Did you know yesterday was World Juggling Day? It was also Father's Day's, World Gin Day, the day after our wedding anniversary, and we we were hosting a huge family lunch party. Somewhere along the way I dropped a couple of balls, and social media was one of the first to go.
Sometimes it feels that life is a series of little failures, of dropping balls. And it's funny, because when Rufus Norris was in conversation with Toby Jones the other evening at the Battersea Arts Centre (see Chapter 13), he referred to failure being just another word for rehearsal. Hearing that was one of those light-bulb moments. It has become my mantra over the past week as I've been upping the ante on my harp practice, ready to play for my parents yesterday. My father is 92, my mother in her 80s, and the occasions when they will come to London are few and far between, if ever. They were not coming to hear me play the harp per se, but, quite frankly, if you can't slip in a serenade to your Dad on Father's Day, when can you?
I would love to say I played perfectly - that I astonished and delighted the audience with my dexterity and musicality. The truth is I failed. By my standards. There simply hadn't been the time to put the hours in, and while my harp teacher says that there is nothing like a glass of bubbly to lubricate your playing, there had been a fair few more than that over the long, long lunch before I remembered the "concert" I had promised. But the thing is life will never offer up perfect opportunities - you just have to work with what you are given. I recovered from the odd slipped note, the kids running riot and pushed on. Dad was delighted. Mum thought I did very well, dear. Job done.
And the same goes for Circus School. After a month away, I'm going back tomorrow for my first class on static trapeze, while my class-mates have already had two sessions. I feel in NoFit State. Again. But I guess you just have to take your chance and roll with it. Accepting failure is one of the most excruciating lessons out there. But actually, I am more than happy rebranding it as a rehearsal. And that is exactly what this blog is. Sometimes you just have to keep harping on.