A summer evening on a village green. The sun glitters through the trees, its glow illuminating the white big top tent that nestles amongst dozens of liveried circus wagons. From inside the tent, children’s laughter peals out into the evening. A crowd gasps… then applauds wildly. The air is balmy, candy floss scented. It is a scene that feels at once centuries old and freshly thrilling. This is Giffords Circus.
Yesterday was possibly my very favourite day of the summer: our annual trip to Giffords Circus. There were squeals of delight as the car rounded the corner and we saw the big top and the beautiful maroon wagons. We arrived in plenty of time so as to soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible, and picnicked under an old oak tree on Minchinhampton Common. The show was, just as last year, utterly entrancing in every way. Our whole family was spellbound throughout, with the exception of baby E who very obligingly slept in his Daddy’s arms, despite the oohs and the aahs and the thunderous applause!
I shall allow the secrets of the circus to remain within the big top but suffice to say that the boys were once again delighted with Tweedy the Clown, their Daddy loved the fire-jugglers the best, my Dad favoured the dancing bear and my Mum the acrobats. I just loved every single magical moment: the essence of every circus story I have ever read distilled into one achingly perfect show.