Saturday, 18 April 2015

Chapter 73: A Circus Break

Well, it's still the holidays, we are down by the sea-side and I am trying on wetsuits. In another life when the hot young surfer dude asks if I need help getting out of my wetsuit, I would shake out a mass of bed-head beach curls in reply, unzip the suit, slip out of my bikini and into the Hawaiian sunset. But having come straight from Billy's beach cafe in Bracklesham Bay where the kids and I brunched on babs, burgers and ice-cream sundaes, sexy doesn't quite cut it. I feel more like a beached sea-lion, all fumbles and flippers, just missing the red ball to balance on my nose. I can manage the zip across my chest thank you very much, but I do need his help getting the inner sealant-loop back over my head. Then back in the changing room, red-faced and determined, I wriggle out of the rest and figure that maybe I could make it as a clown-cortortionist in a cabaret act.  

Beach-life is like a second-skin for me. Here down in the Witterings we've spent the week in a surprise of sunshine catching up with family and friends, and exploring local attractions like Arundel Castle and Fishbourne Roman Palace, landmarks from my own childhood. West Wittering beach has become, in loco Londinium, another Circus Space, inviting balancing acts on surf boards, handstands against sea markers and juggling with beach boules.  In the evenings, the kids and I have been enjoying Noel Streatfeild's Circus Shoes (originally The Circus is Coming), about a couple of orphans who runaway to a travelling big top in search of their uncle Gus. Streatfeild tented with a circus for a couple of seasons in the 1920s and there is something about dipping into that bye-gone era that suits the gentler pace of life here.

Back in London, circus is in overdrive. In Circus Maximus 20 stellar circus acts have been battling it out over four heats for a place in the final on Sunday and a £4k prize.  In the running are Alula Cyr (mentioned in Chapter 71 - click here), Angeliki Nikolakaki on straps, JD & Nikki hand-balancing, Tom Gaskin juggling and Sam Goodburn juggling/unicycle. All I can say is pity those having to choose between them. Tonight (Sat), at Jacksons Lane in Highgate, leading contemporary circus Acrojou is curating A Frantic Evening (click here) that promises to be wet and wild. To complete the hat trick, see Circolombia, circus with guts and gustoat the Roundhouse in Camden. I'm going with over a dozen friends on Friday, 24 April - if you are around then *wave*!

For a comprehensive guide to what's on in the world of circus over the next month check out National circus website - click here.

Meanwhile, love from the seaside. And breathe. 

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