We’re just back from Mindfield. The girls and I had a wonderful time. The sun shone (always a bonus), most people had smiles on their faces and, while well-attended, it wasn’t packed to capacity; so there was a pleasant hum rather than a deafening roar of people.  The organisers and stall-holders might have preferred more of a crowd, but for this mammy, being able to spot my two if they ran off in different directions was a treat.

Ishthara, Kashmira and I got there in time for the butterfly-wing-making workshop with the talented, inspired, patient and unflappable (which is, paradoxically,  a good thing in a wing-lady!) Orla Kelly. While the wings dried, the children took a dance workshop with Monika Bieniek.  Then, both workshops were put together as they donned their wings and danced their dance.

After that, it was time to eat. We repaired to the car, where the wings were deposited, the clothes were changed and the picnic was retrieved. A few minutes later, at a picnic table (whose very civilised idea was that?!) we shared what we’d brought with a lovely family of two young boys, their Daddy and their Nana. Pride of place in our picnic basket were our mangoes – which were fresh off the plane from India yesterday. In case you’re unaware of how I feel about this fragrant yellow fruit, you might want to read this.

Just as we  finished, the Second Year students from Dun Laoghire IADT lumbered across the road from the Dead Zoo. To the delighted screams of the children (and a few of the adults), the students shared with us the performance element of their end-of-year projects; animals constructed from a wide variety of materials which the students slipped inside and roamed through the park. It was all very Macnas-like and wonderful.

We wandered around the stalls and the girls engaged with science, fashion and books before declaring themselves tired. We left, but I was disappointed not to have been able to take part in the later discussions – which, I heard via Twitter, were inspired and inspiring.

For me, though, the best part was bumping into people I hadn’t seen for years and years! It was wonderful to catch up quickly, re-kindle old friendships and swap contact details. I love making new friends, but there is something truly special about meeting old ones.

We’re going back to Mindfield tomorrow and who knows who we’ll bump into?