TWJC Diary 2004


I think it was at least 20 minutes after TWJC had started before anyone (Kevin) actually threw anything (& incidentally the throw bounced off of the said person's shoulder & hit the floor). Beth now has a bolt through the top of her ear. Dave A took on the role of Derek Trotter & set up shop in the middle of the hall to flog a load of professional pogo stick(?) cases which make really good juggling kit bags. Within 2 minutes he had sold the lot. He could've shifted the lot in 1 minute if he had answered Bob's, "How much?" at the first time of asking. Bob, Bryn, Dave K & I tried to remember how to pass & had a go at an 'N' feed & swapping the feeders/feedees without changing positions. For reasons unknown I agreed to go running with Dave K one morning at the upcoming BJC in Derby. I shook on it too. I am even putting it into writing for all to see. Will I do the shameful thing & edit this entry later? You'll just have to check back nearer the time.


Club News: Tonight we had a comittee meeting & we were briefed on the current status of the club. We floated a few ideas to promote TWJC & discussed a few other run of the mill bits of business. The only major change for the club is that Dave Akhurst has stepped down & I have taken his place as chair of TWJC. There aren't going to be many changes to the club as everyone is pretty happy with the way it is, but I hope to help on the administration side of things & make them run more smoothly.

I missed the first half of the night as I was in the Albert Suite doing a bit of filming for a promotional/instructional video. I played around with some balls & a pair of wooden forks & they filmed. I had been practising with the toys for most of the week specifically trying to come up with a few tricks that were specific to the prop rather than a straight copy of an existing club or ball juggling trick. I did a load of under the leg/behind the back throws & catches, did some flourishing moves, a few tricks involving throwing the forks as well as the ball(s) plus a few other little tricks. It will be interesting to see how the video comes out. Dave K & I did a fantastic run of 8 club passing on doubles. Jenny also almost managed to start to learn how to pass clubs. Beth's hair has changed colour again - obviously taking over from where Kim left off. Bob was going round encouraging people to juggle while tilting their head further & further over to one side which I remember being suggested on rec.juggling a short while ago. I don't think anyone really mastered it.

Finally, many congratulations to Simon & Laura who are now expecting their first child from all of us at TWJC.


Andrew has finally figured out the problem with his light up unicycle wheel (whenever you pumped up the tyre all the lights went out) & brought in a fully fitted uni for an exhibition ride. It has a little button which changes the patterns in which the lights flash & light up in. Everyone seems to have a different favourite setting though. It may be joining us at the BJC in Derby so keep a look out & see what you think. I enjoyed a manic passing session with Bryn, it probably wasn't all that pretty but certainly very entertaining. Dave K & I spent some time doing some takeout stuff, I tried to do a few flourishy moves but only really managed to confuse matters. Especially so for Beth & Andrew who were watching & trying to work out what was going on so they could have a go themselves. Afterwards we made our way to the pub & entertained ourselves with the Friday Ad. Jenny pointed out an interesting advert from a Mr Ronald Giblet, that was selling a book on levitation techniques. Further investigation turned up more of these ads ("Strap me to a cow I'm levitating again!"). Bob called the number as we were interested in getting the guy to run a workshop, but we were all very disappointed when the number turned out to be for a fax machine.




Dave K gestured to the quick release mechanism on Andrew's unicycle & asked if he could put it down, in perfect unison Dave, Andrew, Bryn & myself immediately hurled insults at the unicycle. It is interesting how well tuned our senses of humour are with each other. Beth on the other hand was thinking about lethal injections which explains a great deal. I spent some time with Tom helping him out with his 2 diabolo shuffle & he really came along well with it. We swapped a few nice single diabolo tricks as well. Beth was lying on the saddle of her unicycle & was trying to move round in a circle by wheel walknig with her hands. I think she is sorely missing her pedals. I partnered Dave K & Bob partnered Bryn for some takeouts while passing. We started off simple with Bob & I passing 4 count while Dave stood behind me, caught my incoming passes & then threw the club when it was time to throw it as a self. Then we moved up to Dave catching his own self on the other side as well & carrying on in the same rhythm. After that the four of us tried to pass four count whil juggling siamese style. It all got a bit silly when we started throwing doubles & trying to do pirouettes.


Andrew showed Tom & Alec how to kick up mount a unicycle, which is always impressive. Later Bryn & I managed to coax Andrew (who almost never passes clubs with us) into a bit of 4 count feeding with runarounds. When I 'run' I take one step forwards, another step while turning, then one step backwards. When Andrew runs he sounds like Michael Flatley. After a while Bryn started running underneath the pattern to the other side, at this point I heard the theme tune to the A-Team & failed to resist the urge to do a commando roll underneath everything. Unfortunately I didn't get back up in time to get my pass in. Bryn had a go at cartwheeling to the other side as well - with the same result as my stunt. Young Edward dropped in for the first time this evening. At age 12 he is already juggling clubs & 4 balls & is very good with the diabolo too. You have to treat these young people who ask for tips for 5 balls with great caution. The girls tried to do the balance where everyone is arranged so that they are lying back over each other's knees. A little later Bryn arranged them into something resembling the dance to, 'oops upside your head'. Pete wanted it to be known that he managed to spin the ball on his finger for 6 minutes, or was it 16? I have no idea whether this is any good or not. Too many sentences in this entry make me seem old.


There was a great deal of unicycling going on this evening. Despite ending up flat on the floor several times Beth was getting along very nicely with gliding as well as all manner of one footed wheel walking techniques. Polly was helping Tabby with her first few revolutions, it was quite amusing hearing lines such as, "you are doing well my child" from someone so young. Edward was coming along nicely with 2 clubs in each hand with a view to learning 4 clubs (once he learns 5 balls & 4 clubs his Dad is going to let him have a go with fire torches). At one point Bryn said to me, "These kids are going to be really good aren't they?" Yes they are. We were joined by another Steve this evening who was taught to pass clubs by Tarim in Bristol a few years ago. We did a bit of 4 count which I haven't done for years, I couldn't remember how double double triple went. Bob joined us for some 3 count runarounds & a bit later still Bryn & (the other) Steve tagged onto the end to form a 'W' feed. It has been a long time since we've done any five person patterns. It was a long run from one side to the other, only (new) Steve felt confident enough to go through the middle. He'll stop that sort of thing after he gets to know us & our ability levels a bit better. Afterwards in the pub much fun was had playing charades. We mostly did films & tv shows but some of us had a go at doing various famous jugglers.


Bit thin on the ground this week, everyone seems to be going away skiing at the moment. Beth had a nonchalant stroll across the tightrope, then not quite so nonchalantly ended up straddling it. Andrew is getting very good at doing 7531 now. Dave K. & I started doing some placement stuff with 3 then had a go again at 4 clubs. We'd done asynch before so this time we triend a synchronous fountain. The first few attempts saw me swinging a pair of clubs square into Dave's stomach while he was reaching up to grab the 2 in the air. We came up with a compromise where Dave would tell me when he was going to take a pair (genius!) & I would throw my next pair of clubs round the outside to compensate. Then Dave would maniacally sweep the two clubs down in front of me faster than the eye could see much less the hand could catch.


I thought it was just me this week but afterwards I found out that a few more people also found everything 'a bit heavy'. I did quite a bit of solo club juggling & passing but it was all so sluggish. Quite why this was I'm not sure. Dave L popped along to announce that he is pregnant, although I'm pretty certain he may have been talking about Helen, who sent me a hug through Dave (thanks Helen!) Owing to Helen's condition I thought it best to bounce on her behalf. With Simon & Laura expecting as well the TWJC recruitment drive is in full swing. We helped Andrew celebrate his birthday by giving him about half of the required bumps & dropping him on the floor (it wasn't just juggling equipment it was the people to). We adjourned to the pub where Tim handed out slabs of industrially crafted cake so densely packed with chocolate that Tim had to take frequent rest breaks in between gouging out each slice. It was easily the heaviest cake I have ever eaten.


What a nice busy night. Dave K. Bob, Bryn, Andrew, Jenny & myself had a go at club bouncing. It didn't take long for everyone to get the knack of bouncing a club back to themselves so we naturally progressed to passing. Most attempts saw each club just smack against the floor until Bryn threw a club so that it bounced on its end & completed a neat tumble into my hand (ok so it was a wrong end catch but still). It looks like I will be getting myself some new clubs in Derby. Young Ed managed several qualifying runs of 5 balls with clean finishes to. The girls returned from their skiing trip & Holly managed to not break any bones. Passing seven singles with Dave was good if a little rushed at first, three count was good & popcorn was a little er... inaccurate. Feeding with Bryn as well was a lot better (note for next week: try simultaneous runs).


OK, so I didn't go this week...


There was an unusually good turn out this week, as all members past and present put in an appearance - if not in body, they were there in spirit. Both Tasj & Anna had returned from uni, & I was impressed to see Kim combine his 'Juggling for Students' (tins of beans, loaves of bread) with juggling Molly & the Chocolate Cake (yes, Andrew is back on form). I attempted to mind-juggle club passing with Carolyn (currently in Bristol) who is, unfortunately, rather out of practice & kept throwing them short; so instead I did a few 5 ball tricks whilst admiring the now finished disco-light unicycle of Andrew's - he should begin work on the giraffe version in the near future. Beth & Julian demonstrated the unique ability to carry out their club/knife switching with only Beth actually physically present, & Tim turned up in time for the pub, 'dragging' Bob & Bryn there at just 9.05pm. All in all, a doozy!!

Credit for this week's entry goes to Carolyn, who never actually attended. I'm sure no one will notice...


We were inundated by students this evening as they are all on one of their month long holidays before going back for a week's work (that last word used in the loosest possible sense of course). Tasj has come a long way with five balls but was very disheartened to see Ed consistently bettering her runs in the corner. Dave K & I kicked clubs at each other (far more fun than passing) we had a beautiful moment where I threw a club over my shoulder knocked it up with my heel sending it sailing as a perfect flat across the width of the hall into Dave's hand. Wootastic. Dave had a go at walking on stilts to find out how the rest of us see the world. Gladiators was fun, & well played by many players. I feel fully confident in entering Luke's team combat league as a one man team at the BJC in Derby. My foray into unicycle gladiators showed a superb display of stealth matched by a superbly poor display of balance. The darts team had an away game, which sadly meant there were no free sandwiches to be consumed. This meant that the pub was barely smokey at all*. Which was Nice. Claire turned up with (gi)Ant who knew that the Gills were playing someone beginning with 'w' at home, a week on Saturday. This is not a good thing apparently; perhaps the results of the matches at Priestfield are based on some alphabetical ascendency. 2DTV was on the telly; Bryn had already seen the episode showing, but still enjoyed it. Tasj & Claire went to the loo together for quite some time prompting smutty talk from some of the older & less wise members of the throng.

* the smoke is normally emitted by the darts players, not by the sandwiches.

Thankyou to Dave K for supplementing my efforts


Erm... left it too long to remember.


This week I set a challenge to the TWJC members to each supply a sentance for this weeks entry, the result is as good as could be expected I suppose

Once again TWJC was filled with lovely people throwing, chatting, dancing & generally enjoying life to its fullist. Amazing acts where performed & applauded by all, one such magical moment was when Bryn & Jon passed seven (yes seven!!) clubs between each other with such style & grace one could only wonder if supernatural forces were helping. Tasj grabbed Dave's nipples. Beth squealed whilst pirouetting on her unicycle. Jon brought his unicycle a little closer to TWJC but left it in the car... maybe next week. Andrew made excellent chocolate cake. Dave M. managed to get a few revolutions on his uni with the help of Tim. The darts team had a home game; there was smoke and chicken legs...and curly fries!


Not long now until the BJC! Everyone seems to be almost ready to start thinking about getting prepared. Andrew was proudly displaying his customised juggling kitbag which he has decorated with LEDs which flash & fade in various pretty patterns. We were joined for the first time by John who is a really nice guy apart from the fact that he juggles with radical fish. Mitch learnt how to kick up a club very quickly indeed after a few pointers from myself. Unfortunately he also managed to knock Jenny square on the head with one attempt. An awful accident but strangely entertaining all the same. We were all extremely impressed with the acrobatics of Allessandra, who is visiting from Italy. Forward & back ward flips, one handed cart wheels, backward walk overs & the splits all executed very nicely. She even inspired a handstand endurance event which we haven't done for a long while. No one was particularly surprised when she won. Later in the evening after singing along to various 80's disco hits things got really silly. Anyone up late in Tunbridge Wells may have caught glimpse of a sprint race between the traffic lights at either end of Camden Road between a bald man, an Amish man & a dwarf. 'Tom Cruise' won.

15-Apr-2004 to 18-Apr-2004

BJC2004, Derby


After the dark juggling tent at the British Juggling Convention I was really looking forward to having a juggle in our lovely well lit juggling hall. Oh the joys of being able to throw a quad & not lose your club. There were lots of BJC2004 T-shirts to be seen but only Kevin actually remembered to bring his pass along. Dave K. & I had a pretty good bash with throwing tomahawks from each hand like the LaSalle Brothers. Nowhere near ready for ultimates yet, but throwing them in three count was looking good. Dave L. joined us for some three count feeding while running the 'wrong' way which we worked out at the BJC... but had to work it out again because we couldn't remember how it worked. After that we tried a ten club pattern. The feeder passes ultimates, with each hand passing to one of the two feedees. The feedees both juggle 2 count, one passing with their left hand & one with their right so that there are two five club shower patterns. For each of the feedees it feels a little like seven on singles, but is a lot slower. I don't think it would be that much harder to do 12 clubs in this way. It is not true that Holly, Polly & Tabby are never mentioned in my diary write ups, as proven by this sentance. Enthusiasm was renewed for gladiators this evening & being pregnant was by no means a get-out-of-jail-free card. Not to me at least. I think we should start a league table - I won four times so clearly I'm at the top.


Heath & Jason popped in for the first time to meet up with some fellow unicyclists. For a self proclaimed beginner Heath certainly took to Andrew's 28" pretty easily. Far more than Dave K it would seem who was careering around with wild abandon. At one point he sped through a 3 count pattern while covering his head expecting to get hit, thanks largely to the skill of Bryn & myself he made it through unscathed though. Dave M played around with the diabolo for a bit. He managed to get the Throwing & catching sorted pretty quickly so I told him to do a pirouette under the throw. This lead to the usual throw-start shuffling round-drop-finish shuffling round, so I showed him how to spin on one foot. On his first attempt he performed a pretty much perfect spin & catch which impressed the few people who were watching. Those that were really paying attention though would have noticed that he was still looking up when the diabolo was back down on his string. I got in trouble with Tabby for continually calling her Tabitha on the website (I can't help it if that's your name!) & I have been forced to do a search & replace throughout the site. I was also bombarded with lists of their achievements that I was supposed to write up. The only one of which that I can remember is that over the course of the evening Holly learnt to juggle four balls, which I have to admit is very impressive.

Good Luck Bryn!

This evening was also important in that it marked Bryn's last TWJC meeting as he moves on to pastures new. All the best Bryn, you will be missed & of course always welcome back!


Pretty much everyone was whizzing around on unicycles tonight. Tabby made good progress & Holly was able to ride the length of the hall while juggling. Even I got my act together & bothered to bring my machine along for a ride. It has been quite some time since I last used it but somehow I am now able to hover on the 'wrong' foot pretty comfortably. Kevin was freemounting into riding his unibike with the saddle wedged beside his hip & Steve was riding around with one foot. Kevin brought along a ballooon (pink, naturally) for us to have a go at trying to emulate Jay Gilligan's performance at the BJC in Derby. In particular keeping a balloon afloat by bouncing it off the top of a cascade. Jay made it look so easy but I spent ages throwing a ball up to completely miss the balloon or catapult it off sideways. In the end I managed a pitifully low 4 successful bounces. At the end of the night Beth tried to burst it by bunnyhopping her unicycle onto it.


Dave K & I are the masters of eight club passing now. Well almost, Dave set a target of 20 passes which I thought was a pretty tall order but we came so close so many times. Edward is getting seriously good with five balls now, we really should play more games of five ball endurance. Unicycling still reigns supreme as the most popular actvity at TWJC at the moment. Holly was riding around while jugling three balls with apparent ease. We had some ferociously well fought games of uni gladiators this evening. Someone drew blood from my forearm during one of the rounds. I managed to win the first game but was unfairly picked on in the second. It was fantastic fun. Sadly though I was only capable of competing in the first two games, I felt physically sick from the exertion afterwards. Sorry Holly, Polly & Tabby - you've missed the deadline again!


Kevin & Andrew put up our big tightrope rig out in the market square for a photoshoot. This tight rope rig is now for sale. Dave L. threw a few tomahawks at me while we passed seven clubs on doubles. I spent some time trying to turn controllably while riding backwards on my unicycle with quite a bit of success. Dave K. & I played with passing six clubs on 2-count which we don't usually do. We started off playing around with changing sides by doing two passes of ultimates whenever someone shouted 'change', then we started changing after a set number of passes, then we started changing the number we changed on by counting up to 4 & back down. Passing on the numbers the count went: 1, 1, self, 2, 1, self, 2, self, 3, 1, self, 2, self, 3, self, 4, 1, self, 2, self, 3, 1, self, 2, 1 & so on. In reality the count tended to be punctuated with expletives.


A lot of us spent most of the night out in the market square, listening to the aerobics class' music & the instructor's scary motivational interjections. Dave K & I managed 19 passes with eight clubs three times (in spite of me clonking myself round the head with my own clubs during an up down go) but still didn't manage to break the magic 20 barrier. Holly & Polly played around on the club's new stilts which were very kindly donated by Nick & Booj. Young Callum managed to perfect the Frankie Detori unicycle dismount while dad Heath was resting his injured knee. We managed to coax Andrew into a rare bit of club passing in a running 'N' feed kind of way. Dave K strangely kept trying to run while he was feeding. We were crowded out of our usual after TWJC watering hole so we ended up playing around with a few pub tricks & critiqing the interesting photos around the walls of Bar Incognito instead (took us ages to find, tee hee woo hoo).


Dave K. & I managed 20 passes with eight clubs! We were scrappy & inconsistent but had many good runs ending in what seemed like a feature length pattern. Afterwards we ran around the hall making idiots of oursleves in celebration. Then I couldn't really do anything for the rest of the night because my wrist was killing me. But lo & behold I ended up doing some more juggling in the form of some feeding patterns with the Daves & Bob to finish myself off. This morning I couldn't actually hold my toothbrush in my right hand & had to clean my teeth left handed. When I say I can't pass anymore I MEAN I CAN'T PASS ANYMORE! Bad news: the price of the hall is going up again. Good news: Dave L. will now be coming down more regularly having moved back to Tunbridge Wells this week, hurrah! Maybe we'll have some more little videos on this site, just as.soon as I can work out how to rewind his digital camera.


I did lots more 8 club passing with Dave K. It really feels like it is falling into place now, neither of us are having to move our feet & the rhythm is pretty much spot on. One of our biggest stumbling blocks now is simply getting over excited when approaching our target number of throws. It was another highly productive practise session, undoubtedly because I had a Change of T-shirt™. Kevin was getting on well with juggling three clubs while balancing a fourth on his chin. Despite the best efforts of Parcel Force we finally got hold of our new walking globe & Holly now has a lovely new red Ringmaster for her birthday. Dave K. also got on very well with five balls despite how little he actually practises the pattern. Much fun was had up the pub, mostly at the expense of the ever persistent raffle ticket salesman, we managed to barter him down from £1 to 20p for a strip (& that was paid for by a syndicate comprising of Wendy & myself). A combination of hay fever & general silliness saw the group enact an episode of Country Matters out of which was born the idea of a Tourettesican wave.


Lots of numbers juggling going on at the moment, Ed & Dave K were working hard on their five balls, John was doing very well with five clubs & seven balls & I managed to get 4 catches with six clubs. Holly was enjoying riding around on her birthday present (we didn't give her the bumps!) Not much else to say really - proof positive that numbers juggling is boring.


Strange things were afoot at TWJC, at one point it seemed that new visitors seemed to vastly outnumber the regulars. Top stuff! Most of them seemed to have found their way to TWJC via this website yet I am still waiting for my commission. Simon has been juggling for a little over 3 weeks & immediately started working on kickups when he got in (I really must get around to writing some more tutorials - people ask me how to do kickups more than anything else I think). We had a couple of girls down from Biggin Hill looking to better their skills (apologies for not remembering any more names, I am useless. The only reason I can remember Simon's name is because I have an email from him) & new Steve brought along some friends who enjoyed looking silly on the snakeboard. Juggling wise I can't remember much of what happened. Bob liked my Penguin Mill's Mess, but I'm sure I never used to drop so much when juggling three balls. While up the pub Tim & I managed to finally finish off the EPIC chess game that made us late for Dave K's birthday drinking. I think Tim was adversely affected by the presence of beer.


A couple more new people dropped in this week, namely Gary & Sam looking to learn a few more tricks. Simon was happily kicking up his clubs this week, John just read his paper & Tasj bounced up & down on the trampoline (they don't have one up in Edinburgh). Dave K & I managed to hit our eight club passing target within three attempts prompting us to go straight for nine clubs. This seemed surprisingly doable but the best we could manage was a mere three successful passes. Kevin was contacted earlier in the week by an agent needing some five ball jugglers for an advert so myself, John & Kevin were all photographed so the agent can judge our suitability.


Several of us went to see Bill Bailey perform to a sell out audience at the Assembly Halls theatre. He was absolutely soup herb & I was in stitches for the whole show. There are only a few dates left on the tour but catch him if you can. Jah, das hokey cokey.


Hmm, didn't go this week.


They're STILL working on the hall! So we were relegated to juggling in the market square which given the weather was not a bad thing. More 8 club passing between Dave K. & I - getting boringly easy now! I juggled with newbie Paul who dropped in who was a very good solo ball juggler. He wanted to try Mills Mess passing, Tasj didn't feel up to it so she asked me to give it a go despite never actually having done it before either. I suggested the normal 3 count pattern making all under arm throws as passes which worked sort of ok. Then Paul suggested a 6 count pattern making the crossed arm throw from the hand on top as the pass. This was so simple but looked & felt much better. Very nice indeed.

25-Jul-2004 to 1-Aug-2004

27th European Juggling Convention, Carvin


Many congratulations to Dave & Helen who gave birth to Samual David Leech today weighing in at 7lb 5oz!


Back from the EJC with a newly renewed vigour for juggling I spent most of the night playing with 5 clubs working on starting from a kickup (not while running 4 yet) & starting & stopping from/with scissor catches as well. I really have got so much to learn. While I've been away Anna has made a lot of progress on the unicycle, Simon still swings poi & John still brings a paper along to read. We have had 7000 very nice looking flyers printed up thanks to a Council grant for renewed handing out type activities (oops better update this site a bit). Beth had a spectacular coming together with the walking globe while riding the snake board. Simon almost did Kevin (acting as support staff) a mischief while attempting to balance the freestanding ladder on his chin. Oh well better get on & write about the EJC then...


Kevin teased us that he has received his BJC2004 DVD this week. A small team from the Kent Messenger popped in & conducted some pretty in depth interviews & took loads of photographs for a feature in the paper. Shame that the visit coincided with an almost complete lack of juggling ability on my part. Both Dave & Helen & Simon & Laura brought along their new babies prompting much cooing from the girls. All the parents seemed very pleased to be out of their houses for a bit! John read his paper. Dave K. & I beat Simon into submission by showing him some of the take out maneouvres we learnt at the recent European Juggling Convention as well as adding in a few er... 'unique' hat moves of our own.

14-Aug-2004 to 15-Aug-2004

Crawley Circus Festival 2004


Danny & Catherine were down visiting from Bristol & brought along their sprogs Jenny & Charlie to TWJC this evening (if only they could've visited last week - I would have had a full set). Andrew, Anna & I found out that Simon had also popped along to Crawley on the Saturday, but we mananged to miss him the entire time that he was there. John on the other hand did make contact, but decided not to let us know - intraclub communication at its finest. I showed a few people a move where I throw a Slam directly into an Elbow catch which learnt in the juggling playing cards workshop. No one was particularly impressed but I think it is a great move. There was a lot of flinging of yo yos about after Andrew bought one at the Crawley festival at the weekend after being inspired by the likes of Arron Sparks, Ste3void & Raphael. Dave K was a little upset at first to learn that not only had I been unfaithful to him at the weekend & passed with another man, that I had also beaten our 8 & 9 club passing records with said person. He eventually came round though & we got jiggy with the numbers passing once more. I might have to get him some flowers or chocolates as well.


It was a quiet night this evening. Most people just forgot to turn up which is a lot worse than forgetting to bring along a DVD regardless of how many times that person was reminded to do so. I did some seven club passing with Bob on doubles, before starting one run he made the mistake of saying, "If they are short/wide/underspun just shout out..." The first pass was low, short, wide & underspun, I was unable to decide what to say before the second pass came in. In the end I simply burst out laughing. I also joined Andrew for a bit of club bouncing which made me wonder if juggling club manufacturers pay performers to include club bouncing tricks in their routines? I showed a new guy (whose name escapes me, sorry!) a few diabolo moves shortly before he made his own diabolo disintegrate. Which was nothing to do with me.


I had a play with putting backcrosses into chops with three clubs which was interesting. My usual chop with a club goes from pointing the body out to the side down to pointing just past my opposite foot. For this trick though I had to chop even further round to allow myself enough space to swing a backcross. It was Simon's birthday & he kindly brought in a selection of cookies & muffins for us to munch on. We even tried to give him the bumps & even got as far as 3 before Kevin lost his grip & Simon was propelled into the air. Dave K & I took to trying various seven club passing patterns while standing on chairs to make things more interesting. It forces you to be that little bit more accurate with you passes because if your partner has to lunge then obviously that is pretty much it for that run. Then Bob joined us for some three count feeding on chairs which was especially interesting when it came to running to the other side of the pattern.


My wrist was playing up again so I only really practised 3 ball 8040 & 4 balls in my left hand. The hall was a lot more lively with the return of Holly, Polly & Tabby from their holidays. Simon was playing around with his new digital camera & took several blows to the head for the sake of his art. Dave K. & I played with trying to kick up a club into a foot balance which is extremely difficult. Anna is doing very well on the unicycle but is having great difficulty with turning right (remember kids supporting walls - just say 'no!') so much of the club assembled to help waft her on course.


This week's TWJC meeting was far too smutty to be recorded. I blame Dave K. Dave K. blames me. In truth it was all started by Holly, Polly & Tabby's party games. But Woo for TWJC's 12th birthday!


I spent the first part of the evening restringing all of the clubs diabolo handsticks, with the help of Andrew & Anna. & what an industrious team we made. After that I got to play with my fire devilstick for the first time since I bought some two years ago. It took a bit of getting used to, it is much heavier than my regular sticks & the flames licking up the stick do get very close to your hands. It was very cool though, just doing a simple propellor makes a great sound. Kevin also had a go & squealed much more than I did. Beth was practising running jumps off of the trampoline onto the walking globe. The Daves were throwing 8 clubs between themselves really well all the while Simon wasn't pointing his camera at them. Bob was unwittingly made to do gnome impressions for the amusement of Helen & myself.


Blimey, where was everyone? Just 8 people this week as more & more people go back to university. It was even more sparce after Dave saw off Hewie, Dewie & Spewie. Left lots of room for snakeboarding though. I'm still not juggling so everyone else passed around me although I did do a little diabolo passing with Simon. There was a brief rope spinning epidemic which quickly gave way to a, "Let's go to the pub!"


We had a much better attendance this week. Tall Simon has now finished university (Oxford - ooh get you! :P) so we should hopefully see some more of him. He was happily throwing some nice siteswaps with 4 & 5 balls. Alice was joined by her friend Sophie who has apparently learnt a lot of three ball stuff in a short period of time. I'm still trying to rest my juggling injury so I just stuck to a little club bouncing (trying to do two at a time), ball juggling & snakeboarding. Pete was gathering sponsors for the upcoming firewalk in aid of the Hospice in the Weald. That along with Dave K doing the New York Marathon for the same cause I owe them a small fortune.


What is so shocking about me wearing jeans? Dave & Helen brought baby Sam out again for the evening prompting some quite disturbing talk about baby bending & there was also mention of the truly frightening notion of leaving a child in the care of Holly, Polly & Tabby. John returned after finishing his mortgage advisory exams. He still juggles with radical fish. We learnt that Sophie's nickname is Tramp. Kevin has sent off his registration for BJC 2005 - I must sort mine out as well. Pete was doing some nice arm curls with a basket ball, Simon was doing well with 4 clubs & I rediscovered the joys of hat juggling. Simon entertained myself, Bob & Alice with some diaboloing. Bob pointed out to Alice that one of the tricks Simon did was a suicide, Alice replied, "But he carries on afterwards so it's not really a suicide, more like a cry for help."

Any photos of me holding a baby that turn up are blatant fakes. All of them.


Thanks to Dave we held a micro Jean Michelle Jarre concert, using all of one LED torch in the dark. I don't think I could have been any more unhelpful to Arthur. He asked if he could learn to juggle so I handed him a flyer for TWJC, he then asked me to teach him & we finally got started. Zoe also asked me to help her with * waves arms about in a Mills Mess way *, so I stood behind her, held her arms & waved them about in a mills mess way. During a lazy sit down on chairs & chat period a few of us started passing a ball around the circle using only our feet. Dave K then had the idea of positioning the chairs back to back & passing over the head (still using only our feet). On our first attempt I leant forward then quickly lunged back to help launch my ball. I still don't know whether or not I managed to actually throw the ball any where because I cracked the back of my head against Dave's. Oops.


Wow, all of ten people bothered to show up! Pete showed me some fairly gruesome pictures from a book called Between a rock & a hard place, the story of a man who had to amputate his own arm after getting trapped in a canyon then walk six miles before being rescued. Scary stuff. Still I had plenty of room & I decided to have a go at 97531. I don't know what all the fuss is about really I managed a single round from a cold start on my sixth attempt. Launching from a running cascade was a lot trickier but even so, over the course of about an hour I managed to do one round from & back into a running pattern twice.


It was an interesting night this week despite a terrifying moment when I was literally surrounded by poi swingers. Holly proudly showed off her new belly button piercing but complained that it made unicycling a bit painful when turning sharply. Tim turned up followed by a BBC film crew, something to do with his employment status apparently. They filmed around us while we juggled. Inevitably, when they stopped filming I juggled better. Seeing as Dave will soon be jetting off for the US for a while to run in the New York marathon I gave in to a bit of club passing. We did some nice doubly pirouetty stuff in 3 count, then we moved onto some viciously fast seven singles runs, two runs of eight that were far too solid to be believable before juggling some popcorn patterns that were far too high to be remotely manageable. Bob then joined us for some drop infested runarounds. After all that passing I was reminded why I had stopped juggling clubs.

Good luck to Dave in New York, & also to Pete & Kevin who will be doing another firewalk later in the week.


Kevin & Pete both made it through the firewalk ok & Dave K managed to finish the New York Marathon despite having his knee give out after 16 miles, so well done to all. Kevin had brought along some very cool photos taken by the Kent Messenger people back in August. Sophie fell off (or spectacularly dismounted) the walking globe, luckily though she was wearing full body armour so escaped unharmed. I was wearing my Camden Centre camouflage T-shirt which according to Alice made me look like a disembodied floating head from a distance. Bob tried to beat the concept of feeding into Simon by force. John suggested levying a poi tax to help raise funds for the club. I can't believe I didn't think of that myself.


Dave L also managed to sneak out while the baby was asleep this week meaning I have to remember to use L & K to distinguish between Daves. I have totally lost my ability to juggle five clubs. I haven't touched five since August (because clubs are bad), but tonight Simon was starting on his first flashes of the pattern & asked me how high he should be throwing, so I thought a quick demo couldn't hurt. It took me a dozen attempts to do a qualifying run. It took a lot of will power to resist the temptation to keep practising with the clubs. Dave K was back from New York to show off his finisher's medal & here's a photo of our man crossing the line, Dave is the one decked out in the Union flag gear. I took along my cigar boxes for the first time probably since I bought them 5 odd years ago. We had fun trying to kick them up off the floor & catch them between our knees & such like, Dave K also showed me some nice balancy stuff to work on.


The girls were doing a lot of finger nail painting (in the dark strangely). After Sophie emerged & displayed her gallery of digits to us I was quite concerned how Kevin just took off his shoe & showed off his decorated toe nails. Tim brought along his film crew to film us chatting with him about his progress at his latest job location. The BBC have given Tim a hair cut & made him shave his beard off. Poor lad. Most of us were interviewed but a lot of the time the interviews tended to end up with, "Could you say this please". Regrettably I forgot that I had 2 different colour spare T-shirts in my bag which I could have utilised to cause a little continuity mayhem. Young Arthur pleasantly surprised me with being possibly the youngest person to ask me how to do something, then listen to what I had to say & actually do exactly what I said! Dave, Bob & I all attempted some two person siamese cigar boxing tricks which proved very difficult. In club passing all you really have to do is get the timing right but with a cigar box move you have to get the timing, position & the amount of force you apply just right. I'd also like to point out to Alice that yet again I was right, sharks do not have scales.


Sigh. No parking spaces because of the late night shopping & all the ATMs in the precinct "temporarily out of money" - must be Christmas time then. I decided to untangle the hair from the snakeboard after I found myself sprinting across the hall to avoid falling over when the front wheels seized up. Kevin & I greatly enjoyed watching Holly's er... 'modern' poi dancing but she stopped when she realised we were watching. Dave K. & Kevin tried the transferring a spinning ball from finger to finger trick whilst at speed. Kevin span the ball & held it out for Dave to try & steal while hurtling past on the snakeboard. It probably goes without saying that it never worked once. Dave K. also showed us how versatile Charlie Dancey's Encyclopaedia of ball juggling is by transferring his tray spinning skills onto the nicely shaped & weighted juggling book. I had a go with the Compendium of Club Juggling but apparrently it only works with the encyclopaedia.


Here's a tricky one: get two balls & place them on the floor, roll one onto your foot & hold it there. Then try rolling the other ball onto the other foot. If you can get that far try walking. It is extremely difficult but as Beth pointed out - it is oh so visually impressive & well worth the effort. John spent a lot of time in the corner fervently practising five clubs & getting on really well (glad someone is rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb...), Simon is still working on two diabolos & Beth was doing her usual ridiculous stunts on her unicycle & the walking globe. I was in a really negative mood so I just wandered round proclaiming how rubbish & pointless everything was. I hadn't done this for quite some time & I had forgotten how good I am at it.


Sigh, I gave in & did a bit of club passing. But I think I'll be ok, working on strengthening the wrist seems to have paid off I think. However, it certainly has not helped my passing improve at all. I maintain that clubs are bad, mmkay.Attendance was up this week thanks to a few of our wandering minstrels returning home for Christmas. Andrew has returned with an improved ability to juggle seven balls, Anna is now able to turn on her unicycle & Beth has returned with a natural hair colour. Anna even brought a newbie with her who possessed easily the hardest, lumpiest & most uncomfortable beanbags I have ever experienced.


After last week's dismal failure I had another go at rolling a ball on to each foot & trying to walk around & I managed it first go! Strangely everyone else could do it too, I think a lot of people have been secretly practising. A game of gladiators quickly degenerated into just stamping on people's feet. Dave K. & I had a final fling for the year, I think that with pretty much every pattern we tried the first run was the best. We also did some more club kicking which never fails to be amusing. Dave was kicking up with controlled single spins before making the kick whereas I preferred to kick up a double then go for the full Johnny Wilkinson conversion. We had a few games of gladiators, a very enjoyable great balloon hunt & a very confusing game of Mau (Mao, Meow?). At the end of the night I was left thinking that not inflicting a show on everyone this year was a brilliant idea. It is so much better to put the emphasis on chocolate instead. Bob made a batch of his very tasty (& potent) homemade liqueurs, Andrew provided the chocolate slab cake & I provided the LIHMs. I don't think anyone left the Camden Centre not feeling a little sick.

Right, that's your lot. I think 5 year's worth of repetitive diary entries is more than enough. I won't be continuing in 2005.