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Charm offensive on new neighbours...village-dwellers' advice needed....

21 replies

IAmNotLyndaSnell · 12/11/2011 15:56

We are moving into a small nosey close knit village community and want to make a good impression.
Any thoughts?

OP posts:
Hassled · 12/11/2011 15:59

By "good impression" do you mean you want to find out approximate income, any former marriages/current domestic arrangements and whether they were hounded out of their previous home due to fraud and/or swinging proclivities?

If yes, chocolate cake is the way to go.

IAmNotLyndaSnell · 12/11/2011 16:05

Rofl at swinging. Wouldn't the pampas grass give that away? [GRIN][WINK]

But seriously, how do you deliver the chocolate cake? Just turn up?
Any other ways one can charm neighbours?
Really want to get along.

OP posts:
Hassled · 12/11/2011 16:07

Yes, just turn up with it - a present to welcome them to the village. They'll invite you in for a cup of tea and a chat, you ask them leading questions designed to get them to reveal approximate income and swinging habits. Job's a good 'un.

supadupapupascupa · 12/11/2011 16:13

you won't need to do a thing.

You will be scrutinised as you arrive and will be provided with homemade cake and tea on moving in day. Your neighbours will be more interested in you.

buy a multipack of thank you cards and pop them round those nosey people the following day.

Slightlyreluctantexpat · 12/11/2011 16:16

What a great name, OP! Your namesake threw herself into everything, didn't she? Pantomime, fete, petitions, all that. They liked her eventually.

That could be the way to do it, but with discretion. You've got to be seen to join in and to contribute, but without taking over. So use the shop and the pub. Go to church. Send your DCs to the school.

Slowly does it.


lostinwales · 12/11/2011 16:21

Keep yourselves under the radar, smile at everyone you see and let them bring you cake. If there are any local groups join a couple but keep yourself quiet and for gods sake don't have any opinions until you are sure of everyone else's! Be aware that people will either know everyone else in some way or another and quite possibly be related and it will take you years to work out this complex web, they may be able to slag them off but until you are established you may not! (oh and take everything you are told with a pinch of salt, it will have had the chinese whispers treatment first)

What supa and Slightly said. Grin

(It's a wonderful way of life by the way, although as my friend recently posted on FB 'living in a small community is great because if I forget what I was supposed to be doing there's always someone around who can tell me' Grin)

Hassled · 12/11/2011 16:25

Oh I've got it completely the wrong way round. Must pay attention.

You sit tight and smile a lot, and let them arrive with the chocolate cake and ask leading questions etc.

mycatsaysach · 12/11/2011 16:31

smile a lot and spend a lot of time doing the gardening - people are forever stopping to offer 'helpful advice'

lostinwales · 12/11/2011 16:38

When you are moving in have a skip outside with a few juicy pieces in it, I made lots of friends with people who wanted to 'liberate' things from our skip. (this also gets you a reputation for being generous and a reputation for being spendthrift by chucking usable stuff out! Grin)

eaglewings · 12/11/2011 16:41

Make sure you find out where you can and can't park your car
Find out who the 'king or queen' of the village is
People are often related to the person you least expect. Don't say anything other than positive things about a person, you could be talking to their daughter in law Aunt etc
Keep noise down after ten in the week, eleven on weekends unless you have pre warned
Invite them all over for welcome drinks, but don't say how you have changed things as they may have liked how the previous person had the house ( my biggest mistake ever :(

Abra1d · 12/11/2011 16:48

Get a dog and walk it. If you see anyone with a dog admire it fulsomely.

That said, even with dogs, I got to know even more people when I had babies and pushed them round in the pram and all the old ladies stopped to talk to them.

Go to the pub.

Volunteer to do something at the OAP Christmas lunch/children's party/DIamond Jubilee celebration next year.

mycatsaysach · 12/11/2011 17:08

oh yes dog or baby

NewsClippings · 19/11/2011 19:57

Be polite, considerate, and join in the things which interest you to meet likeminded people.

Don't launch an insincere "charm offensive" or overtly try to "be seen to join in" as the village community will see through you a mile off :o Best to be genuine and be yourself.

NewsClippings · 19/11/2011 19:59

Why would anyone be interested to "find out approximate income" of other people? Confused Is that really a relevant or nice way to get to know people?

oldqueenie · 19/11/2011 20:04

no, not relevant or nice but a lot of people are v keen to find this out as a way of placing you and placing themselves in relation to you.... se also how much your house cost / what job you do / where your children go to school....

oldqueenie · 19/11/2011 20:05

SEE not se

NewsClippings · 20/11/2011 20:16

They are? Eeugh. I'd run as far from them as possible I'm afraid!

"a lot of people are v keen to find this out as a way of placing you and placing themselves in relation to you.... se also how much your house cost / what job you do / where your children go to school...."

KirstyJC · 20/11/2011 20:21

Definitely have a little baby - worked a treat for me! If you can do something ' a bit 'alternative' like wear it in a sling that also works very well - little old ladies will be crossing the street to come and talk to you and prod the baby, usually whilst saying 'they never had these in my day'.

Oh, and I'll second the advice about not saying bad things about people - they really will be related to the person you're saying it to.....Blush

PigletJohn · 20/11/2011 20:46

If you join church/M&B/Gardening Club there will doubtless be lots of jobs that want doing.

If you volunteer, they will complain among themselves that you are trying to take over.

Lots of committee/churchwardens/lollypop ladies are Incomers because they are the ones wanting to become a part of the community.

The second or third generation will probably be accepted as locals.

Just look at Linda.

MoreBeta · 20/11/2011 20:51

Having lived in a small village as a child and then again for a few years as an adult I advise you to expect nothing.

Until you have lived there 20 years you will still be an outsider unless it is a commuter village.

If you send your DCs to local school, buy in the local shop, use local businesses, go to local events you will gradually get to know a few people but never be a 'local'.

clairefromsteps · 26/11/2011 22:34

Find a club or association you like the look of and join but don't muscle in and take over. If the local school/preschool has a fundraising committee, offer your services. They will bite your arm of at the elbow and it's a really nice way to scope out get to know the mums of your DCs' school friends. I joined the local preschool committee when we moved to our teeny village a couple of years back and constant staffing problems notwithstanding it was the best thing I did as I now know about 50% of the families at the village school.

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