Shari Higgins May 4, 2021 Dot to Dot
Since its humble beginnings seven years ago, Dot To Dot Festival has gone from strength to strength and has served up sets from bands that have gone on to see incredible success. In the past, this has meant shows from the likes of Mumford & Sons, Florence & the Machine and The XX - but this month it focused back on some lesser-known acts hoping to break through in the same way. Taking place across three cities - Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester - the event has a pretty ambitious mission statement. In Manchester alone, it uses seven different stages at venues like The Ritz, Sound Control, The Deaf Institute, Zoo and Joshua Brooks, but while this is probably something of a challenge for the organisers in terms of business liability insurance, the backing of sponsors Fred Perry probably provides some small comfort.
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
I quickly put away the jar, vinegar, and baking soda and moved on to another exercise and another and another. At the end of each mindfulness class, I conclude with the same exercise: lying on your stomach and drawing your happy place. As soon as I announce that we are going to be doing the mindful drawing, they excitedly drop to their tummies and wiggle with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas morning. I pass out the fresh white paper and a can containing shards of crayons. The second their crayons hit the paper, you can hear a pin drop. There is no goofing around, there is no talking, but there is complete mindfulness. For fifteen minutes, they will draw, colour, and become immersed in their creation. Of course the real magic is not what is happening on the paper but rather what is happening in their mind. They are thinking about their happy place and then making it happen on paper - perfect mindfulness. It is the same as when we use guided visualization to enter into meditation.
Dont do it! Youre better off picking a name that at first glance has nothing to do with your business than one that the average person cant say without stumbling over his tongue. The reason is simple: if you cant say it you cant remember it much less spell it when needed. And with the coming proliferation of new domain extensions both in Latin Script and Arabic, Cyrillic or whatever, the chances of someone misunderstanding a domain name will increase exponentially. There are plenty of examples of this mistake out there. How many times have you asked someone for their website and theyve told you what it is not once but twice or three times, and youve still left them wondering what it was they had said? Or you left thinking you had it; but when you got to your computer youd either forgotten completely or couldnt get it to render no matter how many likely combinations you tried.
Dot to dot puzzles, a classic activity many of us remember from our own childhood, is still a favorite of teachers and parents hoping to encourage kids to work on their counting and small motor skills. And, of course, the kids love them, too. The development of fine motor skills is important for academic success, and working dot-to-dots puzzles gives children a chance to practice gripping a pencil correctly and understand how numbers work in sequence. Besides being a fun process, dot to dots offer a reward in the form a completed picture that can be colored in and displayed. Dot to dots may be worked in pencil, with crayon or even pen. But when working dot to dots, as in life, mistakes can happen, so using a pencil with an eraser can avoid frustration, especially with the littlest kids, or junior perfectionists.
The festival got off to a mild start with a set by Milk Maid over at Zoo that gently rocked the crowd into a frenzy and lead nicely into a half hour show over at the HMV Ritz from Bastille that had a fantastic turnout for so early in the day and revved things up a notch - getting everyone in the mood for more. More soon came thanks to the wonderful Lucy Rose, whos warm and fuzzy acoustics proved to be a huge hit. Her new single Lines could well be the song that takes her closer to mainstream success, but at this point it would probably be a good idea to catch her while she is at her hottest. Things were already starting to kick off elsewhere with The Dunwells and Jake Bugg at Zoo, Eyes on Film and Last Dinosaur at Joshua Brooks, The Night and Hyde & Beast at The Deaf Institute and all manner of shenanigans across the three stages over at the fantastic new Sound Control - a former guitar shop that has fast become one of the most interesting venues in the city.