Sitting together in the beautiful sunshine on Jesus Green, laughing off another threat of snow with Sangria and orange pasta, and waiting for the Texans to arrive. I can think of no more suitable an introduction to London than this. We don’t have a normal meeting place, day or time as a community, but food, coffee and the promise of new friends never fail to draw us together.
Carl and Regina arrive later than planned, their jet lag (along with our excitement) no doubt increased by a terrorist scare on the plane. We make them relive the tale several times as new people arrive, interrupted with questions about the Terrorism Act, and what inciteful words could have been written on the bathroom mirror?
As we settle into the picnic, sharing spoons and wine glasses, I observe them from across the checked blanket. This couple, just off the plane, new to London weather and ways, seem relaxed and happy to take life in their stride. As prospective inhabitants of this city they already seem at home. And I feel proud to be part of the welcoming committee.
– Helen Gilbert