Happy birthday to Faith
Happy birthday to Faith
Does the year 2018 still sound futuristic to anyone else? Some of us are still expecting the Y2K bug to wreak havoc anytime soon…
Fortunately 2018 – the Year of Engineering, the RAF’s Centenary, the 100th anniversary of female suffrage, the 60th anniversary of the LEGO brick – has a lot more positive things in store in Lincolnshire and beyond.
If you’re organising an event you’d like added to this list then let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you’re particularly looking forward to attending an event yourself this year then tell us all about it in the comments below!
January 30th: International Bomber Command Centre
Serving as a point of recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command, the IBCC opens at the end of January.
February 12th – 17th: Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood
Trusthorpe Village Hall Theatre Group pantomime
February 24th: Lincoln Mums Expo
Advice, support information, special offers and play/activities for mums to be, babies, right through to toddlers and big kids too.
March 18th: City of Lincoln 10K
Stretch your legs whilst running around Lincoln’s historic landmarks including the Cathedral and the city’s Roman walls.
March 24th and 25th: Discover Lincolnshire Weekend
A weekend of free entry to many of Lincoln city’s and countryside’s attractions.
March 27: Komposit The Performance
Five young composers from the East Midlands present their new pieces of music.
April 8th: Countryside Lincs
The Lincolnshire Showground’s interactive family day out featuring all the fun farming, food and the countryside have to offer.
May 4th-11th: Lincoln Fashion Week
Eight days of fashion events in venues across Lincoln city centre.
June 20th-21st: Lincolnshire Show
A celebration of rural Lincolnshire, with an eclectic mix of entertainment, food, shopping, music, horticulture and farm life.
July 14th-15th: Newark Book Festival
Two days dedicated to celebrating authors and their work that aim to “fire your imaginations, challenge and inspire you present the very best in literature and the arts”.
August 24th-27th: Asylum Steampunk Festival
The largest and longest running steampunk festival attracting participants from around the globe.
August 31st-September 2nd: So Festival
A coastal festival of outdoor theatre.
September 26th-30th: Gravity Fields
The theme for this year’s science-based festival held in Grantham is “voyages of discovery”.
October 1st-31st: Wolds Words
An autumnal cultural festival featuring an array of craft, heritage, literature and performances.
October 13th: Lincoln Sausage Festival
Cooking demonstrations, food stalls, children’s entertainment and live music.
November 24th: Inflatable 5k Santa Run
Flip, bounce and boing your way around the inflatable assault course in full Santa kit at the Lincolnshire Showground.
December 1st-2nd: Lincolnshire Food and Gift
The fair brings together more than 150 varied stands with the very best Christmas offerings, entertainment from live choir groups, cookery demonstrations and a children’s Santa’s Workshop.
December 6th-9th: Lincoln Christmas Market
Cultural entertainment and more than 200 stalls nestled within the medieval square and surrounding area.
Down Syndrome Bloggers Network: Intangible Gift
The Down Syndrome Bloggers Network group monthly prompt for December is “What is one intangible gift you want to give to your child?”
When my three year old is asked to choose just one thing she really struggles. If she picks up wrist bells from a group’s music box she has to have at least four, one for each wrist and ankle and preferably a few more in her hands as well. One item from the songbag becomes a pile in front of my feet. One toy from the shop usually translates as a minimum of one for each hand.
It turns out she might get it from me. When I first thought about the Down Syndrome Bloggers Network group’s December prompt what one intangible gift I would give to my children a whole list quickly formed in my mind.
It’s quite normal to have lots of hopes and dreams for your children’s future and, whilst you bemoan how quickly the time goes, you also want to fast forward to see the adult they’ll become and the results of the paths they will choose and whether or not they take any notice of any of the signposts you indicate along the way.
I guess when you have a disabled child those aspirations become slightly coloured, assumptions underlying them unsettled.
I know that Faith may require an extra dose of all the strengths you wish for any child.
Determination is key and fortunately Faith is currently displaying no shortage of this. If the road to success is trying hard then, even if she takes a little longer than typical, she’s sure to reach her goal.
But, as we head towards the time of year that celebrates peace, perhaps we should focus on the present rather than projecting ourselves into crystal ball imaginings.
So I will choose patience as the gift I would procure for her if I could. Patience with herself, patience with a society that seems obsessed with pushing forward when we could be enjoying the moment, patience with people who don’t always show the kindness they should to those of differing abilities they lack the understanding of and patience with her mother as she learns to navigate this new world alongside her.
And maybe if I manage to get enough patience for her, a little bit could rub off on me too.
Read more from the Down Syndrome Bloggers Network on the theme of one intangible gift:
Bean Post Farmstead – A Priceless Gift: Instilling a sense of purpose in our children
Cedar’s Story – Intangible Gifts: The Gift of Opportunity
Trista Park – Joy to the World
Robin Hood and Maid Marian – Winter in Sherwood is 2017’s production by The Lincoln Company made up of Lincoln School of Performing Arts students. It’s a perfect pick for the year of the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest and we were delighted to be guests of the arts centre for its opening night on Tuesday.
Littered with eclectic cultural references, it earns its age 6+ recommendation with its use of heightened language but there was still plenty for my younger minis to enjoy too.
Strong heroes, tomfoolery and hijinks with a pair of gormless guards and the dubious allegiances of some wandering minstrels, rousing songs to clap along to, a repetitive strain to join in with that saw my three year old drawing back her bow, a few flash bangs, a pretty smattering of snow, a boo-able baddie and alternative staging with the audience sitting on three sides of the action proved very engaging to all who had come to watch.
Luke says his favourite bit was when Robin Hood was locked up in the castle with the sheriff’s two hapless knights, a comic scene that included all his three favourite characters and an impressive show of archery skill, and Willow was absolutely mesmerised by meeting the characters after the show who were very lovely with a couple of star struck mini theatre goers.
Winter in Sherwood is showing at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre until Sunday, December 24th and includes a relaxed performance on Friday, December 22nd. Click here for further information.
Lincoln has developed in recent years to become a shopping destination with a wide range of retailers including many that welcome younger visitors through their doors.
Start in the St Mark’s Shopping Centre and you’ll find big brand names such as Mothercare, Mamas and Papas, Toys R Us, The Entertainer and Debenhams. Move into the centre of the city and you’ll find an area starting to show the benefits of its ongoing rejuvenation.
But it’s when you take steps towards and up Steep Hill to the top end of Lincoln that you’ll be rewarded with a selection of independent shop frontages that are unique to the city.
As today is Small Business Saturday – “a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small business in their communities” – The Mini Malpi asked a couple of those stores what they’d pick from their ranges as Christmas presents for little ones this year…
A family run business, Bo Peep Boutique stocks children’s clothing, lifestyle products and traditional toys that describes its ranges as “one of a kind, quirky, different, funky and fun”. Here are just some of Emma’s favourites.
“We love Lottie Dolls (recommended age 3+) because they are aspirational and based on a child’s proportions rather than a grownup. £18.99.
“Janod Storyboxes are one of our favourite new products. These boxes are designed for imaginative play including knights, firefighters and fairytales. £9.99
“The Orange Tree Winnie The Pooh range is suitable from 12 months plus. The new range of wooden toys just launched includes pull-alongs, trains and pushups. Lovely and traditional, starting from £4.99.
“Jellycat, designed in the UK, are the softest soft toy range on the market. We stock a wide range including books, comforters and toys from £8 upwards.”
With Love From Lincolnshire is definitely the perfect place to visit on Small Business Saturday as where “every item has been lovingly handmade by local craftspeople” “you will find over 70 small local business under one roof”. Like most small independent stores, Pirjo Holtta doesn’t stock anything she doesn’t love herself but here she picks out some highlights for us.
“The most beautiful cardigans are crocheted by Justine. These cardigans come in all the colours of the rainbow and in sizes: 0-3m £6, 3-6m £6, 6-12m £7, 1-2yrs £8, 3-4yrs £10, 5-6yrs £12, 7-8 £14. By buying one of these cardigans you don’t only support one small local business but three! The Stylecraft Special DK yarn is from Number Four (also Burton Road, Lincoln), Justine (Just Handmade) has crocheted the cardigans and you can buy them from With Love From Lincolnshire.
“Nothing keeps a little one warm like a lovingly handmade blanket or a quilt and we stock a range, including some with matching bunting, by crafters Val, Nicole (Little Sew It All) and Justine. And we’ve also got lots of hats and mittens for little ones full of character!
“Jacqui’s octocapes are her best selling items! With no fiddly buttons you just put it over your child’s head and it will keep their neck and chest warm without bulkiness. Great to wear in a car seat too! £5.50.
“Reversible dresses for little ones must be one of the best inventions ever! Accidents happen and no-one needs to know if you’re wearing one of these – just quickly turn it round! These are easy to put on and take off with snappers on the back or on the shoulders. This is also a great time to buy a pinafore dress. Add layers underneath and cardi on top, start reducing layers towards spring and wear on its own in the summer! £9 each or 2 for £15 by Rachel Pugh and from £7 in sizes 0-4 by Pauline.
“These Grow-With-Me-Pants have been designed and made by Karen Booth Designs with folded hems and waistband for your little one and are made with a pre-washed cotton and lycra jersey fabric for minimal shrinkage and added bounce back comfort. No digging in elastic! They are £7.99 a pair in sizes from newborn to toddler.”
Looking for a book? Independent book store Lindum Books gave us their recommendations here: Seasonal stories make perfect presents.
If you are challenging yourself to the sheer walk up the hill (or taking the bus and walking down) then you might also want to pop in to Annual (Grantham Street, Lincoln), that has a passion for unique design and an exploration into making the world for children stimulating and fun, and Object and Line (Bailgate, Lincoln) that searches out small to medium companies worldwide that have high design values.
Are you buying small this year? Recommend a local business from near you in the comments below and make someone’s day!
Whether as part of an advent calendar, included in a Christmas Eve box, a stocking filler or a main present, there’s no doubt that books make great Christmas presents – they even make the cut in the “four gift rule” of want, need, wear and read – so no wonder there are so many great titles to choose from. Here Deborah Holland of Waterstones, Lincoln picks out a few of her favourites with a wintery theme to look out for if you’re buying for mini ones this year.
The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club – Alex Bell (Faber & Faber, PB, £6.99)
This book is a brilliant fantastical adventure story with a stunning cover and illustrations by Tomislav Tomic. On this expedition to the Icelands join Stella, Beanie, Ethan and Shay for a thrilling tale with snow pirates, carnivorous cabbages, unicorns, wolves and pygmy T-Rex to name a few! This is Alex Bell’s first book for younger readers as she usually writes for young adults. I’m very excited about what will come next. If you were looking for that extra stocking filler for your own bookworm then this is a must. Perfect for any child aged 9 years old onwards. Chosen as November’s Book of the Month at Waterstones it’s not hard to see why.
The Invisible Child & The Fir Tree – Tove Jansson (Sort of Books, HB, £4.99)
This book is available exclusively through Waterstones, Oxfam and the Moomin shop. Two short stories in a beautiful hardback with gorgeous illustrations. The Invisible Child is about someone finding their voice with the help of a simple Moomin recipe. The Fir Tree is perfect for this time of year showing the Moomins unselfish take on Christmas. My children love these stories and I love their message of respect and tolerance. Perfect for ages 6 to 106 years old. Aside from being a huge Moomin fan – 100% of the sale of this book will go to Oxfam’s projects empowering women and girls around the world. A perfect gift.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland – Tim Hopgood (Oxford University Press, PB with CD, £8.99)
Tim Hopgood’s illustrations are amazing in this stylish picture book of Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith’s song Winter Wonderland. Stunning pictures of wildlife to spot on each page and everything blanketed in snow. A brilliant book to read to your young one over the festive season and an added bonus CD of Peggy Lee singing the song! Festive spirit, nostalgia and a sing song too. I dare it not to get you and your little one in the mood for Christmas.
A Dot in the Snow – Corrinne Averiss (Oxford University Press, PB, £6.99)
I read this out at a story time recently and though very simply told it really engage the young ones of 3 years onwards and is beautifully illustrated by a new talent – Fiona Woodcock. Her sparkly snow is a particular winner in our household! This is a tale of a polar bear cub, Miki and a girl who get separated from their mothers. Miki sees a red dot in the snow and slowly gets bigger until Dot reveal herself a human girl. This is a lovely story of friendship, a changing polar landscape and a heart-warming story to end a wintery day.
Need more suggestions? See what Gill Hart from Lindum Books recommends here: Seasonal stories make perfect presents.
For more recommendations from the Lincoln bookseller pop into their store in High Street, Lincoln.
From the regular visiting children’s theatre productions to the toys in its cafe area along with in house provisions such as the Diddy Disco, accessible changing facilities and a lovely warm welcome, the Lincoln Drill Hall has long been a favourite destination for young audience members.
And now the Free School Lane arts centre is making it even easier for those wanting to find out what’s on offer to enjoy alongside their children by launching a new family brochure. Sales and communications manager Gavin Street explains why…
“Lincoln Drill Hall is a great place to introduce children to the arts. The venue hosts a year-round programme of live shows, theatre groups, workshops and creative sessions specifically aimed at younger audiences – from tiny tots to teenagers – plus events the whole family can enjoy together. And with the launch of a new seasonal family brochure, you can find it all in one place!
“So what’s coming up in the Spring? Running through the season are the Happy Monday Club weekly creative play sessions for pre-schoolers, which includes sessions based on storytelling and drama, dance and movement, art and making and rhythm and music. These sessions take place in the venue’s cafe bar on Monday mornings, 10.30am-11.30am. On Wednesdays, the Drill Hall also hosts Hartbeeps, weekly musical adventure classes for newborns, babies and toddlers.
“Or for older children, why not Fishtank, the city’s alternative youth theatre, where the kids create their own original theatre pieces and then perform them in front of a real audience. Drama skills, self-confidence, team-building and fun are guaranteed in these sessions for Tiddlers (ages 3-6), Juniors (ages 7-11) and Intermediates (ages 11-16). Sessions run on Saturday mornings throughout the year.
“And rounding off the first half of the Spring, February half term is packed with events. These include the first outing of the season of Diddy Disco (Tuesday 13 February), the venue’s hip dance club for under 7s and the interactive theatre adventure The Dead Sea (Wednesday 14 February), which follows a young marine biologist on an ecological rescue mission to the bottom of the ocean. There’s also Rhubarb Theatre’s time-travelling Sidney’s Shed (Friday 16 February), which whisks young audiences on an exciting journey to dig up the past and weed out history’s bullies and Hiccup Theatre brings the classic story The Gingerbread Man (Saturday 17 February) to vivid life through amazing puppetry and fabulous live music.”
For more information about these and other events later in the season pick up a copy of the new Drill Hall Family brochure or read it online here. For more about the venue visit www.lincolndrillhall.com (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
And don’t forget there’s still the pantomime to enjoy before the end of this year. To find out more about Jack and the Beanstalk, showing from December 8th to January 2nd, click here.