PAB Convergence

Permaculture Association Convergence 1st Ė 3rd September 2006. Following on from the Big Green Gathering this was a consolidating experience, very enjoyable, and in contrast to the manic situation of the previous kids convergence two years ago. This one was special because the venue, New Barn in Dorset, was already an established kids zone. Housing a reconstructed Iron Age homestead, the cob roundhouses and surrounding meadows gave them plenty to explore. Winning over the kids wasnít that difficult. The yurt provided ample space and the rain gave them ample excuse. But it was the girls who got involved with the crafty side of things. There was a full schedule to get through. The day started with some fun and games, blowing up balloons and writing silly poetry. We also wanted to make a decorative tree to celebrate the PABís Year of the Tree, so obtaining a section of buddleia we commenced to decorate it. Of course, everything got wet. In fact, if you saw the weather it was nightmarish. Windy and wet, peopleís tents were getting blown away. There was definitely something magical going on. Us kids though, never felt anything. We loved our yurt which, over the course of the weekend, was being filled with images. A few moments were magical. Windrose coming up to visit and do some storytelling; even I found captivating. That was followed with some mask making. Saturday night was cabaret night, so I allowed the kids to mess up my hair and paint my face. We went round the site, I as Captain Jack Parrot, and the rest as witches. I canít remember all their names but one boy did tag along with us. And then on Sunday the weather transformed. On going into the main marquee for the auction, the weather was despotic. When we came out it had changed to blazing sunshine. So we finally boiled up our elderberry juice that we had collected during one of our travels, as well as a few bugs, but we also made a dye from the leaves. Finally, the boys joined us, getting bored with their chasing around I suppose, to do some vandalism with my dyed shirt. It happened to be one of my favourite tops. The back became a scribble of names. I had one more good idea before the ultimate end. That was a Planning for Real exercise. Basically, now that the wind had calmed down, we erected two lengths of see-through Perspex, landscape fashion. I asked the kids to re-draw the landscape to how they wanted to see it. It seemed to have a lot more animals in it.