Epping Forest – 19/07/20

It’s finally happened – we’ve left Highams Park. After four solid months of only travelling by foot (or bike in Roo’s case), the four of us got into the car together and went all the way to North Chingford. I know! Steady on! We even left the borough briefly as our original destination was the car park by Connaught Water, which involved driving past the “Welcome to Essex” sign. Luckily (?) it was full, so we reversed out and found a space at the car park opposite Butler’s Retreat, safely back inside LBWF.

We were meeting some church friends for a socially-distanced picnic and there were various aims to the day, including bird of prey spotting and something to do with fruit (redacted for spoilers). But most of the entertainment for the kids came from an old favourite – the hollow tree:

Eva’s speciality was, as ever, getting herself up the tree but not down again…so she had to be rescued by Nathan a few times and coaxed down a very helpful big brother (not her own big brother, natch…Reuben was all for leaving her up there)

A few things have changed around Butlers’ Retreat in these-a-days and one of them, unfortunately, is the lack of toilets. Butlers itself is takeaway only, The View is closed and the pub/hotel next door is due to reopen on 30th July but I doubt they’ll want a load of muddy forest kids using the facilities. I tried to persuade Eva to use a bucket I found in the car but she was very dismissive of my creative genius so she just had to hold it for the foreseeable. As did her ageing mother.

That was one of the reasons that we decided to go for a walk to the nearest pub – the Warren Wood in Buckhurst Hill. It looked to be about 15 mins away, even if it did involve crossing back into Essex once more. We reasoned that we could use the loos, have a drink and then, inevitably, use the loos again. And it turned out to be quite a picturesque walk:

I mean, those are the kind of wide open vistas you’d find in a Western, right? And happily, Nathan already has the hat for that, or at least he did until it was stolen by a small child (in the interests of social distancing, I had to assist the small child in the stealing of the hat).

So the walk bit was nice but the pub, alas, was not to be. They had a sizable outdoor area – it was a kind of yard on the main road so “beer garden” might have been a stretch – but, as we got closer, the “NO CHILDREN” signs in bed red letters made it clear that we weren’t gonna welcome. Luckily, tho there was a garage next door which supplied us with cold drinks and ice lollies at a fraction of the price of a pub round so we sat under a tree in the forest and had them there. It all worked out well.

It was, as you can tell from the pictures and the ice lollies, a pretty perfect day to be in the forest. Sunny enough that I got slightly burnt but not too hot for the kids to be able to run around and play and generally do the kind of kid stuff they haven’t really been able to do for the last few months.

Obviously, lockdown is not over yet and we can’t have the sort of picnic where you sit close to your friends and share loads of food….but this felt the closest to normal life we’ve had for a while. If only there had been a toilet….

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A Grim Old Time for Community Choirs (A Reblog)

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A reblog from my choir blog: harmonye4.wordpress.com

This lockdown has brought challenges for so many people in so many ways. Slowly, restrictions are lifting and life is showing glimpses of normality. And this week, choir leaders everywhere allowed themselves a small smile as the government announced the return of outdoor gigs from 11th July.

Yet it’s 11th July and we are not performing. It was meant to be Highams Park Day today, which is always the finale to our summer season but there was no Highams Park Day and no summer season. We’ve known that would be the case for some time but always held on to the hope that something would be possible later on in the summer.

The announcement this week has all but scuppered that hope. While gigs are back, singing is limited to small groups of professionals. You can read the original text here. I went from a place of optimism on Thursday afternoon to a slough of despair on Thursday evening as all the implications sunk in. The line between amateurs and professionals is nonsensical from an infection point of view – we all have to breathe out when we sing, however much voice control we have – and it leaves amateur choirs stranded without the support and momentum of the professionals behind them. I understand that we need to get the Arts Industry moving, but keen amateurs support the pros. We’ve sung with a professional soprano at the Highams Park Proms every year since we started and choirs all over the country lend their free support to professional singers all the time in normal times. And how are the next generation of professionals going to learn their trade without school choirs to sing in?

Amateur choirs are about so much more than performing. It’s a community and a support network. When we first came up with the idea of starting a choir, I was working in a job where I was isolated all day and choir was a blessed lifeline. Others came to us because they had small children and were looking to try and restart their social life. More recently we’ve had people who have just retired or who are just recovering from long illnesses….all coming together to sing because that’s what has connected humans since the dawn of time.

I’ve always loved to sing. I’ve never been more than an adequate singer myself but the joy of having a choir to sing for me is that they cover up my patchy notes and realise my maddest musical visions. I’ve sung to myself a lot during lockdown but there isn’t the joy you get when you harmonise with other people. I am extremely bored of the sound of my own voice, it’s fair to say.

I know the research so far into the dangers of singing and Covid. I know the case studies. I’ve read it all. So please don’t respond with a pile of links me to plough through. I am fully aware of what we know so far, even though we actually know very little. But in a world where you can go to the pub and sing there but not sing sober in a controlled outside environment….well, it’s hard not to be a little downbeat. The months of silence about singing, followed by this one announcement has proved that community choirs are not high on the restart agenda and we shouldn’t expect to be.

It’s a grim old time alright.

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More Food Blogging…Still Not Going Well

You can tell that lockdown fever is really starting to get to me when I agree to activities that Eva’s organised. True, we’re not that locked down any more but a quick look through my Google location history for last week suggested that I spent 97% of my time at home, which is still enough to drive me crazy. Just because we can go out now doesn’t mean there is much to go out and do, with all the normal summer events cancelled and so many places still shut up.

So I asked Eva what she wanted to do this weekend, hoping that it might involve coffee and socialising. She disappeared upstairs for a bit and re-emerged, clutching a copy of “Sparkle World” magazine, open at a recipe for “Rainbow Pizza”. Now, you might think that “Rainbow Pizza” is a euphemism akin to Lister’s “Jackson Pollock” but no, it’s more of a recipe for making your parents spend a fortune on fruit that is then mangled into rainbow shapes on pastry.

I’ve done food blogging once before and it too involved fruit that was very, very touched by human hands. But Eva’s twice as old now as she was then so maybe this time, we’d win. So, first step was a trip to Tesco with both kids, which I’d not attempted since lockdown began. But the queuing time was only a few minutes and the one-way system has disappeared so it was a bit less daunting a prospect than it had been previously. At some point, Reuben also disappeared and it was in the queue that I found him after raising a slightly unnecessary alarm. He stuck with us through a few minutes of fruit-buying before sacking us off to buy himself pic n mix and wander home.

Eva and I then bought a basketful of fruit, which was heavier than I could ever have imagined. 5 bananas, a large mango, a bag of clementines, a punnet of strawberries, a punnet of blackberries, a packet of grapes and a bag of kiwis. Luckily, I had this colour-coded shopping list to keep me on track with what we needed.

The shortcrust pastry was the hardest thing to find but it eventually turned up in the fridge section, right opposite the Greek-style yoghurt. I had a sneaking suspicion that Eva wouldn’t like the Greek-style yoghurt so we bought some extra-thick double cream as a Plan B as well.

The next challenge was lugging it all home, via a visit to Liz at Ziggys because she doesn’t like me going to Tesco without saying hello.

Once we got home, we unrolled the pastry which turned out to be *too* cold because it was brittle and snapped off a lot. So I had to stick it all together with a rolling pin, which also made it stick to the chopping board. It was like a bad technical on Bake Off.

The Eva cut out a tiny rainbow shape, which she insisted would play host to seven different coloured stripes of fruit. I cut out so more shapes, re-rolled and cut out a much bigger rainbow. The shapes all baked for 10 minutes, in which time I cut up all the fruit into different bowls, mainly so I could take this picture:

So pretty!

I also tested Eva’s Greek yoghurt tolerance by asking her to taste a little bit before we slathered it all over the fruit. Turns out I was right. Initiaite Plan B.

Once the shapes were out, Eva spread the cream on them and positioned the fruit and from there on in, it went fairly smoothly. Even my big rainbow wasn’t quite big enough tho:

That single blackberry is clinging to the side for dear life and the grapes (and MORE GRAPES) and notable by their absence.

I liked some of her other designs tho, like this one which reminded me of sushi:

When we came to eat them, I think we were all glad we’d gone with the cream and not the yoghurt. There’s not a lot of sweetness in shortcrust pastry and the sharp edge of the yoghurt wouldn’t have helped. I think kids’ magazine always have to provide healthy ingredients though, don’t they?

What did help was a generous sprinkling of vanilla sugar, which transformed it from lumps of bland pastry and cream to something quite delicious. Top LWAT Food Blogging tip – always add sugar.

I know, I should do this as a career….

 

 

 

 

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Life in Greyscale

I’ve had this post in mind for a while but I didn’t want to muddle my clumsy colour metaphor with any of the important discussions going on around race…but thoughts don’t always stay peacefully in my mind without being written down so here it is – the clumsy metaphor about my lockdown experience.

When you watch black and white films, it’s easy to believe that the actors were less real because they’re in greyscale. Everything seems less believable and not just because of the wobbliness of the sets. It’s because we are not designed to view life in shades of grey and it only feels real when we can see the colours around us. It’s why recolourised photos can be shocking sometimes – because images we’re used to seeing in black and white suddenly come to life.

But these last three months, I feel like I’ve been living life in greyscale. Nothing seems quite real and while we’re moving through the days and months, it’s a far cry from the feeling of actually living life. I look back at some of the moments in the recent past that feel like living life in technicolour and they’re all to do with being with other people. The finale of ChoirFest was one such Technicolour moment – the culmination of months of work,  300 singers joyfully throwing their hands in the air and bringing so many people together in the love of singing.

There won’t be any moments like that for a long time.

And that feels hard to handle. There won’t be any of those moments where you swim in the sea under a hot Greek sun and look around, never wanting the day to end. None of those moments where you mingle happily with friends and strangers on a dance floor, united by a song you all know from the 90s. We’ll be living life as separate units for the foreseeable future and even as things resume some appearance of normality, it’s hard to imagine a life that will be fully normal this year. Or maybe even next.

There are times where life feels like the bottom left corner of the four selfies above. Like little flashes of colour – not living life to its fullmost but days when I’ve been for a socially distanced walk with a friend or bought a coffee or seen a dog…I can almost feel like my real self. But there are still none of those intense, frame-this-forever moments on the horizon.

We’re not in the depths of despair. We’re not struggling to survive, like so many are. We are pretty lucky. But we are living life in greyscale and every social interaction we have is faint shadow of what we used to know. No hugging friends, no squishing up so that one more person can join us for coffee, no spontaneity and no adventuring…for now, at least. We’re taking a cautious approach to the guidelines and there’s probably more life we could squeeze out of the current restrictions but the social media police are always watching and it’s safer to not push the boundaries.  Besides, I know why we’re doing what we’re doing so I understand it can’t be anything different. But I don’t need to be happy about it.

Once again, this is a slightly pointless post but, in the absence of my usual romping around London, you’re being treated to a romp around my brain instead. Lucky you. I’ve never been the most introspective blogger but this pandemic has made introspective bloggers of us all. Hopefully it won’t be forever….

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Virtual Theatre To Keep Your Spirits Up

This whole thing is dragging on a bit now, isn’t it? The sunshine’s gone away, there’s no end in sight and everyone is sick of each other. So it’s lucky that two of our favourite theatres are premiering new online content this weekend, to keep us going through the gloom.

Firstly, Chickenshed are sharing their 2017 show “Blowing in the Wind“. It’s a powerful piece that takes Martin Luther King’s famous speech as a jumping-off point to explore civil rights and the struggles of marginalised communities. It’s more relevant than ever now, against the backdrop of the recent Black Lives Matter protest and I’d urge you to take some time to watch it. It’s one for older kids and adults, due to some thought-provoking issues but the Chickenshed Online YouTube channel has tonnes of other content on it too.

Then on Sunday, Little Angel are premiering a new show for children, called “Don’t Worry Little Crab”. It’ll be on their YouTube channel, which is filling up with other delights for little ones, so do have a look over the weekend if they’re getting restless.

One day, we’ll be watching theatre IRL together again but until then, enjoy these online treats!

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The Spaces In Between

It’s the spaces I miss. You’d think that in lockdown, we would have all the space and time we could ever want but, although we have time, space is a precious commodity, both mental and physical.

Our lives used to have natural spaces built in. Train journeys to church and drama club, where we could just sit and stare out of the window. Walks to and from school, idly chatting about our days. Times when we didn’t have to be doing some kind of activity and could just kinda do nothing.

Now, our days have to be filled. As soon as the kids finish one activity, they need to have something else to do. If they’ve had too much screen time, we tell them to do something else but you can see them struggle to think of something fun to do that they’ve haven’t done 70 times in the last 70 days. They need constant stimulation and distraction to stop them dwelling on the bigger situation and that’s something that even the grown ups are doing to some extent.

I miss my commute and the buffer zone between work and parenting. I never realised how much I needed it until my buffer zone disappeared and then became something of an anti-buffer zone, with Eva lolling over me as I try to finish up for the day. The time pressure is off at the weekend but there’s still no space to just sit around and be. There are demands and requests. We are all bored and restless and not meant to function in this environment. We miss those natural spaces.

One day I’m sure we’ll rose-tint these days and remember them as quality family time while the children were just about still small enough to snuggle in while we worked. But right now, the present doesn’t feel rose-tinted. It feels stuffy and airless. It won’r be forever but it feels like forever.

I miss the spaces in between.

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Still Home

I haven’t blogged much recently. It’s hard to know why that is, given that this is a blog about being out and about around London and I’ve been out and about loads. I know I have because I got my Google Maps “Month in Review” e-mail today and it showed trips to at least three different convenience stores in the Highams Park area, sometimes with as little as three days in between outings. Somebody stop me.

Because yes, we are still home. It’s getting hard to tell when all the papers have been so positive this week:

Boris Johnson promises 'maximum caution' in easing Covid-19 ...

but it doesn’t seem like any kind of real ending is in sight. So, what have we been up to in the last 50 days?

Well, there has been a lot of work. And the kids have spent hours on screens. We still aren’t homeschooling, despite pressures from pretty much every direction. Roo continues to self-school and Eva is unschooling. That’s pretty much the best we can hope for in these times.

But there have been some positives. Our food waste is down and our laundry basket is under control. I cleared out a cupboard and Nathan started clearing a path behind the shed, which Eva promptly got herself stuck in. We’re eating more fruit and vegetables because I’m having to do more frequent shops due to lack of delivery slots…..but on the flip side, I’m also consuming way more chocolate and Coke Zero. I’m still doing SwingTrain online and have been recording lots of silly songs about being in lockdown. You can hear them here if you want:

But the weeks drag and while we’re very grateful to be surviving a pandemic, it doesn’t feel like much more than surviving. And when bad things hit, which they have done, it’s really, really tough going to have to cope with them without the support of the community.

So if you’re feeling similarly, you are not alone. We all go through a sine wave of coping/not coping, sometimes on a daily basis. It might be starting to feel like normality but it’s still a crisis. It’s OK to feel lost and anxious. We all know why we’re doing this but it doesn’t always make it easier to do. All we can do is sit tight and wait for this thing to finally blow over.

 

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An A-Z Guide to Helpful Social Media Posts

 

In the last post, I promised you more positivity….so here it is. An A-Z of ideas for social media posts which could help to spread a little joy in these tricky times.

 

A Artwork
Now is a great time to show off your talents to a captive audience…I would love to see what you’ve been creating, especially as I have no artistic talents of my own

 

B Baking
Again, I enjoy seeing the beautiful bread you’ve made (even if you forgot to add the salt) or the yummy chocolate brownies. I might not be able to share a cake with you but I can live vicariously through Facebook, right?

 

C Cat Pictures

Everyone loves seeing what those little fluffballs are up to, right? Even if it’s probably just sleeping all day.

D Dog Videos

Dogs are like cats but much, much better. Videos of adorable pupsters are a never-ending source of entertainment round here.

E Exercise Classes

One of the only positives about this whole lockdown situation is being able to start SwingTrain again, albeit online. So suggestions for other fun classes to burn off the piles and piles of chocolate I’ve been eating would be good.

F Fanfic

Now could be a good time to read up on all those bits that didn’t make it into your favourite books. What was going on with Snape and Filch that time? Just remember to give it an age rating if needed

G General Ramblings

This is what social media is for, right? All your random thoughts that currently have no other outlet. Especially if you’re an extrovert living with an introvert and you have LOTS OF THINGS TO SAY

H Harry Potter memes

Another way to keep the kids entertained for hours. They don’t even need to be particularly funny….they don’t have much of a filter when it comes to these things

I Interesting facts 

We all love a fact! The nerdier the better

J Jokes

Again, they don’t have to be good jokes….the kids will love them anyway

K Kid shizz

What ridiculous things have your kids said or done today? The world needs to know

L Life at your house

This is the kind of thing I want from Facebook…just seeing what’s happening in my friends’ lives all the time. And I really mean, ALL the time at the moment.

M Music

Music has pretty much always been my coping mechanism…playing it, listening to it, dancing to it. So yeah, bring it on.

N NHS Appreciation

NHS Workers are doing an amazing job…so there can never be too much praise for them

O Online gaming 

Anything that might entertain a tween-age boy is very welcome….and a 40-year-old boy for that matter

P Poetry

Again, show us your creative work. I love to see it.

Q Quizzes

Diversion, diversion, diversion. Which Charlie Bone character would I be and which 80s song would that Charlie Bone character listen to? Let’s find out!

R Rainbows

NHS rainbows or LGBT rainbows…it’s all good for brightening up my news feed

S Six Fan Arts  

A random meme that Nathan recommended and Reuben did the other day….basically drawing six characters from various fandoms or history. Reuben was given Wolverine, Groot, Baby Yoda, Woody, Batman and Hitler. The ultimate patriarchal dinner party.

T Theatre shows

Whether it’s live streams from the National Theatre or shows your kids are doing in the front room….it’s all entertaining.

U Ukulele tutorials 

I know I’m not the only person to have picked up a uke in the last few weeks. So any ukulele challenges or tutorials welcome.

V Virtual versions of everything

As well as virtual SwingTrain, we have done virtual church (virch), virtual choir (voir), virtual Dnd (errr….Virgeons and Vagons?), virtual movie nights….it’s amazing how much of your life you can move online with only a few days’ notice
 

W Writing

I want to see your non-poetry writing too! Everyone is going to have written a novel by the end of this, right?
 

X X-Men memes 

Yes, this is a total filler but I swear after I thought of this yesterday, Nathan spent an hour looking them up.
 

Y Yoga Stretches

I tried some of these yesterday after WFH all week in uncomfortable postions. It was lovely to stretch out a bit.
 

Z Zoo live feeds

Penguins! Roaming free! What’s not to love?
 

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An A-Z Guide to Unhelpful Social Media Posts

We are all on social media a LOT at the moment. It’s our primary form of social contact but it is, as ever, a double-edged sword. What used to be a means of distraction has become an amplifier for the current crisis…our news feeds fail to take our minds off things like they used to because every other post seems to be Covid-19 related. Now, I’m not one to dictate what anyone else posts on social media but it’s worth remembering that we are all suffering some level of anxiety at the moment and we’re all processing this anxiety in different ways. So your manic homeschooling timetables might be triggering someone else’s non-schooling guilt. The rules are straightforward enough – consider who might see your post and whether they’ve requested to hidden from anything C19-related. Custom Privacy is your friend right now. A little bit of research among my imaginary friends has suggested that certain types of posts do tend to be more triggering than others and so I’ve put together An A-Z Guide to Unhelpful Social Media Posts. But just so you don’t think I’m all about the negativity, I’ll shortly also be posting An A-Z Guide to Helpful Social Media Posts. Ready? Let’s start at the very beginning….

 

A Apocalyptic Posts

Yes, this feels like the End of Days but it’s not necessarily helpful to keep reminding people of it, unless you have some kind of get out clause. Is there a Vogon construction fleet passing ahead? Do you have the intergalactic equivalent of a raised thumb? Well good for you. Don’t forget your towel.

B Bad Science

We all want to understand this virus better but that doesn’t mean sharing anything which has even the vaguest of scientific credibility. Fact check, look at the background of whoever’s written it and don’t believe them just because they’re wearing a white coat.

 

C Conspiracy theories
Similar to the above, we all want to know more. But blaming the virus on 5G, the KGB, the FBI or anyone else isn’t necessarily helpful.  If Big Pharma really invented the virus to sell more medication, wouldn’t they have…yknow….come up with a cure by now?

 

D Daily Death Toll
No one is scrolling through their Facebook feed waiting for you to publish the latest death stats. If they want the information, they will go looking for it. We all know that lots of people are dying but we don’t all need it all over our newsfeeds because that is hugely triggering.
Think before you post.

 

E EU Baiting

Is now the time? Really? Do you think this would have gone better if we’d have left the EU two years ago? Really?

 

F Fake News
Obviously everyone loves a bit of spoof news and I’ve been known to dabble in the writing of the same myself…but I’m talking about news which is close enough to real to fool people with dangerous misinformation, especially when it comes to relaxing the lockdown restrictions. April Fool’s has been and gone…trust me, I know because the stuck-at-home kids had a lot of time to plan pranks this year.

 

G Guilt inducing memes
“This is what happens to your child’s brain when they spend 90% of their day watching Netflix/using laptops/massacring people on Fortnite”. Yeah, it is probably is. Pity I don’t have many other options for keeping them quiet while Mummy takes her 50th conference call of the day.

 

H Hearsay
This can be as dangerous as fake news. Just cause someone heard that something was happening doesn’t mean it’s true.

 

I Irrational Advice
“Just carry on life as normal. It’ll be fine” It probably won’t. Please think it through before posting.

 

J Judgy posts
Especially on local groups. So you saw two people from the same household shopping together? Well maybe ask someone to make you a purse with “Observation Award Winner” written on it. The majority of people are trying their best to follow the rules as best as they understand them and you don’t know everyone’s circumstances. Try not to judge.

 

K Kid Shaming
Our kids are doing incredibly well in the face of very tough circumstances. Go easy on the kid-shaming memes.

 

L Links to phishing sites
This should be self-explanatory but you’d be amazed. Check where a link goes to before sharing a post, especially if it’s promising incredible riches.

 

M Misreporting
As ever, the media tell you what they want to tell you. A particularly virulent story recently managed to change a budgetary adjustment for MPs’ staff equipment into some kind of NHS-dissing MP payrise. The result pitted hardworking nurses against hardworking constituency caseworkers. Think about the implications before you share.

 

N Nostalgia
“In my day, we never died of viruses”. No, YOU didn’t because you’re here, posting on Facebook. Others did. Move on

 

O Out of Date Advice
Guidelines change quickly these days….always best to make sure it’s the most recent version before sharing.

 

P Parent Shaming
Like their kids, parents are doing their best in difficult times. Now isn’t the time to tut about our shortcomings.

 

Q Queen is Dead
OK, so maybe I was struggling with a Q. But there are always rumours about Her Maj during a pandemic. Of course, feel free to listen to the classic Smiths albums if that’s your lockdown jam of choice.

 

R Rumours
Other, non Queen related rumours are also unhelpful…celebrities that you think might have the virus, celebrities you think might have died…speculation isn’t particularly useful at this time. Similar to the above though, if you want to listen to some classic Fleetwood Mac, go for it.

 

S Supermarket shortages
It was interesting for the first week, seeing our local stores stripped of food. But now it’s just kinda depressing. Let’s move on.

 

T Threats of revenge
Yeah, some people think they can beat sense into this virus. Don’t be one of those people.

 

U Unverified Updates
Like rumours, check sources of any updates before sharing

 

V Violence
Lots of us have a low emotional capacity right now. So sharing violent content can affect people more than usual. I’ve tried explaining this to the tween child but, as mentioned above, he’s too busy killing all the dudes on Fortnite.

 

W World War II comparisons
WWII was a national crisis. This is a national crisis. Why do we need to weigh one against the other? They’re both bad, OK?

 

X Xenophobia
Anti-Chinese feeling has shot up since the start of this crisis. Make sure you report it to Facebook as hate speech if you come across it.

 

Y Youth Shaming
Our teenagers are having a tough time too, with their uni applications thrown into uncertainty and not being able to see friends. Try not to add to that pressure by attacking them on social media.

 

Z Zoom Derision
Yes, I know it has security flaws (though the irony of posting this on Facebook…) but a lot of us are pretty reliant on it right now, so unless it’s really, really important to say, consider not saying it.
So, bottom line is….post whatever you want to post but if you want to emerge from this with the same number of Facebook friends as you went in, it might just be worth skipping out a few of my list. And don’t forget the A-Z Guide to Helpful Social Media Posts if you want what my niece would call “inspo”…
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Some News From Our Friends

It seems crazy that, less than a year ago, Eva and I were sitting in the sunny back garden at Chickenshed in the interval of “Mr Stink“. And just a couple of months ago we were at Little Angel for “The Paper Dolls“. It’s scary times for our favourite theatres – the arts are always getting by on just enough and there’s no end in sight to the lockdown. Luckily, the creative types have got creative and gone online to keep sharing their magic with kids who desperately need a distraction right now.

Chickenshed has launched “Virtual Chickenshed” – there’s a bit more explanation in this video but it looks like there will be specially made YouTube episodes from the “Tales from the Shed” guys and a screening of their most recent show, which I was hoping to get to see in March…but March went a bit awry, didn’t it? It’s called “Waiting for the Ship to Sail” and it’s a show for older kids and teens. Go to www.chickenshed.org.uk for more information.

 

Meanwhile, Little Angel Theatre has created video stories and online stay-at-home activity guides on their website with craft ideas as well. Have a look at www.littleangeltheatre.com for stories like “Jack and the Beanstalk” and tutorials on how to make a troll puppet.

One day soon, hopefully, we’ll be back at these places in real life but till then…enjoy the virtual versions!

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