Friday, 19 September 2014

Wise Words: Once Upon A Meadow

Feeling utterly relaxed after a wonderful time in the Garden Tent, I went for a wander into the meadow.  It was quiet, peaceful and full of insects and butterflies.  There was a bit more than that though.  This patch of wild garden had been transformed into every young child's nursery ryhme dream
Following the signs, you were greeted by book birds, dangling from the branches of an ancient everygreen yew tree, it's poisonous crimson berries looking beguiling tempting.  Each book was a literary classic, a tale that everyone should have heard of, and should try to read at least once in their lifetime!  The pages were folded beautifully, creating accordians from words.
Over the river little origami boats floated, ready to set sail on a voyage of discovery as old and young alike learned how to make them in a master class on the banks, brows furrowed in concentration with each complex fold and turn.
Venturing past and into the meadow proper was like entering a world of whimsy and wonder.  Wise Words have always been experts at attention to detail, with lampshades hanging off trees, glass tea parties amongst a trees roots and signs encouraging you to think and debate and laugh, but even knowing this and what to expect, they still manage to take me aback every time.  It is just beautiful - like our own private Wonderland.
Artwork by Jack Cant was displayed in a little woodman's hut and also scattered under the shade of the trees. 
By now you may be thinking that this all looks very nice, but what on earth the point of it all was?  Well now.  This was the setting for an adventure.  At 10am and 3pm every day at the weekend (and that includes this weekend coming, the 20th and 21st September) children could see their favourite nursery rhymes come to life.

With the aid of a song, dance and frolic from the nursery rhyme characters themselves!

This crew of young actors draw children into a world where the sheep have disappeared because Little Boy Blue lies fast asleep and Little Bo Peep needs help to find them.
A dreamland where Mary Mary Quite Contrary collects dreams and helps them grow. A world where Humpty Dumpty and three little dicky birds sit on the wall watching three ships go by. But beware, they warn the children,  don’t go too close to the edge or they may just have a great fall!
If all this sounds far too exhausting then Pretty Polly has a cups of tea on standby and the Queen of Hearts has scrumptious tarts – as long as the Knave hasn't stolen them!
So if you are at a loose end this Saturday or Sunday, and are wondering what to do with the little ones, come down to the Meadow and let Little Bo Peep and her friends invite you into their world. 
There will be things to see, people and animals to meet and lots of activities all day, including family art and craft workshops
All performances are free but spaces are limited so do turn up early and pop your name on the list at the door.  You can reach the Meadow by going to the Greyfriars Gardens, opposite the entrance to the Old Brewery Tavern and by the Abode Hotel in Canterbury.  Family art and craft workshops, like the origami boat making, are £4 per child to cover the cost of the materials used.

It's a wonderful way to get your child's imagination fired up and exploring new and exciting worlds.
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