Dear diary…

23 February 2016


Since my last entry I have to admit I’ve stumbled a bit on organising an activity for my street, well in fact, progress has plain stalled.


Over the last couple of weeks, my time has been filled with writing CVs, attending job interviews (four in one week) and looking after a child who’s been unwell.


I’ve also been worrying about how to handle the cost of putting an activity on. As a single parent with no income other than the government benefit for support, it is a real concern for me that there simply isn’t the extra cash available to do much else other than pay for the basics of living. It’s all made me a little worried about whether I can really pull-off an activity for Neighbours Day.


Self-doubt can be such a pain in the proverbial and it really does freeze all good intentions at times.


Fortunately, over the last couple of days my mind has cleared a bit, and if I can’t report concrete progress on organising these past two weeks, I CAN report plans on what I’m going to do next.


One of my goals in my everyday life is to live sustainably – please note the word ‘goal’, I am by no means a poster girl for the sustainability movement.  Anyway, I started to think about how I could possibly entwine a sustainability theme into an event.


I was at my son’s school the other day and had a chance meeting with the teacher in charge of the school garden. I purchased a huge bunch of silver beet from her for $1.00.


This got me to thinking…maybe my neighbours have some extra produce in their gardens they might be willing to share?


I think this would be a fantastic way to get to know each other, reduce costs AND come away with some fresh, healthy food grown right here in our neighbourhood.


As my son’s school is around the corner, and is definitely part of the beating heart of our ‘hood, I’m thinking about approaching them to see if I can sell some of their yummy vegetables on their behalf at a Gardner Avenue Gathering.


Another thing I have recently done is a big spring clean of my house. (Yes, yes, a season or so late. Or maybe early for next spring?)


I usually pass on any unwanted clothing and household items to our local Salvation Army.  For now I am going to hold onto all this year’s items and possibly weave another sustainable strand into a Neighbours Day activity.


In the coming week I am going to have a chat to a few people in my street and see if they want to have a “Loved Goods” Swap on the day.


So now I have a couple of ideas and plans. And feel more convinced that I can organise a simple activity which won’t cost a lot of money.


Big dreams of street parties may have to take a back seat and instead dreams of sharing what we have shall take precedence.


Looking at my diary I see that we have four weeks to go until Neighbours Day (19-20 March just in case you’ve forgotten). I had better get cracking to turn these ideas into action!


One last thing I wanted to share before I wind up this diary entry though.  One thing I have done over the past couple of weeks is spoken to a couple more people on my street to gauge their interest in a Neighbours Day activity.


Their response has been interesting. While as I said in my last diary entry, many of my neighbours were very excited by the idea of doing something, a couple people I’ve now spoken to have been less interested. They feel they already know enough of their neighbours. Or they simply are not keen to make contact with others.


This has been a really important lesson for me. For various reasons, not everyone will share my enthusiasm and that’s ok. This is a project that has respect as a core foundation and I respect their choice not to be involved.


Until next week,