Personal highlights of 2022
Here are some of our favourite bits of OTB life in 2022
Good to be making progress in our community, creating a good life together after Covid. The completion of our building programme has given me great satisfaction after our long journey - looking forward to creating new projects in 2023
2022 has been a special year with five new people moving in, with each person bringing something different.
I've appreciated people's care during times of illness, which has felt really significant.
I love that there is a communal meal every Friday, and occasionally at other times. Even if I don’t attend every Friday, it’s good to know that there are always friendly faces to share a meal with at the end of the week. And the food is always impressive.
Friday tea on the new back terrace to christen the paving was pretty magical - lovely summer evening light, fab food and everyone tucking in and enjoying the view.
It's been great getting to know people more through sharing tea and chats.
Birthdays and celebrations
My birthday was my favourite. Lots of people came and I got cool presents.
My personal highlight was my birthday - not to sound too much like my kids! We got together and played a silly, dress up chaotic game. I loved the silliness, camaraderie and sense of healthy competition. Just joyful!
Christmas was my best. We were all together and lots of presents and chocolate. I couldn’t wait to open my secret Santa!
Highlights for me this year have been our sharing of celebrations, meals, concerns, garden work, sewing mornings, circle dancing, mutual comfort, film nights, house cleaning, chats after tea, ingenious and carefully thought out homemade Secret Santa gifts.
I’ve really enjoyed our Common Threads monthly sewing workshops. It’s great to share skills and extend the life of our clothes, and even make some more!
A lovely community surprise for me was making our second little free library. These sit at each of our two gates, and are available for the wider public to share books with each other. I made the structure, and Mariam then offered to paint it. Her design was far more creative and interesting than anything I would have come up with! I’m really pleased with the end result, and it gets lots of use,by members and the wider community!
30 bags of top quality community compost created at OTB this year, having removed a number of teaspoons and an empty whisky bottle on the way!
I liked Easter best because everyone did my treasure hunt I made. There were eggs everywhere!
The highlights of my year have been all the tiny moments of playfulness. Going to put the washing out and ending up in the midst of chalking on the pavements with the kids, making model cars, improvising a shelter for the bees during the heatwave, playing footy with the dogs, and ping pong with just about everyone.
For me there’s no doubt that the best moments at On the Brink are with the young people who are a big part of our lives here. What a privilege to chat with them when they can spare a moment from their games and projects. They are always zooming round the place at high speed and it’s a delight to observe their imagination and creativity. Watch ‘em grow!
It’s the end of the year and time to look back at life at On the Brink during 2022.
During the year we have started to re-build some of the social events and celebrations that defined our community before the Covid pandemic. We have done our best to re-connect with each other and remember the reasons that brought us together.
There have been birthday parties, shared meals, concerts, circle dancing, film nights, a bit of Xi Gung and, of course, bonkers celebrations at solstices.
We have continued to make some improvements to the grounds and gardens.
Rick, Rachel, Mariam and others have established a second roadside library at the end of the main drive to Osborne Road. It’s very popular with passers-by (apart from one person who tried to set it alight one evening)
Our roof is now as full of solar panels as possible. The new panels feed electricity directly to the communal areas.
A robust, outdoor table tennis table has been saved from the tip and now is available for any competitive Brinkies to use.
We have put up four new swift boxes (total swift nest boxes now = 6), and have been visited by many swooping, screeching swifts this year looking for new accommodation – perhaps some will settle and breed here next year?
This year our bees have been very productive, despite swarming twice to (almost) inaccessible places.
There’s some new paving at the back of the building that extends behind the new terraced houses and there are some lovely new steps up to the growing area. Garden planning and garden work continues on a regular basis.
Compiled by Tom