Our Big Lunch and other stories

Cyrenians Big Lunch Street Party

Over 100 people came along to yesterday’s Big Lunch at the Good Food Depot. Great hospitality from the team at Jane Street, great food and great mix of people. Community is all about putting ourselves out there and in the mix. Not knowing who you’re going to meet, what conversation is going to happen, what connections will be made… all the bits of wonderful serendipity that emerge. Or in our case, Cyrendipity. All sorts of good things happen in and from the mix.

I learnt on Andrew Marr’s Megacities last week – talking about the shape of things to come in urban life – that in Tokyo there are ‘rent a friend’ businesses. The wealthy and lonely can pay for someone to go to the rooftop golf range or to a cafe bar with them, so that they don’t appear to be lonely. 

We need community like we need food. I bet you’ve never had a great meal on your own in front of the TV, have you, even if it was the finest ingredients and the best wine? It’s the sharing and companionship that makes a great meal.

A quick story in the passing of Prince Philip’s 90th. Many years ago I was at a reception for charity workers at Buckingham Palace. We were put in pairs around the imposing reception room for the royal party to circulate and greet us. I was put with a woman working for a major national childrens charity. Having made his way round to us the Prince peered at the badge on my lapel. ‘Ah, Edinburgh. I’m the Duke of that.’ He then turned to stare at the label on the ample bosom of my lady companion. ‘Ah, Barbados. Fine place, fine place.’ ‘No’, she replied drily, ‘it’s Barnardo’s actually.’

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