Friday, 4 May 2012

A community playgroup

Remember when I wrote about chance encounters?

Well, another chance encounter led to us being invited to a new playgroup. A different kind of playgroup. Not the kind in a hall with a bunch of toys on the floor. I've never been a fan of that kind, even though I've gone to a fair few over the last four years. I always stop going for one reason or another. Mainly because I find it such an empty experience. For me and the boys. 

So when I heard about the Hive, a place for children to play, learn, be and create, and for the adults to connect, share and inspire, I liked the sound of it.

We each had to bring something, so I made some simple cheese muffins. Very easy to make at 9pm when you're thinking about getting ready for bed. I just tipped all the ingredients in a food processor, blitzed then poured into muffin trays. 

I only had Kian this morning, so off we went with our 24 muffins (minus a few that were so irresistible straight from the oven), hoping to play and be, and connect and share.

First thing for the kids to do was feed the chickens - 'it gets the children all excited before they come knowing they feed the chickens first' was what the very kind lady said who has decided to open her house up for the greater good of community. We all hurried down to the garden and watched the kids take turns at throwing their bit of bread. The older ones collected two eggs from the hatch. I think I was the excited child though, watching these beautiful chickens in their lovely run and then to have fresh laid eggs. I WANT CHICKENS!

One little boy inspected her compost bin, so from there sparked a little conversation about composting and what you end up with at the bottom. Luca will love to see all the lovely rich compost at the bottom of her bin, because I can show him that's what ours will look like in a few months.

We had a beautiful herbal tea of lemon myrtle, borage and, I think, damiana with some raw Tilba honey for morning tea. Everyone was amazed (myself included) how Kian drank my tea. So I think it's time I made more herbal teas at home.

The kids played with some musical instruments. Spotted an unusual gecko on the wall. Annoyed her dog.

Then one little boy brought up another egg.

Kian *cough* picked the flowers off her marigolds, and very nearly picked the green lemons from her lemon tree.

It was the first day, so it was more about talking and settling in than anything else. But it feels promising. One of the ladies is going to bring in some clay for the kids to make their own pot, and then take it away to be fired in a kiln. Another lady is going to bring in her sewing machine so they can make a scarf.

There's going to be a lot of organic gardening, and baking. And I've already offered my services. I'm thinking it would be lovely to give each child a jar of cream and watch them shake it till they make their own butter.

I'm loving the sound of it. I hope Luca settles in as well as Kian did this morning. She has a proper garden with chickens, so I think he'll enjoy it. I know I can't wait till next Friday.

Maybe I'll get chosen to collect the eggs.


  1. Oh wow Vanessa, sounds SO good - wish we lived closer so I could join with Grace :) Love your butter in a jar idea! x

  2. Hi Vanessa, I am so glad I came across your blog. It is magical soaking up your words and relating to them so deeply when I'm in my own little struggle of finding "me".

    This playgroup sounds wonderful. Is there a way I can call in with my son? It is an environment he would simply thrive in, and just picturing his enjoyment makes my heart soar.

    Thank you so much again. xxx


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