Last weekend I was at the marvellous Ledbury Poetry Festival running a workshop encouraging children to make a giant interlinking map of magical sounds.
The venue was Ledbury’s charming Walled Garden, and the festival’s theme was appropriately ‘outdoor magic’. It was my first experience of running a workshop out of doors, and luckily the weather was fine.
It was an all day drop-in workshop, using my drawn ‘starter’ map and a Hat of Surprise full of words suggesting sounds to inspire participants – if they needed it.
Ledbury children were hugely inventive, the sun shone and we ended up with an enormous map full of surprise drawn elements, like the happy baby enjoying itself in squelchy mud, strange rustling bushes and the pool of light described by a child as ‘glimmering and shimmering’. Wonderful!
I discovered the parents of the child who painted/drew this happy baby wallowing in mud (after a rainfall) had rescued pigs who’d been kept indoors their whole life. After their arrival the pigs rushed outside, and having delicate skin immediately got sunburned, which was happily cured by their rolling in mud.
Lots of wondrous sounds in this freeform map …