Village Life and Social Media

Sedum, like many succulents, symbolises tranquillity, and we have plenty of that down here.  This village is so quiet, you can walk around it and wonder if everyone has gone on holiday. But it has a population of several thousand, and last week we managed to annoy most of them in just 20 minutes.

Chicken in the Sedum
Normal Village Life

There are pubs. They keep closing, because of bankruptcy, covid, no staff, or suspicious fires. The open ones are sometimes busy, with people who want to watch rugby on a big screen, but often they are empty.

We also have a school, so the streets are alive with children for 30 minutes each afternoon; boy racers who roar through on appointed nights when we are part of a secret circuit; the village shop, where you can discuss the state of the NHS with the guy behind the till who is training to be a nurse but says people should stop expecting healthcare for free, so he is confusing; social clubs for everything from gardening to making pantomimes; and a Facebook group.

Online Village Life

The Facebook group is useful. Find out where to get petrol, which dogs are bad, which cats went missing, and then just walked back in the door, where to drop food bank collections, why a dog mess wasn’t picked up, and exactly how long it has been there, who parked in the wrong place, gory details of any accident, and whether a party is too loud.

The group is also a place to be angry about things. But, you can report hate speech. Last week some travellers moved quietly onto the village green, which is next to the allotments. A few leeks went missing, there was a storm of fury and one person declared that travellers are ‘vermin’ so I pressed the report button.

I don’t know what happens when you do that, but hopefully, somebody from Facebook went to their house to explain that you are not allowed to talk like that online and the hate speaker is probably sorry now.

Bringing a bit of Life to the Village

Somebody else in this house hosted a staff party a few weeks ago. I didn’t go, but I heard a lot of laughing, and the next morning it looked like this.

It was a good party and left a big mess. Even the chicken is impressed.

It inspired me to make a party plan. Let’s get a few people around to play gentle music in the evening sun. Let’s not do food because every other person has covid these days so we will keep it socially distanced, stay outside, and bring our own picnics. 

How to Organise a Party

Easy. Just text everybody you know, a week or two before, and hope that they don’t all say yes. It is exciting seeing who comes, a kind of lucky dip.


If you forget to text anybody, until 2 days before you won’t get many people. 

If you pick the day the children next door are having a birthday party, with a DJ, it will be noisy, but it won’t be your noise.

Who came

2 kind souls from the village plus retired husbands, who have a band, 2 random friends who have not been seen for ages, and have had a difficult year, a drummer, a folk singer, neighbours who heard the noise and did not want to miss out, and everybody in the house including a Young person with Young Friends.

What Happened

We sat around and talked nicely, but it was a bit boring because the people who had had difficult years did not talk about their problems. If they had we could have got stuck into everything from angry adult children, and sickly parents, to ruined camping trips, and sibling rows. That would have been great, but most people talked about what a nice summer it was.

Then everybody ate neat meals from tidy Tupperware before the young people came out with a huge spread of shared food with plenty of dips to make absolutely sure that they all shared any bugs. 

It is hard to have interesting conversations when you have to be polite because you don’t all know each other that well, especially when you are sitting 20 metres from somebody else’s DJ.

It got better, as the sun went down.  The DJ stopped and the children next door went angrily to bed. The wine tasted more delicious with every sip, the fire burned brightly, and the smoke went straight up, because it was a calm, still, September night.

It was good, everybody was happy and making new friends, the folk singer sang gently and then the drummer offered to turn into a singer and sing for us. Lovely. In a whisper, but not a whisper because it was LOUD, he produced a karaoke backing track and set off on a relentless set of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and other gems from the 1970’s. The tiny audience clapped hopefully after each song, and I began to twitch about the noise. 

But it didn’t stop there.  Inspired by this, the village band members got up to join him. Bass guitar, lead guitar, drums and vocals followed. Suddenly young ones were up and dancing.  I was torn between being watching fondly, joining in, or wondering exactly how far this noise would travel in the still night air. By now it was loud enough for an audience of 1,000.

My quiet aside of ‘perhaps we can turn it down a bit’ was met with deaf ears. Pensioners full of beer, who have just got their hands on a full bit of kit after 18 months of never playing music can’t hear words like this. So I danced and it was fine because everything stopped by 10 and we all had a good time.

Where it Went Wrong

And then came the cry. ‘We have made it to the village Facebook page.’

Comments flew. Who the hell is making all that noise, bloody woke me up, calling the police, ring the council, from half the village, and it is nice to hear people enjoying themselves, don’t be so miserable, from the other half.  Comment number 27 named us as the culprits, but by comment 73 they had forgotten about us and were arguing about parties in general, before moving on to the main topic of dog mess.

The phone rang.  I went to bed.

Tip of the day.  If somebody leaves a message on your phone about noise, ring them back, and be kind. You will end up with a new friend to invite to the next party.

2nd Tip of the day.  Drum kits, pensioners, electric guitars, quiet gardens after dark and an entire village on social media don’t always mix well but can be fun. 

3 thoughts on “Village Life and Social Media”

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and if it was all done by 10pm, the neighbours surely have nothing to complain about other than not being there to enjoy it as well.
    Looking forward to partaking ourselves in the Spring!

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