All welcome to the two parts of our free half term Wild Afternoon in Tooting:
at 1400: participative outdoor games for all the family
at 1600: showing ‘Project Wild Thing’ film  

All the details on our events calendar to the right of this blog page.
It’s going to be a fun and engaging afternoon, even if it’s damp outdoors in the first part when we try out some games.
Being outdoors in the city should be fun, available and accessible, and is valuable for us all. 

For the next 3 days, we want to illustrate some different aspects of why we believe it’s important to offer ways to enjoy being outdoors – including the personal and informal as well as more formal examples.

Why go outdoors in Tooting? Part 1 
Rachel from fanSHEN Theatre will be helping run the games this Sunday. fanSHEN are also developing a 6-month series of free Tooting Field Days, which kick off in April in partnership with TTT.

“As a warm-up to the Tooting Field Days, we’ll be helping out at Wild Afternoon, playing some games invented by the awesome San Francisco New Games Foundation. 

Why? In August last year, our fanSHEN team spent almost every Saturday walking around Tooting, looking for good routes for the audio walks we were making. We had some ideas about what the routes might be, landmarks they might take in, how long they might take – but mostly we walked around to see where might be fun or interesting. 

Flourishing in February
 When we got tired, we stopped at one of Tooting’s brilliant restaurants or cafes and refueled on egg kothu or samosas or 
coffee while we pored over a map to see where we hadn’t tried yet. 
We stumbled on places and met people 
we wouldn’t normally. 
Maybe because it was August and 
everyone else was away, it felt a bit like a holiday, exploring a place without the pressure of needing to be in a 
certain place at a particular time.

These days weren’t particularly sunny – if you remember, a lovely sunny June gave way to a pretty mediocre July and August last year. They weren’t days when I would have sat outside; I’d have looked out of my window and seen it being overcast and blowy and decided not to make a big effort to leave the flat. But doing this project meant that I spent over 4 hours a day walking around outside. And it was brilliant.

I think I probably spend most of my life in front of a screen. I don’t think as a kid I ever thought my life as a grown up would be like this. I don’t even think there was a point as a young adult I decided that I was happy to be this screen person because it was worth it for career success or something like that. Somehow I slid into this screen-based existence. Of course, on my desktop I have a picture taken on a real holiday, of a beautiful sunset.
Flowering in February (hazel)

So at some point while we were making these walks, I made a promise to myself to spend more time outside. 
It’s a promise I’ve broken over the last six months. Yeah, it’s been winter, and yeah, I’ve been busy, but the bottom line is that I’ve opted for screen over surroundings, even though I know how much happier I’d be being outside. 
(And I’m not the only one – there’s a body of evidence to suggest that well-being is improved by getting outside).

But things are going to change. So we’re making the Tooting Field Day project about being outside, allowing yourself to be surprised and having fun with a bunch of people you might not meet in your daily life. There’ll be walks and games and craftiness and samosas and coffee and maybe even egg kothu! More details to come.
Hopefully you can make it to the Wild Afternoon on Sunday 22nd and then monthly from April – bet you a samosa it’ll make you happier than spending the afternoon in front of the computer”

Rachel Briscoe  @fanshentheatre 
Thank you, Rachel! 
And all welcome on Sunday…and from April-Sept for the Field Days.
– Charles