Saturday 15 August 2015

Our K1 Anniversary – A Voyage of Discovery Part.1

“Well, if nothing comes of it all we've lost is £100”.

That’s what we told each other just before we joined on 23rd August 2013. Almost two years to the day.

Triggered by an article in the Guardian, which highlighted the option of cohousing as a possible solution for the increasing loneliness and disconnection amongst people in general and the elderly in particular, we started to think about our situation. Although hale and hearty just turned 60 year olds, we were both well aware that, as time passed, it might not always be the case. The future support of friends and family could be problematic and eventually there could be just one of us left! With one daughter, and no desire to become dependant elderly parents, we saw cohousing as a potential solution to ensure we stayed interested, lively and engaged in our community now and during our twilight years.

Many of our friend had also expressed concern about the future. “We could buy a big house and all live together” was one suggestion. This echoed by another couple who reckoned as we all got older we could pool resources and employ carers when we got too doddery!

Uhm...”do we want to be exclusively with our own age group and a select bunch of friends?” said Ian. Recipe for a “Victor Mildrew” scenario possibly? “Really don't want to be a grumpy old man”. I second that!

So the research started.... (husband is a business analyst after all!) but in my mind it was a done deal, I had already moved in somewhere and imagined having a fabulous time! (I'm a BIG Picture person!)

Ian spent the next 6 months researching what this exciting idea of Cohousing was all about. We looked at Lancaster's website (full up no houses left!) other embryonic groups (long way away from anything concrete happening), the cohousing network and most importantly, arranged to visit Springhill, the UK first cohousing build, for one of their “learn about cohousing” events in the summer of 2013.

At Springhill we stayed with a lovely lady called Karen, who was a founder members of Springhill, and her son, enjoyed community meals, did a bit of cooking, cleaning and maintenance with the group and enjoyed an impromptu concert by a visiting American singer song writer who was sofa surfing her way around the UK. On the Sunday evening we said our goodbyes and left, convinced that cohousing was the “Holy Grail” we were looking for. Back to the research and finding a scheme we could move to before we got too old or dead!

That was two years ago. We quickly found K1 Cambridge Cohousing, decided that this was the most likely scheme to be built within a reasonable time frame, joined and started to get involved.......but that's for another blog!


Jan Chadwick