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to ask how do you get to know your neighbours?

(33 Posts)
pimsandlemonade Fri 05-Jun-15 14:31:37

We are planning a move to a small country village after living in London for over 10 years.
We are both not born in the UK and have only lived in London in this country where you generally don't know your neighbours, at least we don't.

As we now have 2 young DC and i will be SAHM for a bit, i would like to be friendly with the neighbours if possible and generally hoping to make some friends in the village.
So i'm wondering if there is an etiquette of introducing yourself to your neighbours in a small village? Or do you just wait until you run into them?
I'm guessing a home baked basket of muffins is a bit over the top and too Wisteria Lane? smile

mateysmum Fri 05-Jun-15 14:38:26

Don't worry, if it is a genuine, small village they will all be interested in you! As you have young kids, no doubt they will be going to a local school/nursery and you will meet people. Also, get a dog. That is a guaranteed way to meet local people.

Talk to people you pass in the street/ attend church/go to the pub/use the local shop and start a conversation with the staff/if you need recommendations for tradesmen etc, use it as an excuse to knock on the neighbour's door. Essentially, be open and friendly, join in village activities and you will get to know your neighbours in no time.

Sabaidee Fri 05-Jun-15 14:41:29

Get stuck into village life! Find out if there is a village website (many do these days) or a village/parish newsletter that will tell you what's going on. Villages are always very keen for people to volunteer their services and it is a great way to get to know people.

Even if you aren't religious, i many small (rural) villages the church is still a integral part of the community and it might be an idea to meet the vicar and ask them how to get involved. Doesn't mean you have to play a part in religious life, but they will tend to be very aware of other village activities etc. When we moved in the vicar turned up on the doorstep with the village news and virtually dragged us to a village pub night - a great ice breaker in meeting people!

GemmaTeller Fri 05-Jun-15 14:44:42

Where we live, people always say hello/stop for a chat if you are gardening, walking the dog, walking by yourself, in the post office etc.

Have a look where the library / community centre / church hall is and see what activities they have on.

RandomHouseRules Fri 05-Jun-15 14:45:45

I have lived in London for 15 yrs and in villages before that. I know most of my neighbours fairly well. I find going out of my way to say hello and how are you when you see neighbours is a good start. When I have moved to new houses I have popped round, introduced myself, swapped phone numbers and asked people round for a cup of tea. We stop and chat in the street and as we walk our kids to school.

Yulia989 Fri 05-Jun-15 14:58:29

Invite everyone round for a party. Have a glass fruit bowl ready and ask everyone to put their car keys in for safe keeping.

knittingdad Fri 05-Jun-15 15:02:21

Invite everyone round for a party. Have a glass fruit bowl ready and ask everyone to put their car keys in for safe keeping.

And then melt them down? Bury them in the garden? Hide them around the village for a drunken late-night game of Hunt the car keys ?

Sorry for being dim, but I'm completely flummoxed as to why you would ask people to put their car keys in a fruit bowl.

WhatIActuallySaid Fri 05-Jun-15 15:15:20

I got to know the neighbours at the back of our garden when they had a party. A very very loud party.

Unfortunately, they didn't invite us or even bother to tell us. So I got to know them by visiting them at 2 in the morning to ask them to bring the party inside.

I got to know all my other nieghbours by chatting in the street, calling round to say hi when they moved in, neighbourhood coffee mornings, chucking balls back over the fence, etc, - I have really nice friendly neighbours - except for the party gits.

SteamTrainsRealAleandOpenFires Fri 05-Jun-15 15:16:23

To choose your opposite sex partner for the night. Also known as "swinging or swinger parties". pampas grass in the front garden is supposed to be a sign of swingers living there

LurkingHusband Fri 05-Jun-15 15:19:56


at a guess, you're under 40 ?

Pico2 Fri 05-Jun-15 15:34:28

We live in a village and it is amazing. I grew up in suburbs and didn't really know anyone locally. It has taken a while to get to know people in the village, but I feel a much greater sense of community here. When we first arrived I introduced myself to our neighbours, partly because I needed recommendations for hairdressers etc. The main way I have got to know other local people is through my DD - initially the local baby groups and then through her nursery and meeting her nursery friends in the playground and at birthday parties. It must depend on the size of the village as they don't all have nurseries.

Yulia989 Fri 05-Jun-15 16:38:51

My parents used to have pampas grass.

missymayhemsmum Fri 05-Jun-15 16:46:43

In villages/ small towns it is customary to....
Introduce yourself to your next door neighbours as you move in, if only to apologise for any noise etc.
Say good morning/smile/nod to people you pass in the street even if you don't know them (not advisable in london)
Stop for a brief chat when you pay for your shopping, if only to remark on the weather
Ask for recommendations from neighbours (can you suggest a local plumber/ hairdresser/garage/vet etc)
invite people with similarly aged children round for a cuppa

missymayhemsmum Fri 05-Jun-15 16:50:56

if you have a front garden, plant things/ prune things that are already there at a leisurely pace, preferably on a weekend afternoon. People will stop to chat.
But if you really want to meet everyone in the neighbourhood, lose a cat.

maninawomansworld Fri 05-Jun-15 16:52:28

I live in a small village and have lived here all my life.
The 'outsiders' who have had the best time of it have been those who make an effort to get involved. By that I mean support the church, the local pub, the beer festival on the village green etc.

A few years ago one chap who had relatively recently moved in to the area spotted me running around the road after my sheep broke out and instead of driving on by he stopped and spent the best part of an hour helping me round them all up and get them the half a mile back to their field. He and I are now firm friends.

On the other hand we had one couple buy a big house in the village thunder in and out in their (spotlessly clean) 4x4's and never engage with anyone except to complain about cockerels, the smell of cows or the fact that we enjoy shooting and hunting and they didn't like it (even though it didn't affect them in the slightest).
They didn't last long....

BabyMurloc Fri 05-Jun-15 16:54:26

Invite everyone round for a party. Have a glass fruit bowl ready and ask everyone to put their car keys in for safe keeping.

May have just laughed juice out of my nose...

wonkylegs Fri 05-Jun-15 16:56:20

We moved to a village from a city 2 years ago and now we are well and truly entrenched in village life.
DS didn't get into the village school but to ensure he still made friends where we lived I signed him up for Beavers, and have taken him to all children/family events at the community centre.
We met our immediate neighbours (we live in a group of 5 houses) by inviting them all round for a drink in the garden about 10days after we moved in (we'd found the glasses by then)
I got involved in the community centre and now sit on the committee, I've got to know people through this and joined other groups through these people.
I also recommend using local services as a good way to meet people - Our post office/Londis is the centre of village gossip as are the pubs.
Be prepared if you live in an older house especially to have it always referred to as the previous owners for many years after its yours - oh you live in Paul and Nicky's house starts to grate after a while esp when you've owned it for many years!!!
Our village is a hotbed of gossip I've learnt to take it all with a pinch of salt and be very careful about what you say to people

SteamTrainsRealAleandOpenFires Fri 05-Jun-15 16:57:22

Manina I bet they complained about the church bells/bell ringing too.

mrskeegs Fri 05-Jun-15 16:59:47

On the day we moved in I posted a small card through the letterboxes of my immediate neighbours, it said 'hello number 99/number 103, we're moving in today so apologies in advance for the dirty great moving van, pop in if you fancy some tea, look forward to meeting you. Regards Plank and Mr Plank' or words to that effect. One responded with a card and they've been lovely ever since, other side never even acknowledged it, rude and cold since. So it sorted what from chaff immediately. Good luck!

MrsNextDoor Fri 05-Jun-15 17:00:15

Go to the local toddlers...consider joining the WI...the WI is not like it used to be!

Also, you will make friends when DC begin school....if you're a joiner, see if they have an amateur dramatic company or a gardening club or similar.

maninawomansworld Fri 05-Jun-15 17:00:36

Oh yes of course.... they pretty much complained about everything.

I have written a veritable essay on this on a thread before but essentially if you're a city bod and you're moving to the country, you have to become a country person - not a city person who now lives in the country.

BabyMurloc Fri 05-Jun-15 17:05:19

Serious note I just started by saying hello to neighbours when I saw them outside. Joining in with local events in a village will always help. Join local toddler groups etc. You can also just invite neighbours in for a coffee.

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 05-Jun-15 17:09:13

I found giving birth in the street outside my house broke the ice with my neighbours.

SoleSource Fri 05-Jun-15 17:17:31

Lmao hedge I like your style!

SoleSource Fri 05-Jun-15 17:18:57

But what if a person moves to a village and he/she lives the rural setting/nature has a Birmingham accent and isn't middle class?

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