On Sunday my play event from 10am until after 1pm went as well as it could have, we had a reasonably good turn out with around 12 kids and 8-9 adults. What is important with this day was that it happened. It was amazing how the people who came out of their homes and got stuck in, even if they trickled out gradually, they PLAYED that day that’s what is great. Their minds were changed about their idea of allowing their kids on the street, and we got to know our neighbours and the kids met other kids on their street they had never talked to before. There was new-born bambinos, toddlers, and children up to age of around 10. Some families asked if we could repeat it regularly and thought it was a wonderful Sunday that they would’ve otherwise only spent indoors – despite the gorgeous weather. I was so lucky to have the clear blue sky and the fact it rained the next day, that’s KARMA for you.

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We held a meeting last night with Guiness Homes representatives to discuss our issues with parking on our road, we got on to the subject of drug dealing in our street. not from Guiness residents, but from people opposite who are residents off the high street. Some individuals claimed that this scared them and prevented them from letting their kids out to play, so only being allowed as far as their front porch (less than a metre in front the house). This is really sad, the fact that one dilinquent’s actions are effecting the well-being of our children and hindering their available space. If the kids could play on our street without the dangers of outsiders driving in too fast to park their car, so they can go shopping (even though there’s a free car park just down the road), it would mean a lot to them and they’d probably find it a novelty! it shouldn’t be a novelty, it should be the norm!

We all decided at the meeting that we were going to make endless phone calls to the police so they had enough to go by before they raid the property, plus all decided collectively that we drive slowly onto the private road being aware that there may be kids out. Hopefully slowly we are able to destroy this dealer’s effect on our road and reduce the likely hood of a child being in danger of cars. We all said that if we all displayed a permit and parked any 2nd car out the spaces, we were then able to identify who is using our road as a car park for their own amenities and issue them with a warning. I like how our community just over the last week are trying to develop more of a collective stand against issues and trying to make our lovely road a safe, fun place to live.

I think Sunday had a positive effect on my neighbours, even on those who didn’t come. The only person who objected was a grumpy old man with a caravan that never comes off his drive, saying he thought it was a stupid idea and we were encouraging the children to play in the road and get hit by cars!! I thought this was hilarious, saddening, frustrating and pathetic. Faced with this old fool, whilst struggling to put up a gazebo with my partner Luke I smiled sweetly despite feeling all these emotions, and said ‘Yes well that’s the reason why we are doing this event, to stop the danger of cars get in the way of their opportunity to play’, Luke was laughing because he actually believed this man was joking, I look at Luke and shake my head. His smile drops. The man turns to us and says, ‘They have a perfectly good playground to play in down the road, whats the point of them being out here?”. At this moment i was reeling inside, but I bit my lip ONLY because he was on his way over to the barriers he had said he would lend us.You could say I was using this old dude, using him for his offerings yet couldn’t give a toss what he thought, this is ONE person. When the kids were having a great time building robots, ‘a pirate’ *chuckle* and dens of all sorts, this man came out to have a nosey and instead of looking pleased with what was happening or surprised with the positivity of the event, he decided to knock on his neighbours door and drag them out just so he could bitch about it.

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I won’t waste anymore words on him, because i have learnt in all my 23 years (this Friday-yayy birthday time) that you cannot please everybody. Plus whether he god damn likes it or not we will do it again, and again and again! These play days will get bigger, better, more cake-filled and tea-filled!

Our local newspaper even came out despite it being Rememberence Sunday, he wanted to take a pic and see what was going on (after a few calls I had made) but by the time he got there the kids had ran off to play football making the most of the empty space, and me and my partner had started to do Operation Clean-up. So I will be sending some images in for next week’s paper, and spread the important word. Talking to my friend Chris Revill the other day who works for Bath and North East Somerset Play Team, he said that this could be the first of many in our area and if the local play-organisations such as Wansdyke Play Association and Bath Area Play Project catch on then its going to become the norm to close roads for children’s play. Thanks to everybody who moved their cars elsewhere, played and those that supported me and my project. A special thanks goes to my gorgeous fiance who worked so hard along side me and puts up with the house being filled with cardboard!!

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Will keep posting on the event and the developments of my show which the remains of the play will be shown as part of my exhibition next week ‘Ruin’.

MUCH LOVE X

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