And then it just stopped. The constant arguing, the blistering anger that would ignite over the most unlikely things, the need to control every. single. thing; like a summer storm it blew over almost as swiftly as it arrived.
Well, maybe not entirely. Freya is still three, after all – and has a very definite opinion about when it’s appropriate to wear sandals (pretty much any day it’s raining).
Thankfully, while she remains feisty and opinionated, it mostly seems more measured (for now).
I can (sort of) understand where she’s coming from and wade through it rather than just (mentally) throwing my hands up, at a loss as to know how to help her but holding on for dear life anyway.
I’d go as far as to say that nearly four is my favourite age so far.
Last week I wanted to visit the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) degree shows and, as the only day I could do it was Friday, I decided to take Freya, as I thought she might like it too.
By Rebecca Goddard and Emily Willgress.
After lunch we hopped on a bus into the city and strolled down to the campus where we toured the various buildings looking at the work of some of this year’s 600 graduates.
Works on display include “paintings and illustrations, fashion garments and textile patterns, architectural drawings and models, sculptures, photographs, short films and animations, portfolios of graphic design work and video game demos”.
I’ve listed links for all the work I’ve featured at the end, where I could find them, but there were so many I didn’t get chance to take photos of but were equally brilliant (and many more I didn’t get to see at all) so really you need to go and look for yourself, if possible.
Getting Freya’s take on things was entertaining (she was really engaged and inspired to create her own painting as soon as we got home). There were tiny brains, an animal skull which she was fascinated by and a work that included sand which she found particularly hard not to touch.
She thought the photo on the left (below) was the Northern Lights.
I also found it really inspiring – there are definitely some stars of the future just waiting to be discovered.
I was buzzing afterwards (as I treated Freya to a tub of Norfolk strawberry ice-cream in a nearby cafe) – and not just because I had given my brain what felt like an intense workout for the first time in ages but also because we both seemed to enjoy it as much as the other. So often we either do something for the pleasure of one (softplay) or the other (hunting for butterflies) or neither of us (supermarket shopping). I hope we can find more things we enjoy together.
This photo by Victoria Brooks is one of my favourites, I just found it arresting. Then there was an illustrated book by Lauren Phillips I was very taken with.
Freya really liked the textiles, including these models by Danielle Taylor but also the video games (particularly as she got to wear headphones and play with a controller).
The degree shows are free to visit but you only have today and tomorrow left so get in quick! Please check the website for opening times. There’s also a shop, Unexpected Item In The Bagging Area, full of beautiful things to buy.
To find out more about the work I featured please click on the links below.