There are many different things that we measure our lives by. For some people I guess it might be earning a bonus or an annual professional review. Perhaps it’s the opinion of colleagues or of our family. Are we achieving those things we hoped for and dreamed of? How do we measure our success? What is important to us? Has that changed?
For me Wallingford BunkFest is one of those events that gives me a view on my work and also allows me a review of how I have progressed. It’s partly because it comes at the end of the summer so I can look back at the whole season and re-think some of the highlights, issues and any disasters and determine what needs to change. This year I have put fire performance back into the show and feel it has given me an edge that was missing from the third show. I still have it in mind to develop the Materialising Motorbike Illusion, but it needs some investment of money and time. Definitely a winter project worth considering.
It’s also the nature of how I am funded there that makes Wallingford different. The committee pay a contribution to my fee because they and I know the public will put money into my hat. As it is a free festival of a very high quality this means that the public is willing to contribute financially to it. And I’m as good as the money they drop in my hat. This year the people of Wallingford were as generous as ever and I can therefore feel satisfied the show is up to standard. In addition the feedback was great and made me feel that the show continues to be what I work hard to make it. I think the crowds were larger than ever and their enthusiastic response to the show was overwhelming.
Over the years the event has seen me in many different psychological and emotional states so it has always given me a period of reflection in a number of other ways too. I have many good friends in Wallingford and they are always on hand for me to share personal aspects of my life, so I can manage a personal review too. The summer has been challenging and, on occasion, rather difficult personally. The VOSA episode in May launched me into a short period of paranoia and worry which eventually proved to be unfounded, but for a time preoccupied me considerably. Other things also contributed to a somewhat unsettling early part of the season. However I think I’m over the worst and can return to my winter mode with enthusiasm for the new Cat’s Paw presentation (about which more later) and all the usual preparation for next year. I have also to focus myself on organising and animating the Ilfracombe Victorian Celebrations. I’m going to be busy, which is how I like it.
So Wallingford 2015 finished with a blazing hot summer Sunday, allaying all the fears of the previous week that had caused so many Bank Holiday events (including the Isle of Wight Steam Show where I was) to be muddy and rain-swept. It was a glorious finale to the summer and I can go into the Back End Fairs (only two more to go this year) with energy and enthusiasm.
My newly mounted solar panel on the lorry roof manages to supply enough power for the fridge overnight and thanks to my good friend Ralph I have got it working at peak efficiency and can see at a glance how much power is left in the batteries thanks to the digital voltmeter and second leisure battery he gave me. I plan to augment one panel to a three panel array next year and be completely generator-free on sunny days.
So there is much to look forward to, something I couldn’t have said with such certainty a few months ago.
All the best from a road near you,