I have taken a week off work to hang out with the kids over the holidays. Determined not to be focussed on "having" to do stuff, I have let each day take its course. Monday was official Pyjama Day - when the kids were little Monday was the day that we never had kindy or child care, no where to be; so we always "slothed" around. I remember 3 year old Angus telling me he wanted to spend "two weeks in my pyjamas" ....what an idea mmmmmm.
Tuesday we caught the train into the city and just poked around. We caught some fun street theatre at Federation Square (Fed Square is rapidly becoming my fave place and I'll tell you why in a post later). We walked and wandered the parks, discovered that the Vic Gallery does not open its general doors to the public on Tuesdays (how bloody stupid in the holidays). We wandered through bookshops as the boys have run out of reading material and fleeced me for a stack of paperbacks which are now being devoured today. We bought art supplies, tried on hats in posh shops, ate sushi and drank rainbows of milkshakes. Walking around one of the beautiful parks, checking out sculptures and ponds, we discovered one called the Genie. it was date 1973 and labelled for "children". It instantly had me reflecting on that period.
I had just begun my schooling in the ACT; a city that had an abundance of funds at that time and our schools were magnificent for that era, the following year we returned to Sydney and I recall being horrified at the state of the school (even though it was seen as a "good" school) 'what! wooden floors! Where is the carpet? The art rooms? What no kiln in the infants school's art area?!!!!" I was later relieved to be back in a carpeted ACT school that had a dental surgery room, a nurse and an incredible and healthy tuckshop!
But what this statue reminded me of was how lucky our generation was, it was a time when kids were really being thought of within the arts and the government agreeing with that thought and offering plenty of funding. I remember seeing so many amazing theatre productions at school :a million puppet shows (Octopollutus was my favourite :an environmental message), excursions to operas, Los Machachos (A spanish circus of male orphan acrobats trained by spanish monks and the abhorred capitve animals except their beloved horses), interactive theatre, and so on....what a lucky generation!
On the train