Kevention 2008/the 3rd Tunbridge Wells Juggling Festival

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Kev's Garden

13-September-2008 to 14-September-2008

After a number of years of almost imperceptible suggestion, our leader succumbed & opened up his garden for a weekend mini festival. It was originally going to be a TWJC only affair, but soon invites went out to Southend, Hastings, & Whitstable clubs & a few individuals. As the rumours went on invites went out to anyone that enquired! As September drew near there were concerns that we'd need more space.

In the end though we were fine. In attendance for the whole thing were Kevin (obviously), Charlie 1, Charlie 2, Karina, Beth, GaŽtan, John, Laurence, Nicky & myself from TWJC, plus Bungle, Chunk & Paul from Southend. Popping in throughout the weekend were Rob & Laura from Hastings plus Dave K, Dave L & Frag plus their families.

Entrance to the festival was free but a pink present for the host was optional. Nicky & I supplied a load of pink iced muffins (I can't believe I only got one!) & other assorted sweets. Other presents included pink steering wheel covers, a copy of the financial times, a pink feather duster, a pink broom & a pink wig. The most popular by far though were the pink tutus which inspired many spontaneous outbreaks of ballet.

The Kevention was held in Kevin's fantastic garden, he'd managed to blag the use of a superb 50ft big top which stood proud in the centre. More blagging saw us kitted out with loads of rolls of carpet & a huge extension cable saw us supplied with lights & sound all of which made for a very respectable juggling venue.

The weather was fantastic for the entire weekend, the vast majority of activity all took place outside. We all enjoyed watching parachutists & aerobatics from the nearby air field in the clear blue skies. There was a lot of lazing around in the sunshine, watching for fish in the pond & a lot of playing around on the swings in the trees. Kev brought out some of the old TWJC photo albums which prompted a huge wave of nostalgia. It's easy to forget how long TWJC has been going. We've even got a picture of The Void wearing something that's not black.

The most popular feature of the site was the trampoline, Chunk & Laura were especially proficient with all sorts of flips, somersaults & other twisting jumps. Most fun was had just curling up in a ball & have someone else jump up & down next to you. Some fantastic examples of yogic flying were achieved in this way. Charlie 2 & Mr K. took great delight in finding something else that I am rubbish at. Still I didn't fall off & break my neck so I'm taking that as a success. A strange game developped around the trampoline, although there were at least two different sets of rules being played by those involved. A load of us stood around the edge & played volleyball across it while Jenny bounced up & down in the middle, some people thought that the objective was to keep the ball bouncing out of Jenny's reach, others thought it was to hit Jenny with the ball as hard as possible. The beauty of the game was that it could accomodate all players no matter what set of rules they decided on.

We found out that Beth gets really paranoid around sheep because they all keep saying her name.

Saturday evening it was all down to one of the local pubs for a meal & very nice it was too. Why can't all pubs serve Stowford Press? As we staggered back to site Charlie 1 somehow managed to confuse Wayne's World with Karate Kid, prompting everyone to shout various Mr Miyagi-isms whenever a car approached.

As the evening drew on we all took up residence in the big top. The Southend team introduced us to margheritas which I found surprisingly tasty. They also introduced us to four ball concentration which is a simple game where you have to juggle four balls for as long as possible while people throw balls at the side of your head. Bungle impressed all with his four, five & six cigar box takeouts. I found trying to run through a gap between two poles while spinning a hula hoop very amusing.

Kevin was dishing out the drink that must only be spoken of in hushed tones, it was very strong stuff indeed.

On Sunday morning Charlie 1 took on the role of the toast fairy to ease us all into the day. She also asked me to remove a cranefly from her tent for her. For some reason she thought I wouldn't chase her round the garden with it.

A lot of the morning was spent throwing knives. There was a huge range of cutlery available which made the exercise all the more difficult for me because I couldn't really adjust to any one type of knife. Although Charlie 2's knife seemed to be the best for me & pretty much everyone else too.

In the afternoon a load of us went on a unicycle ride into Smarden. Naturally the first unplanned dismount of the outing was by the best unicyclist of the group by far. It was a lovely ride in the sun, Smarden is a really beautiful village with lots of really wonky cottages & oast houses. I was pretty saddle sore afterwards (& I still am writing this a day later), but it convinced me that I really must get out on my unicycle more.

Thanks to...

Many thanks must go to Kevin for sorting out the venue & his long suffering wife Heather for putting up with the invasion!