When I was teaching in a Birmingham primary school I had the good fortune to be sent on a course at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The course was one day a week for several weeks and was a very welcome change from the chalk-face*. The theme of the course was the exploration of ways in which the natural environment could be used to spark children's creativity. Or some such. All I remember was that it meant one day off a week, a lie-in, as the Botty Gardens were nearer to my home than school, and that it was jolly good fun.
One day we were given a matchbox each and asked to go into the gardens and fill it with as many different colours as possible. Each colour had to be natural and we weren't allowed to pick anything from a plant.
We did this activity in the spring and so were able to find petals of varying hues, but even in January, in a tiny garden it is possible to find a surprisingly wide range of colours.
This odd little task, pointless you might say, was curiously restorative. Spending time alone, outdoors, listening to the birds, smelling the damp earth, feeling the fresh air on my face whilst engaged upon some purposeful activity felt good, and as I arranged my colour samples I was reminded of the quotation from Baudelaire which Alice has on her blog;
A multitude of small delights constitute happiness.
*Chalk and blackboards have, apparently, been replaced by interactive whiteboards and other new-fangled gadgetry.