When Sam and I meet on a Friday in early June, he had just woken up from his extended mid-day sleep. He looks disheveled but seems happy, a little bit shy but approachable and very keen to talk to me. We actually meet to discuss the modular homes that Sam is supposed to move into some time in the future, but we end up also talking about Covid-19 and how the lockdown had been for him.
Sam was lucky, he tells me, he wasn’t affected too much by it, not as some of the others: ‘I don’t go out – and if I do I put a face mask on and clean my hands … I am lucky, I got something to do, I make things. I can show you – anything out of matchsticks.’
And indeed, when we walk back into the lounge after we finish our interview, Sam shows me one of the models he made. The matchsticks are barely visible anymore as the ship model is not just delicately put together but also beautifully painted.
‘Christmas-time one of the key workers came to me and gave me one of these big matchstick models – it has been a mega-help for me now during lockdown as well.’ Sam gets really excited telling me more about his hobby. ‘I don’t know how I keep my room tidy, I don’t know, but I do it in my room.
I ask him how much time he spends on it on a day to day basis: ‘Take away half an hour for dinner, take away some time for coffee – perhaps 18 hours a day.’ He doesn’t watch television and there isn’t much more for him to do with his time. Fortunately, Sam does have a hobby.
(The resident’s name is changed to protect his anonymity).