Being Spoon Fed by a Clown?!

Yes. Yes, the title of this post actually happened.

It’s another Disneyland storytime, so buckle yourselves in kids, but if you’re not into the Disney magic, don’t worry. This story isn’t about Disney magic. It’s about my own personal mortification. I try to avoid audience participation at all costs, but this time… it didn’t work. Here’s how it went down.

INT – BUFFALO BILL’S WILD WEST SHOW – EVENING:

Bufflo Bills. It’s dinner and a show, cowboys and indians style. I was super excited. You get to sing at the saloon, are gifted a cowboy hat with a coloured band that indicates the team you are on, then off you go into the arena. You sit down at long, wooden benches with plates that look like mess tins and skillets, reminiscent of the cowboys cookouts of the John Ford era. Before you is a great cloth, an ode to the famous sights of the spaghetti westerns, such as Monument Valley and Ghost ranch.

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Chowing down on chilli and corn bread, gunshots are fired and out gallop the cowboys on horse back, dressed to the nines, carrying the flags for each team. After performing an impressive dressage routine they set up camp, the stage coaches following on. There’s some lassoing, slap stick fighting and gun slinging before sheriff Mickey and friends make an appearance for a sing song.

After a main course of a true cowboy BBQ, the Indians arrive, dancing with fire, crowing and rounding up a heard of buffalo. The story continues, with appearances from Buffalo Bill himself and Annie Oakley, the sharpest shooter in the west, putting out candles with a gun shot whilst on horse back.

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But where are the clowns you ask? Well they’re coming. Once dessert is served, apple crumble and ice cream, the teams get their mascots and you’re now part of the game… the mascots being a clown type, hype man, dressed in the colours of each “ranch”. Each team, or ranch, have two cowboys and two indians, who all compete in several events in order to score points. Lassoing, saving their partner by helping them onto a moving horse and delivering the post through an assault course, starting on foot, riding half way through and then back on foot. Whilst all this is happening, the clowns are running around in the stands generally crack jokes, being silly and interacting with you. My friend and I had the misfortune of laughing at the wrong joke… we were now the targets. He made it his mission to drag me down with him.

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Let me tell you two facts that will make this tale either more horrifying or more entertaining. A) I suffer incredible feats of social awkwardness around new people, causing bouts of word vomit, sweaty palms and clamming up completely. I have been known to hide on occasion. B) I really, really don’t like clowns. I actively avoid them. Once there was a clown where I worked. He came within five feet of me and I ran away. They found me cowering behind a trolley of dirty crockery.

Now, at first, he was just coming up to me, cracking jokes, teasing, as these kind of characters do. He followed this by crawling along the floor behind my table and jumping up on me, screaming in my face. I nearly shat myself but ha-ha-ha very funny clown man. Then he stole my dessert and walked off with it. Alright, I can deal. I was kinda miffed because I was enjoying my vanilla ice cream shaped like a star. I tried playing along to ease how awkward I felt. He didn’t get it. He decided to spoon feed it to me, including aeroplane noises. He then proceeded to wipe my face with a sock. I’m guessing it probs wasn’t a clean sock. Not that it had been worn, but I work with costumes, I know that a sock tied onto his belt probably wasn’t changed out every show and I’m hoping guessing I wasn’t the first person he had done this too. Buffalo Bills is two shows a day, seven days a week jobby.

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“Kill me now” was the precise thoughts running through my mind. You know there’s always that one person that gets picked on at events like this… that one person was now me. The people I was with were cry-laughing. Never, in three years of going to this dinner/show, had they ever had someone be picked on in their group. Why me too? WHY ME? WHY NOT MY FRIEND? She laughed too! I’m so awkward, I just didn’t know what to do or where to look. I know it was all in good fun, so I played along, but inside I wanted a black hole to open up and swallow me. God. Plus, if I wasn’t mortified enough, he gave me a little wink and a wave during the bows. Please, punch me in the face. Knock me out for a few hours so I can forget.

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Well, at least it was a good laugh for everyone around me and it’s a story to tell. Nobody died, just a tiny piece of my soul.

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Being a Mug in Disney.

Alright alright, so I wasn’t actually being a mug, I just felt like a mug.

Little, old, socially awkward me, who is almost 25 in reality but five mentally. I mean, are we surprised that I get myself into these situations? Aside from waving at Aladdin so over enthusiastically that he actually looked a little confused at first and screaming at a parade louder than the group of toddlers standing in front of me, I got a bit clammy and needed a nervous wee whenever I met a character.

Of course I wanted to meet the Goddamn characters. Of course I did! It’s not all about spinning tea cups and rollercoasters that flip upside down so fast they make you do a little sick in your mouth.

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Out of the fair few character interactions we had whilst in the park, some were fab (Minnie & Mickey) and some were really odd (being spoon fed by a clown… long story.) However, my favourite by far was Peter Pan and Wendy… well, Peter Pan. I was in it for the flying, ginger. Peter does a meet and greet in Adventureland between 11am and 2pm every day. When we first stumbled upon it, the queue was about 40 minutes long. Safe to say I was given a stern look by my pals, that said, “mate, come on. No.” BUT, on our way back from exploring Davy Jones’ Locker and the rope bridges, the queue was only about 15 minutes. JACKPOT. So we queued.

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At first I was all like, “nah, I’m going up there on my own. Gonna have a chat, have a pic, I’m just gonna do this by myself.” As we got halfway through the queue, my attitude had turned to, “you’re coming up there with me right? I don’t want to go on my own.” By the time I was about three people away I had gone into nervous sweats and “you go first” mode. When we were up next I had gone completely silent and refused to speak. I don’t know why. It’s kinda like when I try to phone the pizza man (FYI I don’t, I get nervous.) It’s like the best friend who you call upon to comfort you and deliver some sort of magic into your life… whether that’s Neverland or a large margarita. Then you see them in real life and its like, ‘umm, hi. So kinda there in front of me and real. I have nothing to say to you.’

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So up we went, me subtly shoving my elbow into my friend’s kidney to get her to lead the way, mainly so I could hide behind her. I had no idea what to say and that made me even more nervous. That was until half way through the encounter, that’s when I came down with a case of word vomit. I suddenly decided to announce, very loudly, about two inches from his face, that “today we fought a pirate!”

Why?! Why did I say that? I had no other conversation planned. So obviously when both Peter and Wendy jumped on that because my chat was totes in context and the weirdo at the back had finally spoken up, yeah, I had no answers. Nothing. Nada. None.

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Luckily, they took pity and Wendy trotted off with my friend and I stood there with the Pan having a chat about how to defeat Captain Hook and he taught me how to snap like a crocodile to scare off the pirates… until he asked if I was also pirate because there was an “anchor on [my] shirt.”

Umm, soz. Did I just get accused of being the enemy? Of course, I stared at him with abject horror on my face. Only yesterday had I had my red feather in my hair and my thimble and acorn around my neck. A pirate?! That’s absurd! Then my friend straight up told him I was, most DEFINITELY, a pirate. Rude. Obviously, I became a “smelly pirate” and a was quizzed to see if I was truly a codfish. I played along, but was incredibly put out, as one can probably imagine. Being told you’re a pirate by Peter Pan, is up there with being told your baby is ugly 😑

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Alls well that ends well though, as it was decided by NeverVote that I, “seem like a nice pirate” and was allowed to be on team Lost Boy anyway. It was, however, my friends husband that was dubbed the real smelly pirate… and he accepted that title graciously, and then trotted off to find Jack Sparrow… sorry… CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow.

It felt like we spent an age with them, far longer than the few in front of us, nothing was forced or out of character on their part and, props to them, they a) dealt with my incredible feats of awkwardness with ease and b) spent ages standing about in 30 degree heat, covered head to toe in multiple layers of velour and didn’t show any visible signs of heat exhaustion.

BRAVO!

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It’s a Blue and Silver Affair.

Honestly, right now, everything is Disney. Since it was my first holiday in five years, and I’m a sucker for glitter and fairytales, Disney was where I set my sights. I just wanted to revel in the magic and forget the real world exists, and when forgetting about the real world the best place to go is somewhere that does it darnedest to create it’s very own world. Where traces of outside misery stop at the front gates.

Disneyland Paris are so ready for this special occasion. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris and the entire place is draped in silver and blue and a whole lot of pixie dust.

25TINK1CKCOnce you’ve adventured through the main entrance, beneath the Disneyland Hotel, you are greeted by backdrops of blue sequins, sporting silver, line drawn faces of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Pluto, fluttering in the breeze. In the centre sits this magical screen, made to replicate the others around the park that adorn the signs and lampposts. As Tinkerbell flicks her wand, the 25 turns into a sparkling sketch of Aurora’s castle, the same as the one that sits centre stage at the Paris resort. 25DLPCKCStepping out onto Main Street, the anniversary bandstand greets you, another blue and silver “25” disc adorning the front of it and Tinkerbell perched on the very top.  In every flower bed, a whole array of succulents, coloured metallic blue and silver, draw out patterns of stars and swirls. It’s a little mesmerising actually. There are so, SO many. Not only do they line the flower beds and fill the gaps in between barriers and in corners, they also make a nice base for the new, anniversary statues of Mickey and friends. FLOWERSCKCAs you make your way through to the castle huge flower beds, with the succulents positioned in giant contrasting stars surround mirrored stands, on top of which sit brand new, blue and silver (with a few accents of course) statues of a few of Disney’s most famous creations. Each also had an element that lit up; Mickey is presenting Minnie with a glowing diamond, Donald is giving Daisy a shining necklace, Goofy is throwing a luminous frisbee for Pluto and Tinkerbell (who seems to be championing the celebrations) is flaunting wings alight with pixie dust. M&MCASTLECKC

There is definitely a feeling of grandeur and celebration about the place, with blue swags, banners, bunting and stars coating every edge. New, special edition ears, pins and even princess dresses in the fabulous silver and blue. Even the deserts have 25th Anniversary wafers to go with them. There are certainly more things I could rant on and on about, but I think that will just have to wait for a future post otherwise this is definitely is in danger of turning into a full on essay, a magical essay, but an essay none the less!

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A Mouse in Trousers 🌟

So, I went MIA. Yeah, I know, but I lost the knack, I didn’t know what to write. I was struggling, trying to get to grips with new things that left me a little confused. I was getting caught up in the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘buts’. The glass was always half empty at best. I had to summon all the self confidence, all the sass and all the guts I could and just jump in. I’m usually very cautious. It can make me seriously awkward and shy, I’m so scared I’ll be a disappointment or do something wrong, that, at times, I don’t try.

But, to paraphrase my favourite character to ever be created, to fly you need a happy thought and it’s easy if you try.

So, I went and found some happiness in what many call the happiest place on earth… or at least one of them.

Yes, I upped sticks and went to visit the mouse in trousers: Mickey. I hopped on the Eurostar and headed straight for Disneyland Paris and honestly, I really needed the time away. I was with one of my closest friends, no internet, limited phone signal, days in the sun, in the world of Disney, where the scary, adulting things couldn’t touch me.

I hadn’t been away for five years and hadn’t been able to properly relax and enjoy myself in that time. I didn’t realise just how important this trip would be for me or my mental health. I just needed a break, a break from everything and Disney gave me that respite I was so desperately craving. It sounds silly but some of the things we did on that holiday, just meeting characters or wandering around the castle grounds, meant a lot more to me than some may give credit for. I actually managed to let go and feel the magic, something I haven’t been able to do in a long time.  Now, I feel more refreshed, like I can restart and try my best again. Sometimes we all need a little break.

Guys, be prepared for an onslaught of castles, characters, accessories and magic… because this is all I can talk about right now!

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London Calling| Super Slides & Smashed Tea Cups.

Oh London, as much malice as you can carry, you’re a bloody little charmer.

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We, we being me and my pals, had a fun day full of curiosity.

We stopped for lunch in a crammed Costa because they do cheese and Marmite toasties. They didn’t do cheese and Marmite toasties, they’d run out. Who even discovered the cheese and Marmite toastie? I mean, who had the brain wave to put those two things together and toast it? I can see the connections though. Y’know visualise the train of thought that lead to this strange sandwich. There’s weirder things in the world than cheese and Marmite I guess.

We started with a little bit of light edutainment. A little frolicking towards the end of Exhibition road, and for free may I add. Yes, we hit up the Science Museum. I used to be a boss at science. When I was about 12/13 years old, my school had me down at Ford Dunton building robots as part of a nationwide event, getting girls into engineering. There was only about ten of us from my school too. True story bro. I’ve still got the certificate.

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Anyway, we had a little gander. I got swept up in all the different exhibits. Ones about the body, about transportation and medicine through the years. However, there was no time for such frivolity. No, no, we don’t have time to look at old cars and Edward Jenner’s yeast water. No, we were on a mission to get to the “good bit”.

What do we want? Interactive exhibits! When do we want them? As soon as we find them because the building is so big and no one can stand still long enough to read a map.

We found it eventually. We found the “Wonderlab”. However, this, this is not free – it was £8. Yet, with our handy 2for1 vouchers we picked up at the station and what with one of us being a student, we paid just over £4 each. Honestly, a travel tip when using most overground train lines in the UK is that they often a) offer a discount on train tickets when 3 or more of you are traveling together and b) tend to have 2for1 brochures with a load of vouchers in them that you can just pick up.

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There was stuff. There were people doing stuff. There were people showing you how to do stuff. I was cornered by a person science-ing at me. I’m not very good at sudden social interaction. I wasn’t prepared for such an onslaught of cleverness. I kind of stood there like a potato and went “yeah”, “mhm”, “oh right”, “I dunno.” I did know. I knew most of it anyway, I just couldn’t get the words to travel from my brain to my mouth. Well done Kate, you absolute tit box. Then my pal wandered over and came out with all this delightful small talk and there I was, just derping next to her like the gherkins picked out of a Bigmac and left on the side waiting to be loved by a pickle enthusiast.

Highlights of this exhibit include: the ferrofluid, making paper aeroplanes, the photobooth the experimentation with shutter speed, a show about fire and blowing s**t up and the slides. I enjoyed the slides the most. I also enjoyed face planting the padded wall at the end of the polished, wooden slide. I felt like the most beautiful, little bowling ball. YAY SCIENCE!

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Then it was time for din-dins and a show. Pizza happened and too much dough was consumed to be legal. I was then rolled to The Vaults like Violet Beauregarde to see, or more so participate in, Alice’s Adventures Underground. Yes, that old chestnut (check out my previous trip down the rabbit hole with Les Enfants Terrible >> here <<)

With a team of 10 and a new and improved experience ahead, off we all went, gallivanting around Wonderland as part of the resistance. Re living the old and revelling in the new. A a run in with a jam tart, a tea party with a mad tart and a tonne of smashed up china cups (we had to cover one of my friends eyes when we saw the scene. She has crockery attachment issues.)

Once we had all enjoyed our fun and games it was off into the bar for a very aesthetically in keeping kilner-esque jar full of water, as I was sweating garlic butter from the cheesy bites at dinner, and a boogey to the Labyrinth soundtrack. You heard me. Labyrinth. Yes, they played Magic Dance and my God was it the best song of the night. They were playing absolute bangers and we danced amongst the dodo birds and drag queens. It was all so fabulous and I didn’t want to leave!

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Then I had to go home and didn’t have time for a wee. Luckily, Fenchurch street have free toilets. Free wees are the best wees.

Moral of the story: always read the map, don’t eat too many carbs before adventuring and if the opportunity for a free wee arises, take it.

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Fantastic Beasts of the Forbidden Forest.

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If you said Caput Draconis, we can be friends.

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I did it again. I went back. I might as well have a direct debit and reserved parking at the damn place. Ugh, just take my money. What can I say, once a die hard Potterhead, always a die hard Potterhead.

Yes, I went back to the Warner Bros Studio Tour London: the Making of Harry Potter. I had to, you see. They opened the Forbidden Forest exhibition AND they had some of the Fantastic Beasts bits there too and I just had to fangirl, ok?! I’m not even the tiniest bit embarrassed or apologetic for my actions.

What was that? Visiting four times is starting to get a little excessive? You think it’s a bit sad? Well says you good sir, SAYS YOU. Muggles back off.

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Now before we follow the spiders, please be aware that ahead lies SPOILERS for the studio tour. So if you’re planning on heading there any time soon, AVERT YOUR EYES! Unless you don’t care. Then read on my fellow magical folk.

For anyone who hasn’t been, the Harry Potter Studio Tour resides at Leavesden film studios in Watford, a working film studio where the Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts were filmed. Yep, if your maths is pretty good, you’ll realise that they were filming Fantastic Beasts as thousands of magical folk like me were wandering the cobbles of Diagon Alley, in the same place!

The tour is mainly comprised of three areas, or “lots” (I guess could also be described as retired studios/filming spaces.) The first ‘lot’ houses the majority of the sets including The Hogwarts Express, the Gryffindor Common Room, the Malfoy’s dining room and the Great Hall, amongst other things. The second ‘lot’ or the ‘Backlot’, which comes with it’s own cafe and Butterbeer stand, houses a few of the exterior sets and set pieces, such as Hagrid’s Motorbike and Number 4 Privet Drive. The final ‘lot’ showcases the props and special effects, focusing on the art and design work. Don’t worry, if you have been before, most of the pieces you know and love are still there and centre stage (the last room 😍.)

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The forbidden forest exhibit comes just before platform 9 3/4 and seems to take up a chunk of what was the green screen experience, which has also changed (goodbye Ford Anglia, hello wanted posters.) In this change up they have also added a few more interactive pieces in the first and last lot, such as the chance to control you’re broom like our favourite first years do in their first flying lesson and the opportunity to operate Dobby and see the stages of motion capture animation.

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Back to business; the Forbidden Forest. It’s short but sweet and they pack a lot of punch into a little bit of space and time. It’s an interactive experience for the most part, where you find yourself plunged into the surroundings of the creepy woods that line the edges of the castle. You might meet a few friendly creatures, be sure to keep an eye on the Hippogriff, and a few not so friendly ones. However, if you’re afraid of spiders, don’t follow the path into the woods (there is the option to skip the exhibit, don’t worry) or at least keep your eyes to the floor!

Honestly, if you’re a HP fan and able to go, take the Potterhead pilgrimage. It’s so worth it. Even if you’re just interested in any aspect of film making, they cover it all. Stunts, special effects, editing, set building, costume, make up, art and design, lighting, screenwriting, directing, adaptations, and so much more. I have an MUA friend who went, having never seen the films or read the books. She walked out with a box set of both. It is absolutely magical and so well done, there’s something packed into every corner and there’s no time limit. Once you’re past the first part, it’s entirely up to you how long you spend wandering through the halls of Hogwarts.

If you fancy a gander at a few more photos from the tour, the link to my last, incredibly picture heavy (because I was so overexcited) post is linked >>here<<. If you want to have a sneaky peek at the Christmas exhibit ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’, you can check out that post >>here<<.

Have a magical day!

Burgers on the Beach.

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My friend has been off gallivanting around South Africa for two months, having the time of his life and I just wanted to live vicariously through him and see all the photos… mainly the ones of the elephants, ngl. We decided lunch was in order so he could tell me all about his wine tasting at Richard Branson’s vineyard and climbing table mounting and trekking the desert to see the sun rise. I regaled him with stories of the time I actually climbed out of my hovel and encountered actual sunlight. What an adventure.

I am always up for trying new things and so he suggested that we try out a little Jamie Oliver number, Oliver’s on the BeachSet up by the Oliver family, this little cafe is right on the sea front… and I mean RIGHT on the sea front. Scoot it an inch further back and it would be on the sand.

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It’s a teeny, tiny little kiosk, which holds about eight or so tables. It’s friendly, cosy and the menu is so big for such a tiny place! At one point my pal leant over to me and whispered, “this is what frustrates me the most. I just don’t know how they make food like this in a kitchen that small!” These are the questions that keep him awake at night, obvs.

Everything seems to be hand selected, hand made and what they could, they sourced locally. Apaz theres the odd Naked Chef exclusive on there too… I dunno what, I just like good food, of which there was plenty and a wide variety at that. From sandwiches to full English Breakfasts and burgers to seafood. Plus, there was a specials board as long as your arm and desserts to boot.

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I decided to go for what I knew. A homemade burger it was… make that a cheeseburger. My friend was eyeing up some form of pie that was displayed stylishly on the counter, which we later found out was called ‘Paglesham Pie’. A sort of pork pie with egg, bacon, tomatoes and the like layered in there too. I have it on good word that it is, “so, so good and no you cannot have a bit, eat your burger.”

We followed that up with dessert, as it was agreed that if we didn’t have dessert there, we were going to walk about five feet and get an ice cream. I went for a banoffee pie and my friend, a coconut and lime panna cotta. Omnomnomnom. That’s all I can say. They were beautifully presented and super tasty.

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It wasn’t kitch or twee, but it was comfortable, modern and clean. The staff were wonderful and even though we had a short wait on our hands, the waitress took our details and said she would give us a call when there was a table available so we wouldn’t have to waste the sunshine. It was such a good system and, to be honest, we didn’t think we would get a table at all since it was a) lunchtime and b) a very popular little place. Just lucky I guess. Also, can I just say that four courses and four drinks came to about £19 each. Guys, we’ve found a right, old gem here, I’m telling you.

A beautiful location, looking out at the Thames, right on the beach, in sight of the pier, with good, honest comfort food and a few fancy pants dishes, fabulous vibes and a wonderful team… I think I’m going to take everyone here now!

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A Very Grimm Week.

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So, I was just in a play. A kids play. Running through Easter half term in the U.K. It was an adaptation of a selection of stories from the fairytale back catalogue of the Brother’s Grimm: Hansel & Gretel, Rumplestiltskin, The Fisherman & his Wife, The Moon, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. A few we all know and a few we don’t.

That’s why there was no post last week. I was recovering from a triple show day + a get out (when you dismantle the set, clear the performance space, re-set the lights and vacate the theatre) + an after show party + an early start for a cast and crew breakfast date.

In short, I was knackered.

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Family theatre is difficult to perform as children are absolutely savage. They are your harshest critics. They won’t politely clap, or sit quietly and slip out at the interval if they don’t like it. They start chatting, mucking about, expressing their boredom or disgust very loudly in a darkened, quiet room whilst you’re doing your best to entertain them.

However, I’m glad to report that every show they were hooked. I mean, at one point a kid dropped a Malteser and it echoed. Not a peep from the audience. The only time I remember there being a bit of chattering was when a small child was so engrossed they began repeating the lines and copying all the actions back to their Mum. It was like having the most magical show relay and I wasn’t mad about it one bit.

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I loved my characters, it was an even split between us all. We all took the limelight and we all sat back and watched. We all narrated a story or two, we all used a puppet, we all had costume changes and we all got to play a villain and a good guy, the comedian and the straight man. We dabbled in shadow theatre, we broke the fourth wall and were rewarded by rounds of applause, laughter, sighs, gasps and big, beaming faces… even a few little ones waving back when we bid them farewell at the end. It makes it all worth while.

I have to say I miss the cast. It’s the smallest show I’ve ever been part of. Just four of us. Three girls, one boy. Jumping around on the astro, whizzing in and out of our tent, hanging fairy lights, playing vinyls, having (controlled) water fights and making each other laugh until our faces hurt. It genuinely was the closest I’ve come to a ‘show family.’ There was stress and tears in the run up, when the pressure began to mount, but in the end it was so wonderful I didn’t want the run to finish.

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We managed it.

Four actors, Four crew & creatives, one technician, 60 minutes, over 30 characters, half a dozen different accents, 105 specially designed props and pieces of costume, 13 pieces of custom built set, eight pieces of which moved, six handmade puppets, nine shows and six stories.

It was deliciously Grimm and I loved every second.

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Seaside Adventure.

The sun appeared! The sun actually came out from behind the clouds and shone… in England. I know, I’m just as confused as you are. However, this did mean that my friends and I jumped to, pulled on our coats (just ’cause the suns shining doesn’t mean it’s not a bit nippy) and went for a stroll.

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We decided that the seaside is where it’s at, so we synched our watches, jumped in cars and on trains and pootled off to find the sea and a good meeting point. That point was as close to a soft serve ice cream vendor as possible. Who doesn’t want a 99? For anyone who doesn’t know, a 99 is typically known as a vanilla soft serve (one of those below) with a chocolate flake stuck in it.

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It’s not every day you can wander along a seafront comfortably and it is one of my absolute favourite places. There’s a sense of beauty and calm I feel around water. I think the movement of the waves and the way the sea seems ethereal yet deadly at the same time is relatively hypnotic. I don’t know why I love it so much.

Maybe I’m actually a mermaid.

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We also found a fairy castle! I stood there looking at it like a right div, for about 20 minutes, completely mystified by a concrete, cartoon sculpture. It was just such a sweet, unexpected and fairly odd thing to stumble across in amongst the rocks, trees and pathways. It made the blisters worth while (note to self: don’t give your new high tops their inaugural trip paired with trainer socks and a 5 mile walk.)

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What can I say, I’m a big believer in fairies. As a kid, I used to have a fairy house right next to my DIY snail hotel, worm spa and ladybird villas. Six year old Kate: catering for all garden dwelling creatures… that I liked.

Ah, the great outdoors… sometimes you can be alright.

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“Ta-ra, You Utter Flapjack.”| Beating Disappointment.

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Disappointment.

Everyone gets disappointed. It happens. It’s part of life. However, it can be pretty overwhelming at times.

According to the English Oxford Dictionary it means: “sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations.”

The worst thing I think you can do with that sadness is bottle it up. I have found that, if you let it linger too long, it can be all encompassing. Disappointment seems to be the chameleon of emotions. It can turn into despair, frustration, anger, panic and can leave you feeling alone, hurt and completely at a loss… that is, if you let it.

 Fear of disappointment, or disappointing others, led me to sell myself short constantly, to not expect too much, or anything at all. It taught me to settle, so I wouldn’t feel it as much or so it wouldn’t affect me… it also taught me that none of the options above are the right thing to choose. Instead of running away from feeling disappointed, what I needed to do was figure out how to curb feeling so down when I did face it. I needed to find a way to get out of the blue headspace so I could get myself moving forward and away from things that leave me feeling like a used kleenex or not good enough.

Whilst long term solutions are a matter of circumstance and of the mind, there were and still are a few things that work for me in the short term, to help me avoid festering in my own disappointment, tackle the situation and face the feeling head on, so I can steer clear of getting too down in the dumps over something beyond my control.

1. Select a banging playlist, put your headphones on, turn the volume up until you can’t hear anything else over your tunes and jump. Just jump. Jump around. Flail your limbs. Lip synch to epic proportions. Close your eyes, pretend you’re headlining at Wembley to a sold out crowd. Give it some welly, g’waaaannn. You’ve got to get rid of that energy before it turns into tears or rage.

2. Pick up a pen, grab a sheet of paper or open a word document and write. Doesn’t need to make sense, doesn’t need to include grammar, spelling, punctuation. Just write. Get it out of my system. Write about whatever. Just let go.

3. Talk about it. I mean you might sound like a nutter, but just talk through why you’re feeling so crappy out loud, to yourself, step by step, point by point. If you can detach yourself from it emotionally, even the tiniest bit, you might be able to figure out the exact reason why you’re feeling so pants. It might not be the reason you think it is. Figure out the real reason behind it all and you can move on from it that much quicker.

4. Is it going to matter in 5 years time? If not then don’t concern yourself with it. Don’t waste moments of your life feeling negative, even if it’s swallowing you up whole. Try and find the positive things this situation could lead to. Even if they are teeny, tiny or sound silly, if it’s a positive thing then that’s good. There are pro’s and con’s to every situation, except, when we’re feeling down for any reason, the con’s are much easier to find.

5. If it is because of a person, if you come to realise that they don’t need or want you around, then you owe it to yourself to save your time, emotion and energy. Turn around, give ’em a smile, wave and shout, “Ta-ra, you utter flapjack. All the best. Have a good one.” Then turn back around and walk away.

…and here’s the secret: whatever happens, don’t turn back. If you turn back to take one last look, you run the risk of walking backwards into the mess you left behind. The pain is worse the second time round. This time, you need to be strong. Stronger than you think you are.

We all get disappointed. Maybe it’s over a missed opportunity, being told we are not right for something, being let down by people, being let down by things around us. We can all move on and overcome things. We can even use disappointment to motivate us to prove others, and ourselves, wrong. Good things come to good people, don’t let one set back stop you. Tackle the fear, tackle the sadness and carry on.

ckcsignoff