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    Places & Spaces My Pad

    neighbourly love in a big city

    July 5, 2012

    Ah. Big cities. Congestion. Urban jungles. Pollution. Incubators of creativity and ideas. Mixed cultural opportunities. Exciting architecture.

    As an urban chick, i’m a huge fan of living in london. Vibrant, cultural, dynamic, exciting, cosmopolitan, it fills me with feeling the rythm of life and affords me endless opportunities. Enough said? Of course, there are many downsides and many of you will cringe just at the thought of living in a big city. I understand!

    According to gary hustwit in his latest documentary urbanized, over half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75% will call a city home by 2050. By the way, if you’ve not seen gary’s helvetica and objectified, i urge you to do so, you won’t be disappointed!

    For many, living in a big city feels isolating. People complain that there’s no community, no neighbourly love, no one cares. Hmmm, i believe that often we don’t realise that with a little effort and mindfulness we can make connections and form good working relationships with people around us. Maybe i’ve been lucky, or just maybe i’ve put in the work. Whichever way, i’ve been blessed with good neighbours ever since moving to london in 1983.

    Today’s post is dedicated to my current neighbours, both in the flats of the house i live in and the neighbours on my street which i’ve got the good fortune to know and chat to on a regular basis. Colourliving is all about quality of life and for me, quality of life starts at home, both with our home surroundings but also with our immediate environment. There are millions of tales of neighbours from hell and i’m glad i’ve never experienced any.

    This morning i woke up far too early and since it was sunny (yes, that word still exists in the uk), i briefly walked out of the house to get something from my car. There i bumped into a number of different neighbours and from a smile to a hug to a ‘have a nice day’, my day’s mood was set. As i was standing in front of the house, i was admiring our front garden and fondly reminiscing about the time we had it landscaped.

    A few years ago i desperately wanted to sort out our front garden and get in a landscape designer as it was just a pile of mud and stones. We obtained the freehold and so every decision is our own. There are four flats and luckily we all get on and feel similar about the maintenance of our house. Since i’m the designer, these kind of decisions are happily left to me and so i got the lovely nic from nic howard garden design, who did a wonderful job. Thank you nic. Thank you also to my lovely neighbours for always trusting the process and making london apartment living a breeze…..

    How lovely and lush the front garden is looking in this light and from the heavy rain we’ve been experiencing. A big shout out to my neighbour elaine, who does ALL of the weeding and tidying of it. It wouldn’t look the same without her continuous efforts!

    I’m interested. How do you feel about big city living? Also, do you have neighbour stories, good or bad? I don’t know how long this bright weather will last. I’m just greatful for the little brightness this morning and the warm feeling in my heart.