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But the Ashton family takes exception to the analogy, because their house is tidy and a circus really does live there.
Royce Ashton said his family used to live in Queenstown, but since the birth of his twin sons Jaz and Dallas four years ago, they have lived in their house truck giving circus performances all over New Zealand.
``It started with my wife [Anna]. She's got great talent in pole sports.
``She came home one day and told me that we were going to do a family circus show and that I was going to be a clown.''
Since then, they have joined the Extravaganza Fair and travelled the length and breadth of the country.
``Anna and I have always loved travelling and we settled down for quite a spell to have our three children.
``We realised this was a way to continue travelling.''
Mr Aston claimed being a clown was not a role he naturally suited, but he had ``adapted'' to it.
Yet his three children had taken to the lifestyle with ease.
``The kids have been brought up doing it. My daughter's [Dylan Daisy] a natural performer. She's always loved dance and the boys do too.
``It's a fantastic lifestyle.
``New Zealand's a beautiful country. Everywhere you go it's beautiful. Every week we go somewhere new and explore.''
He said the children were home-schooled, but their experiences on the road gave them valuable life-skills as well.
``In our case, performing is a huge lesson for them. They're dedicated to it. They get out there and do it no matter how they're feeling.
``They also help us with our shop, which gives them a great business acumen.
``My daughter helps select our products and she works in our shop to cover for us when we're getting things ready.
``So she's very good at on-the-spot mathematics under pressure. It's really good for her.''
Later this week they will visit Invercargill before heading to Queenstown next week.