Scottish 2004

Scottish Juggling & Face Painting Convention 2004

This year, we had our best ever turnout of people from Stirling attending this Scottish Convention! I invited 3 people from my youth group this year. Chucky pulled out at the last minute, Johnny found out that he had to attend a music convention somewhere in England, which left me and my trusty sidekick Timmy who came with me last year!

130 people attended this convention. This year they came from all over Britain, France, Spain, the USA, Greece and Germany.
On arrival we were given our convention pass, which was a little doggy made out of wee baubles. Not the best pass, but definitely original! Timmy was only allowed to attend this year if he stayed with Dr Charles, as he had a prelim exam on the Tuesday after he returned to Stirling. We were warmly greeted by the rest of the Stirling Posse and I met Jonny for the first time and discovered that he is coming with George and me as part of the Holland Exchange!

SJC 2004 pass

Ruth had brought the amazing stilts that we were dying to try out! They really feel very bouncy. One problem is that you have to keep moving at all times, and the other problem is that we have all seen people that can do somersaults and large leaps with them, so someone was bound to get over-ambitious this weekend (thankfully no-one did!)

If you are still quite a shyperson (like me), then the best thing to do at a convention is to sit down and write your diary or read over some juggling notes. Before you know it, you are surrounded by lots of people curious as to what you are doing and happy to sit and chat to you! I did have some work to do this time round as I was to teach a 2 Day Seminar on Christian Juggling in Northamptonshire just 2 days after the convention finished, and I wanted to check that I had thought of everything and planned it well enough. Thanks to the people who had a look at the seminar plan and offered subtle changes to it, and it was good being able to share my faith and tell people a little about what Christian juggling involves also!

Lorna and Captain Dunc

Faced with the prospect of a cold concrete floor, a kind Ruth offered me her couch for the night, so I warmly accepted the invitation and was soon sound asleep in her flat! The best nights sleep I have ever had at a convention!

Horizontal Rule - Turbo Bouncer Balls


I had plans to participate in lots of workshops, but as always, I ended up ending the first few, then just drifting off and doing my own thing! I did attend the Poi Workshop ran by Ruth. Tim and Zoe did really well. Tim, Jonny and I then tried out Ruth’s stilts taking it in turns to look out for each other. Jonny did a fantastic recovery while on stilts when he was practically horizontal and managed to balance himself again!

Weather was the worst I have seen this year. Within a 20 minute period, the sun shone, it rained, hail came down and then snow! It was beautiful to watch the near horizontal rain hit against the side of our lovely venue (Glasgow Science Centre)!
Timmy and I went to a show in the Science Centre called “Only Tools and Forces”. The guy explained how Newton’s 3 laws of motion worked by firing a potato through a tennis racket in an effort to make chips (he ended up with mashed potato though)!

Tim Hamlet

The Public Show

The show took place on the Saturday night, in a brand new location which we had to get the underground train to! The venue was at Maryhill Community Education Centre where I had ran a workshop the previous year for a local community group.

I was asked by Captain Duncan to be the stage hand for his routine, so I got to be on stage for his act. One day, I will take to the stage and perform for other jugglers, but I will build up my renegade performances first!

Scott C was our Compere for the evening. The following is the order of acts along with a brief comment/review:

1) Charles Short Intro Charles wasn’t Compering this year, so he just made a few welcoming gestures and then passed on to our MC Scott C.
2) Scott C Chair Balance Magic Act They picked a wee girl out the audience and levitated her on a chair, just like what happened to me several years ago!
3) Charles 3 Ball Non Glo Very skillful.
4) Wee Andy Globalls Great routine with the orange and blue coloured balls.
5) Roger Unicycle Roger brought on 4 unicycles, one of which was invisible! He used a normal unicycle, a big wheeled one, a two wheeled one, and the invisible one.
6) Larrisa Glo Club Swinging Excellent stuff once again from the lovely Larrisa.
7) Jamie Devil Stick Fantastic as always from Jamie. Nearly managed his cartwheel and catch finale!
8) Scott C Banana / Bandana Routine As seen last year. Back by popular demand.
9) Scott C Memory Trick The shopping list trick was very funny. Zoe had picked an item from a supermarket and Scott had picked the right barcode for it! The build up was fantastic!
10) Scott C Barbed Wire Linking Rings Exactly what is says on the tin.
11) Fuzzy Miniature Bike Trick Fuzzy jumped over someone on his mini-bike. No magic involved, just a big build up. Funny though thanks to his assistant!
12) Carlos Globalls The masked avenger was back in disguise once again, to do the same routine as per the past two years to exactly the same tune  “Things can only get better”! Great routine, but seen it many times before now!
13) Duncan Rola Bolo Balance I set up the stage for him, and stood at the side as he requested his razor sharp balls (of fear), razor sharp clubs (of terror), and razor sharp knives (of mass destruction). He rola-bola’d on top of a set of ladders. Funny and entertaining act.
14) Ruth UV Poi Highlight of the show! Ruth was fantastic and spent a lot of time getting her outfit and UV make-up ready. Dressed in black with a mask, the first poi-spin was fast paced, then she whipped off her cloak to reveal tartan skirt, and launched into another routine, before building up to the poi with glo-sticks attached for a breathtaking finale!
15) Surfing Penguin Flags Never seen this before. Accompanied by Ian on the violin. Flag waving and throwing. Enchanting.
16) Luke Burrage Numbers Juggling Juggling with tennis balls and ball holder to begin with. Moving on to doing some numbers tricks. The inimitable and unique Luke Burrage was outstanding!
17) Donald Grant Diabolo Never seen him perform before. He was breathtaking with his one diabolo routine, then followed his 2 diabolo tricks book trick by trick for the second half of his routine! Amazing stuff. Dressed for the occasion in a kilt to keep the ladies happy!

Donald Grant (the Donald Grant!)

To summarise. it was a great show and everyone performed well on the night. Having the famous Donald Grant and infamous Luke Burrage as the closing acts helped to make the overall show better than previous years efforts. Where were the Gandini’s who were meant to be appearing though?

My favourite act was Captain Duncan’s because I got to be in it! I thought that Ruth’s UV Poi act was outstanding also.


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Horizontal Rule - Turbo Bouncer Balls


Andy Blackett and I saw that no-one was organising a renegade, so we took it on ourselves to do the job! Andy decided to compere the renegade and I was on hand to keep things running smoothly and to do some performing and to operate the music. Andy and I did a parody of the public show, which was very well received, the highlight of which was me balancing on a rola bola on top of a bit of wood on a chair, and juggling at the same time (to copy Duncan’s act which I had appeared in earlier).

I did some 4 ring juggling which some people requested, and it ended with the rings stacked round my neck, then I also did a parody of the barbed wire linking rings act that Scott C had performed earlier! There was a balloon contact juggling trick showdown between the 2 Andy’s. Jonny got up and stubbed out 22 matches and a lit cigarette on his tongue! Some guys did acrobatics, and Andy did a proper contact juggling show with a guy on didgeridoo accompanying him. We had to watch not to have too much noise as it was very early in the morning (after 3am). The renegade had at least 100 people watching it. I got various congratulations afterwards for my part in the show and I felt a real sense of achievement and growth as a performer.

Mirrors Illusion

Brekkie was excellent and I sat around the brekkie table reading a Sunday paper and chatting to Kirie. Timmy arrived and asked if we could head across to the Science Centre for a workshop he wanted to attend. Tommy, Jonny, Chirlene, Judith and Zoe joined us on our trek to the venue! It was very cold.

I didn’t feel like juggling at this time in the morning, so Jonny and I headed upstairs and wandered around the other 2 floors I hadn’t visited yesterday. We had a great time trying out many experiments and I got some good photos of the SECC.

I enjoyed watching Gandolfs acrobatic workshop while eating my lunch, then Britta arrived in the Clyde room and I took part in her balloon modelling workshop where I made a doggy, 2 hats, a snake and a flower!

Horizontal Rule - Turbo Bouncer Balls

World Record Haggis Juggling

A lot of people considered me a serious contender this year for the 3 haggis endurance world record! I had my own wee fan club shouting me on. Fuzzy thought there was too many people, so he asked all the serious jugglers to stay out of the first round, and only 2 people came forward to juggle in heat one! They didn’t last long.

Haggis Juggling

It was then time for the serious contenders! I stood between Luke Burrage and Andy Blackett (last years winner). After a few minutes, all that remained was myself, the 2 Andy’s, Charlie and Luke. I ended up 3rd (about 6.5mins), with Charlie 2nd, and Luke just juggling for fun at the end, finishing on 9min 59secs! There were 4 & 5 Haggis endurance contests also, but they weren’t as much fun!

Horizontal Rule - Turbo Bouncer Balls

Duncan would shout out  “It’s a fix” after every number that Fuzzy called out. I would then shout “Take the Haggis”, as it was the most unappetising prize available! After about 20 winners, I then actually got my number called out, and I took the haggis and got a huge cheer! Ewan won a tiara, and George won something also.
Horizontal Rule - Turbo Bouncer Balls

Stirling posse definitely won over half of the games!

  • 3 Club gladiators was played a couple of times and I nearly won them both.
  • 3 ball gladiators was won by me! I won 3 pink and white juggling balls! I had to defeat a wee boy to win it though!
  • I stredged with Jonny and we blew all-comers away to win some Guatamalan Juggling Balls which I let Jonny keep!

Stredging - Jonny and I won (again!)

  • Plate Spinning Gladiators  – I was going to compete, but a wee boy needed a plate, so I let him have mine which I spun for him. George won this one.
  • Devil Stick (one handstick propellors) Gladiators  –  George won this and got a Devil Stick as his reward! I came in about 3rd.
  • Diabolo into a hat on Jonny’s head  – I lost my diabolo (the Henry’s Jazz which I have had since 1994) during this event, and as it had came apart earlier in the day and was wrecked, I didn’t bother hunting everywhere for it!
  • 3 Club Hat gladiators – I couldn’t get my hat made up fast enough to take part in this one.

Horizontal Rule - Turbo Bouncer Balls

Heading Home

After saying our goodbyes, Zoe, Chirlene, Judith, Jonny, Timmy and myself set out for home. The 3 girls would stay on the train till Montrose, whereas we got off at Stirling. I was met off the train by my mum and future mother-in-law and her sister who had came to stay in my flat for a week while I headed down to England to see my fiance and run a Christian Juggling seminar!

Skeleton climbing wall at Glasgow Science Centre


A great convention. Thanks to Fuzzy for his excellent work once again. The public show was the best so far (still a shame that the Gandini’s didn’t make it though). It was great to finally meet Donald Grant who gave me some sweets! I was delighted to have a good turnout of the Stirling Posse and we represented ourselves well throughout the convention. Thanks to Ruth for the comfy couch! I would love to perform during a public show in future years, and so I got a taste of being on stage this time round and I managed to help run a renegade this year, so who knows what may happen in the future!

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