Exploring your local patch; or, Ely New Things

It’s probably very easy to do new things constantly if you live in a big city. But actually, it’s easy to do new things wherever you are! And your local patch, however small, will have lots of options. You might have to be more creative, aware and open, but that’s not a bad thing. The alternative is for new things to fall in your lap constantly and I’m not sure this has the same impact or satisfaction, unless perhaps you take the time to acknowledge and appreciate them as they happen.

Wikipedia tells me Ely is the seventh smallest city in the UK. I’ve lived here nearly ten years (have I really?) but this year so far I’ve managed to find the following new things.

  • Went to an art exhibition in one of the local galleries, then went to each new exhibition since.
  • Ditto with a stand-up comedy night.
  • Stewarded at the city’s folk festival.
  • Ransacked my local supermarkets for new foodstuffs.
  • Took detours and found new places to walk.
  • Went to an open studio.
  • Tried new eateries and drinkeries.
  • Went to an organ recital.
  • Went to a fasting feast and a curry club.
  • Went to a reading group.
  • Watched a film at Ely cinema.
  • Saw a production by Ely Amateur Dramatic Society.

Other possibilities:

  • Do any of your local shops or businesses do workshops or courses? On my radar are the sewing classes at Sew Much to Do and the art and craft courses at Tindalls.
  • What do the tourists do? Or what would you do if you were on holiday where you live? I bet you’d do different things. Sit in the park with a picnic or a book. Explore a hidden church. Have afternoon tea, or a drink in the hotel. Maybe there’s a B&B where you can just go and have B one morning.
  • Get involved in the community. Help out at an event, join a committee, find a meetup group.
  • The world of sport and fitness will probably remain a distant mystery to me but this is a great source of new things – new classes, new races, new equipment, new events, new achievements.
  • Spend an afternoon sketching or taking pictures of your favourite view or event.
  • Speaking of events, they are just endless – people like to organise such things. Try a new pub quiz, open mic night, craft fair, exhibition, talk, public meeting, school fete, play…and meet new people in the process.
  • Where might your local public transport take you? Check out the routes.
  • Get an ordnance survey map – are there some local footpaths or nature reserves you didn’t know about? Learn all the street names!

I do think I’ve spent most of my ten years here not really participating very much, so this has been a fun way of getting to know my home better, with the added benefit of feeling less isolated and lonely. And I don’t thing I’ll be running out of new local things for a while!



2 thoughts on “Exploring your local patch; or, Ely New Things

  1. I like this challenge, I am constantly trying to do new things but often feel miffed at some of the things I seem to miss in Ely. Book launches at Toppings, managed one last year but should try and go to more, maybe go to the one I am least interested in to see if it changes my perspective or views?


    1. I agree – you can have a good guess at what you will and won’t enjoy or appreciate when you’re deciding what things to go to…but you can never be totally sure and sometimes you should test yourself!


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