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Tuesday 22nd September

September 30, 2009

I am travelling on the train to Villach with Helga, watching the amazing scenery of snow-capped alps with fluffy white clouds drifting inbetween. Like a film, the footage is framed by the train windows. Its quite breath taking, with the fresh morning mountain air. In my imagination i have climbed a mountain but never in reality. The wooden chalets and churches, look exactly as the miniature ones from my childhood that my mother collects, and from the train thats how they look to me, surrounded by a green blanket of forest and hills, a Lilliputian landscape.

Out of the window

Out of the window

We talk of many things – the need for professional creative training within early years, the ideas and inspirations, the differences and similarities between the Uk and Austria. local folk and fairytales. Helga tells me of ‘The Wasser man’

‘In the cold water, deep, by the rocky stone lives the Wasser Man. He is dark with fur robes and will drag you down to the icy depths of the river.’

Obviously, a  folk legend, rather like a dark ‘old man of the sea ‘ or ‘old father thames’ to warn children of the dangers of the fast flowing freezing waters from the alps. This character stays in my mind, and seems to appear in the improvisations from the practioners during the workshop, sometimes rather as a Troll, as in ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’, which is completely imaginable in this landscape. Maybe a cultural meme? Yesterday towards the end of the object play, one of the scenarios created was about the Wasser man is in the river and the children having a competition of jumping in the water and the Wasser man is chasing them!

Rachel on the bridge at Villach

Rachel on the bridge at Villach

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