By Linda McLaughlan. Image: An Ōtaki Over the Fence Cuppa 2017
Last March, after the cake crumbs had been swept up, the ballons deflated, the children sent to their baths with dirty red cheeks, Kirsty Anderson had plenty of enthusiastic feedback from neighbours all over Kāpiti.
This was some of it -
‘I’ve been meaning to do that for ages’
‘That was brilliant!’
‘I wish I’d done this sooner, we should do it more often.’
‘Who knew Delores could limbo like that!’
Which was why, when asked to work on Over the Fence Cuppa again, she jumped at the chance. She also enlisted me, and as a highly enthusiastic neighbour myself, I couldn’t wait to get involved.
‘It is always such a pleasure seeing people getting together,’ says Kirsty. ‘ There are the old hands who have done it every year, and then others who are doing this for the first time. The events range from a busy afternoon with lots of kids playing games, to simple cuppas with a few housholds in someone’s back garden. I haven’t ever heard anyone regret getting one organised, their only regret is that they haven’t done this sooner.’
We are now knee deep in receiving registrations for Kāpiti’s celebration of Neighbour’s Day, and with a couple more weeks to go until registrations close, we are keen to see as many people as possible get involved. So far, we’ve heard about devonshire teas, a pool and darts competition, several BBQs and a clean up working bee in a park followed by eating lots of cake. Those who have registered have shared some of their thoughts about why they are reaching out.
‘It is such an easy way to connect. It is a good excuse to make time for this in our busy lives.’
‘I want my shy neighbours involved, to feel welcome here.’
‘We want to talk about issues important to us.’
‘We want to live in a safer neighbourhood, get to know each other and support each other.’
‘We have had a few new neighbours move in, so it would be nice to connect everyone together.’
Now all we need to do is order the weather!