EVENT The Future is Bright
Forest Uprising is the finale of Waltham Forest’s incredible, spectacular year as the first-ever London Borough of Culture. And they’re going out with a political, beautiful bang! Over three days in December, an illuminated installation of tree-like structures will grow into a beautiful urban winter forest at Leyton Sports Ground. The exhibition’s organisers say, “We are currently a country divided, voices often ignored, and our future uncertain. We require whole system change – about how we live with each other and with the planet. Using music and art, Forest Uprising will explore an alternative reality of the world as it could be for the next generation.” Free. Friday–Sunday
MAKE Recycling Proficiency
We’re always looking for ideas for upcycling junk into decorations. This video is inspiring, even if the ideas zip by a little. We love the seed starter card idea, you’ll find more comprehensive instructions to make your own here. Have some spare newspaper, comics or magazines about the place? Try making these large decorative balls, these lush, three-dimensional snowflakes, or the cardboard village, newspaper star garland and Christmas card bunting ideas here
EVENT Wild Winter
Give city centre shopping chaos a swerve this weekend, and head out to the country for a breather. The Wildlife Trusts have a rich programme of wild festive events – search their map for a happening near you – find Santa in his woodland grotto in Thameside, listen to stories around a campfire with hot drinks in Hampshire, make natural Christmas decorations at reserves across the country or try mud and water play in Shropshire!
EVENT Out of Towner
As if running a general election campaign wasn’t full-on enough, this autumn, Green party politician Caroline Lucas has taken on a fresh challenge; curating her first ever exhibition for a major UK gallery. She’s selected works from Eastbourne’s Towner gallery’s permanent collection to represent her love of the environment, climate change issues and her love of Sussex. While you’re at the venue, check out the stunning David Nash’s 200 Seasons exhibition – large-scale Land Art that features huge carved wood abstract sculptures.
RECIPE and MAKE In Short
Making shortbread is quick and easy for children, and a batch makes a lovely gift. This vegan recipe has only three ingredients, yet makes a suitable present for anyone – customise yours by adding chocolate nibs, nuts or dried lavender. If you’re feeling nimble-fingered, try making this origami box to store them in.
What we’ve been reading this week:
Ten years of Playing Out: a personal reflection
“Ten years ago, my children were 7 and 3 and I just wanted them to be free to play outside, as I had done as a child…. I felt like they had been physically pushed out of the space on their doorstep that should have been an extension of home, where they ‘met’ the world. As someone who grew up surrounded by community activists, I wasn’t content to accept this new normal, where I had to arrange ‘play dates’ and take my kids to the park like dogs needing a run-about – not (just) because I’m a so-called “lazy parent”, but because it felt like an injustice. Thanks to the way we had prioritised things as a society, children were now missing out on a huge and essential experience – one that had shaped my childhood and that of all previous generations.” Read more here