A Messy Home
Over the Greenbelt 2011 weekend, our team of opinionated and observant Guest Bloggers were out and about, seeing programming from across the breadth of the festival lineup - giving a unique take on all that Greenbelt has to offer. Here's James Stewart on Greenbelt as a family home.
As a long-time Greenbelter, the notion of Greenbelt as home isn't a hard one to take on board. Arrival on site is always accompanied by a sense of homecoming, immediately being surrounded by familiar faces, familiar food, familiar smells. There's something new every year, with new delights in the programme, and around the site, but for many of us the biggest changes to grapple with are often those in our own lives and how we see them reflected through the mirrors in this festival home.
This is my third year bringing my daughter to Greenbelt, but the first where she's been able to be really active in exploring the festival and being clear (sometimes too clear!) about where she wants to go and what she wants to see. It's wonderful to see the reality in all the past comments about how welcoming the festival is to children. And how safe. When she ran off across the field by mainstage last night, there was little need to worry. And there's always someone around with a smiling face, a good question to pique her attention, or a curious sight that will elicit questions for hours (and maybe days?) to come.
This is also a chance to spend some time in areas of the site I'd never previously been drawn to, especially Messy Space. Visiting yesterday, I found the place buzzing. Nestled in each of the stables were creative activities, and we whiled away a good chunk of time fashioning a two-year-old's take on an elephant from an increasingly wet lump of clay. Definitely one of the highlights for me, and a wonderful new experience of Greenbelt as family home.