Things we learned at the Street Performance World Championship on Saturday:
1. All street performers do that trick of making the crowd shout and cheer at nothing so they can gather a bigger crowd. (Sample size: two.)
2. Even at the World Championships the street performers are trying to persuade you to put money in the hat, and indeed it’s part of the performance. Sample schtick: “If you don’t want to give me any money, I can’t stop you. I will be very sad, but I can’t stop you. But just think how you will feel if you leave here…cross the road…get hit by a taxi…driven by my brother…and die with my money in your pocket.”
3. It’s risky for a fire-juggler to pick a random adult assistant from the crowd at an event like this – it might turn out that he is also a fire juggler. Whoops!
5. The performances are the least part of it, certainly for a family with small children. There was a gospel choir, face-painting (see above), giant bean-bags to flop on, all the usual food-stalls, child-sized tables for drawing on (my boys found no source of paper so they applied crayons directly to tables until I stopped them), lots of table-games such as table skittles and magnetic hockey, with instructions in French, and an excellent play-area (separate from the playground that’s permanently in the park anyway), with football, tents and tunnels, dressing up, giant dominos, a sandpit, playdough, and trays of interesting gloop.
6. Gloop is cornflour and water with food-dye. It dries on small hands to a silky glaze.
7. Sometimes in an Irish summer there can be black clouds in the morning and pouring rain in the evening but even so an interval of beautiful sunshine in the afternoon.
8. Sometimes when Mummy wants to drag us all out of the house into town and Do Things, it is actually a good idea!