Lestival, the first

Saturday was, in addition to not being the longest day, the first Leicester Juggling Convention: Lestival!

After being woken up at half five by someone else’s alarm, it was a case of pottering around and waiting for Susannah and Guy who arrived at a much more reasonable nine o’clock. Dump stuff in car (and decide that 30m was too far to go back for my snakeboard) and off through the winding streets and back roads towards The NORTH (some motorways were harmed in the making of the journey). General chat and horror at both petrol and sandwich prices meant that we got to the convention about half eleven (isn’t sat-nav great, I’d completely failed to write down the name of the venue and there weren’t any signs, so it’s a good job the postcode pretty much worked).

We were greeted by the family Peat, took our choice of tile, paid the usual raffle ticket tax and then had time to marvel at the sheer size of the atrium. It was big, it was wide, long, and three storey tall. Being a new school (it has already been open a year, not that you could tell from the outside) it was still a lovely bright white (so no need for quite that many rings, Parit) with a bobbly red floor. Oh, and that was just the atrium, there was also a sunken area used later for the games and which cunningly concealed a raised stage (no, we really couldn’t see that last cigar box, Jay). There was also a sports hall on the first floor with acres of space and no jugglers ’cause it was so damn good downstairs.

The pièce de résistance, however, was the kiosk. Tea, coffee, juice, baguettes, a variety of Indian savouries, doughnuts, fruit (I got the be awkward by ordering both melon and strawberries at different points of the day). If there had only been hot food I wouldn’t have gone to the chippy for dinner (though the chippy was good, particularly the pineapple fritter).

The usual things that happen at conventions happened: I managed to put off juggling for as long as possible by occasionally picking up some clubs which prompted people to come over and chat, or going to chat to them; games were played (both juggling and non, I was involved with neither, well except Set and didn’t last long in that); natters were had, etc. I actually went to a workshop, related to juggling, which is a rare event these days: Alby & Clurb’s beginning 7 clubs. It is not often that I get a chance to pass clubs these days, and I’d rather like to get better at 7, so this was great. A bit of 6 club 3-count and pass-pass-self to warm up, then 7 club 2-count on doubles AND singles, and a bit of ultimates (though not with Alby, who to be fair, I’ve never juggled with before). I’d like to thank Ed for the excellent holding together of the other end, to the extent that I considered throwing tricks in 2-count on doubles, and with whom 2-count on singles actually worked (maybe one day I’ll work on transitioning between the two).

On top of all of this was the commenting on Tom’s latest hair experiment, and Sarah’s new permanent marking (I didn’t even say a word); trying to persuade other people to run a British; being repelled by a baby; relocating an ice-cream maker; leaving my Sigg bottle *somewhere* along with two of the raffle tickets I’d put in my shoe (they’re probably not in the same place); going over personal issues repeatedly (maybe I’ll get some cards made up indicating the latest status); playing snakeboard line tig until my legs hurt; inspiring gadget envy; and being amused by text messages.

The sunken hall was transformed into the show venue, with aforementioned raised stage and slotted together seating (review later). Didn’t win anything in the raffle, which is probably a good thing as I’m trying to clear out a load of crap. Made a quickish exit and bombed back down the motorway and home, via finding out that you can’t do a three-point turn at the end of Guy’s road and at gone midnight, having been awake for almost 19 hours, it’s much easier to get someone else to un-stick your car and stop annoying the neighbours. It’s also much easier to park your car in a nice big space round the corner from your house than trying to parallel park around drunken revellers, then move it in the morning.

Photos at http://www.fakoriginal.com/fak’s_fotos/Lestival_2008/index.html

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