Running away to the circus

Last Saturday, Steve and I ran away to the circus.

We made our way to Minchinhampton, a beautiful little town in the Cotswolds.  The circus was in town for a few days on the Common.

I put my hair in pigtails and dressed up in my Fine Linen shirt, boiled wool blazer, knickerbockers and high-heeled, t-strap Mary Janes.

Tomboy Chic

We met up with two of our dear friends at our B & B and set off across the Common.

Minchinhampton Common at dusk

Jayne and I in Circus Best

The chaps, Steve and John, lead the way

For our walk across the field I changed into my new Converse star flyer sneakers and carried my Mary Janes in a bag.  And a good thing I’d changed!  After we got there, I realised I’d forgotten the tickets at our B & B, so I sprinted back to get them (and got back just in time to change back into my heels and make a Grand Entrance into the circus tent).

Sawdust beneath my feet

Giffords Circus is a fantastic experience.   Toti and Nell Gifford started Giffords Circus in 2000. Their vision was of a miniature village green circus, packed, rowdy, glamorous – birds and horses and motorbikes bursting from a fluttering white tent – a show for rural families, farmers and filmstars. I find this circus part vaudeville, part music hall act, part panto and utterly magical.  As my favourite painter and circus lover says,

“For me a circus is a magic show that appears and disappears like a world.
A circus is disturbing. It is profound”
-Marc Chagall

Tweedy runs afoul of The Law

The Bobby on traffic patrol

Packed with spangles and feathers,

Bird of Paradise Usherette

Spangled Circus Lady

and filled with spectacle, great live music and stellar performers.

The Mataloes

Debonair on the high wire

The Gold Standard – all tapdancing with winks and smiles all round


Tweedy reaches for the stars

I loved this horse who carried the bareback riders.

My favourite clown – Tweedy!

At the interval, we all went outside to enjoy the beautiful summer evening.

A stout-hearted English oak

Some of us took photos,


Run Rabbit

Circus snapper

some of us ran around barefoot,

and everyone enjoyed themselves and each other.  The spirit of the circus is so huge that it spills out of the bigtop.

A great icebreaker was, ‘Is this your first circus?’

A little constellation of circus comraderie


After the circus was over we had a starlit three ring, I mean three course, meal at Circus Sauce, the 42 seat travelling restaurant.  Saving that for another post!

Circus Sunset


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