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Intense sense of togetherness

Lucy L's contribution to our Stay Home collecting project

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.

Take part in our Stay Home collecting project

Child and adult eating Easter lunch looking at a screen showing a video call
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.

Child in headphones painting a rainbow on a table with red/white polka dot tablecloth

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.

Child dressed as priest standing behind a table with various religious items
Our Easter Sunday virtual service. 'Father' Torin sneaking some chocolate before it kicks off. 

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