During the course of our research, we do a lot of juggling. Juggling of hundreds of projects with different expectations, time scales, client requirements etc. Lists are crucial. If you aren’t on the list, you aren’t on the radar. Lists are the baskets we juggle…. Like Sambo Hilton, of 3 Jubilee Road, Leicester in 1911, a ‘basket juggler’:
A slightly unusual occupation in 1911, one might think. The word ‘juggler’ appears a surprising 43 times, including husband and wife, Edgar and Lillie McCormack, who were both listed at an address in Brixton as ‘juggler (variety)‘. Charles O’Connor, a theatrical juggler, was resident at the Liverpool Workhouse and Infirmary in 1911 but, by far the oldest juggler evident, was Alfred Carrier, aged 79! His relationship to the head of the household is said to be ‘inmate of the Music Hall Home‘, along with fellow performers including contortionists, comedians and a sketch artist. Must have made for a very interesting home!
As a performer, I have never been a great juggler but managing projects and juggling them is totally different. There is no set pattern defined by someone else. No set method as to how juggling must be performed. That’s how we work best – by creating our own processes!
Enrico Rastelli (1896-1931) is frequently referred to as the greatest juggler who ever lived. There is only one film of him known to exist which was made in 1929 at the La Scala Theater in Berlin, Germany. According to Juggling.org, “it includes juggling 4 sticks, juggling 6 plates while spinning a ring on his leg and skipping a rope turned by two assistants, jumping rope with a soccer ball bouncing on his head, soccer ball head rolls, brief juggling of 5 and then 4 large balls, and bouncing 2 balls on his head.” I can’t even manage three balls, so I clearly didn’t miss my calling as a professional juggler (perhaps I could pass as a comedy one, though!)….
Juggling is often an issue in family history. How to juggle all the different lines of research …. how to juggle time so as to carry out the research you want to do …. how to stick to the research plan ….! Do you have any tips to perfect your juggling act?!