Intense sense of togetherness
It is an 1980s former council house that is like tardis. I live here with my husband and five-year old and used to often have parents and friends staying.
It's on a private estate with a strong community spirit, excellent neighbours and street parties with great food.
We moved the dining table into the tv room to link up with our parents to eat Easter Sunday lunch together. We even managed a board game afterwards. We usually spend Easter together in Norfolk.
In what ways has the coronavirus pandemic changed the way you use your home?
My husband is a keen cyclist so it is always full of bikes but the training bike is now set up permanently and I am also using it. I have been trying to find spaces all over the house for yoga.
Our TV has become dominant. It's our social life with a webcam attached to it so huge images of our friends and family are beamed into the living room. It's also a theatre with shows and ballets being live streamed and it's a whiteboard for lessons.
How do you feel about your home? How have these feelings changed?
The house was bought in an emotional panic. I was very much in love and heavily pregnant, prices were rising daily and properties selling on the day they were being listed.
All of this meant we made a decision which felt rash and instant at the time but was in fact deeply sensible. We chose practicality and function over beauty and form – something I never do with any other purchase! Now I love it once I'm through the door although spending all this time in it is making us see the cracks and the bits that still need decorating and changing.
I love my neighbours and community too and the 8pm Thursday clap for carers has been really emotional on the estate.
How does staying at home affect your relationships?
I already spoke to my Mum everyday but the FaceTime calls are longer and she spends an hour a day with my son.
I'm actually loving all the time with my husband and little boy. Particularly the latter as during the week I would have less than an hour with him so this feels like a once in a lifetime special time.
What do you appreciate most about your home?
The space and the garden. It's not huge but this period has made me appreciate more than ever what I have, not what I haven't.
I usually lust after the larger, more attractive homes my friends have but now I look to those people isolated in single rooms, flats, hostels and feel so blessed that I have simple things like two reception rooms, a spare bedroom and a garden.
How is your sense of home affected by your neighbours or those living nearby?
Deeply. Almond milk left on my doorstep by a neighbour who knew we were running low, a note for my son left by a neighbour he plays with in normal circumstances, the rose bush delivered and the intense sense of togetherness felt during the Thursday 8pm clap for carers – there are fireworks, instruments and cheers.
Just the smiles from a respectful distance from everybody as we all face the same concerns together.
Our Easter Sunday virtual service. 'Father' Torin sneaking some chocolate before it kicks off.
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