It's the end of the Giffords Circus season and a time of goodbyes. You have lived with the circus village on tour since the spring and suddenly it's autumn. The ground is wet, the evenings are dark. The circus lights seem brighter in the dark and the warm bright intensity of the tents contrasts with the mud and brown leaves outside.
Today I took Cecil and Red to Carters Steam Fair in Bath. They are there until this Sunday and then at other grounds on into the autumn. I think they are an absolute essential thing to see.
Talk about riding the crest of a wave! Two months has passed since we took Any Port in a Storm on the road. And it has been magical. The opening at our HQ Fennells Farm was a whirlwind as it is every year - bedding the new in (so to speak!), reacquainting the old, and pushing the 2017 Giffords Circus family onto the road for the summer.
Last week a surge of talent descended on Fennells Farm for the production meeting, a key day for the show's creation. It is an extraordinary day of collaboration. Old working relationships being rekindled and new ones being formed. We all talk, ponder, laugh, question, observe, listen, all working to the same goal, a vision of Any Port in a Storm. The buzz is palpable
There is always a shift in energy when the paint brushes come out. The new Art Department is coming on leaps and bounds as we fast forward into spring. It is a glorious time of the year with longer days, temperatures in double digits and colour returning to the landscape. And where better than at Fennells Farm.
Keen to enter into the festive spirit and have a little bit of fun in the run up to Christmas, we have created an Advent Frame. It has wrapped presents to be won each day from 1st to 24th December.
It happens every year. The clocks go back and the nights draw in. But it still comes as a shock to the system. And being typically British, it becomes a much loved topic of conversation. The US Election? Bah. Brexit? Tosh. Nothing creates a furrowed brow as much as the annual nose dive into the long dark evenings.
At the start of this year we were facing illness, building work and inclement weather. Yet through it all, we took another tour on the road
Every year we are always surprised to reach the final weekend. But this year seems to have flown by more quickly than ever.
Blink and you miss it. That is certainly proving to be the case with The Painted Wagon tour which only has another 6 weeks left to run.
We've done London, all three weeks, and it was a blast! We welcomed families, friends, actors, actresses, models, students, comedians, school groups, photographers, disadvantaged youngsters and proud parents.
Our 2016 tour, The Painted Wagon opened at home, Fennells Farm on Friday 13th May 2016. Since then we have performed 72 shows, our burgundy wagons, and troupe have rolled through Sudeley Castle, Daylesford Organic Farm Park, Blenheim Palace and Oxford University Parks and have now arrived in the big city.
What a great feeling to have finished the last round of chemotherapy. I am celebrating by sitting in bed watching the Cheltenham festival on Channel 4.