Thursday, 9 July 2015

Oh what a circus

If I ever tried to run away and join a circus, I suspect I would be sent home. I'm wary of heights, can't catch, have dismal balance, and prefer my comedy verbal rather than physical. 
Life is proving to be a challenging lesson in juggling at the moment, and I freely confess that it is a struggle. Unfortunately, the ball I'm dropping most frequently is blogging. 

It's tedious to keep repeating the same apology, so I'll just say that if I don't comment on all your posts, or I'm slow to do so, it isn't for lack of interest and involvement. I'm really busy with an irregular work schedule, attending end of term events with the kids, and trying to squash domestic and leisure activities into the remaining hours. If anything has to give, it's likely to be blogging, although hopefully this will be a temporary state of affairs. 
Do bear with me, please - I miss you all, and am in slight mourning for my previous freedom...

Last weekend, we traveled down south to stay with my sister Belinda and celebrate her 60th birthday with a trip to Giffords Circus.

Nell and Toti Gifford produce wonderfully warm and entertaining circus shows every summer; we've been before (the post is here) and were very happy to have the chance to see this year's production, Moon Songs
That's big sister Belinda in the white trousers (bottom left); the supermodel in the pink dress is my niece Leala (Nina is besotted with her!)

Me and my big girl; brother-in-law Alan in the floral shirt with Mum, and glamorous elder niece Samara. 

We saw the circus in Oxford - that's Keble College in the background. 

It's a show full of traditional circus skills, performed with skill and good humour, accompanied by live music from the fantastic band. This year, all the songs were moon-related.

Extreme hula-hooping...

amazing flexibility and strength...
juggling, dancing acrobatics, and a bear riding a horse. Of course.

These spectacular hats were designed by Philip Treacy.

As the sun set, we went for dinner in the Circus Sauce tent.

There were even fireworks in the distance to enjoy.
The kids really appreciate staying with Belinda and Alan, not least because of the pool and the pets.

While I can't imagine living anywhere other than an urban setting, I do like the space and green of the garden and its beautiful woodland setting.

The kids do too.

Owen only has a week left at primary school. If they took SATs in face-pulling, he'd get a level 6.

Time with Grandma.

And then back to work and school. 
It's all go!


Melanie said...

I've missed you here but do understand the juggling act.
I haven't been to a circus since I was little and my memory of that is being rushed out screaming and wailing (I didn't like the clowns popping balloons ... I had, well have very sensitive ears).
How nice to be able to combine the circus with family time xx

Sarah Jane said...

I completely understand. Somehow the last 2 weeks of the school year are the craziest, when everything is supposed to be winding down. It's natural that blogging has to give and it's not something you need to apologise for. Finding time to spend with family is also one of the things that can sometimes slip but it's nice to see that that's not the case here. Looks like a great family day out. Look forward to hearing how work is going when you have more time xxx

SAM said...

No apologies-still only 24 hours in a day and it takes a while to figure out which balls are most important when something new is added to the mix. So it is with life. Your sisters place is wonderful. It is good you have appreciation while finding your own city life home.

Suzanne said...

A circus! A "REAL" circus! I love it! I've never been to anything like this but would love to go. Just the visuals in your photos were amazing. It looked like you'd stepped into a fairytale.

I'm glad you managed to catch my latest drawing of you : ) Do you own a colour printer? If so, I can email you the PDF file so you can download and print out the card. If not, just send along your mailing address to me at and I will post you a card.

Lovely to see you popping back with your busy schedule. Blogging is fun, but living life is more important.


Fiona said...

As a rule I'm not a great fan of the circus...this one however looks very entertaining. Blimey look at those girls, their flexibility is quite amazing and food afterwards too....what a great family day out you had. Can quite understand that blogging has to take a back seat at the moment, your busy life has to be prioritised. xxx

Lynn Holland said...

It's really nice that you post such great blog pages Curtise. They are a joy to read. So thank you for taking the time to write them. People won't disappear if you don't reply we just look forward to the next instalment xxx

Patti said...

Like Lynn said, we await your posts, but we don't keep a tally and give you marks off for having a brilliant, full and interesting life. Your family gatherings look so warm and loving, and there's nothing better than that. xox

sonia said...

Wow! What a magical event. Eating in that tent must have been so cool! Also, love your shoes (both pairs)!

Melancholy and Menace said...

Time with grandma should always be cherished, and what a wonderful time you've all had!

I'm slightly obsessed with the moon, and so, adore the circus' theme, brilliant!

So many gorgeous photographs, thank you for sharing. xx

Sheila said...

No worries, you're here now, and that is good enough for us hangers-on! Also, I am very happy that you put the apostrophe in "Gifford's" in your tag, although it makes me cringe to see it missing in their signs!

Well! What an amazing outing! You seemed to live a charmed and magical life to me.

Forest City Fashionista said...

I'd like to spend some time at Belinda and Alan's, because of the pool and the pets ;) That looks like a wonderful circus and an all-round good time.

I understand about the full-to-bursting schedule. I have no post for this week, and just barely caught up with reading and commenting. Gainful employment wreaks havoc with one's recreational time! Hope the job is still going well, despite the schedule crunch.

Goody said...

Please don't worry about blogging-we'll all be here when you get time. Busy is good!

I enjoyed seeing photos of your family gathering at the circus, and I envy those blue sandals of yours.

Ivy Black said...

Proper juggling act innit love? May as well be in the circus although I'd have to be a bareback rider ...or a trapeze artist...or a knife thrower. I love Giffords it's a tremendous enterprise and I wish I'd set it up. Love the photos of you all having such a blast too.
Take it easy petal.
Loves ya.

Jazzy Jack said...

Totally cool! The circus and the commenting. Having a similar problem as you know.
Not sure about the bear on the horse...! Xo Jazzy Jack

Mother of Reinvention said...

Life does have a habit of getting in the way of things but having a life filled with happy, joyous times with the people you love is much more important than blogging so no apology necessary. Glad to see everyone making such great memories. Pool looks amazing. How fabulous to have one in this lovely weather. Really nice of you to share about your circus trip. I love them and used to go all the time with my Dad. Happy times all round. Xxxx

Kezzie said...

I've missed you but it's understandable! I've NEVER been to the circus but I would love to see something incredible like that!!!x

Angels have Red Hair said...

Wow ... their house in the country looks stunning ... how lucky are they.
Gotta love a circus :0)

mispapelicos said...

I am glad to see you living life to the full.
Seeing your children growing so much and the family together is such a joy.
Do not bother about the comments I also comment when I can.

BadPenny said...

Well that was a lovely catch up post ! I shall look out for Giffords as it looks so quirky.
It sounds like you had a wonderful time together as a family.

Something has to give; I Blog far less these days xx

bahnwärterin said...

this is a very sigh-inducing post - full of beauty and happiness!!!!
love the candy floss arrow pointing at nina!!! so true :-)
miss you so much! xxxxxxx

Charis said...

How did I miss the circus? Sulk, sulk! I would also be spectacularly awful at all circus related skills and be sent home too, you are not alone my dear!

Dawn rose said...

Your time away looks like a chill out place the garden looks great wish I had a garden x

Mrs Bertimus said...

I'm having a crazy end of term too!
Fabulous photos, thank you for sharing the joy x

Miss Magpie said...

I can't talk I haven't blogged for ages due to one thing and another.

First year I haven't been to Giffords, I always went with my Dad who just loved it, so it didn't seem right somehow. Maybe next year.

Sue said...

Apologies accepted but really not needed. Juggling is what mothers do, and we do it the best we can. LOVE all your photos, but you know I always love your photos. I have not been to a circus for such a long time, that looked pretty good, quite different from how I remember them. NO Animals these days, times have changed, for the better I suspect.

Catherine said...

oh dont apologise for not blogging! life happens, we get busy and things get neglected! my blogging has gone from 3 times weekly over the years to once a month, so dont be sad!

I love this circus! especially as its the kind that relies on human strength and ability and not the submission of animals to entertain. they still have those sorts of circus' here with lions and what not.

your day looks so perfectly English! from the tea pots to the miss matching plates at the dinner! love it!

Mim said...

That looks like a lovely family occasion (and Leala's hair is AMAZING).

Sometimes something has to give, and better blogging than your sanity!

Señora Allnut said...

oh yes, I've missed you too, but I know that blogging is not so important than Real Life and sometimes we employ our time in necessary things like working, cooking or sleeping!!!
That circus looks really appealing to me, romantic and lovely, colorful and really well produced!
Lovely to see you enjoying some country relax with family!

diaryofapennypincher said...

A fab post, thank you for sharing with us. Your sister's garden is amazing! Sometimes blogging has to take a back seat to real life, it's annoying when you want to blog but just can't find the time. Like another commenter has said though, grandma time is precious time, so you just blog when you can, we will still be here! Your blue sandals are lovely, by the way xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Dear Curtise, real family life is indeed like a real circus -- a juggling act with so many balls in the air at once one doesn't dare guess how many will be too many. We've all been in the center ring at one time or another and we do understand how difficult it is to balance priorities. Thank you for sharing snapshots and comments about your beautiful family and their adventures!

Shawna McComber said...

You and your big girl look lovely in those pretty floral dresses! I am not usually a fan of circuses but this one looks rather artsy and I like the look of it! It seems that so many of us are busy apologising these days, trying to explain why we are not able to blog as much or read blogs or comment. I think it is just wanting to say to our friends, hey I still value you even if things are looking different at the moment. You have always seemed such a busy and productive person to me. I absolutely understand what it is like when there is a bit more on the plate than you can handle. You will figure it out and get to a comfortable place eventually. Anyone worth keeping in your life won't go away. xoxo

Veshoevius said...

What lovely photos and you look fabulous as always in your dresses, the floral print shift and that lovely maxi in the last photo. And your daughter is growing up fast isn't she?
You have my total empathy about not finding the time to blog while working - I found it bloody difficult while I was working and teaching at the same time. I thought I'd have more time to blog once I took maternity leave! PAH! It's even worse now! This is the first time I've got to read a blog in more than a month let alone post. Anyway I'm glad I made it to yours!

Lisa said...

These last couple of weeks of school are always jam packed with little extras and that means extra demands on time which is always in short supply! I think it's blogging which gives as it's the easiest thing to go, it just sits waiting patiently for you to return.
The whole circus celebration looks like such good fun. I love Nina's lollypop top, I'd like one of those.
Lisa x

The Vintage Knitter said...

Giffords Circus is great fun, we've been going ever since Monkeychild was a toddler and its now part and parcel of her birthday celebrations. Glad to see that you all had a fab time too xxx

Vix said...

What a fab way to celebrate a birthday, sure beats a carvery down the Toby, doesn't it?
I'd kill for that stage set as decor in our house.
You aren't half one stylish looking family. Your frocks are fabulous and Claudia really is proper grown-up. Belinda and Alan's house is gorgeous. Pets and a pool? Perfect.
I dunno how you do it. We've only got work, never mind children to look after.
Love you! xxxxx

Unknown said...

Nothing gets me like a good old fashioned circus, and a slap up dinner to boot. Gosh well birthdays don't come much better. All kids really need is a big swimming pool and woods to run around in, perhaps you can book them in for the summer!

Ulla-Marie said...

If I was like ... lets say 11 or 44 and if Barbie was a relative of mine I would probably brag a lot about it. And if I owned a Puccini-like dress that the one you wear in the last image I would probably move into it.

Olga Rani said...

So nice that you managed to take so many photos from the show, really enjoyed to have a glimpse of it! Your sister's house looks like one from a fairy tale: so cute-looking and all that greenery around! I miss your regular posts and hope you will not have to drop blogging completely.

Unknown said...

Wow the circus looked amazing I haven't been to one for years I took the boys when they were much smaller. Your sister house and land looks gorgeous what a wonderful peaceful space no wonder the children liked it there :-) Have a restful summer holidays if you are able, dee xx

The Style Crone said...

I can relate to a busy schedule and falling behind on comments and blogging. Your life is rich and full, and I can see that you're having a fabulous time with your children and your family. The wonderful thing is that blogging has developed relationships that will be around during times such as these. It only makes you more interesting!

Love the hats by Philip Treacy!

freckleface said...

Hello my lovely. Don't ever worry about commenting on mine, I know how crazy life can be. Happy birthday to your big sis. Lovely that you all got together to celebrate it. Mind you with a gaff like that, I'd go and celebrate opening a new pint of milk with them. That pool is heavenly, and then when you tell us it's in a woodland setting, that takes it to a perfect rating. Not surprised the kids love it. Look at you looking all sexy and sophisticated in your maxi. Gorgeous. And it runs in the family. Your niece is a supermodel. Not surprised Nina's besotted! Those are awfully bendy girls in that there circus! Xxxxx