Saturday, July 16, 2005

Growing up and Jelly Beans….

I am certain that no one who attended the first event of Saturday will be reading this blog, not because we did anything bad to them, but because they are all under seven. Yes, this was Clerkenwell’s kids event at Finsbury Library, mixing Paul Lyalls’ stand-up comedy (left) with Joanna Walsh’s storytelling (right, caught in the glare of the media circus).

It’s not often that you wish you were under-seven – not least because it means your mum is no longer trailing you and insisting you blow your nose- but also because it reminded me that non-technological experiences can make kids very happy. Paul Lyalls entertained the kids with his energetic performance, trying to rope the adults into playing along. He showed us his inimitable slinky feline wriggle, then attempted to get the gorgeous Lucy to wriggle along, but sadly, Paul simply had the moves… or perhaps, just a lot more practice!

It was like an episode of ‘kids say the funniest things’. One little boy orphaned himself by announcing that his mother wasn’t in the room, much to her surprise and dismay. When the kids were asked to imagine something different in the world, their confident answers ranged from ‘what if the world was made of mud (“It would be Glastonbury everyday!”)… What if everything was big (isn’t it, to a seven year old?)… What if Pianos were like crocodiles (“I’d like Jazz more”, replied Paul). He has an answer for everything.

Joanna Walsh’s reading from her illustrated book ‘Amos Jellybean Gets it Right’ was good, but it was her ‘make your picnic’ that was better. Out came reams of ‘noodle’ string, cheese-and-ham sponges and assorted ‘squishy things’ to make a special ‘Amos’ lunch (see a final example, right). I’m not sure whether the kids or the adults had more fun making their special meals. Check out our charismatic Clerkenwell co-ordinator Richard and his carrot (above, left). I’ve seen buildings put together with less concentration and dedication.

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