Happy Days

Having had a packed calendar in Edinburgh and Shane getting various things sorted in the short visit, then arriving to find the jobs done by Gary and his team, both of us were feeling uplifted and happy, despite the rain and cold. It was even better when we found it was dreich and rainy in Scotland too, so we weren’t missing good weather after all.

We like the farm shop and had got good bread there. When Shane had gone in for pasties he noticed some posters. We planned a move once the weather brightened and we’re in no hurry so we decided we could take that in too. We continued to get visits from very eager swans and adorable cygnets.

It was a cooler day but an even cooler evening ahead. Shane had a video chat in the afternoon and I was happy to reaquaint myself with a temporarily halted knitting project and pop to the shop for fresh bread. He finished his call in time to head to Bugbrooke playing fields. It wasn’t there last night, we had gone to check, but there, beside the cake and burger stalls was the striped big top, bold and bright against a threatening sky.

Happy’s Circus Tent

Happily there were tickets still available. I had asked if they could sell us tickets (I could see they were handing out bands for pre-booked tickets) and the lady said “yes please!” They were as delighted to sell as we were to buy. This circus aims to be hireable for fund raising. The fun had already started inside the big top there was music playing and the ring mistress was entertaining the children who had gone in. There was face painting and a tombola of fluffy toys in a nearby building and more importantly a toilet. Once Shane had returned we headed for the queue. We wondered if this smaller circus would be a disappointing affair. We might be the only people there without children. We were sent to the back. The first three rows were children only. As we got in I wondered if the young lad would not like old fogey strangers arriving beside him but he seemed very happy to let us slide along the bench. We had a central seat with a good view of the stage. The hyping continued and we had to join in with the Mexican wave and clapping, and I thought a trip to the bar might have been a good idea. Once it started properly we were happily wowed by the outfit and skill of the first balancing Austrian acrobat.

Austrian acrobat balancing upsides down on bricks and getting rid of them one at a time as she lowers herself. Spotters ready

Having watched countless shows in Edinburgh’s High Street, it takes more than three ball juggling and a diablo to impress us but 6 balls is pretty worthy of applause and I am not sure we have seen one person have 3 diablos in play at once. I particularly liked the acrobatic and aerial acts, which those jugglers also did. Everyone was multi talented and performing more than one act each. For her second appearance the Austrian let her hair down. I constantly was concerned she’d catch it and bit of hair flew down as she shook her locks.

Good as it is to see spotters and men heaving the aerialists up, counterbalancing them, slips occurred in those acts and during the lighter clowning moments, slips and accidents were deliberate. The clown had many appearances and we enjoyed him and also the odd Mr Slinky, who reminded me of a Chinese dragon but only one person operated the giant man/slinky.

Mr Slinky

Mr Slinky was not performing in multiple acts but he was a spotter for the other acts. I enjoyed the music and of course while they had a variety of songs and music throughout, they began each act with a happy tunes, Pharrell Williams’ Happy  and Happy Days theme tune. We were certainly happy we had gone. Good timing as they only were there that one evening.

Next morning I went in to Bugbrooke to stock up before heading on, with a spring in my step. A shortcut through the graveyard is usually quiet but there were people there. A lady had shears in her hand and had stepped aside to let me through. We chatted about the sunshine and changeable weather. Then I remarked on a very bright tree. She speculated it was an Acer. I said I would check with my new app for plant identification.

Little light Acer in the cemetery

I went to tell her my app agreed with her. We ended up in a long chat since her grandson lives in Scotland and she really likes the skirl of the pipes and the swing of a kilt. She also let me know the correct local pronunciation of the River Nene (nen). She thought she wouldn’t be back in Scotland again as she was old. I told her if she was fit for gardening with those shears, she could probably manage a train no bother. We eventually got on with our original tasks. Everyone I met in the paths, pavements, shop and band back at the towpath were smiley, chatty, obliging, considerate and cheerful. They hadn’t all been to the circus, but perhaps a bit of sun after the rain was raising spirits all round. As the man on the towpath said, “You’ve got to get out and enjoy it while you can!”