This to me seemed more like a practice routine than an act. His juggling was very impressive but nothing really jumped out at me other than wondering if Pete Gamble might whip him to death for using his catch phrase on his t-shirt.
David Haslam provided a more rounded performance. Wearing neutral clothes he let his 3-6 club juggling do the talking, demonstrating extraordinary spin control by juggling some complex four club siteswaps & a very long run of five all on singles with clinical precision. Would a non-juggling audience appreciate the subtleties of his technique? Probably not. But for us jugglers it was a real treat.
We then had Max with a one & two diabolo routine. This was the act of the show that showed the most character in that he used mime to show that his diabolos were stuck to the floor if he used his hands but he was able to pick them up using his feet. This allowed him to make the most of his unique method of starting where he'd use one foot to roll the diabolo up the outside of the opposite leg to flick the diabolo up onto the string with spin. Speaking to Mike Armstrong in the bar later in the evening he noted that he respected Max because he stuck to his guns & never once picked up the diabolo with his hands, maintaining the premise of his act despite the number of drops. I didn't notice at the time, but I also appreciated it once it was pointed out to me.
Closing the show was the cool new kid on the block, Luke Davies with a very high level club & ball numbers routine during which I only remember one drop. He made nine balls look like it wasn't important. Some people I spoke to found his on stage persona a bit too arrogant. I quite liked the cockiness because it suited the difficulty level of the material. However, I didn't like the way he threw away the wrapper of his chewing gum. I do not approve of littering.
I was a bit underwhelmed by the best trick comp as a spectacle, the pace & excitement simply wasn't there. Harvey needed to be much more bullish to keep the competitors moving so that there is always a trick being attempted with no dead space on stage. Trick wise though I was very impressed with the girl taking her socks off with her feet in a handstand & turning in circles while holding four balls clamped between her legs. The fact that she managed to force a draw against the cuteness of young Leo who on any other day would have runaway with the audience vote stood testament to her skills.
After the votes had been counted Luke Davies picked up a bronze award, & Nathaniel & David both collected silver awards. The audience vote & the BYJOTY title deservingly went to David Haslam. Well done to Claire Stephens for organising, judges Natalie, Donald & Tiff for judging & to Harvey & all the performers.
Then the rest of the evening was taken up with juggling & socialising at the bar. I introduced Little Paul, Luke Burrage & Mike Armstrong to the live action version of Where's Wally? which is a great game to play in a crowded juggling hall at a festival. One person has to name someone that the rest of the players know & the winner is the first person to find the target. I particularly liked the moment when Mike called, "Donald Grant" & the rest of us immediately turned & pointed in the same direction with the synchronisation of a boy band.
The final day was a flurry of activity because we had to have the hall empty by 10am & be off site by noon. I first helped clear the main hall of left over debris. We managed to clear out pretty quickly which the cleaning staff at the centre were very appreciative of. Then I joined the fencemonkey crew to take down the camp site. The only ones I can remember by name are my partner Ollie, Adam, Lizzie, Jamie, Tarim, Richard & Ian but there were many others too all working hard in unpleasant weather conditions. I'm very proud of the lot of you, thanks for all your help. The free cake for the fencemonkeys was very welcome too! After all that there were a few minor tasks before we joined the handful of people winding down in the cafe waiting for various planes, trains & automobiles for their journey home. Our return trip was pretty uneventful & I managed to get home just before midnight where I collapsed into bed almost instantly.
Sadly due to running around on the last day I missed most people as they were leaving & I didn't get to say many goodbyes. So if I didn't catch you before you went, thank you for your company.
Finally I'd like to say a huge thank you to the core team Ron, Duncan, Ewan, Steph, Anna, Jak, Carrie, Emily, Sam, Lorri, Graham in particular & to the pleasingly growing army of volunteers who helped put on the event. You rock.
A good read, Orin, thanks.
Seconded on thanks to all the BJC crew. Hats off.
I didn't watch the open stage, but I'd guess the poi performer was Antonia May.
And speaking of Fight Night...
Hot News! FIGHT NIGHT AT BUNGAY! Wednesday night! Official! #fightnightcombat @fncombat pic.twitter.com/I1Juo4WJ2R
— Bungay Balls Up (@BungayBallsUp) April 3, 2016
The young lady who you couldn't name in the open stage was Antonio from Germany. She was also part of Circus Alba in the public show.
Nice work as always Orin, but:
I particularly liked the moment when Mike called, "Donald Grant" & the rest of us immediately turned & pointed in the same direction with the synchronisation of a boy band.
That was LP. It's always good to see tradiations being maintained!
I just started this off:
I may come back to it later, but feel free to chime in there.
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