What would you think

if I told you that at 40 I decided to run away and join the circus? What if I told you that at the actual age of 40 I realised that I was fed up with my life, I had had enough; would you be surprised? Probably not. There are after all, many women who have done crazier things at that time in their lives. Think of it, a life on the road, with no attachments, no one to answer to, just the thrill of new places, the anticipation of the next pitch, the next performance, the excitement of crossing borders and continents, it would have been my wildest dream. In fact, it was my dream when I was younger. I became a mother instead. I wanted to be a dancer, to travel, to perform and get lots and lots of adulation and attention.

I woke up one morning and realised that all of this mothering stuff was not me. I wanted a life that was altogether wilder; I wanted to be an exotic dancer, I wanted to experience the faint promise of far-off lands, the perfume of mystery, the allure of ‘other’ before it was too late. I thought that I could add a little spice and perhaps dance with fire or suspend myself from ribbons from the Big Top or my ultimate dream – become a contortionist. I had always wanted to make myself into something completely different, become somewhat animal in appearance; slippery, melding first this way then that; an ouroboros swallowing its own tail. I had cut out pictures and stuck them on the walls of my bedroom and taken those images into my dreams every night for years.

So it was on one particular dark and snowy night such as this, that I decided to slip away ….