It’s quite astonishing how we can all live in an area for such a long time and actually know very little about it. I mean, did you know that the Borough of Kingston upon Thames has been twinned with the city of Jaffna in Sri Lanka since last year? That before finding fame, singer-songwriter Eric Clapton used to busk on the very streets we frequent? And that Surbiton station was used in the scene when Dumbledore arrived to take Harry Potter back into the world of wizards in the 2009 film version of ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’? No? Well I only knew one of those facts myself to be honest.

OK, so those points may be a little insignificant when you really delve in to the rich history of Kingston and how it’s changed and thrived over all these years. We’ve come such a long way since those olden days and now, everywhere you turn there are developments being erected and new ventures popping up. The fact is people want to move here and be part of it and this is why I’ve made a conscience effort to try and take a genuine interest in what’s going on locally and keep the ‘community’ spirit alive.  

One of the things Michael and I agreed to do was be patrons of the charity ‘Creative Youth’ who organise and deliver  the ‘International Youth Arts Festival’ every single year and it happens right here on our doorsteps.  The charity simply wants to help talented young people in Kingston and the surrounding areas realise their potential and creativity through the arts – something we both feel passionate about. So last week, we went along to the launch of the Festival at the Rose Theatre and were astounded at some of the acts we saw that night. Who knew there were so many talented people about! And that’s why this year, we are going to make a concerted effort to get along and see more of the acts that’ll be in town from the 7th to the 16th July and hopefully we’ll see you there too!