Everybody Needs Good Neighbours – The Big Lunch

big-lunch1

It is almost a year since we moved out of our rented house in Lenzie in to our very own home. We bought a newly built house in a large development on the outskirts of Lenzie, and have had a great first year getting things in the house in order, and getting to know our neighbours. We count ourselves very lucky, as we have a lovely set of neighbours, with whom we have become friends in a relatively sort space of time. I think moving to a new development makes it very easy to make friends as everyone is in the same boat, settling in to their shiny new homes!

Just over a month ago a little card arrived through our door inviting us to a Big Lunch in our corner of the large development that we Iive in.

An exciting invite!

An exciting invite!

The Big Lunch brings communities together simply by sharing lunch in the form of a street party.

  • By simply having some fun with our neighbours on one day in the summer, we can build new friendships that we can enjoy for the rest of the year.
  • The Big Lunch is a chance for neighbours from different generations and backgrounds to hear each other out and share stories, skills and interests. We call this phenomenon ‘human warming’.
  • In getting to know who you live beside we can build support networks and contacts that make communities stronger and the people in them feel better about society.

http://www.thebiglunch.com

Our Big Lunch!

Our Big Lunch!

So last Sunday we attended our neighbourhood’s Big Lunch. We had a fantastic day mingling with our neighbours, meeting new neighbours, enjoying some fabulous food, music, a few drinks, and a rare appearance from the sun!

Left - Hugh did a great job manning the barbecue Middle - delicious burgers from our local butchers S Collins & Sons in Muirhead Right - lovely friendly Sainsburys staff from our local store in Kirkintilloch

Left – Hugh did a great job manning the barbecue
Middle – delicious burgers from our local butchers S Collins & Sons in Muirhead
Right – lovely friendly Sainsburys staff from our local store in Kirkintilloch

There was plenty for the kids to enjoy from football, to bouncy castle madness, to face painting. Little Squirrel had a ball, and a week on keeps asking if we can go back to the party.

Face paint = happy little faces :)

Face paint = happy little faces 🙂

Big Thanks to our neighbour Emma who organised the day. She did an amazing job planning the event, sourcing the food and entertainment and bringing all the neighbours together. I decided to ask her a few questions about the amazing day she planned…

What inspired you to plan The Big Lunch?

I have lived in the street for over a year at the flats, and although amongst the neighbours in the flats we all talk a lot and socialise, I was conscious that there were young families who had not yet met everyone and there were so many children within the street who could benefit from meeting and playing together as there was a likelihood of them attending the same schools. With so many families moving into the area, I also thought that making friends with your neighbours was a good thing to build networks. I heard about the fund through my work and thought I would apply and help bridge the gap between the neighbours!

What help/resources were available to you for planning the day?

I received a grant from The Big Lunch for £170 to set up the day, which came with a starter pack of posters and invites and press releases and I started organising the event including contacting local businesses for donations. Persimmon homes also gave a cash donation to help towards the smooth running of the event.

What local producers supplied resources for the day?

S Collins & Sons Butchers provided us with 100 steaklet burgers, Sainsburys provided us with 50 cupcakes and 2 members of staff to serve these on the day, Tesco gave us a £20 gift card to spend on food and drink towards the event, Asda Robroyston provided us with fresh cakes and treats for the event, Billingtons of Lenzie provided us with a case of Prosecco and 24 Fruit Shoots for the children.

What was the best bit of the day for you?

I think seeing all the neighbours mingle, and the children playing together was what made the day for me. All the hard work preparing and organising the event had paid off. Oh and the gorgeous weather I ordered!

Do you think you would do it again next year?

So many people thanked me on the day for organising it and asked for a similar event next year, so I will get my thinking cap on. I have a neighbours Christmas Night out to organise first at the request of so many neighbours!

The lovely Emma and Hugh

The lovely Emma and Hugh

If you’ve been inspired by Emma to organise a Big Lunch for your own neighbourhood check out the Big Lunch website!

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Goodbye West End, Hello East Dunbartonshire!

New home

So, I have been a little quiet on here of late… It has been a busy couple of weeks! We finally moved house!
After 18 months on the property market, waiting for a buyer for our flat, we finally got an offer! The turnaround was pretty quick in the end, and the pressure was on to find somewhere to rent. The house hunting was a little stressful, but eventually we found somewhere to suit our little family. So 3 weeks ago we packed up all our belongings and made the big move!

All packed up and ready to leave our West End home

All packed up and ready to leave our West End home

I have to Thank Armando and his team from Moves 4 U Glasgow for helping us move. Good friends had given Armando and his team a strong recommendation, and I was very happy with the quote Armando gave us for our move. On moving day the team were friendly, professional, and worked hard to safely pack up our belongings in the truck, and deliver them to our new home. A great service that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone else moving home!

Moves 4 U van arrives at our new home

Moves 4 U van arrives at our new home

We are living in Lenzie now, and it feels like the perfect street to live on. We have met quite a few of the neighbours already, with several calling in with New Home cards, and flowers from our next door neighbour.

I can honestly say I couldn’t be happier right now. Looking after Little Squirrel is so much easier in a house. We were really starting to struggle with the confines of flat-living.
There are things I miss about the West End; the thing I miss the most is Byres Road, with Waitrose and lots of good quality eating places, being a short walk away.
The space and convenience of a house far outweighs this, however. As does having our very own garden to enjoy…

Fun in the sun in our garden :)

Fun in the sun in our garden 🙂

I must admit I am country girl at heart, so am really enjoying being out of the city! I feel very lucky to have Lenzie Moss right on our doorstep, along with Boghead Wood and the Forth & Clyde Canal a stone’s throw away.
I love driving along country roads, admiring the scenery of the Campsie Hills in the background, the local wildlife, and the agriculture.
All in all, I love Lenzie!

Top and bottom left - Little Squirrel on Lenzie Moss Bottom right - Boghead Wood

Top and bottom left – Little Squirrel on Lenzie Moss
Bottom right – Boghead Wood

Hope to update the blog with some new posts soon…