Sunday, 19 December 2010

Winter Wonderland in Wake Green Park - Video

The snow makes everything so pretty, so I couldn't wait to get out and about around the park with my video camera.

Hope you enjoy my Winter Wonderland video! And thank you to a neighbour who kindly let me film from his flat in Bowen Court.




I've seen some folks playing about in the snow here. Has anyone made a snowman yet?

Have you been taking pictures?

Send your snow pictures to me, hello@karenstrunks.com and I'll pop them up on the blog to share! :)

Friday, 17 December 2010

Lost and Found! Tan Leather Look Gloves



Have your finger tips been freezing?

Have you been feeling the wind around your wrists?

Then you might just have lost your tan leather look gloves.

The good news is, they have been found in Wake Green Park, and rescued by a resident.

If you are the owner of the tan gloves, get in touch and I can re-unite you.

Karen :)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Wake Green Wildlife: Fox cries in the night!

This eerie sound in the night piecered the air at around 10pm on Sunday.

At first I thought it was a child crying, but then remembered hearing this sound on another occasion; it was our Wake Green Park friends, the foxes!


Urban Red Fox Vixen playing in the snowPhotograph by Rob Baldwin

I managed to capture their cries, but you will have to turn the volume up!


Listen!


With all this weather we have been getting, I'm guessing the foxes must be getting hungry. I am not sure if they managed to climb into our bins because they are so high sided. Perhaps they scavenge from our neighbours before returning home to the park. They are certainly very active as they have left lots of foot prints in the snow!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Silence Please! Being a good neighbour....

Hello!

Please forgive my absence from blogging recently. It's been quite a busy time with my work, photography project and a recent trip away.


IMG_1155.JPG Image by Eric Verspoor


I was contacted by a resident who was suffering excess noise from one of his neighbours and he asked me to blog about the subject.

This can sometimes be quite a tricky subject to address, with some things to consider. For example, how well do you know your neighbours, is it a one-off or a regular occurrence, is it waking you up or stopping you from sleeping?

There are guidelines set in place by the Directors/Metro, and I believe the 'quiet' time in the park is set at around 10pm to 7am (though someone please correct me if I have got those times wrong), and in a memo I remember it stating that even consideration when putting bottles in the bottle banks should be considered especially early in the morning.

And generally the park is a pretty quiet place, I think you would agree, but we don't live in isolated mansions in the country side and noise inevitably will travel and become an issue from time to time.

So! How to deal with it?

  • Speak to your neighbour. Sometimes this is easier said than done but they may not even be aware that noise from their flat is disturbing you. It's probably best not to do this when you are in a peak of rage at the noise. Wait until you are calm and you can be friendly. If you approach your neighbour with an open attitude it may help allay a potentially confrontational situation. Briefly explain the noise issue and how it is disturbing you, perhaps even asking if they can hear any noise from your flat. At this point hopefully your neighbour will take your request in a well intentioned way and the noise will decease, or perhaps you can both agree that the noise would be okay between certain times during the day (when you are out and it it won't disturb you). On the other hand, you may get a hostile reception. In this case walk away and don't add fuel to the fire. You have advised them of the noise and made a request, now leave it a few days and give your neighbour time to calm down and you may find that the noise will stop.

  • If this has no effect, put something in writing to your neighbour and keep a copy for yourself. In the letter state what the noise pollution is exactly, and dates on which this has occurred, that the noise is disturbing you and that you request it stops or offer a compromise as to when the noise would be acceptable to you (if any). It is probably worth making a note of the times and dates of the disturbances too.

  • If you still have no joy, then get in touch with Metro (of course, this could be your first course of action if you feel you cannot do the above). They can then get in touch with your neighbours and act as an intermediary. Hopefully this can resolve the matter.

I hope this guide is useful to you. Please feel free to leave any comments below, and as always, if you would like to write an article for the Wake Green Park Blog, you may email it to me at hello@karenstrunks.com

Monday, 19 July 2010

Wake Green Park Big Lunch



















Well, the Wake Green Park Big Lunch was a great community event.

I had a nervous few minutes as the clock hit 1pm and I was anxiously waiting for some participants to turn up! And luckily they did!

I made a little video of the day.




A BIG thank you to everyone who came along and helped make the first Wake Green Park Big Lunch a success and a lot of fun. It was lovely to meet you all!

Let's go for a Big Lunch again next year! :)

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Big Lunch Photography Competition!

Hi Everyone!

Are you ready for the Big Lunch this Sunday?!

You've probably noticed some posters I've put around the blocks of flats. Please tell your friends and neighbours too! I don't want anyone to feel left out or miss the lunch all together.

All you need to do now is bring yourself and some picnic snacks and drinks to share. If you have any picnic blankets, chairs, or tables that would be great!

It starts at 1pm at the grassy area behind Bowen Court (the tower block) this Sunday 18th July.

Hope you can make it. It's a wonderful way to get to meet your neighbours and make some new friends on Wake Green Park.

And bring your camera too! We have a photography competition!

“Capturing community”

To celebrate my involvement in this year’s Big Lunch, I’m going to run a competition in conjunction with The Big Lunch team to find some of the best photographs who manage to truly capture their community’s spirit. All photographs need to be tagged TBL2010 and the winning photograph will win a family ticket to the Eden Project.

Upload your best Wake Green Park Big Lunch photo to flickr and use the tag TBL2010. If you haven't got a flickr account, it's free and very easy to use, and if you get stuck you can give me a shout :)

Photography Terms and Conditions

All photography should be posted on the Flickr by midnight 25th July 2010. Entries are restricted to one photography per person
All photographs must be named with ‘The Big Lunch’ included in the title and tagged ‘TBL2010’
By entering the competition you agree to being contacted by The Big Lunch and The Eden Project
Winner will be selected by a panel of judges appointed by The Big Lunch team and will be notified no later then 31st August 2010
The prize is non transferable and there are no cash alternatives
All person featured in the photography must have provided permission before hand as The Big Lunch takes no responsibility
The photography competition is open to all residents in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland
The winners may be required to participate in publicity
Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions
The prize has to be redeemed within the 3 months of winning the competition
The prize does not include travel to The Eden Project
All submitted entries must be made publicly available and by submitting an entry you agree to allowing The Big Lunch to use the photo for future promotions as and when required.

I think that's everything! All we need now is some sunshine!

If you have any queries, comments or offers of help please contact Karen on 07835 754 310 or email hello@karenstrunks.com :)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Free Fire Safety Check by West Midlands Fire Service

Did you know that the West Midlands Fire Service give FREE fire safety home checks?


As they say on their leaflet: It could save your life!


Did you know…?
• You’re twice as likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a smoke alarm that works.
• 90 people die each year because the battery in their smoke alarm was flat or missing.
• Over half of home fires are caused by cooking accidents.
• More than five fires a day are started by candles.
• Every three days someone dies from a fire caused by a cigarette.

• Faulty electrics (appliances, wiring and overloaded sockets) cause around 7,000 house fires across the country every year.


Whats involved in the fire safety check?



  • If you haven't already got any, they will install FREE smoke alarms



  • They will do a risk assessment of your flat and make recommendations and give advice



  • They will help you plan an escape route in case there is a fire

How to book your free fire safety check?


Call FREE on 0800 389 5525 and book an appointment or visit their website and book online.


I had this done a few years ago and it certainly gave me peace of mind and they highlighted an area of improvement (I had too many electrical items in one plug!). They also reassured me that my doors conformed to fire safety requirements and would keep a fire at bay and that a fire wouldn't spread from one flat to the next. Also they installed two smoke alarms.


Don't be surprised that they will turn up in their fire engine in their uniforms! Naturally they are on call all the time and have to be ready to dash off in an emergency!


Anyway, just thought I would pass this on to Wake Green Park residents. It's worth doing for peace of mind, it's free and takes approx 30 minutes.

And remember to put 18th July in your diary for the Wake Green Park Big Lunch! Come and enjoy a day out in our park and meet your neighbours and makes some new friends! :)





Wednesday, 16 June 2010

1 Bedroom Flat for sale - Bowens Court - £80,000

A Wake Green Park resident had let me know that she is selling her flat in Bowen Court.

It's 1 bedroom & on the market for £80,000. It's on the top floor too - so you can just imagine the amazing views!





It's being sold via Rightmove and you can find all the details and pictures on their website.





I must say, if I was in the right position, I'd snap it up myself, just for the views alone! :)



And remember it's The Big Lunch on 18th July! Please tell your friends and neighbours and let's make this a great Wake Green Park community event!

I may need a volunteer or two & a little bit of help! If you are able to help deliver some Big Lunch leaflets around the park, please let me know. Any help in spreading the word will be gratefully received :) Just drop me a mail hello@karenstrunks.com or call me on 07835 754 310.



Remember, contributions to the blog are welcome! If you would like to write a blog post, please send it to hello@karenstrunks.com :)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Wake Green Park Big Lunch



Sunday 18th July 1pm

It's been a busy time for me at work, so forgive the lack of updates! Not that I am complaining! :)

I've also been busy behind the scenes liaising with the folks behind The Big Lunch. The Wake Green Park big lunch is one of almost 600 lunches being held around the country!

Here's a lovely video shot at the Big Lunch Launch (say that quickly 5 times!). Big Lunch founder Tim Smit from the Eden Project talks about his concept and how it helps bring neighbours and communities together.







The is also a Big Lunch Launch in Birmingham on Friday 4th June from 9am to 3pm. Come along to Victoria Square in town (map) and join in! I'll be there with my photography hat on capturing moments of the day. Come and say hello!



Amazing 3D street artist Kurt Wenner will be there creating an amazing piece of 3D artwork on the street. Just take a look at some of his other work. Let's hope it doesn't rain!



I'm going to need your help with the Wake Green Park lunch!



I'm going to try and do a mail shot around all the flats and realise not everybody on the park is online, so if you can tell your friends and neighbours that would be wonderful.



How you can help on the big day & what is needed:

Bring yourself ;)

Food; sandwiches, cake, salad, snacks, trifle, jelly, your favourite dish - whatever you like! Variety is the spice of life after all ;)

Drinkies

Paper plates, cups, plastic knives/forks/spoons

Tables/chairs - have you got any on your balcony/patio that you could bring along? Or even wallpaper tables - they would be great!

Picnic Blankets

Bin bags - we want to keep our park beautiful!

Your talent! Can you sing? Play an instrument? Dance? Paint? Tell stories?

I thought it might be fun to have a few games too; egg and spoon race anyone? Or perhaps a tug of war (need some rope though!).

If you have any ideas, suggestions, recommendations, offers of help, let me know! You can leave a comment on this blog, drop me a line at hello@karenstrunks.com or tweet.


Put the date in your diary (18th July) and come along and meet your neighbours and make some new friends!

Karen :)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Open Forum - follow up post

I attended my first Open Forum meeting on the 21st April.

It was a good opportunity to meet the Directors of Wake Green Park and have a chat about anything Wake Green Park related.

A few of subjects that were discussed at the meeting were; CCTV, the Big Lunch picnic in the park, the work planned for some of the garages, and parking on Belle Walk.

I'm glad I made the effort to go and to have the chance to meet the directors and some of the residents, and it was great to get such positive feedback about the blog too!

The AGM is in the Autumn and as well as the directors, MetroPM will be in attendance too, so keep an eye open for that date for your diary!

Note to Paul: Sorry, I didn't receive your email. Can you please send it again? :)

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Open Forum - April 21 - 7.15pm

Who is coming along to the Wake Green Park Open forum on Weds 21st?



Taken from the April Newsletter which has been popped through our letter boxes.


"This is your opportunity to find out what is planned for the state and to raise any queries or issues that effect you"



I haven't been to an Open Forum before and will be going along with some neighbours.


I thought it would be good to have a bit of a social event after the Open Forum. The Covered Wagon pub is nearby, about a 10 minutes walk I estimate, on the Yardley Wood Road.





Click for larger version of map


You can view an online version of the map here.



If you fancy a drink and a chat with your neighbours, come along! Everyone welcome :)

You may have noticed an addition to the About The Wake Green Park Blog section on the top right hand side of this page, which says:



Please note: The views expressed on this blog are my views, and those of residents who wish to contribute, comment & join in the discussion. The Board of Directors wishes to make it clear that this website is not approved or sponsored by the management company (MetroPM).



I have received a letter from the management company Metro PM, requesting that I make it clear that the views expressed on this site are my (Karen Strunks) own, and not those of Metro PM or the Wake Green Park Board of Directors.



Of course anyone is welcome to join in the discussion, comment and submit a blog post, but the views written in those instances will be the individual's and not those of Metro PM or the Wake Green Park Board of Directors.



And of course Metro PM and the Wake Green Park Board of Directors are welcome to take part, and can contribute, submit their news and views too.



Everyone welcome! :)



Feel free to leave a comment, and if you wish to submit a blog post, just send it to hello@karenstrunks.com



One of WGP's residents has sent in some lovely pictures of her patio area, so I will blogging about that soon!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Hello new readers!

You may be visiting the Wake Green Park website for the first from seeing a flyer I popped through your letterbox.

Welcome!

The idea behind the website is to help connect the community in Wake Green Park. It's a place for news, big and small!

It run by me, Karen Strunks, a WGP resident of 6 years.

As it's a community website, your input is welcome and encouraged. If you wish to write a blog post, send it to hello@karenstrunks.com and I will publish it. I understand that not everybody is happy to put their name on the internet, so if you many feel more confortable using your initials or a pseudonym.

Do you have any stories or photos about the park? What do you like about living here? Are there any improvements you would like? Would you like to organise social events? Let's get the conversation going between residents!

And on that note....

Put the 18th July in your diary and take part in The Big Lunch on Wake Green Park!



What is the Big Lunch?

It's a day, where around the country, people will be getting together with friends and neighbours. A party in the park if you like!

I've signed WGP up on the Big Lunch website, and you can put your name down, though you don't have to. Just bring yourself & some snacks/drinks!

Why take part?

It'll be fun & a great chance to meet your neighbours and make new friends on Wake Green Park!

I'll write more about the Big Lunch as the 18th July approaches, in the meantime, save the date!

Thank you for visiting the Wake Green Park website. I hope you will come and visit again. Don't forget you can comment on any blog posts too :)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The magic lights in Wake Green Park will light your way!

I took a very short video of the lights in the main garage in Wake Green Park.

A sensor notices when someone/a car is in the area, and full lighting comes on. Clever!




Obviously this saves energy when the garages are not in use, thus keep the 'green' in Wake Green Park! :)

PS. There's some quite nice birdsong in the background of the video! We have several bird boxes around the park. I'll blog about them soon.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Spring has sprung on Wake Green Park!

The first signs of Spring are here on Wake Green Park.

Amongst the new flowers popping up all over the park's ground are Primroses, crocuses, and daisies.

They mark the change of the season and the dashes of colour make a welcome sight after the long white winter we have had!







A lot of residents have balconies. What do you grow on your balcony? Do you have boxes or do you prefer plant pots? Are you growing anything unusual, perhaps vegetables or herbs? Do you put food out for the birds, or even have a little bird bath? Drop me a line hello@karenstrunks.com
In the next few weeks I'll be interviewing Martin, our gardener, about his recommendations for brightening up our balconies.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

New Bench - take the weight off....

We have a new addition to the Wake Green Park bench family!

When I took this photo last weekend the bench was so new it still had it's wrapping on.




The yellow arrow indicates where you can find the new bench.





Benches began appearing in the park last year, and I believe we now have four of them. One outside of Bowens Court, one outside of Roberts Court, and another (which I haven't been to see yet) which I believe is in the area of the yellow circle. UPDATE: The bench is outside the Royston Court Area.
Roberts Court Bench




Bowens Court Bench


Now the fairer weather is coming, I'm sure the benches will be a popular resting place. Grab a coffee and a book and relax in your extended garden.



Monday, 15 March 2010

New Security Cameras are being installed in Wake Green Park

It seems that Wake Green Park is having some new security cameras installed.

You may have noticed on your way in and out of the main entrance areas that are being dug up.



This is going to be the base for the new camera that, according to the work man, will be a 360 degree camera! I believe this is a first for the park.


The red cross indicates where the 360 degree camera is going to be installed, and the yellow cross indicates where a new static camera will be installed.
Obviously this is going to enhance the security at Wake Green Park. As well as other security cameras around the park, we also have a security guard that patrols the area, plus there is a neighbourhood watch scheme too and from time to time a police patrol will pop into the park and keep an eye on it.
It seems we have all the bases covered security wise, which I'm sure will give residents extra peace of mind.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Mole found in Wake Green Park!

If you ever see any damage to the lawn in Wake Green Park, you know who to blame!



I found the culprit hiding out in a rockery.....








Having very poor eyesight, he didn't see me sneak up on him with my camera.







I think there used to be a gnome or two living in that rockery. Perhaps the mole evicted them, or they have moved on to a bigger rockery location on the park. If you spot them, give me a shout. I would love to interview them! ;)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Lost & Found! Brown hair clip

Found on Tuesday 23rd Feb. Brown hair clip.




If this is your hair clip, give me a shout. I'm keeping it safe :)

Some would say it's a slow news day on Wake Green Park! Not at all. We like to report on all the news BIG and small!

Have you got any WGP news you would like to share? Drop me an email: hello@karenstrunks.com or send me a tweet @wakegreenpark

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Wake Green Park's (hyper) local shop

Did you know we have a local shop just 3 minutes away from the park? United News on the Showell Green Road, is the closest shop to Wake Green Park!

I have to admit to living in the park a couple of years before I realised that there was a shop so nearby! It was only through talking to a neighbour that I found out about United News.

The shop is only about minutes walk from the park. Really handy if you are pushed for time! The shop stocks all the basic essentials; bread, milk, soft drinks, canned and frozen food, sweet & savoury snacks, baby things, cigarettes, newspapers and lots of other goods too.




Next time you run out of a kitchen essential, why not try United News which is open until 9pm.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The last (snow) man standing

He cuts a lonely figure, but at least he's still standing. Well, he was yesterday!

I'm sure he cut a dash in previous bitter cold days, and held his head up proudly. Now we can only imagine......





Sadly, as well as being about to loose his head, he has already lost an arm which lies forlornly at his feet/base. I don't think his other arm will help break his fall should he tumble over. He could perhaps try to catch his head with it, but I wish him luck with that one!







Some other snowmen popped up over the last month or two around the park, and there was even a snow angle!



We are lucky, with all the grounds of the park, we can embrace the big kid in us and make snow men and snow angles....but I've yet to see a snow ball fight! How about next winter we have some snow filled fun. I'm imagining a big community built snowman greeting folks at the main entrance! ;)


But big doesn't always mean better, as I hope to demonstrate with my snow figure.







It is technically meant to be a snowman, but I've been told that he looks like a duck. You don't have to venture further than your balcony to have your own little snow person!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Love blossoms in Wake Green Park!

I bumped into one of Wake Green Park's residents yesterday; Alan Hartley.

Alan has lived on the park for 5 years. He met the lady who lived above his flat, they fell in love and they are now married! The Birmingham Mail even reported on the romance!


What a heart warming story. Alan tells his story better than I can.....






Thank you for the chat Alan and thank you for sharing your story.

PS. Alan and Martin the gardener have the same boots! Can you guess which boots are Martin's? ;)

Tuesday is bin day at Wake Green Park

Every Tuesday morning at about 10 o'clock you will hear the 'beep beep beep' of the bin men's lorry, along with the the electronic message 'Warning, vehicle reversing'. You could almost set your clock by them.

When I heard the beeping of the lorry this morning I popped out with my camera. I haven't really spoken to the bin men before, perhaps just smiled at them or said hello.

It's very, very cold today and I didn't want to keep them long, so I introduce myself and asked if I could take a quick photo, and told them that I am writing a blog on Wake Green Park.

They kindly agreed to having their photo taken. Meet Brian and Jamie, our bin men!




When the weather is a bit better I'll see if I can do a quick interview with them and ask them about their work and what they think of the bins of Wake Green Park.


Brian and Jamie empty the big communal bins, but we also recycle here at the park! I think the recycling scheme was introduced about a year ago. We have 8 bins altogether which are housed by the garages outside of James Court.



We have 4 bins for recycling paper and cardboard.





Don't forget to remove your personal details from any correspondence!

And we have another 4 bins for plastic, bottles and cans. Though they don't appear to want yoghurt post, margarine tubes, plastic toys, plastic bags, polystyrene, returnable milk bottles, pryex cookware, window or mirror glass or drinking glasses!




All the green bins for glass, bottles and cans were full! We are really embracing recycling here!

Next blog post: Love blossoms on Wake Green Park!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Wake Green Park, Moseley, Birmingham B13

Welcome to the blog of Wake Green Park!


I'm Karen Strunks and I've been a resident of Wake Green Park for 6 years. Inspired by hyperlocal blogger Nicky Getgood of Digbeth Is Good, and the work of Talk About Local, this blog will be used to write about events in Wake Green Park, however big or small!


I'd like this to be a place for the community and residents of Wake Green Park, and invite contributions. Just drop me an email hello@karenstrunks.com.


As residents will have noticed in recent days, there has been a flurry of snow! And of course there was more than a flurry a few weeks ago. I popped out with my camera to see the white landscape of the park.




Some little fox prints. I put a little bit of food out for them (not for the rats!) as I felt they needed a little bit of sustenance during the cold snap.


The gritters soon sprung into action, clearing the drives and the pathways.


And here is our wonderful gardener, Martin (left) with a snow gritting colleague. Sorry, not the best picture - it looks like Martin is trying to poke his colleague with the end of his shovel!


And here is Martin in fairer weather. I think he will be making a regular appearance on this blog. I'll try and do a video interview with him. He always has a friendly smile and a hello and is a real asset to the park.

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