Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Why I Love Watford!

As I was coming back from London this afternoon on what was a rather slow fast service, I thought to myself that ‘Watford isn’t a bad place to live actually.’ With great transport links making the dreaded commute a relatively short journey, a buzzing town centre with just about everything a person needs and plans for development that will improve the town even more, I rethought my phrase ‘Watford isn’t a bad place to live’ and thought ‘ I love Watford’.

I then thought that it would be brilliant to write a little blog piece about some of the reasons why I love to live in Watford and why I plan to stay here for the foreseeable future. Before anyone comments, I actually live in Bushey but that isn’t important as most people in Bushey use Watford for their needs.

Watford has everything you need
One of the main reasons why I love Watford is because it has everything that a person needs to live their life. The Harlequin, sorry Intu Watford, is a brilliant shopping centre and caters for most people’s needs. It has a great range of clothes stores and I feel it caters to the needs of the majority of the town. With the exception of Debenhams, I can’t think of a major store that isn’t based within the shopping centre and this means that people have everything under one roof. When I need a new suit I pop into Moss Bros and they can either find something I like in store or order it in and it will be there within a few days.

It aint easy being Green, unless you live in Watford!
As mentioned on the Community TV Show last week, Cassiobury Park has been nominated for a green flag award and should it win the competition, it will be considered the best park in the country. Within 10 minutes of the high street, we could have an award winning park and the ability to enjoy a sunny day in its surroundings. I spent one morning this summer walking around the park and taking advantage of its beauty for no particular reason than to get out and enjoy the fresh air.  I feel that with features like the Grand Union Canal and Bluebell Woods, we have the best of both worlds; a thriving town centre with everything we need and the natural beauty of the countryside to relax and unwind in.

Top Quality Independence
For anyone who doesn’t know, I love buying local and am a firm supporter of Link4Growth’s #BuyLocal campaign. I believe that not only is buying local cheaper than buying at the chains, it is a better experience. Since joining Link4Growth last year, I have found myself more aware of the local businesses that are in Watford and believe they provide some of the best produce in town. For example, I was in the awesome Ocean Bells Coffee Shop today for a quick cappuccino and a sweet treat before going back to the textbooks and I loved the experience. As well as awesome coffee and a tasty brownie, the service was brilliant and because I have started to make an effort to go there, I have been able to build up a rapport with the staff and get their advice about where I should get my coffee in London.

These people are experts in what they are doing and have chosen to work there rather than seeing it as a ‘job’. They aren’t doing it for the money; they are doing it because they love what they are doing and want to do something they love. I could have used many other examples of local businesses in Watford such as the LP cafe or any of many stalls on the market.

Closing Thoughts

These are just a few of the reasons why I love Watford. I hope this article starts a discussion of why you love Watford and encourages you to even write you own article about why you love Watford. For all the negatives about Watford, I believe many of these are myths and over-exaggerations. We have got a mindset where we believe our town isn’t as good as it could be but if we think about it, I believe we have one of the best towns to live in and we should embrace it!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

New Links on the L4G SW Herts blog and opportunity to get your events listed

Well we are now well into the autumn semester, back at school, days drawing in, summer becoming a distant memory, although we have to be very pleased with the temperatures which reached 26.5c as I drove back from Wales last week.

In the SW District as you have heard through +Alex Murray (and the community TV show) we have not been idle and a lot of work has been going on in the background to bring systems and processes up to speed to cater for the expansion right across the country. We have made some minor but important adjustments to the SW Herts District Blog, which we will begin to use much more now as a focal point along with the G+ communities covering the district.

New L4G SW Herts Calendar Tab

There is a new tab on the top now which is L4G SW Herts Calendar, if you host events and would like to be able to add events into the calendar directly then please do let +Alex Murray or +Chris Ogle (that's me) know and we can provide you with the ability to put your events in directly, the more people doing their own adding the less onerous for those trying to keep it all together... I'm thinking +Diane Richardson and +Catherine Baldwin you might benefit from being able to do this, and there will be many others. If you know of events coming up, and would like us to add them, please do contact us and let us know so we can pop them on... any links to the events with details to assist us would be most welcome!

The aim of the calendar is to serve all in the community and provide a central place where everything that is happening can be placed easily with the minimum of fuss...

Workshops / Training - Link4Skills

Also... we have now added a new tab for Workshops / Training. Link4Growth offers a multitude of workshops all delivered online. We have the foundation engagement programme that is aimed at getting people to be able to participate effectively online, this covers things like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Hootsuite, Google+, Google Hangouts, Pinterest and others too! ... but in addition those that wish to deliver online workshops can be accredited through Link4Growth and then offer these workshops to the growing Link4Growth community and beyond... if you have knowledge, experience and skills you want to share, then come and talk to us about how we can help you!

That's it... a short sharp post just to provide a few quick updates on what is happening...