Hurrah, back again, first question being: what do these white plastic things do? Kevin tells us that he accidentally deleted all of the nice photos from the Winter Festival 2001 off of his digital camera. Next time give Dave or me a call. Dave A. brought in a book, I think it's called Master Juggling, which contains quite easily some of the most frightening photos I have seen. The jugglers both looked deeply disturbed. Kev, Dave, Cora & I had a brief discussion about putting on a one day festival to celebrate TWJC's 10th anniversary...watch this space. Andrew innocently asked me to teach him Rubenstein's Revenge, it started off with just the two of us & then somehow grew into a full workshop with over half the club. I write my three ball tutorials so that I can avoid running such workshops. Pretty much everyone got to the point where they were ready to put the third ball in. All except Andrew in fact. Mental note: I owe Tasj one pack of diddy tissues.
Various people are still trying to learn Rubenstein's Revenge. Dave K. & Kevin are pretty much there. Tasj & Andrew seemed comfortable with the two ball bit, until I asked them to do it again & again for a few repetitions. People just don't practise enough, everyone should work harder, practise longer hours, punish themselves for failure, anything less than exceptional is substandard...What a happy well adjusted person my child will be... Mark, Caron & Sammy from Hastings paid a visit primarily to pick up their spoils from the Christmas party raffle. Accident prone Holly came back after a few weeks break from TWJC, Holly is renowned for breaking various bones & promptly rode the snakeboard into the wall. Fortunately no damage was done. & Holly was fine too. Only time will tell whether I will be able to say the same for Andrew who has started suicide mounting his uni.
Andrew brought in a brand new set of 5 inch tennis balls. Three was pretty easy, four was okay after the start but I never managed to get five going. After several attempts at going from three to four to five picking the balls off of the floor my back was starting to ache. I showed a few people the exceptionally cool Singapore Shuffle & they were suitably impressed but still trying to master Rubenstein's Revenge. Well done to Bryn who can now make the pattern flow very nicely. Martin & Cora spent some time talking about gardening, so I thought it was best to go off & do some juggling. Hannah & Rachel joined us after seeing us perform in the Winter Festival & had a go at juggling balls & clubs, they'll be juggling by next week's meeting, even if one of them is in Wales. Bob had his first taste of bookends, clubs didn't really happen but when we went back to balls everything went abnormally smoothly. I also did a little bit of back to front four count ball passing with Tasj. Never again.
Andrew brought his 28inch uni down this evening, red anodised wheel - very nice. More kids from the Dorton House school for blind & partially sighted children paid a visit to TWJC this week. Kim was helping a young lad with some contact juggling, Bob & Dave L. were teaching a group club & poi swinging & Kevin was on hand holding duty around the tightrope. I was helping with a bit of poi swinging too & I spent a little time helping one young lad with his juggling. He got the exchange in both directions pretty well & by the end of his visit he was able to do a few two ball tricks including throwing the balls up & clicking his fingers before catching again. Andrew & I had a go at a two person runaround with our big tennis balls, it was very energetic up until Dave L. provided us with some helpful enlightenment. However at times it would have passed for a top comedy routine on stage at any variete theatre in the 1930s (Andrew would still consider that modern).
I went to see Staind at Brixton Academy, does the lead guitarist remind anyone else of Jay Gilligan?
The first of February 2002 will go down in history as the first time I have ever driven somewhere & found it first go. Kevin, Annie, Andrew, Tasj & myself all went down to the coast for a reunion/party/club meeting being thrown by Hastings Community Circus. Lots of people were there, a few faces I recognised from a long time ago & a few new ones too. Vegetarian fishing has to be the most pointless game I've played for a long while. Two people sit a metre or so apart & each has a 'rod' consisting of a wooden handle & a long springy wire with a tiny cup on the end. The aim of the game is to transfer a marble from one cup to the other. So why 'fishing' I don't know. Tasj & I had three failed attempts but then Kevin went & did it first go. Tasj did three balls in one hand for the first time & also managed to juggle four big tennis balls too (with a little help from Andrew). She never juggles that much at TWJC. Andy & I had a nice go at some Popcorn & then 8 club passing, we also did a four person three count Y, and a five person rotating thing. I learnt a nice new three ball trick which I will write a tutorial on when I feel like it (here it is The Butterfly Flick). Near the end of the evening everyone joined in the Circle Game (a Hastings speciality - a big 30ish person ball passing pattern), lots of fun. I had a really great time, it was nice flicking through all their old photos & reading emails from old members who are now living abroad.
To Danny & Catherine Colyer who are now the proud parents of Jennifer Lucy Colyer, congratulations guys!
Sadly we were Kevinless this evening as he was away having his bionic arm fitted. Mark had a go at doing a spot of bounce juggling, one went a little awry & he tried kicking it back towards himself. This of course propelled the ball further away, so he tried again. & again & again until he had traveled the entire length of the hall. He finally caught up with the ball after he kicked it & it had bounced off the wall & someone else's head. Very entertaining Mark, well done. I showed a couple of people Luke's Lobotomy but they all said, "No, too complicated, I still want to do Rubenstein's Revenge" (??). Dave K. had a go with the big tennis balls, Bryn also had a go but came far closer to taking someone's head off than actually juggling four of the things. Tasj, Andrew & I did a little ball passing in a half the Star of David, first one way then the other then three count, the most difficult part was trying to convince them to do three count, that & get Tasj to juggle with the yellow ball.
Poor Kev had to watch the rest of us juggle this week, his hand is all bandaged up from his operation last week, hope it gets better soon. Watching him take off his jumper was like watching him escape from a straitjacket. Andrew brought in some very delicious chocolate cake, of which one slice was just not enough for Tasj. Dave L., Bob & myself did a bit of a runaround feed & the less said about that the better. Mark, Pete & Dave A. started having a play with the jitter ring that has been lurking in the bottom of our coffin for quite a while now. Getting started is a lot trickier than it looks, but it is still ultimately pointless. I had a good go at the rather more worthwhile three in one hand pattern 8040 which felt very cool. Oh yes & Dave K. was out with a friend.
What a busy night, lots of people & lots going on too. Kevin is now out of his bandages & has an impressively swollen arm after his op. John & Jason from Brighton paid us a visit in their tour of British juggling clubs, they treated us to some eight & nine club passing & Jason showed us some seven club & nine ball solo juggling too, noice. We had a contact juggling workshop with Nick, he took us through a whole host of contact juggling tricks & techniques in a display which had all the kids (& adults although they probably won't admit to it) really entranced. He went through all sorts of isolations, butterfly moves & body rolls, the best of the lot though was the mixture of isolation moves with body popping & robotics. Very smooth. We all had a play as well with varying levels of success. I found the isolation stuff almost impossible at first, but with the help of Dave L's heel I became marginally better over a period of time. Nick definitely inspired me to practise my contact a bit more. Later in the evening I joined in with John & Jason for a bit of passing which was superb. We started off with some 9 club runarounds within which they showed me loads of tricks I hadn't seen before. I particularly liked the triple pass between the two feedees. We then went up to a 10 club runaround (tricky) & then up to an 11 club feed (trickier still), all very enjoyable. There was a very good turnout up the pub afterwards too.
I thought I'd start the evening off with my first real bash at 9 balls. The best I could manage was 4 catches. I managed to get my first few throws consistently(ish) pretty good, but then I'd lose grip on the ones still in my hands & accidentally throw a multiplex. Smaller balls are definitely a requirement. Following on from Nick's excellent workshop last week, many of us practised our contact juggling. Kim played Father Christmas & delivered a box of nice new acrylic balls. Some were sold on to members & a few have been kept for the club. Martin, Lotte & myself sat & played for a while. Contact juggling is so much more peaceful than toss juggling, I think I managed to hypnotise myself with my own ball at one point. Then Bryn joined us & started making lots of noise. Dave K. & Tasj did a bit of bouncing up & down on our mini trampoline whilst juggling. Dave made it bulge quite a bit more though. Then they sat down & were joined by Dr Bob for some three person ball passing, we must all be very impressed with Tasj for her new found ability to feed.
I gave in & bought one of the large contact juggling balls, I am such a sucker for new kit. Naomi received a nice new Henry's diabolo for her 14th birthday (complete with law of physics defying hand sticks) so I taught her how to whip it & do an around the world with a stop over. Beth had a go at bouncing on the trampoline while riding the unicycle, most attempts ended with her landing several feet away from both the trampette & the unicycle. Dave K. & I had a little go at the special pass where you slide a club along the floor using your foot, then the person on the receiving end has to step on the top to flip it up into their hand. Not easy. We had a good run with eight though. Hopefully next week I'll be able to coax Andrew into doing his embarrassed panda impression.
So many people! Dave K. thought he'd walked into next week's council meeting. Kevin announced that he wouldn't be able to make the BJC, first time I've ever known Kev to be miserable about getting a gig. Pete is getting very good with his ball spinning practise, but the performance sometimes still falls short of the Mark though (you'd usually have to pay a lot of money for this sort of quality wordplay). TWJC irregular Simon dropped in for a visit & did lots of five ball tricks very cleanly. I'm glad someone can. Dave K. & I did a bit of seven & eight club passing. I was labeled Long Jon Silver (for the quality of my passes & not after Charlie Dancey's creation). After that we had a stab at throwing doubles in bookends. Far too complicated. Next week we do not have access to the hall, so the next TWJC meeting will be on the 26th of March, when I will continue to report even more figments of my imagination.
God I'm bored. I suppose I could have gone up the pub or something but that would be like being unfaithful...
I found out today that Tasj can juggle a Fork Cascade & another three ball trick that I can't. That's it I quit & I'm taking up poi.
...no things aren't that bad. The trick was a Rainbow Cross with the two balls being thrown & caught with the arms crossed. Tasj would like me to credit Andrew for coming up with the trick.
Firstly a short note for Dave L., Bob & the Hastings lot who all turned up last week: Check the website!
TWJC now has a new set of crash mats for use with the tightrope & other things, so Joe & Michael spent the evening doing somersaults & other wild acrobatics onto them. Dave L. learnt not to jump on the mats while they are lying on the polythene wrapping. I had fun teaching Andrew the three Golden Rules of Passing (according to Charlie Dancey), never lose count, never look away & never say sorry. I remember when I used to hate passing with both hands too... Andrew seemed far more comfortable on his beloved unicycle & we all applauded his kickup mounts & other tricks. Helen & Dave L. have set a date for their wedding, which I can't remember exactly but it is some time in 2003. Right then time to get ready for the 15th British Juggling Convention (I don't care how close it is I still can't believe I'm actually going to drive there).
29-Mar-2002 to 1-Apr-2002
BJC 15, Whitstable
There's nothing like a festival to remove all juggling ability. Sitting around reciting in jokes is much more fun. We shouted, "Eat the cheese!" at people as they walked in. Tasj & Andrew snuck outside to pass the new clubs they bought at the BJC in the market square, but that is a secret & I'm not supposed to tell anyone. Bob continued up the learning curve towards the urban terror feed & we also helped Mark S. with his first step in the world of feeding, with the bizarre logical fallacy, "on average you pass to no one". Kevin showed us some photos, one of him & Chris Eubank & some more of him bouncing around on a bungee catapult, hopefully this time they will make it as far as this website before being erased.
This week I mostly juggled with...three balls & threw them up to the ceiling lots while doing other things underneath. Not particularly artistic but fun all the same. Andrew continued his forbidden venture into the world of club passing with me & threw lots of clubs into my chest. A little later Simon joined in for a bit of a feed, I threw a double to Simon & Andrew asks me not to throw doubles to him, "I didn't" I replied, "ah no" said Andrew. Confused all round. Bryn & Andrew brought in lots of photos from the convention for us to have a nose at. Andrew had the obligatory pic of me smiling like a lunatic. Bryn had lots of pretty patterns from the UV hall & some nice candid shots too. To round off the evening we went to the pub as usual & Dave K. sang to us in German.
Andrew supplied us all with chocolate cake again, maybe one day though he'll learn the correct moment to open the oven door. Bob brought in his latest toy, a tiny little radio control car which we had fun finding slippery bits of the hall to do doughnuts on. Dave A. brought in a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang trivia quiz (not sure why exactly) which Cora & I went through. We managed to get most of the questions about what happens in the film right but couldn't answer any of those about who played who & such like. While doing a bit of passing with Bob & Dave L. a small improbability field swept through the Camden Centre. During a pattern collapse the field caused a club to land standing on its end. Maybe a larger improbability field would have prevented the drop in the first place.
Totally unrelated to TWJC but I heard this today as Gloria walked through the office & thought it was very funny:
Dick: "Mmm, you smell nice, what is that?"
Gloria: "Insect repellent"
It doesn't take a lot to brighten up my working day.
After counting down the days Andrew has received his new 6ft DM giraffe uni. He has vowed never to mount the thing with the aid of external apparatus, interesting choice seeing as he has yet to ride a giraffe. He spent the evening trying to freemount it. Everyone watched him come very close again & again with encouraging cheers & 'ahs'. I had a play with juggling 504 with three clubs making the 4s as trebla throws which felt really nice. Beth returned to TWJC with her arm in a bandage after walking into a moving car. Kim brought his pet Brian down for a graze in the Camden centre, Brian spent his time herding the kids up into a corner. Dave L, Dave K, Bob & I had a go at another portion of the urban terror feed, particularly the section where four people stand in a square & everybody feeds in pass pass self to the two people on the opposite side. We even managed to get it going for quite a while too. Up the pub Andrew quoted part of a Ronnie Barker sketch about people who say the wrong worms completely so that other people can't underhand a bird you're spraying.
Andrew managed to successfully freemount his 6ft giraffe several times this evening, pretty good for a week's work I think. However, when he had a go on his standard unicycle he seemed to be suffering from ogitrev. Jason from Brighton popped in & handed round some leaflets detailing the upcoming Brighton Circus Festival. Jason, Bob & I had a bash at the Orangutan, a ten club three person feeding pattern where the feedees juggle 2 count (one left handed & one right handed) & the feeder passes ultimates, all to the same rhythm as seven club singles. Later Jason made my 7 & 8 club passing tricks work & also carried my 9 club pattern too. The most important news this week though is that TWJC has been awarded a grant from the Awards For All scheme to help us put on a one day festival! Pencil us in for Sunday the 6th of October, more details will be posted here, there & everywhere by the weekend.
Kevin, Dave, Pete, Mark S, Beth, Andrew, Tasj & myself all turned up for a play at the Tonbridge Garden Festival to run workshops & have a bit of a juggle for the public. I only go for one reason & that is the fudge stall who were doing a roaring trade & I came away with three bags worth. Andrew brought along his beloved giraffe, his first freemount attempt nearly worked apart from the spectacular slip as he put his second foot up onto the wet pedal. Lots of people came & had a go & lots of people could already juggle pretty well too. I find it is a lot easier to teach people tricks than to teach them from scratch because the pupil has already done most of the work. It was cold & when the rain broke out we erected a small tent of umbrellas. The sun popped out regularly though & we all had a good time.
Lots more discussions went on about the up coming Royal Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival & lots of ideas were thrown around. I'm really excited already, it's going to be a great day. Andrew can now freemount his giraffe on the first attempt, noice. Bob & I had a play with switching between passing straights & crosses in 3 count at different rhythms. For example Bob would change after every fourth pass & I'd change after every third. It worked pretty well but seemed to collapse when we both threw left to left or right to right crosses. Tasj & Mark are now able to switch between front to front & front to back passing, back to back is to come I'm sure. Bob threw a ball across the hall directly into my right eye which stopped me juggling for a while, we have rules against that sort of thing you know. Then Tasj did the same to me during gladiators, what is this vendetta you all have against me?
Tom can now juggle four clubs very well & has a very high & floaty pattern that looks really cool. He got paranoid when he realised Cora & I were talking about him & then went to pieces. We had some visitors from Dorton House, a school for blind & partially sighted children (but seeing them having a go you think they are just putting it on), again for some more circus skill training. It's amazing the amount of determination these kids have, they practise with looks of concentration on their faces as they try really hard & achieve much more than you expect. The best bit for me though is when they relax & realise that you don't need to be the best to have a good time. Hey, we're not the Moscow Circus School. Back with the regular members, Dave K, Dave L, Bob & I carried on with the three count feeding box thing again this week & still didn't get any better. Andrew seems to be able to juggle clubs quite comfortably atop his giraffe now. I think he is spending more time up there than is perhaps healthy, maybe giraffe riding is the juggler's equivalent of pole sitting?
Tasj, Andrew & I took a trip to Hastings again, primarily to hand out a few leaflets for the Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival, it turned out that no one knew about the Brighton Circus Festival either. Us southern clubs really do need to get our communication sorted out. Quite a few of us will be there on Sunday now though. I managed to get hold of one of the purple Hastings Community Circus T-shirts that I completely failed to win at The Hastings Juggling Convention, if you can't win one, buy one! I didn't do much juggling (mostly due to turning up late for which we must blame Tasj) but I did get to do some passing with Caron & managed to get Andrew into doing some three count, although I suspect he needs stronger lenses. Mark turned up late & soon realised that motorcycle leathers were not designed with the action of picking up juggling balls in mind.
42t3 while Fork catching the 4s & Penguin catching the 2t. Nice.
Brighton Circus Festival
I came into TWJC absolutely manic, all the way up in the car I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of an actor. I managed to list over a dozen films but couldn't place a name, eventually after everyone else was of no help at all I remembered it was Christian Slater, who will always be hard talking Harry to me. Caron from Hastings finally managed to get the correct day & to deliver a Hastings Community Circus T-shirt for me & show us some photos from the Tunbridge Wells Winter Festival 2001. After settling down I practised 531 with the 3 thrown to & caught Behind the head. Dave K. introduced me to a new passing pattern called a 'hand feast'. Juggled on two count you pass to each of the four hands (so some of the passes are self doubles) in a clockwise direction. So I'd start with a tramline from my right, left, double to my right, right, double to my left, left, cross from my right, left tramline from my right & so on. I think. I found it strange to have to keep track of space as much as time in a passing pattern. Andrew brought along his collection of fluffy dice, five of which were extremely difficult to juggle, but the slightest tap with your foot propelled them for miles, enabling some fantastic footbag moves. Up the pub we were treated to all sorts of complimentary snacks, not really sure why & we all watched the freak show that was CNN. While Bob preferred the man in the moon my favourite was Alexander Evans, a man with eyes that Hannibal Lector would be proud of.
Hmm, "See you next week" we said last week, "yes, see you next week" said the Camden Centre curator in reply. Strangely the hall was closed this week, so we all went up the pub instead & ate Andrew's chocolate cake.
Another meeting about the Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival, we don't need passes as it is entirely FREE! but what would people like as a memento of the day & how can we get lots of them really cheaply? Andrew played around with 7531, I had a go & managed to get through one round. I tried 97531 too but the best I could manage was a nice 97 then a sort of 331. Bob rode into TWJC on his recumbent bicycle. Still one too many wheels. At the end of the evening Dave, Si, Andrew & myself all laughed at unix jokes particularly CPIP.
14th-June-2002 to 16-June-2002
Must remember to type up what happens at TWJC immediately otherwise I can't remember what happened. I did a lot of three ball stuff I seem to recall, after Jamie Fletcher's bit during the renegade at The Lakes I have a better understanding of how much I've yet to learn. Andrew qualified 6. The Dave's, Bryn & Bob were busy with some square passing patterns. More than that definitely happened but I really can't remember what went on. Kevin won't be with us for a while as he's off to the Isle of Widget.
Dave A. started me off with a joke worthy of pun of the week about two prawns. Lots of people did lots of ball passing, Tasj's friend Anna paid a visit to TWJC for the first time & was almost there with Mills Mess Dave K & I did some passing out in the square, lots of seven club stuff, we were inconsistent to say the least & Dave had to keep stopping to pull his trousers up. Dave L. joined us a bit later for some runaround feeding & proved that you can't run whilst feeding, then Dave K. proved the same thing. A bit later still Bob came along & proved it for a third time. Also during one particular pattern collapse, one club landed on the paving slab with enough force for the screw that holds the knob on to cause a spark. Yet another rare event in passing.
Sadly due to work commitments I missed out on a bit of juggling in Croydon. I'm not sure of the details as they were discussed up the pub. From what I could work out the money was to go straight to Dave L. & Helen otherwise they were going to kill a man for his giro. Ba-da-boom-ching!
Thanks to a visitor interested in learning some circus skills to complement his act we could well be having some belly dancing workshops at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival which should be good fun. Dr Bob is setting off on a bike ride from Land's End to John o' Groats on Sunday, despite not actually having done any training for the ride. Good luck Bob & remember to follow your mum's advice! Andrew seems very keen for me to buy a unicycle. I sold my first one a few years ago & never got a replacement. I agreed that I will buy one as soon as he finishes his Povrayed unicycle model. We had some more visitors from Dorton House school for the blind & partially sighted again. I got to help a lad walk on the hand held stilts & juggle a two ball exchange. Always impressive. Cora berated me for stealing her juggling balls because apparently I never bring them back. Of course she is very much mistaken.
We were absolutely swamped, Holly brought along some more of her friends which is good to see. I was extremely unimpressed with Kevin who purposefully forgot to phone me to say that a photographer & journalist from the paper were coming down to talk to us about the Royal Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival. As I wasn't wearing my club T-shirt I had to give all the photo opportunities to those that were for the good of the club. Selfless me. Matt flashed seven balls within about 30 minutes practise, I think he's trying to compete with that guy from Sweden who flashed 11 after only 2 years. Scary stuff. Bob phoned in presumably from somewhere along his cycle route running from Land's end to John o' Groats. Unfortunately I missed the call & then so did Dave K. & neither of us could get through to him when we called back. Dave A. & Cora conducted a remarkably democratic vote for the colours of our next club T-shirt & in the end black & light blue were the two winning colours. I was sadly excited that my first choice was one of the winners. Out in the market square Carolyn, Tasj, Andrew & Mark were doing some passing to the sound of the aerobics instructor in the LA Fitness Centre located next door, "Now everybody SQUEEEEEZE!". Dave K. & I did some 7 club popcorn & found a new way to count out the rhythm - "whoops, whoops, whoops...".
Kevin has managed to acquire a set of three different sized juggling hats for the club & Butterfingers have very kindly donated some juggling books to give away as prizes at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival. Andrew brought along his friend Andrew so now we have to refer to them as Andrew F. & Andrew H. respectively. I was most impressed by the two young lads from Israel who popped in tonight, both handled the devilstick & diabolo very well indeed. Their guardian told us that they attended a circus school in Israel which has certainly done a good job. While showing them a few tricks I realised that I can actually do double pirouettes, yet I can't really remember getting the trick solid. Bryn & Kim were shown how staff swinging should be done by Pete's daughter Jemma who really is rather good at that sort of thing, especially considering that she only practises with a baton.
Dave A., Cora, Simon, Laura, Tasj, Andrew, myself & my Mum & Dad went to see Cottle & Austen's Electric Circus in Dunorlan Park. The show was way too clown orientated for my liking, there were about 6 clowns in the show in total which is at least 4 too many. They performed several sketches, running from a ghost, playing a tuba etc. all of which were pretty dull & dragged on. The only clown that was genuinely funny was Titto. Despite being billed as Portugal's favourite clown which set expectations nice & low, he performed a great skit where he played a Hollywood director making a film using actors plucked from the audience. I don't think he could've asked for a better set of volunteers who were all superb & really got into their parts. The scene involved an adulterous couple dancing around & kissing, then the woman's husband comes home to find them & then shoots his wife's lover. The dancing & acting was funny in itself but the real comedy came from all the mistakes they made. A top act really well done. A quartet of acrobats wrapped in clingfilm did double & triple somersaults & a double whilst blindfold on the flying trapeze. I was more impressed with their trampolining on the safety net though. I was very impressed with the lasso spinning & whipcracking of the wild western guy, the best bit of the act was definitely the knife throwing. I have never seen knives thrown in such quick succesion, even when throwing at the spinning board & they were thudding REALLY close to his assistant. Probably the best act for me was the guy in the pink leotard who performed lots of handbalancing feats. Walking up a ladder, handstand pushups, one armed hand stands & tiger balances & balancing while his assistant stood on or hung from him in various combinations. He never once appeared to be under any strain, which was pretty amazing. The most popular character in the show was clearly the midget who according to Kev is only 26 inches tall. During the opening of the show he rode around on his mini motorcycle, then he popped up as a walking dustbin & every now & then he had a go at getting on a rola bola but was always carried off before he could get on to make way for the next act. Finally near the end of the show he performed some excellence acrobalance almost to the standard of the other handstand guy, as well as some neat tricks on his rola bola. He finished off balancing on his head on top of three glass bottles arranged into a tripod, ouch! It was an okay show, there were some very good acts, but a bit too much padding.
Several of us met in Calverly Grounds, it was raining where I live & also where Kev lives but we decided we'd both make an appearance. I found Tasj sitting on a bench, we were soon joined by Keith & Matt & then Dave K. meandered across the park. I did some high diabolo throw stuff, taking requests for various acrobatics to perform under each one. I could only manage a forward roll & a cartwheel though. When it started getting a bit dark out came the fire stuff & I now believe that there is such a thing as good poi swinging. Kim got out his fire clubs & had a few goes at my move I do where I do the Cross & Follow under a high throw. I usually do a quad, but Kim was trying doubles, which forces a seriously fast cross & follow. We ate some more chocolate cake made by Tasj & Andrew before he left to deal with a tea crisis.
In the park again. More diabolo high throw stuff, one of the young lads from Israel was doing loads of skips, Kevin was launching & never catching Simon's micro diabolo & I almost managed two cartwheels under one throw. Pete, the Andrews & I played a bit of frisbee (Andrew F. was on his giraffe at the time), I never thought I could throw a frisbee properly but I wasn't too bad, still can't do an outside throw though. I finally got into siteswaps while throwing some balls around, there's not much point to 3 ball siteswaps as you can always hold on that little bit longer to make any pattern work, but with 4 + balls you actually have to make accurate throws. I managed to get several rounds of 633 in a run & I did single rounds of 7333, 744 & 9753 as well (am I going to plug the Siteswap Calculator? Yep it looks like I am). Late in the evening Bob & I did some pretty bad passing with fire torches & Kevin rode round juggling fire on his uni which he is very good at indeed.
We returned to our newly redecorated hall & it appears that no one likes the new yellow colour. Dave A taught some hat tricks this evening, all in anticipation of Haggis & Rod Laver popping in for the Royal Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival, I managed to come up with a nice little move where you roll the hat over your fore arm. Matt has become a bona fide 7 ball juggler in a matter of weeks & has been spending time on flashing 8, but can he sing the national anthem backwards? I think not. I really must get myself one of those hats. Further news as discussed up the pub Kevin may be sworn in as the official fool of Tunbridge Wells in a ceremony which would see jesters from all over the country coming out to play. This is an accolade that many would say is long overdue.
10-Aug-2002 to 11-Aug-2002
Crawley Circus Festival 2002
8-Aug-2002 to 16-Aug-2002
25th European Juggling Convention, Bremen
After all the away fixtures pretty much all of the traveling TWJC membership made it back, some of us more efficiently than others. I am in the process of encouraging Andrew to write the story of his fantastic journey home from Bremen down for the world to read. I was very impressed with Dave K's three piece trousers which could be dismantled into a pair of shorts, what a brilliant idea. But they weren't the nicest piece of clothing I saw though. Dave K & I got together to pass a handfeast, then Dave L. joined us for a six handed version, then Bob joined in for a bit of a four person pattern. Quite nice to have to work out what to do on the fly. I had a quick session juggling five clubs, but still didn't managed to run the pattern long enough to beat one of Olga's better efforts.
Andrew brought in his biverticycle which was recently delivered after purchasing it in Bremen. I was quite happy to believe the legendary difficulty level of these machines but Andrew managed to ride the length of the hall several times before the evening was over. Ah well, must be easy then. Kim, Dave L. & myself had a quick play with the club's juggling hats, trying to throw them onto each other's heads. We were successful once (I reckon it was my throw, but Dave thinks it was his catch), anyone got any tips for this? Mark S. & I did a little more club passing, one day I'll get him to relax. The Andrews were getting on quite well too, well enough for me to feel comfortable standing between the two of them. Or, as it actually happened, I would've done but Tasj's confidence in their ability didn't quite match my own.
Kevin wore his, "Don't be boring, wave at a nutter" T-shirt this evening which meant that pretty much everyone who came in waved at him. Where have all these new members come from? I really ought to be paid a commission. I didn't do much juggling this evening, most of us were involved in a big meeting about our upcoming Festival which is now only next month! I can't wait. We're just in the final stages of preparation now, Dave A. & Kev are mostly worrying about whether we've thought of everything. I am amazed at the level of detail that the two of them have gone into. My only worry is that Dave may lose his PDA & all the information that is stored on it. Right at the end of the night Bob failed the challenge of catching at least 2 clubs out of an experimental 9 club multiplex tomahawk pass. What a wuss.
How much do I want our Festival to happen tomorrow? Lots. It is going to be great, although it is looking like being a VERY long day for some of us! The Mayor of Tunbridge Wells was so excited that he had to ring Kevin for a chat about it too. Under the superior instruction of Andrew & I, Raphael managed to pick up Mills Mess in the course of about twenty minutes. Andrew himself has learnt to idle on his biverticycle (I always thought it was called 'rocking' but what do I know?). Dave A. taught Bob to roll a hat up his back & onto his head. I can't help thinking that I should knuckle down & learn some new stuff too. Ah well, Kittens it is. I think Cora may also be right, maybe I do always take her juggling balls.
A very busy night tonight. Good to see long term absentees Mark, Tom & James make an appearance. I think we made a fortune out of the T-shirts this evening, everyone was wearing them. Which was useful because when Andrew asked about the date of our Festival I was able to reply, "Just look at Cora's breasts." Everyone brought in various signs which will be used at said event & many, "You've spelt it wrong!" gags were bandied about. Bob told me something about how his name has been engraved on an enormous rubber bullet that is going to be launched at a comet. Now that it comes to typing it out I'm not sure what he was talking about.
Tasj, Andrew & I paid another visit to Hastings Community Circus this evening. After making sure there was a suitable level of interest in our Festival (which took no time at all - sensible people) it was time for some juggling. I enjoyed perplexing a small group of three ballists with the beautifully simple Eriksson's Shuffle & Push Box. There was some very solid seven club passing going on, which was just as well considering the number of young unicyclists zipping around underneath it all. There was also some promising popcorn patterns too. Andy & I got in on the act by having an unsuccessful bash at throwing split multiplexes in seven club singles.
I arrived to hear Kevin having a bit of a rant, a few quibbles with the Camden Centre management & a bit of a let down from a supplier have been frustrating. No one has ever said that organising a festival is easy. Dave A. managed to get upstairs into the main command centre & had a play with the electrics, much to Bryn's annoyance. I had a bit of a pass with Dave L. which I haven't done for a long time, ultimates with doubles into & out of synch, three count with a constant stream of syncopations, a mammoth run of seven doubles with triples & a unicyclist through the centre & a few nice runs of seven club three count. Later we joined up with Dave K. & Bryn for some line stuff with drop backs & some feeding, this however was less successful. One of my (many) problems was turning round to see if my passes had been caught.
Our last week before our Festival, Kevin brought in a load of UV tubes for downstairs. Balloons, T-shirts, angle poise clip on lamps(?) & all sorts of other supplies were brought in too. For the glory hunters the TV cameras will be in at 2pm, BBC Radio Kent & KMFM will also be popping in mid afternoon too. Andrew brought along his friend, who a few minutes after saying, "I'm only here to watch" was throwing things around. In a crazy turn of events I actually got to teach Keith a clubswinging move! Must have been a trick of the light. Then while I was trying to get back to normality by teaching some devilstick tricks I was continually pelted with the excess from Andrew, Bryn & Bob's feeding session.
The Royal Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival
Most of us were still on a high from Sunday, we were all very pleased with how well it all went. I printed out & brought in a load of emails congratulating & thanking us which everyone enjoyed reading. Tasj & I had a go at 3/3, 2/2 & 3/2 steals that I learnt in Sean's excellent workshop. We also managed to get a few throws of 1/1 inside Mills Mess (Patterns1 is a great video & is available from MediaCircus). Nick Beak dropped in for a juggle (inspired by our festival!), he showed me some nice hook tricks with the devilstick & together we worked out a nice move where you stall the devilstick in a hook catch, roll it around the outside of your opposite arm into a hook catch on the other side. Very nice. After the juggling it was up the pub to play spot the gopher during the end of The Empire Strikes Back!
Bob & I had a bit of a pass, Bob insists that crossing ultimates is possible but I'm still not sure. Andrew had a few close attempts at freemounting his biverticycle. Watching Tasj doing various tricks while skipping on the trampoline was exciting. I showed a couple of people (4x,4x)(4x,[4x,4x])* which in English is a 4 ball wimpy pattern with a multiplex throw so that you juggle 5 balls. At the end of the evening Andrew treated us all to his most amazing cake yet. A chocolate & vanilla chequered sponge, with lots of buttercream. Not an easy square chequered cake mind you, a round one. Everyone was very impressed with both the appearance & the taste. The chilli vodka claimed another couple of victims too...
Marcus brought in an enormous album full of photos taken at the Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival, some of which will be appearing on this site soon. I spent most of the evening playing around with the diabolo which I haven't done for a couple of years now, Kevin liked my behind the back around the world combination. Keith brought in a pair of nun-chukas he'd made from a broom handle & lengths of chain. Lots of Bruce Lee impressions abound, but only Keith got close to emulating the moves. Andrew & I both flashed 4 in one hand within a few attempts (I've been able to do it for a while but don't tell Andrew that). Young Raphael is managing a bit more than a flash of 5 balls & looks set to qualify it soon. Andrew H. managed to cut his finger in a unicycle accident. Kev, Dave A. & Cora spent some time writing up a shopping list for the club, including new diabolos, devilsticks & hats amongst other stuff. Sadly nun-chukas were given a no.
Andrew flashed 7 balls & was hovering on his biverticycle for a good while but still hasn't managed to freemount it. Kevin has been compiling a huge list of equipment which will be ordered from Butterfingers later this week, most of the kit is for the club but a few of us have ordered a few personal things as well, I've got an AJA devilstick & a nice new juggling hat (flat top, all red with a black band, just need a 'W' badge to sew on the front!) on the way. I was very impressed with Bryn's staff swinging which has improved enormously. Nick entertained us with some nice one & two diabolo stuff & started Mark S. off on learning the two diabolo shuffle. Yet again I forgot to bring a tape measure to size up the store cupboard for some shelving.
Pete was proudly showing off his award for taking part in the annual Hospice in the Weald charity Firewalk for the past four years & for raising an extraordinary amount of money in the process. I spent most of the evening playing with my diabolo. I came up with a nice suicide move whilst the string is wrapped around the arm, after the catch you have a choice of exits, an around the world or a suicide with the other hand. Didn't get anywhere with the transition into crossed armed around the back leg though. Dave K, Bob & I hammered out the workings of the three count runaround feed which felt really good towards the end. Andrew & I finished off the evening having a go at some ball passing, 7 ultimates seemed fine but we didn't get 9, balls aren't really meant for passing though.
We all got the chance to welcome back Dave & Helen who have returned from the first half of their world tour. They told us stories of swimming with dolphins, climbing Kilamonjaro & being charged by a silverback. The first half of all the props we ordered arrived earlier this week, so it was as if Christmas had come early. After playing around with the shaker cups it quickly became clear that none of us are Guy Heathcote. I joined in with the excruciatingly painful practise of sitting down while juggling, firstly to teach Tasj the Two hand weave which after the initial confusion came along quite well. Later Tasj, Andrew, Anna, Carolyn, Marcus & myself all played with some circular passing patterns. One of which was the Hastings circle game, which saw the balls collecting in piles behind one person before progressing to another pile behind someone else... Good luck to Dave & Helen who will be setting off on the second leg of their world tour later this week.
I was a bit miserable this week suffering from a bit of RSI in my wrist, Tasj savagely prevented me from any & all juggling activity that involved using my right arm. In place of my usual bag stuffed full of props I had a solitary footbag. I can hop it from foot to foot, catch it on my knee & head. I tried another move where I throw the bag from my right foot, spin round 180° & catch it on my left foot. Unfortunately during the half pirouette my glasses flew off my face & slid along the floor. Raphael made a lot of people stop to watch his yo-yoing skills. Possibly more moves than Arron Sparks? Dave K. (isn't he slim!) had a pretty solid hand feast going with Bryn. A special mention has to go to Pete who was lucky enough to win tickets to the premiere of the new James Bond film, Die Another Day. Alright for some.
Loads of us turned up to watch Feeding the Fish perform, but after waiting around & watching the switching on of three different sets of fairy lights (we did like the tissue bomb fireworks though) we asked a steward who informed us that FTF had been canceled due to lack of performance space. Gutted!
I was still out of action on the juggling front this week, so I played with my footbag for a bit. Cora thought I was Morris dancing. Andrew & Bob amassed an impressive pile of balls for passing then ended up juggling a relatively disappointing number of them. Kevin taught me that gnomes wear straight pointed hats while pixies wear curly pointed hats (very important fact). Young Daniel was happily Throwing & catching a diabolo by the end of the evening, his dad Marcus & Mark S. were both coming along nicely with circling a diabolo around both arms too. I unleashed one of my recent obsessions on TWJC (the other being the chemical composition of potatoes) & encouraged a few people into trying a few Advanced standing up exercises. Not everyone was convinced of the importance of it all. Strange how all those who didn't get the idea couldn't do it for more than 5 seconds...
The only time TWJC has seen more people in the Camden Centre was at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival. I had a go on Andrew's uni & managed to fall flat on the floor while trying to idle using the other foot. Cora showed us a couple of tiny teddy bears she had made from some sort of pipe cleaner type stuff which everyone was impressed by. Some examples of some of Cora's creations may be appearing on the web soon. Andrew & Tasj were coming along nicely with their 9 ball passing. I showed Mark G a trick with the diabolo which he tried to emulate while Mark S & I shouted out the useful instruction, "More style". Nick was doing some very nice around the world stuff with two diabolos, but I wonder if he can do a behind the back whip catch three times in a row? & I'm sorry but there is no way that googly eyed socks are cooler than my cCalendar project.
We started the evening off with a bit of Advanced standing up, aside from the usual Bryn added a few more that he has learnt whilst attending the Desmond Jones School of Mime. Not too sure about crawling around the floor like a lizard though. Simon has come a long way with his five clubs since we saw him last, he juggles on triples so I guess he's under the influence of Haggis. I managed several qualifying runs of 4 in my left hand within about twenty minutes practise which I was pleased with. I also managed to come along way with hovering on my 'other' foot without injuring myself or others. Dave A. wore probably the most blinding shade of purple I have ever seen.
Good to see Men in Coats, the stars of the Winter Street Festival 2000, make it onto the stage of the Royal Variety Performance. Well done guys.
I usually enjoy the TWJC Christmas Party more than Christmas itself. There was a very good turnout & there was a great spread of food (heavy on the chocolate) laid out for us which we all sampled the delights of before sitting down for the show.
First on stage were 'Chicks with Hats' (named by Kevin), three of our young lasses who performed a dance routine based around some hat & cane manipulation. Good to see so much enthusiasm! In keeping with tradition I went on second & started off by making the audience Stand on one leg with their eyes closed before being blindfolded & juggling a Cascade while on one leg then Mills Mess. The audience was pretty amazed by the lack of drops from me this year. After running around panicking like a madman for half an hour Andrew took his first step onto the TWJC stage. Andrew was lumbered with what was supposed to be the TWJC Christmas Turkey, which is where one person is given three random objects around October time with which they have to devise an act. However we actually forgot about it so Andrew ended up being given his objects on the night. Those objects were: a nail file, a toy parachutist & a pack of three of the largest pairs of Y-fronts I have ever seen. With the nail file he er...filed his nails, before going into a three underpant routine, seeing past the absurdity the Shower pattern was impressively done. We won't mention the non-appearance of the parachutist. The mythical creature Brian & his herder Leaf, aka Kim & Dom popped in to show us a few tricks. Despite having to maneouvre in a very tight space for such a large creature we got to see Brian sitting, bending down for the kids to stroke, catching a balloon between his front legs & rearing up to beg for chocolate cake! While acting as compere Dave A beat the audience into submission with his repertoire of gags, helped young Amy with spinning a plate on a tall pole. The most memorable bit of Dave's time on stage though will be the mind-reading 'trick' where Mark G & myself were wired together via a cable which transmitted the image of a playing card. Memorable because I was beaten over the head with a plunger for most of it! Actually displaying a respectable level of skill this year was Raphael with a great display of yo yoing, I really like his style as he adds lots of extra loops & spins to the basic tricks which makes the prop much more dynamic. His finishing trick was to launch the yo yo into the air which volunteer Kevin had to catch in a hat. The star of the show for me came from the same family as Raph's younger sister Isis took to the floor with a stunning gymnastics display. Backflips, backward walkovers, working up into a perfectly solid handstand from the splits, walking around on her hands, down into a tiger balance then into a one armed tiger balance. All moves were very well executed indeed. Sickening. I was also impressed by the efficient work of the stage crew who prepared for the act! Lastly Bryn plunged us all into darkness for some gloclub swinging & glostaff spinning. Only one instance of flash photography too.
I think it was one of the best TWJC Christmas shows I've seen, well done to everyone who performed.
27-Dec-2002 to 28-Dec-2002
Tunbridge Wells Winter Street Festival 2002
That would appear to be it for 2002, of we go again in 2003.