We recently took the kids to a fete at a country school. The fete was smaller than what we are used to - then again, our suburb has 12 times more people in it than the town combined. However, the fete was a knockout for several reasons.
For starters, the local fire brigade was there, and they turned on a pump and hose and used it to squirt the kids. A Firey held the hose, and allowed a young kid (maybe 7) to direct the water at his mates. This went on all day, until the grassy patch in question was a swamp. The kids loved it. I was too gobsmacked to take any photos. I haven't seen something done like that since I was a kid.
In Sydney, the Fireys would all have been sacked for wasting water. They then would have been dragged before an Occupational Health and Safety tribunal and charged with endangering the lives of children. They then would have been done for kiddy-fiddling (young girls in wet dresses and all that). The Fun Police on the school fete committee would never have allowed the Fire Brigade to turn up anyway - you can't have fit, macho, employed men as role models.
We then put the youngsters on a pony ride. One of the ponys bucked and tossed a niece onto the ground. The bloke running the pony ride picked her up, dusted her off and stuck her on the other pony and gave her a few free laps. That was the best thing to do. She got free rides all afternoon whenever she wanted them.
In Sydney, the ride would have been closed, the OH&S police would have descended and the fete would have been sued for everything and more.
On top of that, I found out later than the pony ride was being run by one of the local coppers. In the country, they get involved in charity work. In the city, he probably would have been working a second job to pay the mortgage.
The rides also lasted forever. The bloke running the merry-go-round would load the kids, start the machine and go and have lunch. The kids were almost motion sick by the time he returned to let them off.
In Sydney, rides last no longer than 30 seconds, and the operators spend more time ushering wailing kids off the rides than actually running them.
Got no plans to move to the country though. Nice place to visit and all that, but I don't really want to live there.
welcome back BOAB.
I couldn't agree more... unfortunately we have become so risk averse we do not let our kids have healthy fun any more. Too much button time with video games instead. Mind you, I guess in years gone by you raised extra children in case some were lost in the process.
Might want to edit the heading... fingers still rusty I guess.
This is precisely why I live near the bush and work in the bush. I wouldn't live in any of our capital cities for love nor money.
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