So the thing is when Madiba speaks I laugh. He says to the captain of Manchester city ‘Hey you are a baby, what are you doing here?’ And then he asks the guy who has received the obe has he ever met the queen? Then he recounts a story; when he most recently met the queen, as she was approaching him, he noticed that she had lost some weight and on meeting her had said so. By the time the meeting was over, he was astounded at how many people knew about what he had said. And what about service delivery. What the fuck? The police and government departments are talking about suppressing the resistance and also about a third force. (Can you believe they would use the same language) instead of actually just making sure that service delivery happens. The same bullshit spoken by the same kinds of politicians. And the new commissioner of police is really designed to inspire confidence; a political appointment with a cowboy hat and staggering eloquence; “Deadly force…. That means you die!” yyyyyyep.

And here a slightly edited copy of the mail I sent back to the cast of LOVE. Dear all, Molweni. We are back at home and have managed to keep very busy making theatre for a National Arts Festival in our home town. It was very exciting, frustrating, tiring, and exhilarating as all festivals should be. I had forgotten how not easy it is to live in this country. Just the energy one spends on day to day living and negotiating the every day difficulties experienced by so many people in this country. Janet and I spend pretty much every second we can in each other’s company and that is working very well! People ask me of course what was it like? ‘Wow, Circus Ole!! Amazing! so what’s it like being back? Are they all really crazy?!’ And I don’t know how to answer them except to say that yes you are all completely crazy. But since I have been back it was immediately into the kind of days I had before I left. Full on, all day, every day rehearsing and making new theatre. Small venues, talented committed company, some minimal resources, inspiring material and festival audience. Now that is over and Janet and I have had a few days to recover and spend some time just going to the coast and exploring and just being at home together with Daniel. And I think back on the time with you guys and I realize how much I miss. I miss the training room, even though I more or less deserted it for the last few months. I miss very much being on stage with you all and playing the track every night with the anticipations of all the encounters with each of you during the performance. How would it be tonight? For the festival I directed two productions; the one a play, written by Brink Scholtz, the resident director of our company, called The Swimming Lesson. Beautiful play about a woman who loses her child and goes on a quest and meets a number of others from some of the very different worlds that exist in this country. The play begins with the worst that could happen and then gently and beautifully moves toward redemption and hope through the unlikely connections that people can make. It needs some more work, but it is very beautiful if I say so myself. The other was a short play Stilted, by Richard Antrobus, about a man on stilts.. who would have thought? A funny and nice and risky theatre thing using some nice circus things. Daniel worked with an amazing group from Zambia (that’s just north of Zimbabwe) lots of balancing, acrobatics and fire eating. They were combined with a local group who have been learning theatre skills for a few years. Five years ago they were kids living on the street and spending more time with their noses in a glue bag than out of trouble. They made a play about water and rivers and dams. Water is a daily survival issue for so many people here. It was really funny and moving and current. Daniel is busy now getting my car into a state in which he can buy it and then he is leaving for Johannesburg next week to re-connect with friends and his career. We will miss him. Back at home I have started to get to know the new dog. A young bitch of the weimeraner breed named Beatrix. ‘Yeah dat’s right muh fuh; Beatrix! And take note that that ‘beat’ in her name is a diphthong;( think of ‘bee-atch!’ and then add on ‘tricks’ after and you’ve pretty much got her name beeatt-tricks. Ask Jimmie for the translation.) Anyway this dog, sorry beeatch, is extremely intelligent and crafty and naughty but has got down her schtick; ‘Oh my god did I do that? Oh no this isn’t good. This is bad. Someone’s been bad here. I wonder who? Yes I know that you know it’s me but perhaps someone else might own up before… wait a minute! Okay, yes I did it and you can spank my arse if you … yes but dam I’m pretty?! Aren’t I? Sooo cute!! do you see how the light plays on the little lashes around my snout as I playfully roll over and lick your shoes and, and, and can you see how fast my tail is wagging? That is speed baby! That is some high intensity happy in fact I haven’t quite managed to master the secret of wagging my tail without wiggling my arse. In fact without my whole body vibrating like a three and a half foot vibrating thing with teeth and a slobbery smile…And see how easy it was to forgive me? When do I get a biscuit, now?’ She is the re-incarnation of one of the few fuckers who escaped from Alcatraz. She can find a 3 inch hole in a fence five miles long. And she can squeeze her disobedient little ass through that three inch hole and cause havoc with the neighbours’ garbage and do all this in the space of fifteen minutes. So before you even know she’s been gone she’s back on her bed pretending to yawn and wake up from a long sleep. And just then the phone rings and the neighbour is on the line saying she has just chased the dog out of her trash cans. ‘Who, me?’ Bee-atch. Zeke, the old man, well the male dog who is actually only about seven, injured himself while we were away and damaged his back rather badly, he was put on steroids and lost a lot of weight and looks nothing like his former self. He used to be like a small horse and now the skin hangs off him. I am taking him to a vet a hundred miles from here next week to see if an operation will fix him. He walks around a little bit like Valeriy when his back is giving him shit. The university has approached me I think to talk about re-negotiating my contract so that I spend more time teaching here. And a big part of me is inclined to agree. I am not sure that I have the energy and drive to make the required commercial output to keep Janet and myself in the manner to which we would become accustomed. Make no mistake I am riddled with energy and drive but not to go and do corporate launches and the odd gig here and there like I used to have. Surviving as an actor in such a remote and small place means going away a lot. I am enjoying being here for a while and I have freed myself from the pressure to ‘Make a new earth shattering work before everyone thinks you’re a has-been that never was… la di da’. Things just seem to get worse and worse recession wise and I am sure you are glad to have the two weekly. I know I was. And in fact I still am…The house is mine, mine mine. I happily flip the bird at the bank every time I drive past. I think the recession has been manipulated by the powers that be to give governments like ours the excuse to cut back on public spending. Otherwise I am back to acting like a teacher at the university here. I am a professor. What do I profess? Ignorance. The time at cirque gave me time to reflect and I feel much more energized to teach and make work and I feel strong. I feel like a buffalo back here… ready to take on anything and anyone. And things are making me angry again. Angry like I used to feel as a young man at the fuck-ups that were around me. And I am seeing them again around me and getting angry enough again to say so. I send more love than you could possibly cope with, Andrew Nate please pass this onto the g men; (dressing room g) Dear dressing room g I miss the dressing room rituals. Ekenah on his computer skyping some one in Portuguese and then listening to fascinating new age excitations from TED and then ‘who whooo yeh yeh yeh I’m amazed…I can’t believe it. Look I just get more beautiful every day’… then Daniel calling me with three syllables in a one syllable word, because he had misplaced his keys or we were negotiating the use of our car that night after the show. And then jimmie and joel mimicking and mocking his accent. Joel cheerfully putting on his freckles ‘open your heart daniel’ and spiking his hair before heading down the corridor for mysterious meetings with kati. I miss jimmie’s john-coltrane-saxophone-solo laugh and excitement at the little things in life and the joy at the big things. I miss the pranks, I am happy to say never on me personally… (the advantages of being older and keepings cards close to the chest so nobody knows what you’re capable of)…and then eugen or yevgeni. I so miss watching you play father mac. It was possible I was going to look to do a version of Inside at another festival in September, but that has fallen through and I am looking to spend some time here working on it in between teaching before I propose it for theatres. I miss sitting next to valeriy and being challenged by translation and interpretation requests, as well as being engulfed in a bear hug and hearing the details of his stock trading training. A man with a heart way too big to fit his laughably puny frame. Then nate. There’s something I should be telling you now that I am out of range of nate’s violent rage… the man is a fake. Calls himself a fool. Oh yes and plays the fool with alacrity. Very convincingly. At almost any time you look at him or watch him for more than a few minutes and you’ll be saying affectionately to yourself ‘that silly fool!!’ but I got to know that man and let me tell you that this is a front. This is a mask, this is a deception. For behind the façade of the fool lurks a shrewd fucker. A sharp little sausage with very refined perception and understanding, and with palpably hazardous generosity, and… for heaven’s sake, have you met his girlfriend? We’re the fools for not getting her first.. the nightly transformation of pure kinetic energy into light energy made the end of the dressing room glow and vibrate. In fact it was more likely vibrating because you had just farted. Such energy contained in such horse knees. Such fine talent held in such bony legs. To the greatest fool I know. I miss just silently putting on make up while you were doing the same. Well actually no… I think I miss more, exchanging unpleasantries about don and catpee.

home from planet circus

August 1, 2009

Day the last went like this; wake at eight just before the alarm. Mouth like a dustbin and very uncomfortable dreams. Probably from the excess of the best guakamole ever. Made by LaKeisha. Daniel and I devoured when we went to visit she and Nate after his show last night. Eugen gave nate a lift home so good to have another chance to say goodbye and return the book I had forgotten to do so. Nate and La Keisha as generous as ever and we try to avoid the subject of our departure as we sit around the fire and pass pleasantries and company gossip. He generously (how weird) offers the use of his truck to Daniel and me after we sell the car the next day. We accept. We present them with our gift to say goodbye. It is a print of an opera poster created by the polish artist (bolinski? Something like this?) It is a poster for La Traviata which Janet fell in love with when she went with La K to the first friday exhibitions in down town Vegas. We had it framed and wrote messages on the back and they hung it immediately in their bedroom. Looks great. Sad to leave them. Whenever we get close to saying goodbye we re-affirm the notion of their coming to sa to visit us and imagine the possibility of working together again. I hope. So anyway this morning, up and try to find some humanity hiding in this lizard body. Brush teeth slightly better taste in the mouth then load up the box of excess stuff and take it to the post office with the hope of sending it to sa. I get there and after many attempts find myself at the counter facing a new person and it takes a long time to discover that it would cost me, because of the size of the box and its weight, over 800 dollars. This is also after I fill out three forms in triplicate. I abandon the notion and get the idea that I will just take it on the plane as luggage it will cost me another 150 or so as an extra piece of luggage. No this is after I have bought a new suitcase and unpack the box and try to fill it with box items . No go, too much. Discard a whole lot. Then chat with janet and daniel. And the idea of just taking the box as luggage dawns and takes shape. I repack again and keep all the discards. Day passes and Daniel hauls me to the airport, I check it all in no problem and fly home. Easy flight. Get to joburg and wait for box to appear. Nothing wait and wait and time running out to catch my connection to PE. Then finally appears. I head for the nothing to declare lane and the box screams at the officials, “check me!!!” so I turn and engage with an officer who opens the box and checks the contents, I scramble them back in and head off just get to check in and on the flight to pe. Arrive pe and two pieces of luggage not there… but there’s janet. Drive the 120 kilometres home. The eastern cape looks very welcoming if a bit dry. Luggage arrives the next day. Weird re-adjustment but no time to think straight into rehearsals for festival productions. Days filled with warm up, rehearse, review run and rest. I’m home.

June 5;

 sitting in the airport now waiting to board for the flight to jfk and then to jhb and then to pe and then the drive to the g spot and that will be about two pm sunday. Seems a life time away. Last few days? Wow. The last two shows very emotional and the final tapis rouge reminded me of the one we witnessed when we arrived. Quite something to have to put into a few words or at least in a short time to encapsulate ones feelings about having spent this time here. Daniel and I spoke together. Well we got up and faced everyone together and I told them all how I had asked dan to stand with me while I speak to save them the embarrassment of watching an old man cry. That he was instructed to tell me to ‘suck it up nancy boy’ if I happened to start cracking up. He had to do it once. Trying to say thank you to the whole company left me conflicted because there were some people there for whom I have no thanks and others for whom I have gratitude that has no words. Anyway, I had a good go, tried to let them know what it meant to me to be there and work with them. All the ravings I used to blog about the company of performers and their integrity and commitment still stands. A real set of lessons. But at the same time it feels good to let the role go and get  back to what I feel really good at doing. Which is working in the theatre. Eugen gave me that chance with the project he proposed to me which involved the realisation of a theatrical concept he has had for some twenty years. Once we had started rehearsals he tells me how all the previous attempts at mounting the production had been prevented by a personal tragedy of someone involved… Now I was even more determined to play it. Playing in his theatre built in his house; (the fourteenth one he has built) was more than a treat. It felt like I had done something really good in some other life or something or maybe just found myself lucky enough to have met this man as well as others who work for this company. Anyway we made a play. It is called Insight Inside and concerns an actor who arrives late for a show for which the audience has been given a huge build up. Then he, being tragically locked into his own ego and personal ambition and fear, finds himself locked in the dressing room and unable to get to the stage. Really fun and feels like the beginning of a real work. Great audiences of ten to thirteen at a time over four performances. All friends from Cirque. No, not all, but predominantly. And all who seemed to show and interest in this kind of work.

Then packing up the crap at home and then cleaning the house. Thank fully I can leave some of that to daniel who only leaves on monday. Hard to say goodbye to him at the airport.

April 23rd

 58 shows to go. getting the car onto craig’s list, starting to make plans for pack up and return. Checking with post office tomorrow about sending stuff home in boxes. My days now are like so;

 Wake up at six or seven because now the curtains are open as well as the window. I love early morning sun. but then close them because it gets too hot on the bed as the two rectangular barrels of brightness hit the opposite wall at sunrise then these two blocks of focused gold-warmth slide across the bed and laminated wooden floor and deep red carpet. Too hot to sleep. Close curtains and then back to sleep. Another two hours or so. Very vivid dreams in these sleeps, then awake again and call janet. An hour or so or maybe fifteen m minutes every day. Then check e mails and on line news. Maybe make a big cup of chai tea. Then  a plate of bran flakes and granola from trader joe’s and banana with the occasional tub of fruit-on-th-bottom flavoured yoghurt. Too much detail? Then used to go to gym with janet and work out. Do cardio and then short stretch and then weight training for upper body strength and condition and also abdominals and short hand stand practice.

  This has diminished to not one time this week. Need to renew attendance in the training room. Earlier departure times and time in the upper training room. Starting tomorrow.

 But otherwise do a stretch at home and some breathing… and sometimes just a stretch and sometimes sleeping again. But then up, clean the place, sort recycling, check fridge, consult Daniel re food needs, make decision to cook or not and consequent needs. No shopping today; veg and pasta and then baked potato tomorrow. Kind of thing. Cook. Ablute. Eat. Google the traffic between here and work. Depart via chosen route. Arrive prep and do the show. The show? Exactly the same but completely different from the one I started to make which was shallow and obvious and sometimes thin. Physical form and expression underexplored. But now a really fun and detailed. I work toward consistency through routine and ritual and repetition and structure. Simple structure. That’s why most of the day is planned and carries the inherent element of working toward and focus on the performance that night. How you are going to make sure of the right nutrition at the right time for your body and the specific demands of the shows in relation to the amount of sleep and things like that. Constant self assessment self diagnosis and attention to pain and tension.  And constantly working toward release.

 May 24th

 So only a few shows to go and we are in the midst of integration of the new artists. The new sergeant pepper is an ex acrobat from Mystere by the name of Vova (short for Vladimir) and has pretty much got the track down. I have enjoying the last few weeks of shows knowing that they are coming to an end. Now I am ready to let them go. We have about 14 more performances but some of them will be watching the replacements. The days are filled with looking for gifts for special friends, checking packing and shipping options and trying to sell the car and find people to rent the house for Elizabeth.

 Most fun at the moment are the rehearsals for a performance at Eugen’s theatre planned for next week and the two nights before I leave. Based on a concept of Eugen’s which he has been trying to realise for about twenty years about an actor in a dressing room, I have been scripting and rehearsing every day. Such fun to be working in a real theatre again even though very small. It is basically eugen’s garage converted but completely fully equipped. You can see it on You Tube Eugen Brim’s theatre. Eugen, who, I discover now a year after meeting him, is actually named Yevgeni , shortened to Genya (probably wrong spelling) and anglicized to Eugene. The show is presently called Inside Insight and has four performances to invited guests; 12 at a time. Fun.

 Also prepping for Stilted; a show made by Richard Antrobus and produced by First Physical Theatre Company which I will be directing for the National Arts Festival Fringe.

home soon.

 

Dreading saying goodbye to close friends made here.

Right so back to the keyboard. Bin a while. As I tried to indicate. With Janet here all time was given to experience life and little to reflect and comment and record etc. but here I am again, reflecting and recording and commenting like a bumblebee in a handbag. We have about 68 more shows on this contract so I am moving from saying to myself every night after specific acts…’ one less time I have to do that’. To saying aloud…’ damn only get to do that 57 more times.’  Doing the show now seems to take one into a timeless space absolutely specific to the scene. This is not the 100th time of this scene. But this is THIS scene; as if its continually running without one in a timeless space and I just step into it for a while each night. Each time it’s the one and only time the scene happens but it’s continuous. Very zen. (loud fart from the fool) every time I step on stage for each scene it’s like it’s the first time and last and only time the scene is ever or has ever been played. Ja well sometimes okay…ah yess. Nice to get some of this pretentiousness out again. It’s refreshing after having it all bottled up inside. The show is looking apparently very good. It’s certainly feeling like a better show than when we joined. I am loving the stilts and Korean ropes form a really nice focus for me for the end of the show. Feel a bit more like doing the curtain call after them. A bit more legitimate taking a curtain call at the end of a circus having done some actual circus sort of stuff, you know.. ‘ that’s the guy who climbed the ropes like that…’ ‘Which guy? What ropes? When?‘

 

The neighbours dogs; the one a rottwieler and the other a husky. What a pair. Gave us endless hours of trouble while Janet was here. We have never seen them being taken out of their enclosure for a walk and are consequently bored shitless. So one night they were particularly troublesome and we think it’s when the owners are away. So they get fed by having some dry dog-food poured into their bowls which are carefully tossed down away from the dog shit which COVERS the stony dry ground. It is never cleared up. Then the husky has a nibble on his food and watches the rotty spread his out in a halo of korrels around the bowl. Then he moves in and lies near the rotty just close enough to get up his nose. The rotty, a bit dim, can’t stand this and begins a long gurgling growl punctuated by a short burp-bark which is supposed to scare the husky off. The husky just looks back at him and smiles… ‘I’m going to eat that food the minute you turn your back, sucker’. ‘ uuuuuurrrghh no you bladdy not ! get away or I’ll bite your face off! Eeaauurgh, look at these teeth you little Alaskan freak eeeuuuaargh!!!’. This will repeat and continue for anything up to three or four hours and is particularly entertaining between the hours of eleven pm and two am. We scream out the window trying to wake the owners shut up the dogs who look up at us in amazement that anyone has actually paid them attention and then carry on. I think they miss Janet as she used to stick her head out of the window from our upstairs bedroom window which looks diagonally down over the dogs enclosure and chat to them or insult them as she brushed her hair. Also shaking out the rugs they really enjoyed for a while until that too became predictable and short lived. I am finally driven at two am to throw off the duvet and stomp to the window and howl like King Lear into the las vegas suburban night; “Hey!! I am going fucking crazy here!! Will you please shut up the damn dog!!” Dogs silent in amazement. Nothing from the house. Two hours later as they launch into a reprise, finds me stamping downstairs in dressing gown and moccasins, which serve as slippers, and going to talk to them over the fence. I try reason. They stare at me blankly, I explain in no uncertain terms how bad they are and what will happen to them if they don’t be quiet so that my wife can get some sleep. The husky gets down disappears into the roughly built plywood shed they have for a shelter. The night explodes to the sound of a truly committed and teeth popping dog fight in which he seriously now tells the rotty off. A good dressing down. And then pops up again for approval. Then… silence. For at least three hours. A Circus?!! Ha! They are like a canine guerrilla theatre group. With a captive audience.

unbelievable that a government with the history of the anc has chosen to refuse a visa to the dalai lama. shameful bullshit spouted about his presence distracting the peace conference from the soccer?!! And the conference created to display to the world the fact of south africa’s history of supporting self determination and human rights causes but one of the major voices on the planet in support of human rights is denied permission to visit the country?!! oh yes. beautiful. poetic.

So … yes i know quite a while now. the thing is i went home for a week or so and that kind of took up my concentration a good deal. So too seeing Janet again after eight months. so when faced with a choice of hanging with her and sitting tikking at the keyboard… no brainer. and then the flight home … full of fascinating incident which I will tell you all about… some other time. cos now I have Janet with me in Vegas. she has moved into the house and the house, though well prepared for her, shows the signs of feminine presence. its cleaner for one and much more welcoming to guests. in short it is quite something to have a life again.  we are back in the routine of performance having just completed 300 shows and are starting to think about the four or five months we still have here. two of them will be with Janet before she goes back home. Daniel and I both will return mid year 2009. for the moment… Janet and I are enjoying eachother’s company and trying to see as many shows as we can while she is here as well as going to local resorts for skiing and in feb to take a train trip to newark to visit Luke and Casha. we still work hard but now I have a life in between shows. Janet is in a completely different environment and able to renew her ability to heal and relax. good time. I am possibly working with Eugene on an idea for a theatre work in his theatre later in april May…

Four days to go. Then departure for home for couple of weeks. This last weekend slightly different. Tuesday morning and Daniel and his friend David who is spending a couple of weeks with us have gone for the weekend to LA. Not something I am willing to say is a state I do not desire. Bliss of silent solitude. I wake up. Breakfast? No wait, sleep again until eight thirty to call Janet. Then a cell text tells me she’s only home at nine after gym. I thankfully turn over and change the cell phone alarm again. And go back to sleep. Many dreams these days especially in the early morning after the first wake up sleep. Lots of water leak dreams; burst pipes and over-flow. Someone once said that this was about money. Too much or too little? Wake up. Still too early for phone call. Sleep again and dream a lucid dream about being in a very brightly lit wildly coloured garden; mostly purple, around which I fly for a while.

So the alarm rings at nine and I am up in a flash Then a good chat with Janet and her father over supper and a glass of wine and because it’s my day off I have a bottle of beer waiting for me in the fridge .. til about nine thirty. We say goodbye see you soon. I love you. Wash up. brush teeth etc.

So it’s now about 11.00 and I think “Come on lets go for a ride”. And so I go down Buffalo, send off Eli’s mail and then on to Lake Mead and end up next o the bookshop. Wow and there on the shelf is the George Carlin book I have been shying way from the last few weeks. And after getting a Jack Kerouac classic I go for my Carlin addiction. Blissfully without a television. What a pleasure. To find books. And writers and several books and a sequel or two. Cool breezy ride home.

And then clean up the kitchen and cook all the remaining brocolli and mushrooms ad chillis and ginger and red pepper and garlic and honey and lets see what that tastes like tomorrow when I actually partake. A call from Nate re a bike ride later. Perfect I say and settle down with the Carlin. Wracked by hold my tummy laughs.

I get a call. Keisha is in her way to fetch me so I walk to the gate and as I get there, there she is with her brother Ryan. The weather is paradisical (if such a word, and buggar it if there isn’t) the weather is perfect. Clouds. A cloud-filled sky. No blue. Very rare in Vegas. The light changes the whole city.

We ride and Nate leads from one bike-path to the next displaying biking skills I don’t even understand. We get around the suburbs of lv and discover a bike path that goes along the highway the 215 around the city.. a very pleasant ride followed by a stop at the pup for a beer and tequila. Then another short ride home including a graceful sideways slo-motion topple/descent into the bushes next to a stop-street as my coordination of bike, foot and ground misfires leaving Nate buckled over with mirth.

Then a long well spent evening at Nate and Keisha’s with her brother Ryan through a braai. Some very excellent salmon on the grill, veggie kebabs and some guacamole from elysium. We are later visited by Emmet (sp?), Keisha’s boss from the Tapis Rouge and then Marikawa, the Brazilian acrobat, Evelyne the great and Sylvia the Brazilian veteran actress. Very lekker time. Too much to drink . I am given a lift home by Evelyne and I pass out across my bed at around eleven, thinking; “busy day tomorrow; doctor at 10.30….zzzz”.

Then wake up at 8.00, quick call to Janet to say I can’t Skype because I am riding Eli’s bicycle to the doctor well the orthopaedic surgeon to examine my elbow and consider progress and future treatment. Well it’s raining, rather heavily for Vegas, but I relish the adventure and put on my waterproof rain suit and climb on with telephone and wallet and brace and appointment card and keys and two hours to cover what on the map looks like a fair distance. Not sure how much exactly. (it turned out to be twenty miles. Did I really think about this…? No. Not too much because Daniel and David had the car in LA, so how else to get to the doctor?) And the ride seemed a fun challenge. So anyway off I go rain stinging my face and hood up but it soon is clear that it restricts the side peripheral vision and the road is full of traffic and the signs politely ask people to share the road but you have to be very awake and the pavements aren’t always the best option. But off I go following a route which includes Vegas Drive and then Washington over to way over the east side of town… much much poorer than the west or the north or the south. Then turn right and head south on Eastern Ave. Again though poor and industrial areas and narrow roads and more rain and heavy traffic. After riding for an hour and a half it becomes clear that I am still a few miles away and the time for my appointment is fast approaching. And the twenty miles of ups and downs and stops and starts and pavements and bike lanes have had an impact on my legs. But my phobia of being late forces me on. I call in and tell them I am minutes away.

By now I am talking to myself and all I can say is “Shut up, stop talking to yourself, stop counting the numbers and the lights and trying to work out how far you have come, how far it is to go and how long that will take, and what’s the time now and all the rest; just shut up. Don’t talk, don’t think, just push the pedals. Don’t do anything except pump the pedals… “

Good thing to have the appointment pressing because otherwise I would have given up miles ago and ridden home. But no. Knowing I have to finish it and can’t just give up it is somehow embarrassingly thrilling to know that I am going to do this feat and only when I am finished can I stop pumping the pedals and rest. And I get there late but well in time because of the back log and the doctor tells me what I knew and does some simple tests and affirms the current treatment regime and gives me some more exercises and encourages me to wear my brace constantly. See me in six weeks. After Christmas. I contemplate the return home on the saddle and a nano-second later call Nate and ask him to come fetch me since he had offered and by now my arse has fallen off.

So I sit in the pub next to the doctor’s room and have whiskey to warm up since the waterproof clothing I have has no ventilation system so my clothes are soaked (as wet as rained on) with sweat. I order a beer. Just sommer. Then some chips. Fries. Nate arrives I buy him an Irish coffee and we set off with the bike in the boot and a long forgotten combination of endorphin and beer in my bloodstream which is very relaxing and can tend to lean one towards becoming philosophical and quietly contemplative. We pick up Keisha’s brother and go to REI (recreational gear shop). Oooohh nice toys for a person there. I buy a laptop back pack. And drool over so much else.

Then home and its midday or maybe two so I have deep and hot bath and warm up. Another beer and some of the broccoli and mushroom and chilli and ginger and onion and red pepper smush I prepared yesterday. And then under the duvet with food and beer and George Carlin. Soon (laughing) I fall asleep. And wake up and look at the clock and its 6.30. My god what an amazing sleep; all through the afternoon and through the night. Must reset the alarm for 8.30 to call Janet. Then can’t get back to sleep. Its raining still and the clouds really make it dark for this time in the morning. Never mind try and sleep again. Up at 8.00. My god the clouds are heavy; its even darker than before. Still can’t sleep so oh what the hell I’ll get some breakfast and so do and sit in bed and eat cereal and contemplate the end of the weekend and this the first work day of the last week. Then nine oclock comes along and I skype home and as Janet answers I realize that its 7.00 in the morning there and 9.00 in the evening here. I slept so soundly and then woke up at 6.30 in the evening and thought it was the morning. So now I have another free evening before the weekend is over. I celebrate with a glass of wine and some more food. And back to bed. Home in a few days.

have been keeping our heads down and heading for the up coming dark when I am going home for a week so I have been pretty much focussed on that. also kind of sick of the sound of my own voice rabbitting on about this place. hence the silence. also under contract i am restricted from bringing Cirque into disrepute or ridicule so can’t really say much about the Company either… am reading The Shock Doctine and watching The Corporation oh dear oh dear. otherwise we are both well strong. twenty two shows to go before the dark, then a few days with matthew and Bridget and Isabel and Stella and janet in Cape Town then Janet and I drive to Grahamstown for a week and then mid December Janet and I fly back here. JB here until late March so a whole new phase of the adventure will be launched… loving cycling and our friends Nate and Keish. hanging in.

Ok. So. Been silent for a while. The elections here are cause for much celebration. The company has been in the throes of artistic evaluations and renewal negotiations which are always cause for a tense time. And about which I will tell you some other time. The routine continues. My injuries to elbows are slowly healing and I am going home for a week in December and I am counting the days. More on our weekend. Winter is coming to Vegas and the weather is actually quite cold sometimes. I have fallen in love with cycling. Well there are few hills here so who wouldn’t. More later.