Yesterday we were soooooo lucky with the weather! Today it is absolutely syling down with rain here - the first proper rain we've had in about 3 months (hence all the moorland fires we've been having). But yesterday was perfect - not too cold, but enough wind to enable the deaf children I took out onto Ovenden Moor to fly the kites they'd made, and have fun battling with the wind as we wended our way through the stunning bog cotton, and investigated the strange stone sculptures up there. The kids LOVED it - and all us adults did too! We used our imaginations to ask what was underneath the resevoir; why the moor was so lumpy and bumpy (what giants were buried under there?!); to fight parts of the First World War in the strange trench-like structures; to try to figure out who built the stone sculptures - and why; to think about what the landscape would have been like when the millstone grit was being laid down and the whole place was a jinormous river delta; to roll around in the peat and grass to feel the textures and smell the different scents of the moor... It was too cold to hang around and do writing out there, but it was MUCH more important for the children to really experience the moor with as many of their senses as possible. We had a great time together, and I'm really looking forward to going into their school and working with them to follow up their moor trip with lots of writing, story-boarding, drama and drawing about their trip. The best thing was that all the kids were desperate to come back and get out on the moors again! Only one of them had ever been out on the moor before, so this is a fantastic result!
Patna and me doing synchronised signing!
We ended the experience at the big wind farm just nearby, and - to warm ourselves up! - we all 'became' turbines. I'm sure we generated enough electricity to give their writing and artwork a really good buzz!
Char March - I'm a freelance writer and tutor. I am Writer-in-Residence for the Pennine Watershed Project, and this blog takes you through some of the work I've done in that role