We have lived in the same large house in West Kirby since 1965, when we bought it for what seemed a fortune at the time (over £7000) We had two children when we moved in, and had two more soon after. I was on maternity leave and we had a series of lodgers for many years to boost our income.It was worth the cost and hard work, since we have all loved it. Once our four left home we had lodgers again for some years, to justify such a big house. Then one of our daughters asked if she and her husband and three kids could share the house with us, since it was clear that we did not want to downsize. This was 20 years ago. Our daughter is a GP, her husband is a violin teacher, the eldest son lives in North Wales with his partner and the younger two are students, one with a partner.

In March, when Covid 19 began to hit, they all worried, because two of the household are NHS workers. We are both in our eighties and my husband has several health problems. They thought (rightly as it turned out) that they might bring the virus into the house, and we would be vulnerable. Three of them have had Covid 19, only one being quite ill, but not needing hospital. My daughter liaised with our son who lives in the Peak District near Sheffield. He and his family have three rental properties in their grounds (an ex-farm). All bookings had to be cancelled by lockdown, so they suggested that we went there, and stayed in their little self catering unit adjacent to their house.

We spent about a hundred days there, and came back once the Government said that holiday properties could reopen. It was a brilliant decision. A two hour drive with a laden car. then weeks of sunshine, hills and green space, all of their family around plus dogs, poultry and unlimited fields, lanes and woods for our daily walks, which are pretty slow these days. Our son has four adult sons, two of whom have left home, but they were all there for the same time as us, with partners and our two little grandsons.

Several were working from home.

After the first fortnight of social distancing, we had more close contact (hard to avoid with the babes) Our son arranged a huge supermarket delivery for all twelve of us each week. They also have a local pig farm which makes sausages and bacon, and sells all sorts of pork joints. They delivered each week. They have had a fish delivery once a week for years, which carried on. We had most meals in (or on the outside terrace) of our little unit, but joined in with everyone once a week. We also enjoyed helping with gardening, since our daughter in law grows a huge area of fruit, veg and lovely flowers.

Most years we have visited them once or twice for a few days, but this long stay was a wonderful experience, and we felt we were helping them by paying (less than their normal price) for the little cottage. We had no worries about catching the virus there. In the 100 days, I drove to the nearest pharmacy a couple of times to pick up prescriptions. Otherwise we literally just pottered in their fields and local lanes, and if we did see other people, there was no problem about keeping ones distance while chatting (which we always did, since it has been a very friendly experience, meeting other local residents).


Sandra, socially distancing in the beautiful countryside.