EVENT Holy Jokers
Put aside your coulrophobia and head to Hackney in London this Sunday for the yearly Clowns Annual church service. Over 60 clowns from around the world, all in full red-nose-and-big-shoe regalia descend on the Holy Trinity church in Dalston. The service is in memory of legendary clown Joseph Grimaldi, and is so popular that the church is usually filled to overflowing. Get there early for a seat (there’s usually a show for children after the churchy bit), or wait outside to see the clowns arriving.
COOK Chocs Away
It’s Sugar Free February, Cancer Research’s fundraising drive, where supporters are sponsored to give up the sweet stuff. We try our best to cut back on refined sugars year-round, which is tough, but recipes like Claire Ptak’s chocolate avocado mousse and chocolate, peanut butter and date slab make it a lot easier. So rich and addictive – yet free from refined sugars, dairy and gluten.
LEARN Vegging Out
Our garden is just about ready to start peeping back into life, but we’re impatiently craving some green-fingered action. Growing vegetables from kitchen scraps won’t bring enormous crops, but it is rewarding, costs virtually nothing, and teaches children about growth. The budding plants also brighten up your windowsills over the lean, grey months of winter.
EVENT Flowered Up
Snowdrops are beginning to cautiously peep through and herald spring. Why not spend this weekend trying to track some down. The National Trust has plenty of places you can spot their delicate white flowers, while the National Trust of Scotland’s Snowdrop Festival is already under way. Ness Gardens hosts its annual, family-friendly snowdrop week from February 18, with arts, origami and a winter trail. If you can’t find any real-life flowers, make your own with tissue paper.
EVENT Stay Strong
The relentless grim news of the last few weeks can start to take its toll on your well-being, and children’s optimism (there’s a worrying piece in Rolling Stone magazine about the effect of the election on children in schools). Ann Douglas has some tips to help raise your spirits a little higher and practical links for keeping your children strong. There are more ideas about how to address children’s fears here, and here. If you’re after more practical ways to tackle the culture of bigotry and aggression, and live in the UK, the New Statesman has listed five practical ways to get involved. Meanwhile, this Sunday’s very timely open day, Visit My Mosque, invites everyone to visit their local muslim place of worship – a chance to find out more, make new friends, and break down religious barriers.