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Things rarely turn out the way you expect and I think that is a good thing. After all how boring is predictability, safe maybe but not really very exciting.

With that in mind yesterday was filled with the unexpected. The weather was playing it’s part in making the day start off miserably, the constant tapping of rain on the window was not overly inspiring and when a good friend arrived to pick me up for our planned day trip her face was longer than sleeves on a giants jumper. To get her to smile I promised her sun and we set out to what was advertised as a Hot Air Balloon Festival.

After a short drive with the windscreen wipers flashing to and fro excitedly we arrived at our destination and the clouds began to give way to let a few rays of sun out. The funny thing was that although we could see bouncy castles and other big blow up toys not a single balloon was in sight. Undeterred we made our way up the soggy field to be told that due to Irish weather the balloons were staying cold for the day.

But with my mind made up that we were going to have a  good time my friend and I turned into a couple of seven-year-olds and began to play. We munched on unhealthy food, observed beautiful birds of prey stare at us and sat on grotesquely coloured horses on a Victorian merry-go-round. We laughed and we giggled as our feet got damp from the wet grass on the field and as a giant blue octopus was hoisted up into the grey skies the sun finally made a real appearance.

The highlight for me on the day was the ride we took on the chairoplane or flying swing or what ever you want to call my favourite fairground ride of all times. I love swings, always have, the sensation of being lifted up into the air, the whoosh in your stomach as you come back down to only fly back up again, the cold air on your cheeks and the happiness that spreads throughout your body is a sensation I just adore. So as I was being swung around in happy circles and saw the world fly by through gleaming eyes, my body relaxed, my inner child jumped for joy and all I good feel was pure delight.

Allowing this feeling to take hold for a while reminded me of how easy it was as a child to be just happy. No thoughts of time, manners, what people think and the sheer enjoyment of playing is something I think we adults so often miss out on. As I pondered this thought two men dropped from the sky, sadly not at my feet but close enough for me to believe that the unexpected is always there and as I returned to the car with a happy heart and wet feet I gave my inner child a hug.

How to awaken your inner child

Why is playing important?

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