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I miss serving others

Christine's contribution to our Stay Home collecting project

I live alone in a rented bedsit in sheltered housing. The property has 38 flats and is on the edge of town on a busy road. I am retired.

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Large brown armchair by the window, view of cars outside
My favourite chair in my lounge

In what ways has the coronavirus pandemic changed the way you use your home?

I spend a lot more time here than normal, so finding different things to do to occupy me has been a challenge. But I am beginning to relax into being here more as the days go by.

How do you feel about your home? How have these feelings changed?

I love my bedsit, but four walls can become very closed in after a prolonged time. Normally I am in and out most of the day and am pleased to get back at night.

How does staying at home affect your relationships?

I am single. I have no close family, but normally volunteer and so all that has come to a stop as I am 70. I miss serving others and hugging people.

What do you appreciate most about your home? What do you find frustrating?

I am safe and secure, I am on the ground floor and can see the world moving about outside my window as I live on a main road.

I find it frustrating that I can't used the communal lounges or meet up with my neighbours.

How has lockdown changed your habits or routines at home?

Now I try to have a different routine. I wake early and go out for a walk for my exercise, I take photographs and when I get back write up about where I have been and how the walk has affected me.

This gives me a reason for getting up and also I now have quite a large following on Facebook where I post it. This helps with my emotions and wellbeing as the comments are often positive and uplifting. The rest of the day pans out from that.

Today I have done gardening, a clothes wash and got medication for a neighbour. Other days shopping or getting stuff for a friend. Each day is different.

How is your sense of home affected by your neighbours or those living nearby?

Much as I love people and love to be with them, I also love my bedsit and the fact that I can come in and close the door, and I am secure in the knowledge that no-one will walk in on me.

The complex is quiet, I can hear my upstairs neighbour's TV sometimes, but it's nice to feel there is someone else around.

Four people at a garden table next to a greenhouse, one person is putting up a blue parasol
This is our patio where we used to have afternoon teas and meet with neighbours.

I can't meet with anyone at the moment and this is detrimental to my wellbeing. I miss so much being with people.

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