Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Fun at the Circus.....

Last week (well it was last week when I started writing this post but another week has gone by since then. Last week sounds far less tardy than "nearly a fortnight ago" doesn't it?) Daddy, Katie, my 8 year old nephew and I joined some of the other members of Tots 100 for a day out in Hove at the Zippos Circus.  I wanted to write this post up sooner but the six weeks holidays are interfering with all life that doesn't involve my beautiful 4 year old. The fab ladies at Tots 100 put together a really good deal for our day out and a I think a great thank you goes out to them. We only paid £25 for the four of us.

And what a grand day out it was. (At this point I'll put my hand over my mouth and simply whisper under my breath about the continual bickering and arguing of the two children for the journey there and back in the car and some unresolved issues arising from those arguments on the walk to the circus which brought about tears from Katie.  All I will say is that threats were made by myself and Daddy at various intervals about their behaviour with each other and they were very lucky indeed that they had a McDonalds on the drive home and not the sandwiches that I made to take with us.)

So all in all.....with everything taken into consideration...... it was a great day! I really enjoyed myself and, judging by the sticky face painted smiles, the rest of the family did too.

We had a few direction problems on arriving at Hove Lawns because we misread the email and walked in the wrong direction along the sea front until I found a cafe and decided to ask where we should be going.  I will just say thank you to Tots 100 for giving us the postcode for the nearby multistory car park which was found with no trouble whatsoever.  Thankfully we were soon back on track and found the "Top Hat" (as Katie calls it) with no more problems.  We were welcomed at the entrance to the circus and signed in and the children were given a choice of a flashing toy each (miraculously stopping an arguments in their tracks as they played with them). We were also given a sticker each which gave us refreshments from the circus food stand so the children ordered hot dogs and chips and Daddy had a lovely panini. As always I, the coeliac, had had to bring my own lunch with me but I was delighted that I could eat some of the chips!  The children also had two lots of candy floss (which I helped them eat) which probably heightened some of the arguments on the way home and some popcorn during the show (and that was just me!).  We met up with Anya from Older Single Mum at lunchtime which was great as I was really hoping to catch up with her again having last met her at Britmums Live a few months ago.

After lunch we had a workshop with some of the stars of the circus which included insights into how to train budgies by Ringmaster Norman Barrett and horses by Yamine Smart and her beautiful horses (see Diamond pictured). I have to admit that I found the budgie training very interesting (probably because I used to have a very cute yellow budgie called Whizzy who was very difficult to train - mind you, my Mother-in-Law managed to train her budgie to swear). I also adore horses so I enjoyed wandering around meeting the horses and watching some of the training.  The circus team were all friendly and happily answered questions. Our workshop session had to be cut a bit short because the show was about to start however.  We had been queueing up for face painting but ran out of time before the start of the show. Luckily we were first in line at the interval.  I wanted to have my face painted like a grown-up so that I could see what one looked like! 

The show itself was pretty good, mixed with a few bits that the children loved but Daddy and myself found ourselves shuffling around in our seats a bit.  It was Katie's first ever circus so it was wonderful watching her drink the experience in (whilst madly waving her flashy thingy around and around, nearly knocking everyone out nearby).  I couldn't tell you the last time I went to a circus and it was interesting to experience it as an adult. It all seemed so much smaller than I remembered and clowns have definitely changed and become more modern (I used to do a clown act when I was a Redcoat so I do have an affinity with clowns). 

Speaking of clowns, I really enjoyed the Delbosq Clowns (Emil and Andrea).  They did a really funny sketch where they were dressed as a Cowboy and Indian and pretended to have a fight in slow motion that gave me a really good chuckle and another sketch where members of the public were involved in recreating a scene from Star Wars. Very cleverly crafted indeed and gave all the audience a really good giggle.  I'd love to see a longer show with them in.  Katie also loved the clowns, particularly when Andrea the clown pretended to do a big fart and a cloud of smoke blew out of her bottom! Questions about how she did that kept Katie busy all the way home (when she wasn't arguing with her cousin that is!).

We all liked Roman Stefanyuk, the trampolinist, whose precision when trampolining was easy to underestimate. The kids thought he was hilarious and I was very impressed with his skills which aren't of the expected somersault and flip kind but more how cleverly he uses his body and the trampoline in the act.  There was one section where he dropped backwards from a high board and landed on his back and then sprang back up onto the board. He repeated this over and over. I can only imagine the hours of practice to get his body in the right position to be able to do this.

One of my favourite acts was a group of performers called The Kenya Troupe who did pyramid balancing routines and a fire routine. They were modern, cheeky and funny as well as being very talented (and rather good looking).  Their fire Limbo act was really rather good. "How low can you go" was given a whole new hot meaning! In more ways than one!

However the act that stole the show for me was the final act "The Globe of Death". It literally had me holding my breath. At one point three motorcyclists were loop-the-looping inside the globe with a member of the circus standing inside the globe. It was so fast that it was impossible to photograph unfortunately so I've had to use an image from Zippos website. The dare-devilry and sheer courage (or is it madness?) of those riders was quite phenomenal in my opinion. In fact I would love to see that act again.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day out at the circus. It was lovely to spend time as a family (warts and all) and for Daddy to have a day off work. I think he enjoyed the day more than he was expecting to, which was an added bonus. I enjoyed meeting up with some of the other bloggers who also went along. It's so nice to put faces and names to the people whose blogs I read.

Thank you to Tots 100 and Zippos Circus for organising a lovely day out. I can't wait for the next one!!


  1. Hi Gem. Trying to follow your blog but can't see a follow button. Do you have followers? Thanks

  2. Hi Rebecca. The link to follow is on the left hand side of the blog. I've moved it up to the top to make it more visible. Gem x

  3. Thanks - I've joined! Looking forward to reading your blog. Adoption is close to my heart - you may like my blog actually. The post I'm currently writing is about adoption (what coincidence!) but it covers other social issues too. Would love to see what you think when next post's posted :-)

  4. Hi Rebecca. Would love to have a read. Will take a look. Can you let me know when you post your next post as well? Cheers :-)

  5. thanks for sharing.