Not a lot got done on the Homestead over the weekend – but don’t blame us. This is the time of year that New Brighton becomes a full-on hot spot of global entertainment and it would have been down-right rude of us to ignore this and stay at home. On the agenda this weekend was Kite Day and the Buskers in Brighton (part of the World Buskers Festival).
Kite Day is always amazing; some of those kites are huge, requiring anchoring to vehicles, some have twirly whirly bits, and all of them are pretty. There’s nothing like a giant Pegasus galloping hard out on the good ol’ prevailing easterly or a massive multicoloured fish staring soulfully out to sea from several stories up. We’ve even taken part a couple of times, chucking the Homestead excuse for a parafoil into the briny breeze, but these outings generally end in whatever it is that lurks at the absolute opposite end of the spectrum from Fun for the Whole Family. This is mainly because we only have one kite, it’s aerodynamically challenged (to say the least), everyone thinks they are the best pilot until they are standing with the string of power in their hot little hands, and you get over untangling the salt-sticky string very quickly. No, for us the appeal of Kite Day lies in the observation of the glorious plethora of oversized flying gizmos – and watching all those families way nicer than us having fun.
This was just a fleeting peek, however, as we headed off to watch the Homestead favourite busker: MulletMan, and the following act, Hula Queen (experience has taught us that sitting on the concrete steps in the noonday sun for any longer is a recipe for disaster). MulletMan is Christchurch’s local boy made good. Yep, we’ve seen the show before but the funny bits are still funny, the clever bits still clever, and it’s always fascinating to see the stuff that isn’t either of those two but still gets the laughs. Even though the wind (so essential for the kites) blew his fire-torch out, he still juggled that, a machete and a spanner whilst seated atop a very tall unicycle – and we loved him for it.
Hula Queen was new to us but Farm Girl is a bit of a hula aficionado and was keen to check her out. Having scanned the reviews, we were slightly surprised to be introduced to a hugely talented Russian performer (complete with very thick accent) when we’d been under the impression Hula Queen hailed from Adelaide. Of course, this had no effect on how entertaining she was (which was very), how hilarious her patter, or breath-taking the skills she wove into her routine – it was just a bit odd. She also didn’t let the raging easterly put her off her grand finale (standing on her head, twirling a hula hoop on one foot, atop a two metre platform) even if a couple of us at least were more than willing to cut her some slack.
People often bluster about our gusty prevailing breeze so for one day a year it’s a breath of fresh air to have it celebrated and allowed to waft it’s way onto centre stage. We could go on about gusts of laughter and gales of applause but that would be labouring a point. It needs to be said, however, that the wind was definitely taken out of our sails when, undertaking a little googling research for this missive, we discovered a YouTube clip of Miss Eloise Green, Hula Queen, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the broadest of Aussie accents you could imagine.
How’s that for a “wind” up?!