I just came across an interesting Tweet announcing “The Big Lunch” this year in Britain.  What a concept!  Sad I missed this last year when UK residents pioneered the first national lunch of this scale.  At this point, you’re probably wondering what in heckfire I’m talking about, though it really is what it sounds like:  a great big ol’ lunch.  Nothing metaphorical about it.  As it describes on their website:

We wanted to know what would happen if everyone in the country stopped what they were doing for a moment and sat down and had lunch with their neighbours.”

Some Big Lunch happenin’s last year, for example (also quoted from www.thebiglunch.com):

  • Tranquair Village in Scotland held a Big Lunch in the village hall with traditional games like fir cone’n’spoon, sack races and a treasure hunt.
  • A Big Lunch was held on Olympic Way in London on the processional route leading up to Wembley Stadium
  • Battersea High Street in South London had a party for 500+ people with entertainment and a BBQ put on by local restaurants.
  • East End Park, Leeds – The Big Lunch brought together members of the community from different ethnic groups, as they shared traditional food from their culture with their neighbours.
  • 18 Cornwall Care Homes held Big Lunches with family and neighbours including a grannies disco, line dancing and cream teas.
  • People’s Park, Banbury held a Big Lunch with knitted bunting from the local knitting club.
  • L8 Big Lunch – probably the Biggest Big Lunch, for 5000 people in Toxteth.
  • Fighting Close in Coventry Myles gave over a patch of front lawn to all the children in the street to grow their own veg for The Big Lunch. One of the residents also donated a sheep!

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a big kick out of this.  It reminds me of the good ol’ street festivals all over Chicago in the summer that bring neighbors together, something I’ve really missed since moving here.  I don’t even speak to any of the neighbors in my building, as everyone stays hidden away (although sometimes that’s a nice thing), and as any local resident will attest, no one makes eye contact—much less smiles—on the sidewalks or on the Tube here.  People also won’t step out of your way…ever.  I feel like a slalom-skiier swerving side to side to avoid people on a daily basis.  What a nice initiative, then, to thaw everyone out and promote community.  Let’s do it, folks!  This year’s Big Lunch is on Sunday, July 18th.

Nonetheless, London Relocation Ltd. will place you in a flat in a lovely community with super nice neighbors to enjoy during the other 364 days of the year 🙂