Alight Fingers Juggling and Circus Skills Workshops  

Balls To The Baltic - Latvia or Bust



Things to do for Lunch

On the way back to the flat we got a text from Katriina saying that our trip to Riga had been cancelled, and at 1pm could we would meet at our flat. Then they would take us back to Grobina, where we’d been the previous day. That sounded like a good enough plan for lunch to us. We were back at the flat with a whole five minutes to spare before Katriina turned up with the rest of crew.

We walked down the stairs, as they slid down the bat pole to the bat mobile, and we followed behind in the van as they drove out of town.

I started to think that something was not quite rights as we turned off the main road as we passed some dilapidated buildings, and drove past more in various states of repair, or disrepair as the case may be, and this was beginning to look more and more familiar and we weren’t going back to the place we’d had lunch the previous day. They were taking us back to the place where we’d put on the show the previous day. Well, maybe they were going to give us lunch there ….. As we pulled up outside, there were three full sized empty coaches already waiting.

“Have we come to do a show?”
“Yes”, Katriina answered matter of factly with her dulcet Latvian accent, as if this was blatantly obvious, which by now, it kind of was.

At which point, Jonathan had a truly ‘artistic moment’.

“We thought we’d come here for lunch!”, and then he opened up and let loose. Katriina sat there and weathered the storm like a girl who was used to winters that hit minus twenty. Jonathan carried on howling.

“When’s it supposed to start?”
“In about ten minutes”
“Ten minutes! … We thought we were coming here for lunch” he repeated
“I told you Riga was cancelled and we were coming back to Grobina” she said.
“That’s where we had lunch yesterday”.
“Oh” said Katriina.

It went on for longer than that, but that was the essence of it. At the end it all went quite. I could tell that Jonathan wanted to scream but he knew he’d said everything that had to be said… at least twice, and that Katriina, who naively had made the fatal mistake of sitting in the middle seat of the van, simply couldn’t escape but had nothing else to say on the matter either. We sat there in silence

“We can do the show” I said to Katrina, feeling that this needed to be defused, and she didn’t really deserve the tirade she’d just received, but still feeling mildly miffed myself, “but can you please make sure you give us more notice next time”
Of course” said Katriina, although it was quite obvious that as far as she was concerned she had given us notice. To be fair, she had, just not in a way we understood. We could blame it on the language barrier, but ultimately I think it could just as easily have happened if we all had the same first language. In retrospect, it was quite funny, although I don’t think either of the pair of them would have agreed at the time if you could have cut your way through the tension to ask.

I don’t think Jonathan ever had any intention of not doing the show. To be honest, I don’t think that it wouldn’t have occurred to him to not do it, but for a minute or two, he was not a happy jester.

So that was that, we jumped out of the van, and everyone started hauling equipment inside. It’s amazing how quickly you can get it all together when you’re a little pressed for time. In ten minutes (or so) we were there and ready to go. Fueled by various chocolate bars that passed for lunch, and a minor amount of adrenaline, we were once again ready to juggle, jest and jump around like idiots for everyone else’s amusement.

When the show started, I doubt that anyone had the slightest idea that ten minutes previously we’d been clueless in the van thinking we were going to lunch. I’ll say this one for Jonathan, he may have had his ‘artistic moments’, but he didn’t half recover fast when he needed to. He was a happy jester once more, and he made damn sure that everyone else was happy by the time the show finished as well. The White Leg clowns were on form too. Maybe it was the extra little bit of adrenalin, and maybe it was just because they’re quite a talented bunch. 

After the show we fed on fruit and bits and pieces in the ‘green room’ (the centre library), while we drank coffee, relaxed and talked. Then it was time to pack up and head back to the flat so Jonathan could finally have his ‘sit down and a cup of tea’.

Having assured Katriina that we knew the way back, we of course got lost again. I knew full well that I didn’t know the way back, and I now know not to trust a certain jester when he says that he does. He probably just thinks it’s funny or something. Still, it wasn’t me that was after the cup of tea. So after taking thirty minutes for a ten minute drive (we were improving) we got to have a quick sit down back at the flat before heading back out again.



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