Thursday, 31 March 2011

Roll up, roll up, for a trip down Memory Lane.

There was a tent on the green last week, and it arrived on Wednesday morning. Vans were parking up as we rushed to school, and a little voice said 'Ooh- whats happening mummy?!' and I said, 'Oh, probably a fair or something- we'll see'. But it wasn't. (The little voice also expressed some concern about said vans flattening the daisies, but I assured her that they would grow back). There were more vans arriving that afternoon, and by Thursday the Big Top was taking place.
We get a circus on the green every now and then, a travelling one, and I'm afraid that I have avoided them up until now. My reasons? I'm really not sure, but it isn't something that I instinctivey want to go to. I've tried to work these thoughts out though, because my reaction has surprised me, and I'm usually an open-minded creature. (Because this is a blog for my own ramblings, we'll start with those thought before I get to the review). Lets have a go:

1) Fast food vans- I had food poisoning (perhaps more realistically a sickness bug?!) after a school fair once, when I was young, and I'll never forget it. I still can't seem to trust them (and get uneasy around hotdogs), which means I don't like to eat at fairs and open air events. Truths.

2) I don't get the excitement. My mum is suspiscious of fairs, circuses, carousels and doesn't like them. So we didn't grow up with them, (no hardship really), and I didn't taste my first toffee apple or candy floss until I'd left home (nevermind). Who knows why she was uneasy? I'm still a little afraid of her, so I won't be asking. Perhaps I've inherited her concerns.

3) Everything is expensive, and theres alot to buy.

4) I don't like clowns much- I get a little freaked, and I feel like I'll cringe at the humour.

5) People can steal stuff from you! Something I also remember being warned- that pickpockets targeted places like these where there was likely lots of pocket money and crowds... call us cynics...

... so what's the attraction?...

I went to the circus once as a child, at my Grandad's organisation- he was absolutely thrilled that The Moscow State Circus would be nearby, and took us as his treat. It was quite rebellious, seeing as his daughter had no warm feelings towards circuses (see above)! What do I remember of it? You may ask. Not alot. Close to nothing. I have a terrible memory, but this particular piece of forgetfulness troubles me: I wasn't teeny tiny, so should be able to recall it, but I really couldn't tell you what acts I saw, and I know how important it was to him, and how he must have loved the thought of it, planned the day and looked forward to its arrival... and how I feel like I have clearly failed to appreciate his efforts, by forgetting all that I saw! 

I remember him holding my little hand in his big gentle one at the ticket kiosk, and climbing up to near the top of the Big Top, and wearing a purse with a string, which he and Gran had brought me back from their holidays, containing a pen with my name on. I can still see it- it was sort of rectangular, with rounded corners, and two little black poppers on a fold down lid, which I liked to think were its eyes. (Don't you just love Grandparent-Gifts, this is so Grandparenty, and it makes me smile. Whats more Grandparenty, is that my sister had the same gifts, except mine were in blue, and hers were in red). 
I was twirling the purse around and around, then leaning forward and spinning it the other way so it would rush back, anti-clockwise, (which was all Much Fun) when suddenly, out of the gap in the top of the purse (which was either upside down or spinning), my little pen fell downwards, between the benchy seats, and the scaffoldy stuff that they were attached to, and landed somewhere unknown, where I couldn't see. I was mortified- because I loved the little pen, and because I loved my Grandparents and knew they would be sad, potentially angry, and because it was lost, never to be found.

After the initial 'You're always fiddling and getting into trouble' comments, which are naturally bestowed upon the youngest, (and yes, I am proud of this trait), my dad did a Dad Thing, and missed part of the show, to rush downwards to the bottom of the tent, to carefully slide through a flap when nobody was looking, and search for my pen on the grass below. Which he found. Hurrah! Here ends the memory of my trip to the circus. What did I see? Dunno. But I got all the vitals there, I think you'll agree.


So, as there was no escape from the fact that the circus was in town, and as the children had been talking about it in Pickle Missy's class, (so had the parents- nothing like peer pressure!) I put my prejudices aside and took the plunge. We sat with a little friend of Pickle Missy's, and her Mummy. I was concerned about the expense, and was doing my best to fit in with the other parents, nodding in agreement over how reasonable the price was. It kinda was reasonable, but its not the sort of money I have to hand usually. While we were queueing for tickets, somebody gave me a spare voucher of theirs which got me a discount. Happy Bunny.

I was worried about Little Guy's concentration behaviour, and in truth it was a fair concern because he was quite unsettled after the interval, but for the most part, aside from wanting to buy everything that the clowns walked past with before the show, and needing food and drink that I had vetoed (we bought treats from the corner shop to take with us- sssh- don't tell!), he wasn't too bad to manage.
Pickle Missy on the other hand, displayed a little bit of the 'wanties', as her friend had been bought an assortment of goodies from around the tent, but she was quite easily distracted, and became transfixed, and I truly think it made her week. I had the opportunity to sit back and attempt to reminisce, but as that wasn't really working, I just watched my little girl be totally absorbed in it. She loved the twirly whirly hoop girl, and the girl who balanced lots of things in her mouth and climbed ('to the very top of the tent mummy- I think she can really do it!!'), and the guy who climbed an unsupported ladder, and the trampoliney people, and the cops and robbers, and her favourite thing of all was 'the clown that was very naughty all the way through, but was good in the end'. Worth the visit to see their little faces, I can assure you. I can only hope that my family saw that wonder in my eyes when they were sweet enough to treat me too.

All three children were inspired to climb on things, and balance and get into mischief after the show, but thankfully none of them expressed an interest in throwing knifes at each other.



  1. Loved this post.
    Beautiful blog <3

  2. I always love reading your posts :) Shows you what was most important to your little self at the time - your treasured pen! Glad your kids enjoyed it this time around. I'm with you on the clowns *shudder*

  3. I can imagine your horror as your pen fell, but glad your Dad managed to retrieve it. No wonder that is all you can remember of the trip, it must've been quite traumatic for you. Good to hear that your little ones enjoyed themselves and that that was rewarding for you.

  4. You are such a lovely Mummy. Your tales of your dear little ones always warms my heart x

  5. Your Dad was a real star - how sweet of him to find your pen!

    It sounds like you all had such a fabulous time creating lovely memories. It sounds like real fun! x