Alight Fingers Juggling and Circus Skills Workshops  

Balls To The Baltic - Latvia or Bust



We should have learned some German

And then we went back out to do it again. This time it was the old folk’s home. Someone had come up with the master stroke of also inviting the local kindergarten (or childrensgarden as they call them in Germany). From this point on, I realised this one was going to be a piece of cake.

I came out with a theory about art a while ago that goes something like this:

It doesn't matter how amazing a piece of art is. It doesn't matter how clever, how complicated, how beautifully the colours flow around each other or how intricately the forms interact. It doesn't matter if it could solve world hunger or create world peace - Ninety Nine percent of the male population of this planet would still rather look at a pair of boobs.

This isn't a bad thing. It's probably got a lot to do with why the species is still here. It's just one of those things. The reason I realised that the next show was going to be easy was like this.

It didn't matter what we did, how many million things we juggled, how tall a unicycle we rode, or if we swung from the light fixings naked (ok, that may have made have made a difference), Ninety Nine percent of our aged friends were going to much prefer watching the kids having a laugh than whatever we got up to. And we had Jonathan on our side. And he's stupid. Kids laugh at Jonathan.

While we were waiting to start we had a game of marbles. I used a three inch spherical juggling ball. Quite a big marble I'm sure you'll agree. Jonathan used a three feet wide walking globe. After that it just got silly. There were occasional outbreaks of artistic juggling, but that's what happens when you take a juggler on tour with you. We had a great time, the kids laughed a lot. The old folks were happy. Scores all round.

We stopped afterwards and had a cup of tea with the folks (and I'd like to say that it was indeed a very good cup of tea - almost as good as an English one) and we were very pleasantly surprised when they handed us a plate having just had a collection on our behalf. However people choose to show their appreciation it is always appreciated by us, although it has to be said that there is quite frankly, just something special about cold hard cash. We do after all, all have to eat. I'd like to point out before someone else comes up with the gag, that doesn't make chocolate money preferable to the real thing.

While we were packing up the van, two of the old German ladies from the home came out to talk to us. Unfortunately, they were neither asking us our names or giving directions to the hotel. Neither Jonathan or myself had a clue what they were talking about. So, we waved our arms around, gesticulating profusely, while talking louder and slower, as they did exactly the same thing and still we were getting nowhere. They said something to us, we said something to them. They said what appeared to be the same thing again, so we returned the favour. We were still getting nowhere. Then a saving grace, Horsch came outside, so we shouted for him to come over. He came over. We asked him if he could translate what they were saying. Now we were getting somewhere.  He said something to them. They said something to him. He looked at us and said after a brief pause ... "They said that it would be good if you learn some German".

Oh sweet irony. I think they meant for the show, but either way, they may have been right. In my defense, I'd have been ok, if they'd wanted directions to a hotel.

At that point Jonathan fell to one knee, took one of the old girls by the hand and professed "Ich Lieber dich". It was a touching gesture from the jester, but I feel, a little too late and he'd already lost his chance to impress. "you love what now ?" I asked him.

We headed back to the house for dinner which of course, we were late for (well if these old girls will keep us talking!). We had already realised that Kirsten is a bit of an uber cook, and it turned out, she also had a passion for old Roman cookery. So we had the pleasure of sampling a 2000 year old recipe. If someone had put 'Lamb in a fermented fish sauce' on a menu, I can categorically state I would not have been the first person ordering it. Seriously! Fermented fish! It sounds scary. It sounds like the sort of metaphor you would use if you wanted to describe the smell of something that had died months ago. "His socks were so rank they smelled of fermented fish". In Roman times, they used this as a sauce. Thank god someone eventually discovered salt. Staggeringly, it actually tastes very good, and goes down as another wonderful experience among many on this trip. I would point out that this is the sort of thing that should probably only be done by a professional, and you probably won't get the same effect by wringing your socks out over your Sunday roast.



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