There’s an extensive feature about Homeshare in the Guardian magazine today. http://goo.gl/725rj
Here’s an excerpt:
War veteran Marjory decided after one meeting to share her house with Heather, a nursing student. Heather gives 10 hours’ help a week, cooking three or four times and doing light cleaning. They have been homesharing since 2010.
Ground rules: Heather won’t throw out any fruit or vegetable without checking with Marjory first.
MT I’ve been to see people who were in homes and I thought, I couldn’t bear that. You’re surrounded by people you don’t really want to talk to. My daughter-in-law, Patience, found out about homeshare because I was on my own and I think they were a bit worried.
HL I came round for a cup of tea with Marjory and Patience, and we just got on really well. It was really quick – we only had one meeting. This is Marjory’s house and it was quite intimidating for me to move into someone else’s home. It’s not like sharing with people my own age, where it’s, “That’s my space” and, “That’s my cupboard”, but she’s so lovely and extremely welcoming.
MT We have our spats, don’t we?
HL We do, we have our disagreements and things, like throwing away mouldy fruit…
MT Oh yes, she’s a menace in that way. They’re just getting ripe, then Heather throws them out.
HL We have a debate, ongoing, about when fruit is edible and when it is not. I think when it’s furry, it’s not edible. Marjory thinks that when it’s furry, you can cut off the furry bits and eat the rest, it’s fine.
MT Well, you see, I was brought up during the war.
HL And waste not, want not. At the start I was quite, “Oh my God, she can’t eat that!” but now I’ve relaxed a little bit. Marjory made me see that sell-by dates aren’t particularly useful. It’s an odd role to be in, because you’re not family and you’re not just a lodger, and I think it can be difficult at first finding out where the lines are drawn and the boundaries are. But not for us – I think it’s worked well, we’ve both got an affection for each other.
MT Yes, you’re my friend. A bossy one, but still my friend.