There is so much I love about where I live.
From the tree-lined streets and pretty parks, to the bustling high street and plentiful pubs.
Museums, acres of estate land, and a world-famous gallery, which is currently collaborating on a project with some of the biggest names in international street art to create murals on specially commissioned walls all over the area.
It is quite stunning.
Some friendships were formed with parents of other young local children. Others, when needing a hobby outside of our family life, a time to just be ourselves, led the Greek God(zilla) to the local cricket club and myself to the WI.
We met friends of friends in the area, who have now very much become friends – the ‘of’ no longer required.
Through blogging, where friendships made online crossed over into real life.
Then there is the sense of community that for me, stems from the local friendships we have made.
It is hard to believe that when I first moved to the area 5/6 years ago, I barely knew another soul. My social life was tied up in the Greek God(zilla)’s, or I would spend over an hour traipsing back to West London to catch-up with my old friends. As time went by and we started a family, these trips became few and far between. I was home alone with a small baby and felt very isolated at times, so I had to really make an effort to get to know people.
It certainly did not happen overnight, but our home does finally feel like home to me now.
One weekend, we may arrange to have friends over for Sunday lunch, perhaps a midweek drink after work, or a Saturday morning coffee and playdate. There are people to stop and chat to in the street, to say hello to in the park, or wave across to in the supermarket aisles.
So, when Angela from SE Mags invited me to volunteer at the Dulwich Festival Fair again on Sunday, I agreed, mainly because if there is anything I love more than a list, it is a laminated list presented to me on a clipboard.
WITH A BADGE.
But also because I was happy to have the opportunity to be involved in such a popular community event.
Plus, I got to help a friend out, obviously.
I do not know if anyone can really appreciate how much work goes into organising these things.
Over 100 stalls were set up on Goose Green in preparation for vendors to come and sell their wares. Bouncy castles were inflated for the kids and face painting areas were assigned. For the grown-ups, there was live music and beer tents at each end. Local food traders cooked in pop-up kitchens and the EDWI sold homemade cakes, biscuits and jams.
I arrived at 9am to help guide the stall holders to their relevant pitches, but the organisers started around 5am when the first of the equipment started to arrive, and did not leave until after everyone else had gone and the area had been completely cleared.
All I had to do was walk around with my clipboard, flash my official badge and ask people to pack-up and move their cars off the grass. Most of the questions directed at me were in relation to the location of the loos or the nearest bin.
My contribution was minimal, but I was still totally zonked at the end of the day and even stood down a quick drink in the pub for a yummy roast chicken with my family at home.
However, I had so much fun being Angela’s ‘Clipboard Bitch’ that I have already volunteered my services again for next year… if she’ll have me, that is 🙂