Bed Pop Fun Palaces

Fun Palaces 2015

I’ve been meaning to write this post all week since we visited the Fun Palaces at the weekend but it’s just not been happening which isn’t good. I realised that I had been really unmotivated to blog even though there’s been lots going on. I spent part of this weekend erasing and reinstalling my laptop so hopefully now it’s going to run better which in turn will help me to be more motivated I think because my computer just has on it what I need instead of extra junk. I think it means that I have risked losing some photos along the way but I think the important ones were already backed up.

Anyway! So last weekend it what I’m actually going to write about. Chris and I headed into town with Jaxon to visit the Fun Palaces. We started off by popping by the HQ tent in Harpur Square.

BedPop Fun Palaces HQ

Chris had a go at making a smoothie with the team from SusTrans. They had a bike that was hooked up to a smoothie maker so that you could make a smoothie by cycle power. Chris had a go and I filmed him. The smoothie was interesting – it wasn’t my cuppa as I don’t like bits in my smoothie but Chris drank it down and seemed to enjoy it.

We headed inside the library to take a look at the Fun Palace activities in there. There were coding workshops on some of the computers in the children’s library bit. I would have loved to have had a go but there were limited numbers of computers and they were technically only open to the kids. We wandered round to the local history tables. There was a stand from Wrest Park which is an English Heritage property.

In the library there was also a stand for creating a Fun Palaces quilt. Unfortunately when we got there, there didn’t seem to be anyone lead the activity (or written instructions to get on with it yourself).

I went to grab a drink while Chris nipped back to the car for something I’d forgotten to pick up. It got a bit complicated and I ended up killing time while I waited for Chris to come back to me. Jaxon got worked up and I decided that I’d decamp from where I was and head to one of the coffee shops I go to frequently to use the baby changing facilities but in the time it took me to get from my spot to the coffee shop, Jaxon had fallen asleep in the carrier so he had to wait for a change which was really not good. Once I’d finished my drink and Chris had tracked me down, Chris, Jaxon and I sat in the sunshine outside The Higgins Museum and came up with a plan for what we were going to do next. We popped into the gallery, to take a closer look at the Fun Palaces activities that were being ran by the Higgins team. In one of the smaller galleries the Higgins curators were hanging their latest exhibition of JMW Turner watercolour paintings. It was interesting but because there were so many people in that particular one, it was really hard to see what was going on. While Chris watched what he could of the Turner demonstration, I popped back to the reception desk to find out where the Mr X Stitch group was meeting.

Cross stitch is one of those things that My Mum taught me as a kid, it’s also one of those things that I can just pick up and get on with. I’d always done flowers or kits that I’d been given or bought with my pocket money growing up. Up in our bedroom we have a Hello Kitty cross stitch on the wall – in one of our flats there wasn’t very many pictures on the walls because it was a rental so I worked my way round trying to fill the nails that were in the wall. There was one in our bedroom that I wanted to fill and I was given a kit. I decided to do something different so having seen a pattern book across the table that had Pacman ghosts in it, I googled for a cross stitch pattern on my phone and got started. The image I found was almost like a Pacman sampler so I mentally chopped it up and stuck it back together again.


Over the next week or so I added to it. I completed three Pacman ghosts in various different colours and then decided to add the text as well. I think it might work for a Christmas present but I’m not 100% sure. I need to get my Mum to help me frame it.

While we were at the Fun Palaces Cross Stitch group, the boys went for a wander (including a nappy change – I think I got the good end of the deal!). Jaxon has been practising his walking more and more, so Chris encouraged him to walk all the way to the toilet and then walk all the way back to me, which apparently in the museum is a long way for his little legs!

We grabbed lunch at The Cappuccino Bar – Chris used to go for his fortnightly (maybe weekly!) lunch “date” with one of the guys from church so he commented how he wouldn’t be able to go as often now he’s changing jobs. They didn’t have a high chair so Jaxon had to sit on a “grown up” chair, it was fine but his forehead was just in line with the edge of the table so it was getting a little close to him head butting the table! I had Pasta Polpette but because there’s not a children’s menu, Jaxon had most of my pasta so I just had Polpette, I’m sure had I asked they might have been able to give me an extra portion of pasta so share between us.

Following lunch, we headed for to The Quarry Theatre via Gallones for an ice cream. I’d been past during the first week after they opened but there was such a queue and so many choices that I just didn’t know what to pick and decided in the end that on that particular occasion the syns wouldn’t be well spent. I choose on this occasion to have two scoops, I had chocolate brownie and banana. Chris had picked up a spoon from the counter so we gave a little bit to Jaxon – he loved the banana ice cream!

We then concluding our wander and headed for The Quarry Theatre. We got there just before The Frogs Chorus started their next session, so while we waited for that to start Chris and I did a smells quiz being ran by Orchadia Solutions – it was really good fun and it was funny smelling things and you knew what they were but couldn’t always put your finger on it but as soon as someone told you what it was you knew. One of them that we smelt was like bread mould (of all the things!) but actually it was soil, funny how your brain triggers one thing but actually it can be something else.

Jaxon, Chris and I joined in with The Frog’s Chorus but I think Jaxon by that point was getting frustrated and wanted to potter around and do his own thing rather than sit still and listen. We did enjoy The Frog’s Chorus but I think Jaxon was a little bit young to properly join in. Maybe next year if the same lady is back he’ll be into it more. While we were there we came to the rescue of another Mum, she came and asked us if we had a spare nappy, it later turned out that she comes to church at Christmas with one of the community groups – it was really lovely to see her again.

All in all we did really enjoy the majority of the activities, I think Jaxon was struggling by the end and we didn’t actually go through all the activities in the end. The majority of the activites were ran on the Saturday which mean when they clashed you had to really pick wisely as to what you wanted to do – especially if it was a set time slot like The Frog’s Chorus seemed to be. There was a drama workshop at the theatre around the same time as The Frog’s Chorus but it was for older children and teenagers rather than young children and/or adults. I haven’t taken part in drama workshops in a while and that combined with the coding workshop would have really interested me. But who knows, there could be more choices next year. I’m grateful to all the volunteers who worked their socks off to get the event up and running. They are all volunteers doing something to bring our communities together. Here’s a date for your diary…

Fun Palaces 2016

Usual rules apply – images that aren’t mine should link to their respective sources. On some occasions I was too busy looking after Jaxon or enjoying the activities to take pictures so have adopted from elsewhere but have linked back to them.

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