London Regenerates

Rob & Vickie Schellert | London, England

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A neighbourly Valentine's Day

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 8:46 PM

As you may know, yesterday was the loathed/loved celebration of Valentine's Day. I'm not overly keen on it myself but I married a romantic guy who likes it, so I do oblige. Having felt a bit detached from, well, pretty much everything non-work-related recently, I've really been missing doing little community things but I don't really have the time to plan much or even get inspired to start with. Yet on Saturday in a huff of extreme life boredom, I had an epiphany: I would spend Sunday baking cookies for our neighbours in our block of flats. We've got a table in the foyer commonly used to flog off unwanted items, so the scene was perfectly do-able.


Rob, Jo and I spent a few hours baking some amazing vegan chocolate chip cookies (trying not to eat all the dough or batches as they came out of the oven), made up a sign to hang over the table that said 'You are special, love from Flat 9', and a card that read 'Happy Valentines Day. You're loved more than you'll ever know so enjoy a yummie vegan cookie!' We packed the cookies up ready to serve and hatched a plan to put them out in the centre of the entry before many people left for work on Valentine's morning.


After putting the cookies out (which were even yummier on Monday), I noticed that one or two had disappeared before I left for work. Then I got a text from Jo saying that she heard shrieks of excitement and 'HOW SWEET' coming from the corridor, which she had to wait to subside before she could herself leave for fear of being accosted. That night we returned to two plates containing only a few crumbs.


We collected our plates and took down the sign with big smiles that we'd shown some people the love that's typically mass-marketed on that day of the year. Then I picked up our card and saw some writing inside: 'You are amazing. I love you and don't even know you. xxx'


Awesome.


Today I walked up to our main entry door and saw a shoulder of someone who quickly disappeared near the table in the foyer. I rounded the corner to find a card that said how special our small actions were. I found another in our post box from someone we originally thought didn't particularly like us. This is love. Maybe not deep life changing love, but then... who knows... maybe it's a start.



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