Southampton Convention Saturday 2nd Nov 2019 – A Review, by Lizzy Peat
Following Jenni's excellent example with her Camvention review, I thought I'd better help 'share the load' and do a review of my own. An easy one, as this convention only lasted from Midday till 6pm...what could possibly happen in that time?
Morning dawned blustery and rainy. Jamie bribed me to get up by him making me tea and toast with chocolate spread. He then drove me to the venue in the 'yellow wind' as featured on the met office website. Jamie was upset to find we had left so late, so I worked out how to adjust the car clock using the manual until he felt better. Lots of branches down- we were particularly impressed with the edge of Southampton common where people park their cars. Some near misses of some seriously heavy oak branches. We tried to get in the wrong entrance first and Jamie made a heroic three point turn in an unfamiliar car. Eventually we followed some karate kids to the correct entrance and the nice lady at the reception desk pointed out the sports hall on her map.
We followed the inconspicuous laminated sign trail till we found Roy putting them up, and then the gang loitering by the hall door. As they already had sticker passes sorted out, I took our backup lego sticker book and helped make the signs more eye catching on the way back to the car. Jamie and I then put out his 'juggling' sandwich boards on the road to reduce confusion and we dragged our stuff into the hall. After a touch of snake-boarding we went to find some lunch.
We trogged to the hawthorns centre at the South end of the common (which is supposed to be an SSSI but looks like any other mown amenity parkland), good tea- nicely pouring metal tea pot, but no extra water. I ordered lasagne, however it was actually coldish tinned vegetable soup poured over something made out of sheets of solidified custard. EW EW EW EW Ew. Jamie tucked in and I ate Jamie's lunch of egg sandwiches instead while watching a young rat scampering in the rain, to the sound of some Italian woman singing about something very dramatic over the speakers. We then trailed back to the school in the driving rain. Not a great experience.
However back at the sports hall, things quickly cheered up- we met up with some fellow Newbury Juggling Clubbers and caught up with their news. Then we discussed how it felt slightly dark in the hall until you tried looking up into the bright overhead lights, so not sure what dark magic was stopping the light reaching the ground. Weird. Slytherin Jenni would know. The legendary Guy Heathcote then opened the convention with a speech and a ribbon cutting which we all enjoyed very much, the sound system worked very well. Much clapping was had.
Then I noticed Simon had brought his home-made bike with off centre wheels- my favourite thing! Thank goodness the hall wasn't too crowded so I could have a good go. I had to dodge a very exciting bouncy springboard inflatable rampy thing brought by Joel, constantly covered in children and people throwing themselves about. There was also an aerial hoop, not sure I saw this unused, and a tightrope too. We also did some passing, accompanied by Guy Heathcote who serenaded us all on his squeeze box, then we played marakesh with Jae (who completely beat us) until we were interrupted by the games. Jamie would have won me some biscuits in the 5 ball endurance if Freddie hadn't recognised him and poked him with a club. Alex did a great job of hosting the games, we especially liked Simon upholding Southampton Juggling Club's honour by winning the unicycle gladiators against a smaller person. I'd not seen the 'throw the hat onto your partner who is the furthest away' game, which Roy won with style. (Is there a better name for this? Anyway)
The day culminated in a 'glow jam' where the main lights were turned off and everyone spun coloured glow things in the dark- this was lovely to watch for a short while and a nice end to the day. Glad we had enough warning to get our hands on our stuff first, else leaving might have been harder.
We then drove home to fish and chips and looking up Aquaponics (at Martin's recommendation) on u-tube. ooOOOoooo.
A good value day out for £10, and I understand they had 57 people, not bad for a half dayer. See you next year?
Thanks for the review Lizzy - the weather turned me away from the prospect of the drive from Bristol, but it is tempting for next year.
I think more juggling conventions should have ceremonial openings by juggling legends. Were there many who had been to the 1st Southampton Juggling Convention, 25 years ago, there?
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