A couple of summers ago, I realised I barely knew my neighbourhood, even though I’ve lived in the area for several decades. I found intriguing backstreets, with premises for car mechanics, bicycle repairers and various sorts of second hand furniture and equipment that I wasn’t aware of. Some folks in the near vicinity have a well looked after allotment as well. There even seems to be an edgy looking art and design studio that regularly puts on social events, featuring live jazz. All of this activity can be found less than a mile away from my home.
Depending on where you live, having all these amenities within arm’s reach could either be remarkable, or banal. I was surprised at my own ignorance of the richness of things right under my nose, even though I used to be willing to get up and travel to distant parts of London to find stimulation.
There was a time when I regarded folks who just remained within their neighbourhoods most of the time as somehow limited in scope. Even now, I get a kick out of travelling to distant places and discovering new things. I have been humbled however, by the lessons I learnt when I stumbled across potential gems in my locality.
Summer is a time of the year when many folks set off to places away from home. Maybe the most exhilarating part of the process is the act of travelling in itself.
Other than that, it is possible that we can find many exotic things almost literally on our doorsteps, if we choose to look at our neighbourhoods from a slightly different perspective, in rest mode.