Win Friends and Influence People
I’ve had several missives from new (and not so new) Greenwichians recently who are looking to find interesting things to do to get out and meet new people. None of them are looking to find lurve or go out on the pull – they’re just keen to widen their social circle and have asked me for ideas. Sometimes, because they’re new to the area, they don’t know anyone yet, sometimes they’re happy to go out as couples, sometimes they’re just looking for new challenges.
So I thought I’d give you a fairly random list of suggestions for stuff to do that is sociable but where you don’t look a complete nana if you turn up without ready-made pals in tow.
Rebecca asked about knitting groups. If memory serves, this is more the area of the Deptford Dame but Stitch and Bitchis very established. Another popular perennial is book groups. There are two that I know of. I had no idea when Kirstie started her Phantom Book Club a couple of years ago, that the Greenwich Book Group was already in existence. Email Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org. for the Greenwich Book Group; for the Phantom Book Club email Kirstie via me. If you’re really keen, try ‘em both…
I was told a long while ago about an unusual exercise group run by Emma at Greenwich West Community Centre on a Tuesday night between 5.30pm and 6.30pm – an adult hula-hoop class. In fact there are quite a lot of dance classes – both at the “West Greenwich Community Centre (which also does all kinds of other classes and groups), and the Greenwich Dance Agency which I think has recently been renamed to just Greenwich Dance. If you’re really into dance, there’s also the Laban Centre across the creek.
I’m intrigued by the Meridian Speakers – a bunch of folk who meet at the Spanish Galleon every other week to try to improve their public speaking skills.
The South East London Social Networking Meet Up is a group of people who do different things on a regular basis, but who are most definitely NOT a singles club or a lonely hearts.
If you like music, you might like to try the Thursday nights upstairs at the Mitre, which have a wide range of quality open-mic material. I should also point out that many people (myself included) have no issue with going to things like theatre and cinema on their own. I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone who became a friend in an interval, but it’s still a good thing to do. If you like cinema and you’re not a member of the Picturehouse, sign up NOW. Get a direct debit on renewal and you get 18 months instead of 12 the first year. I rather wish that Greenwich Theatre had a similar system to Picturehouses. They do sometimes do discounts on combinations of tickets but it’s not the same. Greenwich Playhouse occasionally has interesting stuff on.
But back to sociable things.
You’d have to be a real fan to go every week to Theatre of Wine’s weekly tastings but it doesn’t matter which week you go – there’s always a bunch of friendly people (and for the most part non-wine snobs) to enjoy a drink or two with.
I confess I know nothing of local sports activities (save the Curlew rowing club, based in Crane Street), but if you’re into history you could try Greenwich Industrial History Society or Greenwich Historical Society.
There will be a whole load of other clubs and societies I don’t know, and would like to know about so do chip in if you’ve got any more suggestions.
In the meanwhile, while you’re deciding which to join, you can always go to fab one-offs as suggested by the endlessly energetic IanVisits…