I have a love of taking the children to “different” activities. Trying to keep two children entertained can be expensive unless you’re willing to do lots of research, find free activities and be willing to try new things.
I now spend hours scouring Twitter, Facebook and local websites looking for new things to try. Most of the time we end up in Liverpool. There’s tonnes of stuff going on.
This Sunday just gone (22nd) we went to Constellations on Greenland Street. I found Constellations by accident last year, walking around the Baltic Triangle. I heard some pretty cool tunes coming from somewhere and discovered this amazing outdoor space with a bar. This Sunday they were holding a Make and Produce event for the Food for Real Film Festival.
Grace made seed bombs and got some Sweet William seeds from the Toxteth Seed Library to plant with her new kiddies gardening tools.
There was lots of local produce on sale – honey, cheese, pies.
There was a vintage caravan called Poppy, selling tea and cakes.
Also a cooking demonstration from Love Food Hate Waste. They campaign to get you to throw out less food, by providing recipe inspiration for items that you ordinarily might think need binning.
It was an interesting afternoon and something different for the kiddies.
When my sister and I lived with our parents, we would often have “record nights” – you put on the vinyl and dance around the room. We’d dance to Rolling Stones, Prince, Steve Winwood, ELO, to name but a few. The evening would always end with us lying on the floor listening to Albatross by Fleetwood Mac. It was kind of like our meditation.
Then technology advanced, we got older and sulkier, eventually the vinyl got put away and even, I would go as far as to say, forgotten about. We all got CDs, iPods and Spotify. Music at your fingertips. Easy to play, easy to skip the ones you don’t like and crystal clear to listen to. We moved on from the vinyl and the “record nights.”
But now I have children of my own, I find myself thinking more of my childhood and the simple fun we had. Record nights, building dens with table cloths and the dining table, lacerating our arms on the sticky plant at the bottom of the garden when we climbed through to make more dens, playing in the sandpit which for some reason always had bits if crockery buried in it, doing handstands against the shed wall and setting up “Pete’s Bar” whenever we had BBQs. I loved Pete’s Bar. I’m pretty sure Pete probably did too.
Children now have too many gadgets. Now I don’t think they shouldn’t have any, they’re used in schools and they are good with helping them to learn, I just want my children to use their imagination too.
So, over the last few weeks we have built dens, we have painted, we have joined Nature Detectives and WWT and we’ve eaten in places with character.
One such place, Unit 51, is where Sebastian and I went the other week. And where, Hobo Bazaar were having a fair and they were playing some brilliant 70s reggae on a record player. An actual, proper record. Complete with crackles and jumps. And when Sebastian started clapping and dancing, that’s when I decided that I needed a record player.
I bought the record and a couple of weeks later I got a record player. Then dad brought down the vinyl – back into the house, back where it belonged. I picked out a selection and brought it home. That evening we played Creedance and Rolling Stones. We all danced and the children loved it. We had a family tea in the kitchen, listening to the familiar crackling. And it was bliss.