Posts in the website news category

Art is not just for kids

One of the joys of having kids is getting enjoyable and beautiful things for them to play with. And there is always the vicarious pleasure you get from seeing them engage with their world and having a ball with their toys and craft activities. And often, it's not at all vicarious ... Who hasn't felt the urge to explore their own creativity as their kids get drawing or creating? Or joined in with them? I know at least two adults/parents who have embarked on art courses after encouraging the creativity in their kids sparked their own creativity into action. Maybe...

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Messing about in boats

"There was a new world. Everything was white, and somehow still. Everything was holding its breath. The field stretching down to the lake was like a brilliant white counterpane without a crinkle in it." - Swallows and Amazons I only discovered the joys of Swallows and Amazons when my own boys were small, and we read the series to them. The books magically capture that joy and mystery of what it is to sail on the water. There's something almost primeval about the gliding of a boat over the surface of the water, powered only by a breath of wind....

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The gold at the end of the rainbow

The Irish, of course, are no strangers to storytelling. Their leprechaun stories often involve mischievous little people not leading the human protagonist to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In one story, a leprechaun grants a wish to a poor couple, who demand riches. The leprechaun is angered that they are so greedy, and tells them he has put their riches in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Central Australian Aboriginal culture, of course, offers countless stories about the Rainbow Snake or Serpent, the all-giving Creator of the world. Most of them...

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Weaving a magic tapestry

In a wonderful traditional Chinese folktale, an old woman weaves the most exquisite tapestry, encompassing streams, fish, animals and flowers. It is a gorgeous piece of work, which takes her three years to complete. One day, as her three sons are arguing about who should inherit it, a gust of wind carries it out the window and off into the eastern sky. Creating something beautiful from balls of coloured wool is an almost magical experience for kids. I remember the first time I tried weaving - many years ago - and the experience has stayed with me ever since. While...

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It's all about chalk play

There's a wonderful story from Sydney about a man who has sunk into despair and alcoholism. He was wounded in the First World War, but his problems had begun in Balmain well before then, and by the Depression years his life was virtually over. But one day, after hearing a powerful sermon, he finds a piece of chalk in his pocket, bends down to the footpath and scribbles the word Eternity on the concrete. The odd thing was that the man was almost illiterate, but the word came out in a beautiful copperplate script. For the next 35-odd years Arthur...

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