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Orinoco -

Kev brought in a box of frozen fruit shoots to help us deal with the heatwave. The box handily came with a useful amount of ice. We adapted the discipline of 'ball on head' into the far more refreshing but still very tricky 'ice on head'. This new skill proves more difficult for those with less hair.

#twjc

Orinoco -

Don't worry Kev, yes I did manage to get there early & unlock before anyone else turned up! I spent most of my juggling time passing with Jo who is currently on tour from NZ. During conversation she brought up a couple of interesting insights from sales figures from her juggling store. Such as PX3s being a fad, clubs like Henry's have a broadly flat turnover, but PX3s appear to be going through a spike similar to Radical Fish a few years ago. & the average 'lifespan' of a juggler is 5-6 years, I'm most sceptical about this last one, I think jugglers go through a phase of buying every prop in existence, then calm down when they realise that more equipment doesn't make you a better juggler. We were also joined by The Lovely Helen who we haven't seen for ages mostly due to her being busy starting up her new business. Mr K & I amazed ourselves with still being able to do various takeouty things. While rocking out to 90s sensations Britney Spears & B*Witched Chris & I tried to fathom out the musical tastes of the youth of today via Archie, which was a struggle because he claims not to really listen to music. While I'm certainly not one to abuse my Page Rank I'd like to say that Archie is a raging One Direction fan.

#twjc

Topper - - Parent

Sounds like I missed a good evening.

I was busy entering Roses in our village Rose show. I entered 10 classes winning 4 firsts, 6 seconds and 2 cups for best in class.

Orinoco - - Parent

Sounds like a nice haul, well done! Are you sure they were all real roses this year?

Little Paul - - Parent

The average 'lifespan' of a juggler is 5-6 years, I'm most sceptical about this last one, I think jugglers go through a phase of buying every prop in existence, then calm down when they realise that more equipment doesn't make you a better juggler.

I think I'm with you on this one. After 5-6 years most jugglers have worked out what they want from their equipment, have bought what they need, and then drop into "maintenance mode" where they're only replacing worn out kit.

Once you're in "maintenance mode" I think most jugglers[1] probably replace kit so rarely that they drop into the background noise in the sales figures.

OK, so I'm at one end of the extreme on this as the only juggling kit I've bought in the last 10 years was either second hand, or in the bargain bin at a fest (some Play jumbo rings, which are horrible, but adequate for making a Salerno ring out of) - but I think the norm is closer to my situation than it would be to say, Wes Pedens situation.

Talking of "musical tastes of the youth of today" I tried to get an answer on that out of my 21 year old niece recently, and got nowhere for what sounds like similar reasons. Music is so pervasive that she pretty much sees it as background noise and "doesn't really listen to music" as a result. She doesn't have any favourite bands, has never aligned her identity with a given genre, and doesn't have a particularly favourite type of nightclub as she goes clubbing to be with her friends rather than for the music.

I wonder how common that is. I know it's a complete contrast to when I was that age.

[1] I think it's probably fair to say the majority of jugglers aren't performers, and aren't numbers monsters who are hard on their kit

mrawa - - Parent

There are quite a lot of PX3's over in Vancouver. For a lot of the hobbyist jugglers it sounded like there's little knowledge of anything else. It doesn't help that there's no shop or obviously easy to use online store.

I think the 5-6 years is kind of a breaking point. If you get past that hurdle you'll juggle for life, otherwise it's just another hobby. I certainly gave up juggling after about 4yrs, then picked it up 2 years later, but only because it was the only social activity I could conceive doing in London at the time.

emilyw - - Parent

My musical tastes were narrow when I was a teenager, but I think that was out of cultural identification rather than real musical preferences. These days I also listen to and enjoy a huge variety of genres and don't identify strongly with any of them.

When I was a teenager, the primary way to find out about new music was from my friends and people I met at the genre specific nightclub, which would cause us all to converge on a common set of similar music. These days though, I learn about new music through the internet mostly, and listen to it predominantly on my own, so the cultural influence is completely different.

I noticed that if I'm working the sound desk for a show and I put on some background music while people are getting things together, older people will often express absolute shock at the music choice, based on an assumption that I have a strong personal genre identification with whatever I just put on.

Orinoco -

Bit thin on the ground again last night. Did a lot of juggling which given my poor form was not really a good thing. Did get a fantastically smooth run of 20 catches of 3 club reverse back crosses with a clean finish though which I was very pleased with. Kevin was trying to break a record for long lateral distance idling. Archie asked for a three ball trick of the week (we're not doing very well at keeping up with that) so I demonstrated the Statue of Liberty. Inevitably some of the old hands of the club complained that it was too hard. We finished off the evening eating iced doughnuts supplied by Archie's mum who had been stalking the discount ticketing person in Sainsburys & managed to pick up a dozen doughnuts for 15p. Win!

How's the new kitten then Kev?!

#twjc

Topper - - Parent

I will let you know when I have finished cooking it.

^Tom_ - - Parent

I miss the concept of a ticketing person in a shop.

People around here go crazy about doughnuts for about a week early in the year, and the best deal I've seen was something like 10 for the price of 9*, where the starting price was fairly hefty.

*or maybe it was 20 for the price of 19.

Orinoco -

Kev brought along my registration pack from the BJC plus a copy of the BJC Bugle (awesome, but needs a bigger picture of Tor ♥). I also had a presentation of some of his new toys. Those Royal Kendama are rather nice, & loving the dapper gentleman on the back of the box! Paul was also juggling some nice neon orange Henry's Grip clubs, which when passed with John's black Radical Fish (spit) looked like they were only passing 3 clubs because the contrast was so vivid. Kevin pulled off the hatstand trick 4 times out of 5 which was very impressive. His golf club balance is coming along very nicely too. I'm sure I used to be able to ride a 12 inch unicycle but several barrel rolls across the floor told me otherwise. It was good to see Archie doing the same. This was my first juggling session for 2½ weeks & it really showed, I was very sloppy but still did some pretty good work Alberts, runs of 5 & had a fun passing session with Simon.

#twjc

Little Paul - - Parent

I forgot to mention the BJC Bugle in my review, which is a pity as I had a lot of fun filling in the crossword with Tom Derrick while the atrium was supposedly "closed" for the tech run of the international show, because a certain diva didn't want anyone to see him rehearse[1]

We started out trying to get our head around "how cryptic is this? Is it like a proper cryptic?" before noticing it was set by Guy & Susannah - at which point we agreed it was likely to be a proper cryptic crossword and started doing much better at getting clues.

[1] A routine which was so quitesentially "him" that we've effectively been watching him rehearse it for the last 5 years.

lukeburrage - - Parent

Who?

peterbone - - Parent

The solo male acts I can think of are the Water on Mars guys and Florent. I would rule out Florent and Tony for doing unique acts. I'd like to know too, although I can kind of understand an artist not wanting to spoil any surprises.

The international stage was for me probably the best show I've ever seen, and that's with not being able to see well past the people sitting in front of me.

emilyw - - Parent

would have imagined that a proper diva would have completed rehearsing before showing up to the event.

although indeed, tech in front of half the audience is hardly ideal.

Orinoco -

Our youngsters are doing well on unicycles. Toby is now learning to ride backwards, Archie is taking first steps towards walking the wheel. Paul showed the elders are not following suit by performing a nice tumbling dismount. Kevin was catching his hat on his handstand everywhere except on the hooks. Dave & I giggled like school children throughout our very silly passing session. We did manage some nice runs with 8 clubs & also just about remembered how to do a lot of stealing tricks including consecutive pirouette steals. Up the pub Dave told us about a truly horrifying act he saw at a circus in Bulgaria involving domestic cats.

#twjc

Orinoco -

I tried to educate Chris on the importance of using the failsafe, "there we went" after pulling off a trick as opposed to the doomed to failure, "here we go" before each attempt. I taught Archie mills mess. We all went ooh at Kevin's new home made top hat which is quite beautiful. & pink just in case anyone was wondering.

#twjc

Little Paul - - Parent

I'd have been more surprised had it been any other colour :)

Topper - - Parent

Its not just pink, its pink and black with a tiny bit of gold.

^Tom_ - - Parent

Pictures?
I'd also be interested in hearing how it was made.

Topper - - Parent

Last year I went on a course and learnt how to make proper top hats. As far as a picture I would if I could. I'm crap at computers.

^Tom_ - - Parent

Merci beaucoup. Will it be at BJC?

Topper - - Parent

It can be.

Orinoco -

Chris, Simon, Louisa (not Laura) & I were just discussing how Kev would explain all the stuff in his car if he got stopped by the police. I pointed to Kev throwing his hat onto his balanced hatstand & was just in the middle of saying, "Yeah, but then he'll be doing that for half an hour" right at the point where he managed to land the trick. I had a good passing session including a decent stab at 9 club 2 count. Toby is enjoying his new unicycle, is getting on with learning 3 clubs & I started to teach him mills mess. I think he'll probably have got it by next week.

#twjc

Orinoco -

There were only 5 of us at TWJC last night. It's been a few years since we've had a turnout this poor. I blame Chris who has returned from a multiyear absence after starting a new job in Tunbridge Wells the day before. Shame because he brought cakes too! We jumped straight back in to his club passing education. He hasn't gotten any worse since we last saw him but his ability to throw the correct club after announcing, "I'm going to throw the white one" showed cause for concern. Kev brought along a black cane with silver top that he has been working on to improve the weight for various tricks. It works very well for balancing but the silver top needs to be made more secure for spinning tricks. I found using it as a devilstick was very difficult because of the off-centre weight, running a propellor did look pretty cool though. I suggested a subtle black band around the balance point that would be visible to the performer but not so much to the audience would help.

#twjc

Orinoco -

I tried to demonstrate 7 balls at Toby's request, but embarrassingly I couldn't juggle for toffee last night. I managed a few qualifying runs but nothing pretty. Later in the evening I picked up 7 balls again & tried to get something worthwhile going unsuccessfully for about 10 minutes. I was just about to throw in the towel but thought I'd make one last attempt before the end of the night, given past form I wasn't expecting much so I didn't bother counting. Which was a shame because my last run went on, & on, & on... I easily broke my previous personal best of 62 catches, by a long way. I've got a horrible feeling that I might have broken the 100 catch barrier. But I'll never know :(

#twjc

varkor - - Parent

I hate it when that happens.

Solander - - Parent

:(

Orinoco -

Good numbers again this week. Partly due to Cat managing to get some time off from fatherhood & Laurence getting some time off work which was really nice. We were also joined by the human dynamo that is Toby & his father Paul who Cat & I know from the roller hockey session we go to. I've been pestering them to come along for ages. Toby is 12 or 13 I think & he generally picks up things instantly, he has taught himself to juggle, diabolo & unicycle & has learnt tricks that I he has seen me do extremely briefly once. Paul has also learnt to juggle & quite enjoyed an introduction to kendama. He managed to get to faster than gravity standard very quickly despite Cat's no knees approach to the prop. Ben has developed a very solid & consistent 5 ball flash in just one week of practice which I was impressed with. It is very low though so Kevin & I both independently encouraged him to try the throwing a bit higher.

#twjc

Oh yes, & I now know what the numbers mean. I've got to think of something good now...

Little Paul - - Parent

3...

Orinoco - - Parent

Look behind you, a three headed monkey!

Little Paul - - Parent

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

(ONE!!!!)

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Ooh, now I know what the numbers mean too!

Mïark - - Parent

Yes, you should think of something really, really good.

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