Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Moment to Shine... and to Chat

It was raining. Did I really want to walk to the corner of our street just to see someone carrying a flame? Really? Well as you can see from the photographs, I did. It was an historic moment. It will never pass by my street again in my lifetime and I’m really pleased I went.

It wasn’t necessarily the girl and the flame that provided the satisfaction, although they were fun to watch...

It wasn’t the completely empty main road, save for a few police motorcycles, although that was a novel sight... 


It was the people!
   “We should do this more often!” I overheard someone say and, yes I agree. We should! We met up with lots of neighbours who we hadn’t spoken to for months. Mr A even met an old colleague and has planned to go off sailing with him.

You really do have to go out walking to meet and chat. I know that I could walk without a dog but since our lovely Josh died there’s not been the same incentive. Even if I had a cast iron will [which I don’t] it only takes a few spots of rain and I’m either switching the computer back on and kicking off my shoes or reaching for the car keys.

I’m not saying that I never see friends and neighbours but those are organised events. How lovely to just stroll down the road and know that you will meet up with familiar people. That must be what it’s like living in ITV’s Coronation Street and popping in to the Rovers Return. [We don’t have any local pubs round our way, something to do with a covenant on the land.]  

I often wonder how many lonely people there are living behind closed front doors. [Front doors do hold a certain fascination for me. I posted up a poem about them here.] I’m sure that as social animals we were never meant to live in single-residency units and I have a niggling belief that somewhere, during our many centuries of sociological development, we took a wrong turning.

   Is it too late to find a better route?

19 comments:

  1. We had a chance to watch the flame go by for the Vancouver winter Olympics. It was about 20 below and blustery that night - I'm so glad we didn't talk ourselves out of it either! :)

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  2. I know exactly what you mean. We all walk from our front door straight into our cars meeting no one.When I was young I knew everyone in our street some not as well as others. Our street is really unfriendly but maybe it's because we never really have a chance to meet properly. Funny how the flame can bring excitement to those not interested in the Olympics,like me.

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  3. We rarely see our neighbours. Most of our activities are outside of our neighbourhood. It is sad.

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  4. I had a post event litter picking role when it was in our area - a not altogether ideal time of 2pm on a Monday afternoon so all I could do was listen to the crowds as they cheered it on down the road while I worked. But these sort of events are good for community bonding aren't they. I recall a fire that had the same effect some years ago!

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  5. How great to see the flame Rosalind. It comes our way between July 14th/15th so hopefully will get to see it.

    Yvonne.

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  6. We love taking walks in our neighborhood, but our neighbors don't feel the same way :-) We get nods and smiles here and there. I'm glad at least that we've gotten to know our close neighbors, the ones directly behind and beside us. For the rest, maybe we'll start a walking trend.

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  7. There is always that good old English institution - the coffee morning! Post some notes around the place, shops, through letter boxes, and see what happens. And Stephanie - next time someone nods and smiles, stop and talk!

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  8. Hi Ros, The torch will be coming here on the 12th - I will be there camera in hand. Love your picture sis and glad you went despite the rain. Asking several friends if they were going to watch to my amazement I received the same reply....... "No I'm not interested, are you going"..... "Well yes I am". I wasn't sure why, but knew if at all possible I wanted to be there to see the flame, to experience that feeling and yes to meet up with people doing and experiencing that same excitement.

    Re: single residency and a better route - having lived in a Community (similar to a Kibbutz) I can honestly say that doesn't work either...... for me anyway. But the idea as you know has always fascinated me and maybe there is an answer out there. Having just glanced at the "Diggers and Dreamers - The Guide to Communal Living in Britain" website, perhaps 'Cohousing' is a move in the right direction!!!

    Hope Mr.A enjoys the sailing.........................

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  9. Since I started working in my home town - rather than commuting out - I see so many people that I've met at work (the local gym). It's very easy not to mix with other people, but worth while when you do!

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  10. We were living in China four years ago when the Olympics were there. The torch went through our city and even visited our international school!

    I love that sense of community when I'm at farmers markets or parades. We really SHOULD do things like that more often!

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  11. I took my little boy out of school and I the day off work, to go and see the flame. It was a lovely day and little man enjoyed the entire parade. There was quite a large turnout and it did make me think of the whole community issue. We do seem to be a lot more closed off than we ever used to be, so it's nice to see this and before that, the jubilee, bringing people out, and together.

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  12. Thanks for sharing this wonderful slice of history with us. I'm glad it ignited so much meaningful interaction.

    Be well.
    xoRobyn

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  13. Yes, how right you are. We have lost the community spirit and, although I know my neighbours, I don't necessarily spend much time with them. We have, as you say, taken a wrong turning somewhere.

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  14. I'd love to meet friendly people on the street. Every day, I push my walker uphill and back for excercise. Mine, not the walker's. ;-O The few people I occasionally meet, ignore my smile. Is it something about being old or disabled that other people avoid? Maybe our community spirit has died out already.

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  15. I, for one, am pleased we live in single -residency units but I do like to say hello to my neighbours when we pass each other or are in our gardens at the same time.

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  16. Nobody lives around here and I love it. But when I lived in the city, all the people on our block knew each other. This was both good and sometimes not so good as some conflict arose and people took sides. Too bad. I also enjoyed the community feeling of working at a University. On a green campus in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. I saw the Olympic torch when it passed through Los Angeles on the way to the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. It was a touching experience somehow.

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  17. It seems like once the kids got older, we hardly saw our neighbors anymore. I'm glad that you took advantage of this historic opportunity, and ran into old friends along the way! Julie

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  18. Really sorry to have missed the flame as we were away. It's not often that something historic happens at the top of the road!
    Luckily we have lovely neighbours and a pretty friendly street (although slightly less friendly than when we moved here 20 years ago)but I'll come walking with you Ros. Just name a date and time.

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  19. Hi Ros ... I should have gone - but with all things going on .. I never made it. I agree we should get out and about and meet up with people - I chatted with someone the other day ... thought she might be someone I knew - but I might give her door a knock and see what happens..

    Cheers and am so pleased you got out there and cheered the torch on - camaraderie is essential isn't it - Hilary

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