So it’s Thursday, not Wednesday. Am having one of those weeks that just runs ahead of one the whole time. Not sure why I’m so behind myself this week, my diary is pretty open, and yet here I am on a Thursday doing Walk it off Wednesday.
My theme this week linked up with a piece on the (BBC) news last week – that Dutch children are much happier than their UK counterparts. One of the items discussed was that the Dutch still feel safe enough to let their kids play outside unobserved.
When did that stop? As I have no children my point of reference is my own childhood and I remember having a lot of freedom. Sometimes my parents had no idea where I was and if I was then late home I was in big trouble! But my freedom was never curtailed – we explored woods, swam in the river (Swale), went on long bike rides, made dens in the cornfields (shhhh…) and generally had a great time and a limited amount of accidents.
It seems this is not the case for the kids today.
But not for the Dutch. There are still outside areas for them. Children are expected to play outside and even within built up areas there are plenty of options – football pitches, basketball hoops, zip lines, as well as more traditional swings and slides.
Here are a few from around my area in Veghel:
But not only are there a lot of play areas built in to the suburbs, children are also protected from the traffic when playing on the streets in residential areas –This sign means a number of things:
- cars can only travel at a maximum speed of 20km/hr.
- children may play on the roads here so watch out if driving.
- the more vulnerable the person on the road the more priority they have.
The last point means that the car must always wait, and give way to, other travellers or pedestrians. So if you end up behind a slow toddler you just have to wait until they reach their destination.
As it is February I was really hoping to pick a flower to photograph this week, but spring has not yet sprung here. So I am going back to textures as I was so pleased with my results with the trees. But this time I am going man-made, I choose tiles, cobbles and paving stones – the Dutch have one word for all of these: tegels.