I've been performing at Northwick Park Hospital for over ten years. Every visit is made even more special when a certain member of the housekeeping team are on shift. Her name is Sweetie. It really is and she really is. She keeps the ward looking Spick and Span. Well apparently tomorrow is her last day. She is moving to a hospital nearer to where she lives. She will be missed by everyone. I have made her a balloon as my contribution to her farewell. I wont be at her party but I do wish her well
So with the sun shining and the corn growing higher than my Shelties heads why am I talking about Christmas?
This week I was asked if I had any more recent video footage of my show. I was embarassed to say that I hadn’t. I didn’t even have any particularly recent photos.
There is so much bad coverage given to social media it is becoming impossibly hard to get to use the images of happy smiling children any more. I end up taking pictures of balloons that I have made that have no more than a childs unidentifyable hand in view. Either that, or I have to sticker out the very happy faces I wanted to show. I am reliant on the good will and generosity of parents who are happy for me to use their photos. Some even ask me to use them which is lovely.
So this is why I am posting a photos from Christmas. This was the Watford Association of Magic’s Christmas Show and Competition. I came a respectable 3rd, after Magic Dave and good friend Captain Calamity. Im pictured here dancing to the Wiggle Wiggle song. I was the first performer on stage and needed to warm the audience up. Im wearing my Christmas outfit. My lovely purple suit with flower trim is due for retirement . The next suit will be red with blue stars, just for a change.
Oh my goodness. I have never seen such a party as I saw on Tuesday. The person who booked me warned me that the roads may be a little busy. I was told that it may be a little crazy. That was the most beautiful understatement I have ever heard. The booking was for a private party in a house where I dutifully arrived over an hour early. At first I thought that all the drivers in the area were in a terrible hurry as there was a cacophony of bibbing car horns…… Little did I know of what was to come. There were cars everywhere but I manage to get parked on a grass verge that I’m sure on any other night might have sent a traffic warden twitching for his ticket machine.
The children I was expecting dutifully arrived, all in fancy dress. We had clowns, old men and air stewardesses. After a supper of sausages and chips, they were keen for the magic show to get started. We were part way through the show when I could hear music outside the house. We all went to investigate. This quiet cul-de-sac had turned into Ibiza. There was a flat back truck loaded with lights and speakers with dancers jumping up and down on the back to some traditional pop music. Those not on the truck were following behind, jumping singing and dancing.
We finished the magic show and went on to making balloons. Something was now kicking off inside the house. We had new visitors. First was a group of children dressed as clowns. They treated us to a song, then in came a dance troup to add to the entertainment. Money was being collected for, I believe for a local school.
The purpose of this blog entry is to talk about the amazing atmosphere created by this celebration. It was a mix of a Christian Christmas and the Treat and Treat of Halloween, along with the partying of New Years Eve. Every thing was good natured, very little alcohol was being drunk, and everyone was having a good time.
The best thing for the children was to have the next day off school to recover.
Hopefully the winter chills are behind us and we are looking forwar to some warmer weather. It’s been a busy time for Auntie Julie. The new year started off with a family party in Chiperfield. I met up with a large set of grandchildren whom I had met in the summer at their Grandads 70th Birthday party. . January seemed to be a month of repeat bookings. I paid another visit to the Croxley Green Baptist Church where the boys and girls brigades enjoyed a circus session, followed by juice and crisps. I was a member of the girls brigade when I was young as were my children. The leaders and helpers have hardly changed. Always nice to see old friends.
The POD hospital shows are coming back now. Auntie Julie regularly visits Watford Hospital and Northwick Park along with a trip further into London to The Whittington and Great Ormond Street Hospital. We are still wearing masks on the ward, but after the ‘Covid Years’ we seem to be finding to a new normal.
The next big event is Purim, a very important Jewish festival all about a lady called Esther. The great thing about it is that school finishes at lunch time and then families gather to celebrate. Even better, I get invited along to get the party swinging.
Towards the end of the summer I was invited to host an event for Home Start, Watford and Three Rivers. This is a group who have volunteers who support young families. There are many reasons for a family to be put forward. I myself had twins ( all grown up now), and with a toddler in tow I knew I could do with an extra pair of hands. I had a lovely lady come to see me each week. Although she wasn’t there as a free babysitter, she did tend to look after the twins so that I could take my older boy swimming. This is something I couldn’t do on my own. I will be forever grateful for her support and the support of Home Start
Once the group had arrived we all settled down to Auntie Julie’s Magic show. It was the usual mix of singing, dancing, circus fun and magic. There were plenty of older children there to teach the younger ones what to do.
Congratulations to our dear Queen, Queen Elizabeth the second, on her 70 years on the throne.
To be honest, though the achievement is record breaking, the number doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we were all told that we could celebrate in style, and Auntie Julie certainly did.
Things kicked off in Hatfield on the Wednesday with Auntie Julie’s wartime show. She was performing to adults living with dementia. Luckily for her there were two lovely children helping their mum serve the dinners. I persuaded them to stay for the show, and they really were the stars.
On Thursday morning Auntie Julie helped Ema celebrate her 7th birthday with friends in her garden in Northwood. That was a lot of fun with everyone having a go at making bubbles.
Thursday afternoon was a little different. This time it was Auntie Julie’s turn to run her own party. With the help of Heather and Monika, neighbours from either side of the Auntie Julie House, the road was closed and a lovely street party created in an hour. For three hours, there was music, quizzes and bingo. Thomas and George, the young boys were the bingo callers. At one point most of the bingo balls landed on the floor so a few numbers were called twice.
The afternoon ended with everyone standing for the National Anthem.
Saturday brought a lot of driving and a bit of worry about the weather. Somehow, neither party was affected. Auntie Julie went to Letchworth Golf Club to entertain after a BBQ lunch then drove 60 miles to Medmenham to see some familiar faces at the Danesfield Arms.
Sunday began with her usual morning at Signature Care Home in Chorleywood with an exercise class and Jubilee Church Service. After lunch it was the final jubilee show at The Meriden playing fields in Watford.
On Monday morning it was time to take down the bunting, and pack it away for the next celebration.
This was the first time Auntie Julie had been inviting to Watford Field Infants and Nursery school at Easter time. Normally she would come along at Christmas, but last year everything was a little different. The children had to have small parties in their class bubbles and Auntie Julie wasn’t able to join them. She busied herself in Santa’s workshop, making sure the Elves were behaving and working hard to get all the gifts out on time.
The weather man got all a little bit confused and the day started and ended with a snow storm. The photo doesn’t really do the scene justice but we did get a heavy fall of snow.
This year Auntie Julie took a break from the Easter Bunny’s Egg warehouse to come along to the school for a little Easter fun. We had a show about Eggs, Chickens and the occasional rabbit. As usual lots of fun was had by all. I can’t wait to see you all at Christmas
The weather was on our side when we went to The Fancott in Toddington this weekend. The pub is so much more than just a pub. The food looked amazing. The children at this party had huge burgers bursting with salad and a big plate of chips each. The trouble was that they were too excited to eat very much and it was doggy boxed to go home with.
The Fancott has its own miniature railway, and so with tickets booked for 2 pm, there was no time to lose.
As we were outside in a public area we invited all the children to come and join us. It made a great party atmosphere. The staff turned down the music allowing me to perform my show . The adults were brilliant and joined in the fun.
I thoroughly recommend you go and find this pub. The staff are friends and the food is great. Book your tickets in advance for the train ride.
Auntie Julie is back and so are her amazing parties. After a long and hard year it is time to book Auntie Julie for your spring and summer parties.
29th March – We have Garden Parties for up to six people
12th April – Garden Parties for up to 15 people
17th May – Garden Parties up to 30 people Indoor Parties up to six people
21st June – No restrictions – Party time is truly back
So what has Auntie Julie been up to ?
Auntie Julie has been very busy during lock-down
Firstly she tidied up all her magic boxes. It is amazing how much magic you can accumulate in 20 years. Then it was time for some zoom shows with guests from America and Europe. Every Monday was tots story time with singing, dancing, and bible stories. In the summer smaller garden parties were allowed so it was nice to get back to doing shows with an audience you could reach. During the second lock down Auntie Julie was still able to entertain at one residential home for older people. That kept her busy with magic, singing and arts and craft sessions. Christmas shows did still happen in some schools, with socially distanced performances to year group bubbles of children. Some shows also happened on zoom
It is so nice to be able to book everyone in for this coming spring and summer. Don’t delay, it’s going to get busy
….. Just a little update – Christmas bookings are coming in quickly now, so if you would like Auntie Julie to come to your school or nursery this year please get in touch today.
Just when we were starting to get back to normal everything changed again. We had just got used to the new rules, when they became the old rules and new ones took over.
Let us not be downhearted . We have all learnt to adapt. We can still have a party and have lots of fun.
Auntie Julie can still come to your home. We just need to keep the numbers down. You can have two grown ups, four children and Auntie Julie who – as an outside trades-clown doesn’t count. The news gets even better. Why not Zoom all your friends into the party. It is so simple. Just open a Zoom or House-party room, face one camera to Auntie Julie and let technology take the strain. Now everyone can join in.
If you hire a venue – then we can have a larger event with social distancing. This would be a sit down, theater-style magic show, where guests stay strictly in their family groups. Food would need to be served to the tables, with no wandering around. It isn’t a perfect solution but has been working remarkable well. Some pubs and cafe’s may work nicely for one of these ‘sit down’ parties.