Sempur Sursum

Monday 16th May

The rain seems to be following us around now and Windermere was set with it’s famous drizzle. Here in the Lake District it can linger, almost hang in the air. And as I looked out of the window from my room I was sad to realise that the weather was going to work against us.

Sister Nick a professional physiotherapist arrived and checked me over confirming that I had indeed torn the muscle and it could have been a lot worse. I spent the afternoon sat with George my wife watching TV and resting that calf in our hotel room.

Our plan had been to work our way around Bowness performing routines from Dolly’s suitcases by way of advertising and drawing people to the Gleeb for our static 6.30 show. Strict instructions to spend the day resting the duff leg however made this impossible and as such we were going to struggle to gather any audience at all given the rain. I,m an old hand at this street theatre lark and on reflection we should have programmed our performance earlier to capture more of the holiday trade and day trippers. Our shows are timed for 6.30 to give families time to eat, catch up and tackle homework etc before gathering to watch.

However Bowness on a Sunday evening is of course is largely populated with departing tourists and as such our timings were out, and I should have known better.

None the less we set off for two very different arrivals. Our friend Alec Profit who you might remember from earlier adventures had volunteered to be our pusher for the day.

*Be it known hereafter that we refer to Pushers as our helpers in shunting Dolly rather than deliverers of any recreational sundries.

The rain was thick as P2 and Lord Gregg left to trundle towards the lake and our venue. I however spent a very pleasant and dry journey in my wife’s car and was deposited at the foot of the grass verge beneath the covered bandstand. Before too long Lord Gregg and P2 arrived and I was surprised how quickly they had covered the ground. A soaked Lord Gregg pointed out this was largely due to the fact they had trundled down hill the entire way and it would be a longer journey back up after the show.

We took coffee in a nearby cafe overlooking the venue and rain sodden trippers before walking back up to the site. The thick drizzle was still set in and we waited forlornly for the site of anybody who might have travelled to see the show.

The old leg was proving still difficult but a little better and despite the misery of the weather I was feeling uplifted that I might well be well enough to trundle along later in the journey. Nick had given me a series of exercises and suggested that I could be hobbling again by Tuesday.

Good news indeed!

We were soon joined by Evening Mail friends as we were now back in it’s readership and interviews and photographs were taken. At the stroke of 6.30 we decide that no audience would be willing to brave the elements this time and that we should pack up and leg it. As we were setting off a car pulled up and a family made up to the site. Mrs Boggin teaches my son Alfie and herself and family had come along to view.

Hurrah a show after all. We performed a few routines from our walkabout set to thank them for coming despite the rain and apologised that we had packed down and could not offer the full show. We were not to worry as they hope to join us for our performance at Sparkbridge.

Ian a kindly Mail reporter drove me back up the hill to my room and I stood on the step stretching my calf waiting for P2 Lord Gregg and Dolly to arrive safe home. They did so quick enough if again moist.

Early to bed resting my leg once more I was again overjoyed that despite all odds health, weather or otherwise us Vagabonds had shown and thanks in no small part to our growing army of supporters.

Damo joined us in the morning as our third pusher (P3). I was collected from my room and driven to our afternoon performance in Brockhole by a showman and friend Cambell a regular performer with The Fairly Famous Family.

It was good to see him again. The last time we were together we were booked to perform at a ceremony in Scotland to celebrate the cooking and subsequent feasting upon the worlds biggest ever Haggis.

Funny old business.

I sit in the cafe at Brockhole awaiting the Vagabonds. I took a gentle stroll around the garden and the leg feels a little better. Despite being a portly bloke I am actually quite fit. I,m not often I’ll and repair quickly on the whole.

Maybe Unlike my spirits a few days ago i am not broken yet.

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