When we moved the UK office from Bath to Oxford last summer, one of the changes I most enjoyed was being in close contact with our young audience. In Oxford, our desks and our conference room  are separated from the first floor studio by no more than a slender glass partition, with a glass door in the middle. All kinds of exciting things happen in the Studio: drumming workshops, postnatal yoga, baby-signing sessions, birthday parties. In between these high-octane events, families occasionally come and go, and with them (often leading the way) come small children. Sometimes, their visits provide a welcome diversion from the challenges of the commercial world.

Take, for example, the recent visit of a small boy: I am sitting in the conference room, and I have been distracted by the patter of small leather soles on the wooden studio floor. My gaze drifts over to the glass partition. Said small boy comes toddling towards the glass partition, meets it, stops. Hands go out and up. He explores the glass. I see him registering: ‘This is a wall. It does not look like a wall because I can see what is on the other side of it. But I can’t go through it.’ Next, he works his way a little bit to the left. The wall is still there. Now, he tries going a little bit to the right. Aha! This is where the door is, and it’s open. He almost falls over as he realises there is no glass. He wraps himself around the narrow green pillar which separates the partition from the door. He pats and taps to make sure he has got the hang of this.

Yes! There is a wall that he cannot go through. AND there is a not-wall that he CAN go through. He is so delighted about this discovery that he takes several steps backwards into the studio, stops, runs forward, goes back, stops again, and laughs. And laughs. And jumps up and down.  Then his mum appears and whisks him away. She has no idea what a journey he has just been on, but I have. As for him, I wonder if this experience will stand him in good stead in later life. I hope it will.

What do you do when you meet a wall? You find a way to get round it.

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