A day out with the Big Green Gummi Bear, Dragons and a Bearded Lady

It’s an all too rare occurrence but the Big Green Gummi Bear and I went out for the day last Saturday. We’re really not very good at this “going out together thing” -you’d think after over twenty five years together we’d have got the hang of it!

With Boy Child and Girl Child left at home with pizzas to cook for their dinner and a cat nominated as the person in charge, we headed off to Glasgow to see Cirque du Soleil at the SSE Hydro. After some debate about where to park the car, we finally chose the science centre car park (my suggestion so I got to pay the parking costs). It was a beautiful spring afternoon and, as we walked across the footbridge over the River Clyde, I stole a moment or two to take a few photos. (I could hear the Big Green Gummi Bear growling under his breath). Note to self – it’s not a good idea to wear metal tipped stiletto heels when trotting across a steel bridge! I’m sure my “dainty” footsteps could be heard for miles!

The Hydro is a fabulous venue but, despite my enthusing at great length about it to the Big Green Gummi Bear for the last six months, he didn’t get to experience the sheer size of it due to the subtle lighting ( or lack of light) when we entered the “bowl” to take our seats for the show.

Large Chinese lanterns hung down from the roof creating a tranquil atmosphere. It felt like sitting inside a temple from the Ming Dynasty. Cirque do Soleil’s Dralion was a fantastically colourful show. The programme explained the theme as being a “cultural fusion where Nature and Man become one in a quest for harmony. With the Dragon (Dralion) symbolising the 3000 year old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts. In this magical world the four elements governing the natural order take on human form to defy the laws of gravity.” And defy the laws of gravity they did!

We were treated to a two hour extravaganza of acrobats, aerial pas de deux, single handed balancing, aerial hoop, juggling and the incredible crossed wheel. There’s so much going on out on the stage that at times it’s hard to know where to look. I could have watched the trampolinists all day – they really did defy gravity! The Dralions, Chinese Dragons each made up of two acrobats, were incredible but I’d have liked to have seen more of them. Like every “circus” show Cirque du Soleil has its clowns. I’m not meaning silly wigs, red noses and big shoe type clowns but more traditional clowning more akin to “Mr Bean” in some respects. The four clowns’ impeccable comic timing and forays into the audience added just the right element of humour.

We emerged from our Chinese temple back out into the early evening sunshine. Cue more loud “trotting” back across the bridge. On the way home we stopped off for a delicious meal and a very welcome glass of wine at a small restaurant overlooking Dumbarton Rock, a volcanic basalt plug on the banks of the River Clyde, and Dumbarton Castle.

All in all it was perfect day out – so how do you round off such a magical day? (Put that naughty thought away!)

We came home to Boy Child and Girl Child, opened a bottle of wine, sprawled out on the couch and watched the Eurovision Song Contest. Cheesy trashy pop music for over two hours – what more can I say! Quite appropriate though, that after our day at the circus, it should be won by the Bearded Lady.

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