Friends have just returned from a trip to Scotland with a true story about sheep invading their hotel grounds.
It seems that the woolly interlopers had foiled a cattle grid installed to prevent them straying from nearby grazing. One had somehow worked out that, while crossed in normal fashion the grid would do its job and snag feet, the barrier could be overcome with a rolling type manoeuvre which bowled the clever creature into the hotel grounds. Sheep being sheep, its fellows all followed in the same way.
By now you are most likely wondering what roly poly Scots sheep have to do with HomeShare.
Well, this tartan tale illustrates that assumptions are often wrong and things frequently don't turn out as you might suppose. Trying a different approach can produce unexpected gains. And it’s just the same with HomeShare.
Other than the age brackets (50+ for householders and 18+ for sharers) and the checks we insist on to protect everyone’s best interests, nothing is set in stone. Householders might well be finding tasks a bit of a struggle and need some practical help, but they could equally still be working themselves, living active lives and simply want their sharers' help with chores to free up leisure time on the golf course or catching up with friends. And sharers may be under 30 but are just as likely to be in their 50s too. They might be contract workers, or new recruits serving a probationary period before relocating to the Island, rebuilding their lives after divorce, or students on training placements.
Fact is, HomeShare can be whatever those taking part need it to be.
So, if you are toying with the idea of sharing, but holding back, check it out. Like the inventive Highlanders you might just discover pastures new! DC
When my mother died, she had lived alone for twenty years, in the two and a half bedroom home, that I grew up in. When I was a toddler to teenager the household consisted of my mum, my dad, my great aunt and I. It was the norm; very few people lived alone and I sense that loneliness was less of a problem. My grand mother lived on the top floor of a town house with her two youngest, but grown up, children, with my great aunt and uncle on the first floor and a variety of different family members in the basement (my parents started their married life in that basement). The floors were not self contained – the basement held the bathroom and laundry facilities, the first floor had the kitchen for cooking and the top floor I remember as the place for family parties – it had the piano!
There were a lot of people, but it never seemed over-crowded and cramped. Why? Well, maybe one reason is that we had fewer possessions. Kitchens were small, because there was little to fit in. Living rooms often had an upright piano, a wireless and seating. A bedroom consisted of one bed, a wardrobe, a chest of drawers and maybe one chair or a little bedside table. It lead me to think what would be the minimum amount of “stuff” I could mange to live with, but that is, perhaps, the subject for another time.
HomeShare is bringing that communal way of living right into the 21st century, but not necessarily with family members. Although, there are examples of homeshare agreements being made between parents and their adult children, who return to live at home for any reason. (You don’t want your 30 year old son reverting to his 15 year old behaviour, “mum does my washing and cooking and cleaning,” and a 30 year old son probably doesn’t want his parents reverting to their “where are you going?” behaviour.)
HomeShare, Isle of Wight, now has approved householders and home sharers looking for their perfect home share match. Why not join them? Contact us to find out more and make the first step to being a sharer. LL
Pigeon holes have no place in HomeShare thinking.
As Co-ordinators of the Island scheme, if we were to fall into the trap of popping all householders into the one marked “elderly and struggling to remain independent” and all sharers into another labelled “desperately seeking low-cost housing” we would, at a stroke, limit HomeShare’s potential and rule out countless people in both camps whose lives could be enriched by sharing.
HomeShare is all about shades of grey. Other than the age brackets (50+ for householders and 18+ for sharers) and the thorough screening which both will go through to be accepted for sharing, nothing is set in stone.
The beauty of HomeShare lies in its diversity, flexibility - and utter unpredictability. Everyone who applies brings unique life experiences, expectations, habits, hobbies, outlook, practical considerations and personality to the table. Add all this to the mix and it makes for exciting possibilities, not just a practical set up built on need.
In HomeShare lies the chance to turn back the clock in a positive way – creating homes with sharing at their heart. DC
A thought occurs. Is it just me, or have others noticed how, down the years, hedges and fences have grown higher in the pursuit of privacy/security?
I recall, as a child being able to stand in our garden and look easily across others in the neighbourhood, which were separated only by low hedging, chain link or the like.
As a consequence, interaction was the norm’, neighbours became friends (mostly, but not always), kids played (outdoors!) together and under the watchful eye of known adults, and, importantly, loneliness/isolation was nigh on impossible. Visit the same road now and you’ll find 6-foot impenetrable panels, hedges thick enough and high enough to stop a charging rhino.
In chasing privacy, have we maybe arrived at a point where, in our efforts to keep others out, believing ourselves and our families to be safer, more protected, self-contained even, we’ve in fact walled ourselves in?
Not suggesting for a moment that all was perfect – it wasn’t – or that we should tear down these barriers, but it might benefit us all to reconnect (at least sometimes) with our fellows in ways which were once commonplace. And here’s a thought…perhaps home sharing could show the way forward! DC
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Illustrations provided by Pinkeye Graphics