Issue 103 is out now
Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

04th February 2021

Light up lockdown: join a stargazing festival, kickstart your foraging, create extraordinary self-portraits! Plus enjoy free theatre shows and discover how to grow food from kitchen scraps!

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

04th February 2021

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

04th February 2021

DO Leftover Life
Growing food from kitchen scraps is easy, it cheers up your windowsills, teaches the basics of gardening, and livens up your lockdown lives; we’re all spending so much time at home, kitchen plants have never been healthier or more watched! This guide gives some ideas for fruit and vegetables you can get shoots from on your window sill. Some of them are easier to grow than others (we’ve never had any luck with an avocado, but mung beans are easy pea-sy). While we’re on the subject of kitchen waste, check out our guide to composting with kids! Photo: 101 Things For Kids to do on a Rainy Day (Kyle Books)

MAKE Here I Am
Bristol’s Arnolfini; the International Centre for Contemporary Arts has a reputation for curating pioneering-but-accessible performances, exhibitions and events, always mindful of founding director Jeremy Rees’ principle to ‘Enjoy Yourself’. Their lockdown art tutorials represent their ideals beautifully. We love The Hidden Self – a portrait from both sides – which leads viewers through a free step-by-step guide to creating a selfie that represents more than just the surface. Do also check out their online exhibition walk-throughs.

EVENT Fly High
Paper Aeroplane is a fantastical show that sensitively explores loss and bereavement; it was developed with children who have shared their experiences of losing loved ones. Presented by Half Moon, this show blends music, physical theatre to explore mysterious new places, oceans, rocks to clamber over and bridges to cross. Plus lots of paper aeroplanes! Free, but payment appreciated if you feel able

DO and EVENT Astral Week
Lockdown has meant that more people than ever have taken up stargazing. In addition to being a near-magical activity, free and fun, the community of astronomers has connected people worldwide. The clear skies and relatively early sunsets of winter are a perfect time to start your exploration of the skies, and the Dark Skies festivals make a good jumping-off point. This year, they’re virtual, so anyone can join in. Discover how to navigate using the stars, attend talks from wild travellers, be transported to a nocturnal world of mountains with photographs and poems, take in children’s planetarium shows, explore how artificial lighting is affecting nature and our own natural rhythmes, and learn about cutting-edge astrophotography. The Cumbria festival starts this weekend, followed by Northumberland the week after, and North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales the weekend after that – this event has a nocturnal wildlife theme! Mostly ticketed.

Find out more about stargazing as a family here and about the movement to preserve our dark skies here.

DO Spring Forage
Imbolc has passed, and the earliest whispers of spring are here. We’re noticing the days lengthening, buds on the trees and tiny shoots starting to emerge. Why not go for an optimistically early spring forage. You might find chickweed, young nettles, sweet violets, velvet shank mushroom or the earliest, most tender wild garlic; find out more here. Snaffled some sweet violet? Make fragrant oil, lip balm, aloe gel, vinegar, spring tonic honey and herbal deodorant. Find out how here

What we’ve been reading this week:
I enjoyed researching the bloody history of childbirth – then I had a baby “My new novel is about a midwife’s daughter in the old American west. The peril pregnant women underwent, then and now, became all too vivid once I became a parent” Read more here

Found something inspirational to read that you’d like to share? Want to share your creations with us? Have an idea for things to do? We’d love to hear from you. Email Kate

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