Since the closure of our village shop at the end of February, weekends in the cottage have taken on a notably different complexion. Gone is the (relatively) early morning yomp through the village to pick up a newspaper, milk, bread, eggs and various other bits and bobs – indeed, gone is the very concept of a weekend newspaper. Gone is the opportunity to bump into friends and acquaintances on the street: exchanging pleasantries, catching up with news and gossip, making plans, extending impromptu invitations. (K’s record for “popping out to get a paper” was a socially impressive 90 minutes.) And gone is our regular glimpse at the noticeboard outside the shop, with its various posters, announcements, adverts and miscellaneous pieces of information.
Although plans are well underway to set up a more modest retail venture inside the village pub, there is a subtle but distinct feeling that something significant has been lost. Suddenly, we feel slightly less like a self-sufficient community, and slightly more like a dependent satellite, a dormitory for commuters.
All of which makes the long-awaited launch of our village community blog all the more timely, and all the more significant. We have been planning it for months. There have been prototypes, presentations, strategy meetings, long discussions, calls for volunteers, feasibility studies, brainstorming sessions… why, I even broke a long-held personal rule, and put together a detailed presentation in (hack, spit) Powerpoint.
And now, finally, we have a site which is up and running, with a firm commitment from our team of three to keep it regularly updated. We may not be the first village community blog in the UK (I’ve found three, only one of which is currently active), but I can safely predict that we’ll be the most successful in achieving our aims.
For any of you who have wondered exactly where K and I spend our weekends, the mystery is about to be lifted. Click on the screenshot to access the site…