I’m loving Adele’s new song, although it’s possible by the time you read this I might have got sick of hearing it.
When I was growing up, it was normal to say hello to almost every neighbour, almost every day, even the grumpy ones. Looking back, the advantage was that most of our neighbours had children of the same age, so you ended up at school-run social events or taking part in play dates.
When you don’t have children to connect you, living in the country can be isolating. In my own experience, there’s nothing in my community like the closeness or the friendships that my parents had – and still have – with their neighbours, now life-long friends in a few instances. Admittedly, in a few others, it was a relief to see them move on!
My observation is that those who do have children at the local pre-school and primary school are socially active together, and they’re always busy. It takes much more of an effort to become part of the group because their lives are already pretty full and moving at a million miles an hour.
If another language is involved, it’s another layer of complexity. You’ll see we have a headline on our cover this month in Chinese, in a bid to connect with a growing number of block owners for whom English is not their first language. It’s an attempt to reach out to people who may need advice, but aren’t sure where to start. There’s a link on page 33 where you can download the guide to sheep in Chinese – please feel free to print it off and share it if you think someone will find it useful.
Introduce yourself. Be brave. Perhaps bake! That’s what I tell myself, and because of that my community grows.