For some reason my Chinese astrology sign is one thing that always slips through my mind, but I have since found out I was a goat, and it's the year of the goat this year which must be a good thing right? To celebrate I headed down to Anglia Ruskin University to sample their Chinese New year celebrations.
The university are definitely aiming to reach out to the local community more, and why not, it seems like a great idea to bring the community in and get the students and others involved in Chelmsford life, this event however did fall a little flat for me. Don't get me wrong I understand why they put it on at the same time as the University Open Day, but I think the layout and schedule of activities were not ideal. I was greeted as I walked in by a friendly student handing out programmes and fortune cookies, and pointed vaguely in the direction of the activities, but the main foyer seemed a bit over crowded, interesting banners illustrating other famous 'goats' were lost behind a queue for free open day food and drinks, and there was only one opportunity to see dancing which I missed.
There were rooms for origami, a traditional tea ceremony, and craft - none of which I tried as two rooms were packed full of children and families, and a queue for face painting, and the other was empty - I did not want to be the only one in there. So in all honesty I got a little bored wandering the corridors, I would have liked more room so I could make something or the plentiful display space used so I could find out more about Chinese culture.
So far, not so good, but I'm just giving an overview of how I found the event, and there were some good points. I loved the free fortune cookies - one told me I would receive some good news by text, the other my money worries would soon be over - fingers crossed huh. The FREE Chinese food samples I had to queue for were worth the wait as well. My lunch all sorted thanks to a yummy chicken satay, spring roll and chicken wing - yum yum yum.
I also caught the dragon dancing which was very impressive. I love the way they tried to eat people's camera's, posed, slept (complete with snoring noises), and managed to add variety to their routines. it was great fun to watch and photograph.
Before I left I finally got a look at the famous goat banners - I share goat-hood with the likes of Jane Austen, Mick Jagger, and Charles Dickens - pretty cool huh!
Despite the things that fell a bit flat I still had a good time, and look forward to seeing what other community events Anglia Ruskin have planned in Chelmsford. If you fancy checking one out then visit www.anglia.ac.uk/communityevents