Friends House Shares: First Impressions

by A New Boy

Introduction

I’ve been a Friend of Landmark for a number of years, but never taken a place at a House Share. Then, this year’s list of events and activities arrived. There was a share planned for Belmont, somewhere I had seen on an Open Day, but never stayed at. My wife was busy that weekend, but I knew I could get there by train (I cannot drive anymore) and it was convenient to the town for shops, so why not?

But what happens at a house share, I wondered.

There being no other way to find out, I expressed interest in a share, and was offered and accepted a shared twin room. Having paid for our shares, the office circulated us a list of the contact details of all the sharers, asking us to agree between ourselves who would contact the Housekeeper and pass on the arrangements for the key.

So I contacted the other sharers, explaining I was a new boy, and offering to contact the Housekeeper. From their replies, I soon realised I had joined a small group of enthusiastic Landmarkers, who had shared with each other before. But they were helpful and welcoming. They explained that they usually organised shared evening meals, but sharers organised their own arrangements for breakfasts. As some of the group had particular dietary requirements, they preferred to plan and prepare the evening meals, and checked with me that I was happy with that.

The House Share

We all arrived in the early evening, and introduced ourselves around the teapot. There was a flurry of moving in, followed by food and drink preparation, then we settled down to a leisurely and excellent meal together, improved by candles and conversations, often about Landmarks. Having a dishwasher helped the conversation continue that evening, with the additional luxury of a log fire.
Breakfast was, as expected, a casual and informal event, in the kitchen. Then people set off to enjoy their varied interests during the day, from town tours to long walks.

This simple and effective mix of private and shared times was repeated for the remainder of the weekend. The only downside to a Landmark weekend is it goes so quickly!

In Retrospect

An opportunity to share a larger Landmark with a group of like-minded people – not to be missed!
Would I consider another House Share – yes!
Could I recommend it to other Friends – certainly!