On one of the routes on my morning walks leads past Mallincourt. The house at the end of a cul-de-sac next to the Brampton Park, is somewhere I almost lived, an unfulfilled dream from a time when it seemed possible to step outside society and live a life more focused on family and community.

Communal living was big in the seventies, but we weren’t going for the country house with dozens of acres. Our choice was more modest. A large Edwardian house, with plenty of room for two families and enough land to grow our own veg and possibly keep a few chickens. To help save the environment we’d share white goods like washing machines and run two rather than four cars. We’d help each other out with child care and although each couple would have their own space there would be times when we’d be together as a larger unit.

Although the four of us got on well and had similar views on life, we never managed to take this step. Mallincourt was sold to someone else and we went our separate ways.

Would it have worked? Who knows?

As it was though Gill and I have stayed friends, both our marriages ended and we went on to live very different lives from the one we’d envisaged all those years ago.


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