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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Circus life: 'It was chaotic – but we were one big family'
While some of us dream of running away to join the circus, Germaine Delbosq was born into it. She describes her eccentric but magical childhood – and tells Kate Hilpern why she's happy her daughter is following in her footsteps

 
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Top talent: Germaine Delbosq
from:  independent.co.uk
Kate Hilpern
Tuesday 18 September 2012
Everyone's heard the old joke about running away and joining the circus. But what if your parents are the ones in the circus? And what if it doesn't stop there – with your uncles, aunts, grandparents and great grandparents also living the unique and eccentric life of circus performers?
Germaine Delbosq, now 34, had a chaotic childhood, never putting down roots or having consistent schooling, but at no point did she want a more normal one, she insists. "Maybe it's because I loved the artistic lifestyle. Maybe it's because I benefited from my family being available all the time. Or maybe it's just in the blood."
Germaine's circus family pedigree could barely be more prestigious. Together with her brother, she is the 12th generation of circus performers on her mother's side (her grandfather worked for both Blackpool Tower Circus and for the great Bertram Mills, while her grandmother was a ballet dancer), and seventh generation on her father's. Still today, her uncle, brother, sister-in-law, husband and now her own 13-year-old daughter are all performers, whilst Germaine's own act of foot juggling with fire on the back of a motorbike is as popular as ever.
The act, which she performs for Zippos Circus, is animated, exhilarating and dangerous (her fire cross once snapped and fell on her pregnant stomach, then near the motorbike's petrol tank). Yet Germaine is softly spoken and has an unexpected sereneness about her. She explains: "My earliest memory is in South Africa. I must have been about three years old. We lived on a train, stopping in different towns. I can remember running up and down the corridor each morning waking everyone up. I felt so excited, so alive. But then, as I got older, I became more introverted and something of a loner. I still am."
Attributing it partly to her natural character, she also acknowledges that on many of her childhood tours – which took place all over the world from New Zealand to Finland to Sicily – there were no other children present. "I had a brother, but he was seven years younger than me, so I was more like a second mother to him."
read more:
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/circus-life-it-was-chaotic--but-we-were-one-big-family-8145009.html

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