Thursday, 4 January 2007

New Year

We were invited to stay with another counter-cultural family over New Year. They too have no TV (always a good indicator!) and do things a little differently. So when we arrived we found that they had set up a Quest in the woods behind their cottage. Our kids had been asked to bring Elven gear so came kitted out in cloaks etc, and were presented with beautifully made scabbards, daggers, swords pouches etc. Then all the children (our four plus our hosts’ three,) along with my wfe and I and two dogs set off on the Quest. This involved following a number of clues through the woods and undertaking various challenges, in order to collect the three essential whatever-they-weres. The challenges including swinging on ropes, walking on logs, going over or under fallen trees, following a rope trail blindfolded and so on.

It was a huge success, and got all the kids enthused about a long walk in the woods on a wet and windy afternoon, when they should have been watching commercials on telly...

Later our kids performed their traditional New Year’s Show (this year it was Snow White) with a tasteless script and songs set to tunes all the kids know (eg: (To the tune of Silent Night) Apples for sale, Apples for sale, Red and sweet, Such a treat. Don’t open your door, I don’t need to come in, Just open the window, I’ll pass you one in. Red and juicy sweet apples - Juicy sweet apples for sale.) Again this was a lot of fun for all.

What’s heartening is that our 16 and 13 year old daughters both enter into all of this with great enthusiasm for the benefit of the younger kids - neither of them are embarrassed or reticent about wandering through the woods in the rain in elven cloaks with younger kids, singing silly songs, dressing up, etc etc.

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