After a week of beautiful strangeness, of lunar mood, of things not as expected, the rain has come and any last days of summer are spent. The Cockenzie chimneys came down, the full moon sunk low to the horizon, and we experienced what I now know to have been a perigean spring tide, which gives extremes of high and low tide because of full moon alignment with perigree, which apparently is where the moon is nearest to Earth in orbit. It feels like a good time to reflect and pull things together a bit.

Summer was good and long, but back to school a bit lemony if I’m honest. I’ve done some research into natural play, well mostly mooching on pinterest, and we’ve made some changes like the sink pond and playhouse/outdoor crafts space below, although it all feels a bit unfinished. 30 days to transform your play, very pretty, gave some inspiration, and made me think more about the presentation of ‘play invitations’ and the quality of art materials used with young children. Clay bowls using air-dry clay shaped by pressing into a ceramic bowl and using natural material to make impressions (poppy seed pods work especially well) became my favourite clay project yet, much better than lumps sticking poorly to other lumps. We’ve done more modelling with newspaper and masking tape, goblin shark and dinosaurs this time, although I’d like to diversify in to wire or plaster. The Art Festival rewarded, for grown-ups and little ones, Charles Avery (eel in a bucket), Ariel Guzik, Kwang Young Chun, Tara Donovan. We’ve discovered Zoom Club, which I’m really impressed with, for creative sensory play for under threes and animation for older ones.

The sewing machine has been mostly packed away apart from the odd gift, with distractions aplenty. I’m thinking I need to make like a two year-old, focusing more on the process of making and building in time to enjoy it. My impatience and self-limits sometimes block.

Meanwhile, it’s party time again, so sticks and hot chocolate in the woods and we hope for dry weather.

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