Thursday, 23 July 2009

The planned invasion did not occur yesterday.

We were to have been invaded by the six children and their mother. Illness means that the visit has been postponed until next week. I wonder how they will cope if they are ill when they go to Manila. They almost certainly will be ill - and with something worse than the common cold.
It gave my father the chance to spend more time preparing for Saturday night. He is participating in a talent contest.
What, you ask, is an 86 yr old doing participating in a talent contest? (Why not?) This is a church event. They were short of participants. I could have told them they would be. There are almost no young attenders at the local Anglican church. Those that do attend are hauled there on an irregular basis by their parents. Other things get in the way. Even public school sport is scheduled on Sunday mornings.
My father does very little conjuring these days. It is not that the magic has gone out of it for him. He is as passionate about it as he ever was. (He will be heading off to see David Copperfield in a couple of weeks. I do not need to endure that. My sister is taking him. ) You do need a certain amount of stamina to perform. You also require a degree of manual dexterity. He knows he is not as good as he once was. Preparing the bigger illusions can take a lot of time. He has given away some of the apparatus to younger magicians, many of whom he has taught. Two make their living from performing, one of them is an international star who had his first lessons from my father. Dad still enjoys teaching other people.
Saturday night however he will perform "table magic". These are smaller illusions using packs of cards (not necessarily your ordinary packs of cards) and other small items like coins and small boxes that are not what they first seem. I know enough to know that the illusions are just that, illusions. They are often remarkably simple. Some of them have been around for more than a thousand years. He does one which was known in the time of the Pharoahs. Others date from mediaeval times. They still fool people. You really can fool some of the people all of the time.

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