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REVELS 09: Events set to kick off at Easter

PUBLISHED: 17:25 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:31 11 May 2010

"REVELS 09_ out on the edge" is set to kick off up to a month's worth of events across Waveney beginning over Easter and through to early May.

Waveney District Council's arts and heritage manager ANDREW KITCHEN, who is behind the organisation of the festivities, talks about the upbeat message it can bring to the region.

“REVELS 09_ out on the edge” is set to kick off up to a month's worth of events across Waveney beginning over Easter and through to early May.

Waveney District Council's arts and heritage manager ANDREW KITCHEN, who is behind the organisation of the festivities, talks about the upbeat message it can bring to the region.

WHINGING is nowadays a great British success story.

And we all seem to do it - me included - whether it's complaining about cold weather in March, ranting about our useless bosses, railing about greedy bankers or even sniping at the failings of local councils. One man's meat is always another man's poison, as the politically incorrect saying goes.

Everything and everyone is a target of both media and masses. If moaning could be converted into an Olympic sport, we'd be sure of winning gold in 2012 - and that's another pet subject to boil the blood.

Nothing's perfect, there's always room for improvement and things can only get better - yes, we know that but the problem is when, how far off and why not now - we could be dead by then!

Well a statistic I heard this week on Radio 4 - so it must be true - puts all our problems into sharp perspective. In the vast “developing world”, 27000 children die, avoidably, every day. That's every day.

And I thought - sorry, remind me of our problems again? For all its faults, this is one of the richest, safest, most dynamic countries in the world - aren't we just very, very lucky?

So defiantly, without being glib, trite, naive or conceited, perhaps we need to “accentuate the positive” (as the old song goes) a lot more. Just for our own sake. We do give ourselves a very hard time by doing the reverse. And we waste very precious time by just whinging. Moaning is easy - doing something about it is the only solution.

This quasi-sermonizing (somewhat oddly for a humanist) is leading to something local. If we stopped moaning and looked about us, we could actually revel in what we have got - and then perhaps later, collectively, help improve things further.

That's why I originally labelled this district's annual (hopefully) celebration of all things arts and heritage, “the Revels” - to help counter the waves of negativity I heard about the area of Waveney. Distressingly, I was also asked twice why I named an event after a brand of milk chocolate but that just convinced me even reclaiming the word “revels” was a worthwhile mission: it is now oddly underused or meant cynically.

But we do have so much to revel in, both across the UK and especially here “out on the edge” of England, despite all the moaned-about shortcomings. Perhaps if you've always lived somewhere, you don't realise what you've got - familiarity can sadly breed contempt. Yet thousands of people come to Waveney for their holidays (often year after year), so there must be good things going for it. We're surrounded by stunning landscapes, luscious coast, extraordinary history, beautiful buildings. We also comparatively enjoy a sane pace of life, polite people and a very safe environment (notably Suffolk Police only created a “serious crimes squad” a year ago and that's now merging with Norfolk - presumably, fortunately, due to lack of business).

And before I launch another million moans, I've already said “nothing's perfect” - but in the great scheme of things it is about as good as it gets: it is not all about money or the lack of. As for inevitable downsides - well, I've indicated there's always somewhere worse off (and I've worked in some of them).

So let's get on and allow ourselves to revel in what we have got!

“Revels 09 - out on the edge” is but a humble opportunity to spotlight and enjoy the astonishing range of primarily and positively, locally created events and activities, people and places available to see and things to do, often year round yet unnoticed and certainly suitably unsung.

And before there is a chorus of “tuts”, there is also a host of things to revel in for free - on the Revels website there's a section prompting free revelling ideas, even without having to leave home. But we do forget what delights are on our doorstep, so let's celebrate those things locally - and let's do something different, go somewhere new within Waveney too. It can't do any harm and might just stop us whinging - for a while. Revel in it.

“Revels 09 - out on the edge” runs from Easter Monday, April 13, to May Bank Holiday, May 4.

Full event details go to www.waveney.gov.uk/revels

Free web access and help in libraries, tourist information centres and from friends if not available at home. That's importantly deliberate for the Revels -printed leaflets become litter, and that's something else to moan about.

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