When I volunteered last Wednesday morning at JAHM, I was pleased to interact with so many children. You might think that kids in a museum like this would be bored. What’s there to do? Well, for starters, when children enter the museum, we immediately ask them if they would like to play a game. We have a clipboard with items in the house to find, and when the kids find them all, they come back to the front of the house to show the stewards their checked-off list of items. Then we give them badges with a colorful design of JAHM.
You should see their eyes light up first when we ask, “do you want to play a game?” and then we give them their badges. They are absolutely delighted! One girl said to me upon receipt of her badge, “I will never take it off!” ♥ One boy, shown above, smiled and thanked me about three times! What a wonderful thing for a museum to do–to think about the experience from a child’s perspective.
Something else that we do at JAHM is ask people to play the pianoforte. They are shocked and delighted to do this. So many people know how to play piano, and when they sit down to play, it brings the house to life. People stop and listen. They take pictures and videos. They smile. The best moments of piano playing, in my opinion, come from children. They are so happy to play. Their parents and guardians are happy to listen. So am I! 🙂 The boy above had so much fun playing. I feel blessed to interact with these visitors and to share in their experiences at Jane Austen’s House.
I also feel blessed that Adam and I were in Winchester, just a street away from our flat, when we had a blow out! We parked our car on St. Thomas street, and when I got out of the car I could hear the air quickly escaping from the injured tyre. FWIW, in England the spelling is tyre, not tire. The tyre was completely flat within a minute.
We went up to our apartment and called Europcar immediately. Within a couple of hours someone changed out the tyre, and all was well again. We have no idea how much this cost, but we will find out when we return the car. Of course there was no choice in the matter.
Alas, I didn’t take a picture of the flat tyre. All I could think was, “We have to get this fixed ASAP!”
I was supposed to spend my afternoon conducting research in Winchester, but instead, I spent it waiting for the tyre repairman and trying not to freak out. To add to the stress, Adam had a phone meeting with his work colleague at the same time I was dealing with all of this tyre business. 😀
At least I had that lovely morning in Chawton!