Craig Finlay Memorial Competition - Oot of yer hoose!! What fur?

Newbattle Community Campus Newbattle Way, Easthouses.
Newbattle Community Campus Newbattle Way, Easthouses.

Everyone has a place to call home, a place to feel comfortable in, to love and recognise even a thousand miles away, to know its smell, hideouts and darkest parts.

Even if it is not the place where we have always lived.

Me, I just moved from the south of Italy to come and live in Mayfield, Midlothian. Although in less than four months I got used to my area, I cannot really talk about an issue that affects this village. But what I could rather do is describe it through the eyes of a foreign, new inhabitant (and not a simple tourist), focusing on what seems negative to me.

Mayfield is a community of an area of 3.88km where about 13,500 people live. For those who know Mayfield, that could actually be surprising: where do all this people live?

The only time that I have seen a crowd was for the Bonfire Night, when the community was animated by fireworks, amusements and street food stalls. That is when I was finally given the possibility to believe that Mayfield really hosted more than a few hundred people, apparently generally locked in their houses.

Beside, how could we blame them: what should they go out for? All that the community offers is a pub- available only to adults-, a church, a few supermarkets and the Newbattle Community Campus. This way, people (indifferently young or adults) spend most of their time in the house, maybe sat on a couch munching on snacks in front of the television, rather than walking around.

Of course, this unhealthy lifestyle due to lack of movement, abuse of alcohol and wrong diet can cause serious obesity, a very important issue too often undervalued.

Providing meeting points and leisure activities different from drinking alcohol or watching a screen for hours would thus help to reduce obesity, offering to people a new, different pastime contributing to the development of the community as well.

Mayfield should not only be a set of flats and habitations, but rather a flourishing village swarming with life and active inhabitants.