The benefit of turning off all distractions - even if just for one day

PUBLISHED: 13:39 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:39 06 August 2019

Despite the weather, Saturday's Airshow in Old Buckenham still draws the crowds for the air displays.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019

Despite the weather, Saturday's Airshow in Old Buckenham still draws the crowds for the air displays. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Archant 2019

Editor David Powles says Norfolk Day was a great chance to turn off all distractions.

One of my biggest failings as a parent (and I'm sure there are many) is that I don't often enough ignore all of the distractions around me and simply concentrate on spending time with the family.

Maybe you know what I'm talking about?

You get to the weekend after a long and arduous week at work and all the children want to do is play lego, or football in the back garden and spend time with their Dad.

Of course you want to do the same, but equally you can't help but notice the big pile of washing up that's collected or the clothes that need to be put back in their cupboards.

Too often I'll end up attempting to somehow do both things at the same time, while acutely aware that actually the chores can always wait and nothing should be more important than downtime with your family.

It's a scenario guaranteed to provoke the feelings of guilt and self-doubt in your abilities as a Dad that I'm sure all parents are familiar with.

However, two weekends ago the wife and I decided to completely sack off the chores, close down all emails and shut out all distractions to devote a whole day to spending quality time together as a family-of-four.

The reason being that it was the second ever Norfolk Day and we'd decided in advance this was a great opportunity to get out and about and celebrate some of the things that make this county so great.

It started with a trip to a south Norfolk pub to enjoy a slap up breakfast of eggs and pancakes. In spite of the rain our next destination was the Old Buckenham Airshow where we enjoyed a superb few hours wandering around, watching the planes and enjoying the funfair.

Late afternoon and evening was then spent back at home where we were joined by friends for a Norfolk Day BBQ and a few beers. I even managed to celebrate by keeping the sausages free of the sort of over-cooked charcoal look that is my forte!

It was a superb day, full of laughter and love and by the end of it I felt better as both a parent and husband and that the whole family had benefitted.

And I mention it here in an attempt to encourage even more people to think about whether you can find time in your schedule to make Norfolk Day an excuse to immerse yourself in the things you enjoy and the people you love.

Two years down the line from being conceived as an idea, I remain really happy about what Norfolk Day has achieved and the noise it has made.

The fact so many specific events took place this year (I was even winning the Norfolk Day 10k race for 15 sweet seconds!) is hopefully proof many others believe in it as a welcome addition to the county's events calendar.

However, I do feel there is much more that could be done to make the most of this opportunity and that many more individuals, families, organisations and communities could frame events or celebrations around it.

We've always said that Norfolk Day is what people make it. We have not wanted to dictate what you should do or where you should go - but instead encourage the county to embrace it as an opportunity to celebrate.

And with 11 months now until the next Norfolk Day (Monday, July 27 - but we'll be urging people to turn it into a long weekend) I'm getting the clarion call in early.

Get organised, get thinking and get planning. I promise you won't regret it.

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