"We had to stick together in the house!"

Nick shares his thoughts about the lockdown and his life at The Cornerstone, of which he has been a member since 2006

“I’m bored with the lockdown! And it’s weird to go out again. It’s weird going to town wearing masks, but it’s good. Nice to do lots of things together during the lockdown: cooking, baking (rhubarb crumble + ice-cream!). I learned lots of things and new skills. And we’ve done some beautiful long walks. I like to play tennis and badminton in the garden. Art helped during the lockdown. Stella sent me photos of ducklings and elephants for me to paint. During lockdown, Skype was good to keep in touch… Now I’m glad to have my family visit.

What is most difficult is not to see the others in the community, the other two houses. It’s really interesting the way the three houses gather for prayer together, with karaoke – when we can do it again…

We had to stick together in the house! I know Martin already well - we were in school together. I got to know James better; we were going to church together with Dawn, so waiting for the church to re-open. It’s good for James to do more things, but it’s uncomfortable for him to wear a mask.

I miss Tim a lot [Tim died suddenly at the beginning of May]. I went to school with him. It feels so strange without him; I wake up thinking “where is he?” I found it harder to do normal things after he died. I’m sad we could not say goodbye properly. Rowland has been very good – we booked a counsellor for me, to help me along, talking about it… We were very upset all together in the house. I hope we celebrate together [the whole community] after the pandemic.

And I am sad Jose is leaving. He has been very good and helpful, helping me a lot in the garden – I’ll miss him a lot! I miss work too [at The Harvester], I miss my friends there. I don’t know when I’m going to go back.

I’m looking forward to football training again. I’m quite happy, very happy in the community at the moment. It’s nice to get new people – I like to welcome them in. I am looking forward to the opening of The Anchor* – I might want to move there, because it will be a new experience for me, I’ll have my own kitchen area – and I’ll have the others around as well.

At the moment, I am thinking about the future of the community, with Tony retiring. I wonder who is going to be community leader.

And I am going to be 40 next year - so I hope the virus is over so we can have a big party!”

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*The Anchor is a project of flats and studios in a communal setting responding to the varying needs of people in terms of autonomy, due to be available in 2021.