December 9, 2015 posted by littlewhitecottage

I had an attack of the a & w’s…

A couple of weeks ago I was away for the weekend for a 40th birthday (mine) girlie weekend away. We were in Barcelona and and having fun.

On the Saturday (after the Friday night/Saturday morning before) we took a taxi across the city to see the famous Gaudi cathedral, La Sagrada Familia. My lovely friends and I are not religious but one of my friends is a good artist, I love creativity ( I have been a ‘cellist, teacher and now home educating mum by day and sewing teacher by night!) and my other friend was happy to come along and just see what we could see.

All of us stood out the front of the cathedral and said



We were all in astonishment of the size, the shape, the colours, the detail, the randomness, the sadness and the sheer magnificence of this very unusual building that was right in the heart of a modern city.

We crossed the road, joined the short line and went in through the doors and into the cavernous stone building.


People who stop in doorways normally really annoy me especially in buildings that are particularly popular but on this time I was the one standing in the doorway just looking up…


Everything was beautiful and no adjective I could type here and no photo  I could have taken would come or did come anywhere near close to showing you just how fabulous it was.

The glass windows, especially the yellow and orange end, made it feel like there was a sunrise happening right then that didn’t ever fade.


To be honest, I love light and having this at home would have suited me fine, especially in the mornings!

I was definitely having an ‘attack of the a’s & w’s…’

When I was teaching years ago there was a fashion (as there is with teaching; this years ‘must do’ is next years thing that’s ‘thrown out with the baby and the bathwater’) of making sure that in our lessons we had what was called ‘awe and wonder.’ These are the moments where children say ‘WOW!’ or ‘WOA!!’ or other such exclamations. The moments when you show a child something amazing, something of wonder and something they will, you hope, plug their brain into will fire up their imagination and enthusiasm for the subject in hand.

Learners need these moments.

They need to have awe and wonder in their learning lives as these are the moments where the world and its contents seem magical and if it’s not magical when you’re little you stand a good chance of growing up in a grayer and less colourful world.

We all need a bit of awe and wonder and it’s great to suffer and attack of the ‘a & w’s’ every so often. Be it a car that goes by that’s red and very fast (my 11 year old), a sunrise where the sky looked like it was on fire (Hubbie, 42), the first time you go down a snow slope on a snowboard (my 8 year old), finding an e-nor-mous puddle (my nearly 2 year old) or just waking up each day and finding everything you see and do pretty awesome (my 6 year old).

Awe and wonderment fires you up. You want to look, know, touch, watch, stare and, best of all, you want to tell someone else about it. ‘Look at that car mummy!!!!’, ‘Come and see this sky boys!!’ and the joy of finding the biggest puddle (after squealing ‘Oooooo!’ and pointing) is to get someone else in the puddle splashing about with you.

We want to share these moments and the good feelings they give us a bit like a good book that we’ve just finished and we need someone else to talk about it with.

I’m 40 and I still need awe and wonder in my life. I want to carry on finding amazing thing in my world that make me stop and stare for a while or at the very least make me want to go and get a small child and get them staring too.

I want to go back to La Segrada Famila one day but I want to take my family and I know that we’ll all be the ones standing in the doorway blocking the entrance because we’re all looking up and in chorus saying…


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