With Ali seeing family F and I have gone on a road-trip in the bus. We really need to come up with a better name than "the bus". Without my gorgeous co-pilot and feeling a little out of bus practise I settled on Sandyballs in the new forest for a few days, then assuming I'd got my mojo back I planned to go free camping for the rest of the week.
Apart from some slightly scary driving in the new forest, (nimble is not a good description of the bus, a good name perhaps? Other suggestions welcome...) we got there safely and soon adjusted to our new environment.
As we've travelled our whole family has gotten better at taking the difficult first steps to initiate conversation, interaction, play, etc... I believe that everyone wants to connect with others, but that our inhibitions/judgement/shyness/fears stop us most of the time. That first night though, we didn't have to do a thing, connection came looking for us. A young boy cycled over started chatting to Fred and before I knew it he was making himself comfortable on the bus.
This wonderful level of inhibition in a child will inevitably result in a guardian trailing in his wake. His dad duly arrived, we had a really good chat and it quickly snowballed. By the end of the evening four random families, united by location and the spark of a 4 year old were drinking and chatting merrily while the kids ran around causing chaos. Good times.