It’s pretty difficult, and not a little disturbing to imagine life in our house without the wonderful work of Julia Donaldson, author of the Gruffalo, the Gruffalo’s Child and a whole host of classic children’s texts besides. So a live performance of the Stick Man by Tam Dean Burn at the Children’s Wood this weekend was pretty much unmissable for us.
With child the youngest asleep on arrival, we made our way in from the Clouston Street entry and enjoyed tea and home made cookies. At these events, “adults” outnumber “children”, but only just. This gives a benignly anarchic atmosphere, and make for genuinely uplifting encounters.
Child the eldest betrayed a worryingly proprietorial attitude to some of the hardware at the Children’s Wood on the way up. When asked why we were going to the Children’s Wood, I replied we were going to an event. “No.” he protested, “We’re going to play with the wheelbarrow.”
In Tam’s video of the event, we’re out of shot but the wheelbarrow just about makes it in. The Stick Man is a book we hadn’t read, so it was a real discovery for us. Education, entertainment and emotion in the text were brought to life with warmth, enthusiasm and overwhelming generosity by Tam. At one point, the boy wonder even relinquished his grip on the beloved barrow.
These days at the wood and meadow have truly enriched our lives, and we hope to continue. The transformation of the space from pitches to wild meadows and now to a performance and congregation space is something the North Kelvin community, and the city of Glasgow deserves to be proud of. But this little acorn is under threat from development propositions.
As well as signing this petition, the more people that use the meadow, the woods and support the events that are bringing people together in this little haven from late capitalism, the greater the chances that this excellent work will continue to thrive.