I VOLUNTEERED myself for this. Says it all really.
“I will be fine” I said. “Can’t be that bad” I thought.
Truth was I had no idea what the Wheel of Death was when it was mentioned in passing to me by ‘Ringmistress’ Petra Jackson.
In hindsight, I should have really questioned her further but instead, I seemed to be happy with the advice “You’ll be wearing a harness” and “Don’t wear a mini skirt.”
Immediately thoughts of me suspended upside down in mid air filled my head
Thankfully the morning was quite busy for me, so I didn’t have time to worry or talk myself out of it, and I didn’t see many colleagues to beg them to fill my space – wearing the nicest possible smile.
Several people had their own opinions on what the Wheel of Death might be – with the most popular idea being swords thrown at me while strapped to a turning wheel.
Dressed in my finest jeans and hoody and most comfortable trainers, I trounced into Circus Mondao, with our photographer, Simon Deacon, grinning like a Cheshire cat, met by the very happy Petra Jackson, with face already painted prepared for the first evening of entertainment.
Greeting us in the ring was the Wheel of Death. A large, evil-looking structure, built with two ‘hamster’ cages at the end of a few metal poles.
“Don’t worry, you’ll have a harness,” Petra said, as the ‘Mondao Brothers’ - Vitalie Erima and Petrick Alberto jumped easily into each cage and started doing their thing.
As they jumped around the cages, harness-free, Petra told me that the Moldovan and Persian have been working together for just four weeks and this is their first time performing in the UK. It is also the only time that two people have also stood on the outside of the cages for the first time.
There was no going back now as I was slowly led to a cage and strapped in via the harness.
There isn’t much you can say apart from ‘keep walking’ so I did. Thankfully Vitalie (in the second cage) walked slowly enough (without somersaulting) for me to keep up.
It wasn’t bad going up. How hard is walking round a cage? But then I reached the top and I realised I was about 30ft (9m) in the air and now I had to come down.
The trick is to keep walking (and walk fast). If I wasn’t walking fast, the cage would literally come down at 100mph and I would have been at the bottom – a shaking mess.
Circus Mondao is pitched up behind the White Horse, in Woodland Road, Stanton, until Sunday.
Further information is available by phoning 07722 791777.