In an effort to meet potential new friends I signed up to fairly soon after we found a place to stay in London. Meetup is a site where people can create groups for practically anything and advertise their existence and find members. I'd come across the website back in my student days in Wellington, but chickened out on joining any groups. It's not a very big thing in New Zealand, but it is much more well patronised here.

So far I've found a few groups that have been full of really nice people, a huge relief after the first month in London where I was starting to think everyone here was just angry. Here are my top three:

The Post Apocalyptic Book Club

I had to check out something this specific. They've widened their focus to include dystopian fiction too in recent times. The group has been going since 2009 meeting monthly to discuss books over a few drinks. The people are welcoming and friendly, and oddly all of a roughly similar age (mid 20s to late 30s at a guess). The books so far have been all quite thought provoking reads:

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy - a boy and his father walk through a burnt wasteland of a world. 
  • The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers - a teenage girl decides to sacrifice herself for the sake of a child in a world where women die if they get pregnant.
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker - a girl grows up while the rotation of the earth slows erratically.
  • The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham - turns out not to be a story about man-eating alien plants after all.

Culture in Your 30s

This is a great little group, only just started. I was won over by the description on their homepage... 
"So in your twenties you've done all those pub crawls and waded through 99 million people to get to bar. All evening you've shouted to the people next to you just to ask them their name and what they do for a living, you go home with ringing ears and then you get to a realization and now...
You'd rather discover Picasso or go to a quiet restaurant or listen to some jazz or classical music and talk to the person opposite you."
Sadly due to a lack of funds I've only been to a couple of events including a trip to Kew Gardens and an afternoon painting in Holland Park, but again the people were friendly and the events fun.

London Alternative Drinks

Just a pub meet up, but aimed at people who like sci-fi, alternative music, comics etc, which in my book brings together down to earth and interesting people.

There are a couple of other groups I'd like to get along to some time soon if I can find the time and cash.

Foraging in Town and Country
Who doesn't like free food? I'm also interested in finding out about edible plants in this country, but find it a bit daunting starting from scratch. This group does foraging walks in places around the country. But at £20 a pop it's a bit expensive.

Alternative Nightlife
This group list heaps of cool and unusual events including like The Blitz Party, Rebel Bingo, and cabaret shows. Definitely on my list to get to!


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