So last week we looked into the redwheelbarrow and found a framed copy of Judie Tzuke's I Am The Phoenix...I wonder what we'll find in there today?
(If you want to know why this blog is called redwheelbarrow and why that prompts me to look for the little things in life that bring me joy, check out this post)
Let's have a look through the arched window in the redwheelbarrow...
It's a wooden Strong Man push-up toy!
This fabulous Strong Man sits on my writing desk in my bedroom (where I try to counter the powerful effects of the world's brownest house by having some pretty things that make me happy):
There he is (out of the redwheelbarrow now) and back in his rightful place in front of my Antony Gormley photocube, and beside my red kaleidoscope and mini Dalek.
(If you're good, I might give you a guided tour of the whole of the desk one day).
The Strong Man is special not simply because I've always adored brightly coloured wooden toys, or that you can make him go all floppy by pushing the button up in his base...
But he also makes me smile because he reminds me of Red Sarah's tribute to the great Eugen Sandow:
It's been the greatest pleasure since I've been a burlesque performer to get to know Red Sarah, and I have to say she's been one of the loveliest and most supportive people I've ever met in the UK burlesque scene.
The Strong Man features, or more correctly fails to feature in one of my acts longest in the pipeline - Wilgefortis, the bearded lady. (It's very special to me for reasons I'll tell you about in another post so hasn't yet made it to a stage).
In the act, Wilgefortis gets dumped at the altar on her wedding day by the nasty circus Strong Man (appearances are everything to him) and she has to decide whether she wants to make life-changing alterations to bring her happiness or whether she can love herself for the person she is...I won't spoil the ending for you or the 'interesting' music choices for the act (those who've seen me perform know I'm not particularly traditional or mainstream when it comes to audio tracks ;)).
So anyway, for being able to make my push-up wooden Strong Man 'dance', for him reminding of my friend/mentor Red Sarah back in the UK and for his significance for one of my most special acts-to-be...these are the reasons why this little toy is special and makes me smile.
He is a little thing of joy.