THIS SERIES: SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
We can start with our immediate locality. Talking to two young friends with small children, living on the beautiful Northumberland coast, I was astounded to hear that they never went to the beach. Hours of free play available and they never utilised it! But how often is this the case? Many times the people who really enjoy our local facilities are visitors; we often just stop noticing and appreciating things which are very familiar.
What facilities have you got near you? Perhaps there are municipal parks & gardens; somewhere to meet friends, take a walk or have a picnic. What about local museums or libraries? Many museums and art galleries in UK cities are free, and often have interactive displays and interesting events. Libraries usually host a variety of activities for children and adults, as well as being the obvious supply of reading material and other media. Perhaps your community also has a toy library?
Then there’s the sea shore, countryside, country parks, forests, canals and waterways – within reach of most, and potentially the source of hours of pleasure. Learn a new skill, orienteering or bird-watching; take cycle rides or climb a mountain; paddle or make pebble creations on a river bank. Revive the ancient art of ‘picnicking’! From many recent conversations, it seems that this has gone out of fashion; and yet it is a much more budget–friendly way of eating out. Not to mention that food seems to taste better when eaten outside!
And use your creative imagination to come up with ‘home-made’ indoor activities to share with family and friends. ‘Entertaining’ suggests performance; ‘hospitality’ is about sharing life and laughter. Simple home-grown entertainments are often the ones which lodge in people’s memories as special times of fun and fellowship.
We are surrounded by ‘free stuff’ if we have eyes to see – let’s enjoy it!
The internet is full of inspiration; for example:
And different County Councils, Regions and National Parks often have stimulating ideas:
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