Wally and Katie celebrate one year of friendship and connection!

Love Your Neighbour friends, Wally (92) and Katie (35), were introduced in March last year and are celebrating one whole year of friendship! With their mutual love for music and travel, the pair instantly hit it off. Over the year, their friendship has blossomed and they're not ones to miss our ELC parties.

The Stamford Hill mates recently let me third wheel one of their visits to catch up about their experience on our Love Your Neighbour programme and what it means to them to be connected to one another. 

Kg Wh Bday Party

What’s special about your friendship?

Walter: "We get on very well, I think with Katie, I'm not boasting but I have quite a knowledge of different things I’ve done in the past which to Katie is sometimes astonishing! She has seen, although we had some trouble doing it, the video I made of my travels. You know, we get on quite well. One of the things that I’ve tried to introduce Katie to is music. I am very fond of classical music, so I have tried to give my opinion on classical music to Katie. I don’t know what she thinks about it but yes, I’ll let her speak for herself!"

Katie: "Well, I think we just get on quite easily, I think we often laugh about quite a lot of things together."

Wally: "That’s correct, we do!"

Katie: "I think we have a similar sense of humour in some ways. We both like music and I think as Walter said, he’s been educating me on a lot of different music. We’ve watched a few really good DVDs that you have, one on Buddy Rich and what was the other big band one?"

Wally: "James Last"

Katie: "James Last was completely new to me and I love music and to be introduced to new stuff is really exciting. Another special thing about our friendship is what you’ve lived through. You’ve had some amazing connections to important people in history, which are quite interesting for me to me to hear about."

Walter Katie London Fields

What are three words to describe Walter?

Katie: 'Loquacious"

Wally: "Oh that’s a lovely word"

Katie: "I think, errrm, what’s a good word, humourful – is that a word? Good sense of humour. You're quite a kind, thoughtful person and when I talk to you a lot of that comes across."

Wally: "We talk, you see, about my experience in life. I’m a lot older than Katie and some of the things I’ve done in the past would frighten her. At that period of time, I was a person who never saw fear."

 Katie: "You were quite a risk taker!"

Wally: "I used to take risks and never thought about it and Katie must have thought 'you’re quite barmy to take these risks!', you know."

Katie: "I think I understand that they are just big adventures that you’ve had and I can understand and relate to wanting to go on adventures like that and do exciting things."

What have you learnt form one another?

Wally: "When I first met Katie, I didn’t even know what softball was! Now I do know a little bit more about it, but it wasn’t one of the sports I ever got into."

Katie: "Now you know how to regularly loose softball, because that's what happens! I come over every time I’ve played and say 'I’ve lost again!'. No, before I even say it, you come to the door and you say ‘oh did you lose your softball again?’, which is quite funny."

Katie Walter New

What advice would you give to any younger neighbours who are hesitant about joining LYN?

Katie: "For younger people, I think come into it with an open mind and be prepared to do some listening and work out what you have in common with someone else. I think for me it’s quite nice, when I come here each week. Wally. I’m just focusing on you and what we're talking about. It’s quite a nice break from the rest of my life, because I’m not thinking about work or what things I need to do in my own flat, I’m just thinking about how Wally is this week and what we're chatting about.Yeah, it’s calm, focused time in that way, which is really nice."

"It’s quite nice once a week that we come and we just make time for each other, I think that’s different for me than some of my other friendships. Everyone's always very busy and we’re always in the pub and it’s loud, but when I come around here, we have time to sit and talk and it’s quiet and calm and we can just catch up with each other which is nice."

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Sinead Wilkinson

Posted by Sinead Wilkinson on Thursday 16th March 2023

Sinead is the Love Your Neighbour Programme Coordinator, connecting older and younger neighbours through one-to-one friendship in Hackney and Tower Hamlets.