It is not that exciting! Suburban living.

fullsizeoutput_15c8Just another ordinary day, with the highlight being a walk around the lake.  It is a fine Winter’s day, a coat day because it is cold outside. Days like today just are not that exciting.   As part of the Ultimate blog challenge today I am to share blogs that I am reading.  Well I am tired and want to go to bed so I have only one to share.

Today  I have decided to just let you know about a Suburban online  social network to connect with your neighbours and find out what is happening in your neighbourhood it is called Nabo 

Nabo is an Australian social network where you can sign up and is relatively new but is growing. I love that it is suburban focused.

A great blog post on the site  to check out is How to fall in love with your neighbourhood again.

I love its suburbia feel and how it focuses on suburban living.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

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Walking Adventure

I love the look of big fluffy grey clouds.

I love the look of big fluffy grey clouds.

It looked like it might rain. It was dark and cloudy. Still a perfect day for a walking adventure. I really appreciate a cloudy winters day, it has its own beauty, and the coolness of it makes it perfect for long walk.

Another lake!
Another lake!

Yes I have been on another walking adventure around my suburb. This time I discovered a new lake, play ground and sporting area. It is amazing that it is just across the road and I had no idea it was there. I live in a new area with new estates and houses popping up everyday. When we brought our house our estate was meant to be the end of the line. The area beyond our estate was green zoned. Shorty after we move, the area was re zoned residential. So all the farms and cows are disappearing. Estate after Estate is going in and filling up with houses. My walking adventures help me to discover the changing face of my local area, sometimes they are delightful and other times a little frightnening.

Dirt tract for local walkers and bike riders.
Dirt tract for local walkers and bike riders.

I found a dirt tract to walk along in went in-between the new estates, it was a big long tract. I had no idea where it might go. My curiosity got the best of me, I had to find out. It was a lovely long walk, often being pushed aside by enthusiastic families on there bike ride. It was annoying in one way, however good to know a number of families still get outdoors and spend time together. Something my own family should take note of and start doing more of.

Walking past suburban houses!
Walking past suburban houses!

Eventually I stepped off the track and into the suburban landscape of houses upon houses. I discovered another lake, more playgrounds and park land.

Another park, another play ground.
Another park, another play ground.

I wish my boys were younger. They used to love going to play grounds. These days in this area there is a multitude of play grounds to choose from. You could make a day of it and take kids for a play ground crawl.

A place to sit and rest.
A place to sit and rest.

It was a long walk, my dog Little Miss Popularity was struggling to keep up, so we stopped and had a rest. At least there are lots of places to walk my dog in this area. I did offer to walk the boys, however they declined. The dog is always keen and excited to go for an adventure walk with me.

Another lake.
Another lake.

Yes another lake. The trend in the area these past few years is too use the storm water from the estates and recycle it creating lakes and waterways. Providing natural environments for residents  to enjoy and wild life to inhabit especially birds and frogs.

Sadly not many people out enjoying these man made nature environments.

I love discovering new areas, new parks, new lakes, and new places to sit, rest and enjoy nature.

I can not wait until my next walking adventure.

Could you have a walking adventure of your own, discover new parks, new shops, community areas, even new streets that are interesting?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Five Ways to Discover What Activity and Events are Happening in Your Suburb.

Monument commemorating Edwin Flack at Berwick,...
Monument commemorating Edwin Flack at Berwick, Victoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part of my journey to cultivate more happiness and live blissfully in my suburban area is getting out into my community and finding out what it has to offer. I first thought I could look up events to see if I could add more art, music and culture into my life without having to stray to far from home. After a little investigating I have found there is a lot happening in my area. There are art exhibitions and even galleries. Music in the library last Sunday of the month and monthly book cafe’s. Markets, from farmers market to clothing markets. Plenty of cafes and parks to visit. There is actually lots to do all of the time I just had to do a little searching. So the five ways to find out what’s on in your suburb that I found most useful are as follows:

  1. Local Newspapers: I have found sections like What’s On and Community Calendar to be great places to find out local events, markets, community group events, courses, and hobbies. This is one I like to check once a week. Also local papers are always advertising local events and festivals.
  2. Council: My local council is  a wonderful place to find out what is happening in my community. It provides information on local events and tourism as well as community groups and community calendar. The community calendar covers happenings such as markets, fetes, events, talks, local festivals , information sessions, local performing arts groups concerts and local expo events. Many of these events are free or at a very reasonable price.
  3. Tourism Websites such as Travel Victoria: This often provides basic information about parks, markets, festivals and food in a particular local area.
  4. Local Libraries:  These a community treasure boxes as they offer so much more than books these days. Libraries often have events on and often these events are free or very inexpensive. They often have nights with authors of books, workshops, book cafe’s and music plus so much more. It is really worth checking out what your local library has to offer. I once did a workshop about Facebook at the library and I love it when they have an exhibition of local art which visitors are encouraged to vote on.
  5. Ask other locals : This one I need to do a little more of , because  often other people do and know of interesting events and activities in the local area that are not advertised. I also think sharing what treasures I find in my own local area with others will cultivate more happiness and blissful joy in my own suburb.

So I encourage you to do a little investigating of your own and find out what events and activities are happening in your own suburb and surrounding areas. Would love to hear how you go.

Berwick Inn
Berwick Inn (Photo credit: Mattinbgn)

Reflections on Suburban Living.

The suburbs are considered by many as cultural wastelands, the boring burbs, a place of conformity, boredom and loneliness. Yet the suburbs are a popular place to live, and where I am living the suburban sprawl is full throttle and growing exponentially. So I have decided to find my own suburban utopia, to enjoy the experience of suburban life, to immerse myself in local culture and events, and live blissfully in the burbs.

I currently live in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, in a place called Berwick. Berwick is a pretty place. It still retains some of that village look as you drive down the main street. Its main street is alive with restaurants and cafes. The  housing estates are close to parks and gardens.

So why live in suburbia, firstly would be affordability, a larger home and block of land parks and good schools for the kids.  The Australian dream ,a home of ones own. Whilst the promises that are being sold to people are the following:

Real backyard living.

To build a future

Perfect for the family

A children’s paradise

Wonderful place to live

Family friendly at its best.

Resort style living

Whilst these suburbs are full of houses that exude style and functionality. Peaceful private homes. Dream homes, prestigious homes, and elegant homes.

Sounds like utopia, however sadly it is not. What they sell us is the idea of a ‘culture of affluence’, a desire for more, a reason to live beyond one means, and travel longer distances and more travel. In fact with all the time travelling we have less time to spend with family and friends. Then there is the isolation and loneliness that suburban living also entails. Plus the lack of excitement,entertainment, and those communal places to go hang out and mix with other people. Whilst boring architecture and the lack of art that exist in the suburban landscape is a contributing factor to suburbia being described as a cultural wasteland.

The suburbs have been severely criticized over the years such as claims the suburbs are guilty of spreading conformity. The  suburbs make people conformist in lifestyle and architecture. I personally have found that the suburbs lack the creativity and diversity of city/urban life. Plus suburbanites are so dependant on cars, because you need a car to get you almost anywhere. Then there is the idea of affluence, having it all, and ‘ keeping up with the Jones’ that encourages the consumer culture of the suburbs and entraps people into over extending their finances and defines success by what we have not by who we are.

Whilst if living in the city is rich with culture and experience why is it not that way living in the suburbs? If living in the country is getting close to nature and peaceful why  can we not have a little more of that in the suburbs? If living by the beach is relaxing and carefree why can’t it be that way in the suburbs as well? I think it is time we started defining suburban living in a more positive light, and also that we demand more liveable, sociable and enjoyable suburban environments. I also think we need to focus less on affluence and prestigious living and more on community, nature, family, friends and experience.

So in this blog I will be exploring suburban living its good points and areas for improvement. My own personal experience will be to live blissfully in the suburbs embracing community, nature, family, friends and experience.