GW has a problem that we will all have known at some point in our lives. Happily, it’s not insurmountable…

He says:

“I have just moved to the area and am a single 30′s gent, but find Greenwich a complex habitat within which to navigate and have thus far failed miserably to find a context within which to meet interesting people of a similar age.

The pubs are crammed with alcopop-fueled children or denizens of a more dignified age. Is there a middle-ground, hidden from view, that a Greenwich-Newbie might have missed?”

The Phantom replies:

Yes, indeedy, GW, there is. I am going to assume for the moment that you aren’t looking for luuuurve just now – more that you’re looking for new pals and interesting things to do – though of course if meeting that Special Someone happens along while the interesting things to do are going on, then all the better…

My first suggestion is the does-what-it-says-on-the-title South East London Social Networking Meetup Group, which I heard about recently. Set up by someone who was in exactly your position, this is most definitely NOT a singles-looking-for-romance/dating group – it’s first and foremost for making new friends. Although they meet up fortnightly in either Blackheath or Greenwich, it’s not always pub-oriented – they do other things too, such as restaurants, ice skating, gigs and comedy.

All (adult) ages and both singles and couples welcome .

Kirstie’s currently setting up a new book club – might be a good time to get involved – see last night’s post.

Something a little more left-field would be the Meridian Speakers, who are teaching themselves the gentle art of public speaking.

If you like dancing, I’m told that the local Ceroc class at West Greenwich House community centre is very personable.

If you’re into wine, one of the most sociable things to do in Greenwich is Theatre of Wine’s Thursday night tasting. Every Thursday evening, there’s a different theme, it’s informative and fun and no one minds if you’re on your own – everyone chats with everyone else. Note – booking is essential – this is one of the best nights out in Greenwich.

Obviously I don’t know your ‘preferences,’ but if you’re gay, the Rose & Crown on the corner of Stockwell Street is a very good (straight-friendly) pub.

But on the whole, going out alone isn’t so bad either round here. I go to a lot of things on my own, not least because I have such strange tastes I can’t find anyone to go with. I would make joining Greenwich Picturehouse a priority – you get your money back instantly with ‘free’ tickets, there are free screenings and events – and no one gives a stuff if you’re on your own.

There are also loads of lectures and events, especially if you don’t mind widening your net to the whole of London. The very best ‘alternative’ what’s-on that I know of is the fabulous IanVisits calendar and blog. I never miss a day and have been to loads of things I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

I’m sure other people will have some suggestions for you – Greenwich is a friendly place – honest!

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