Tanyard Close, in Alvechurch, is where Mum and Rob both live in housing for older and disabled people.
25 one bedroom flats and bungalows; compactly built, are fitted into an area of land that is smaller than our backyard in Bond Head. The homes are tiny; utilitarian and efficiently designed.
A mix of single and married people live in the close and a sprinkling of people with disabilities, such as the young man whose house is across from Mum's kitchen window. He has Cerebral Palsy; uses a wheelchair and has round-the-clock carer support. Others like Mum, have Helping Hands support two or three times a day and some live without outside support.
At the back of the flats, trees border the lawns at the edge of a brook. The curbs are cut for accessibility, and graded with low edges for safety. The residents know and look out for one another and in the summer neighbours sit out on the benches on the front lawns and chat.
Because Paul came with me on this visit, we rented a car so that he could connect with other friends and family easily. I wondered about parking but Rob assured me that parking in the close is for visitors too, and Mum has no car so never uses a parking space.
We arrived and parked safely next to Rob's car and he mentioned that when the community hall is being used, as it is once a week by a slimming club, parking in the close is difficult to find because it is taken by those using the club. If that happened he told us to park on the grass and move the car after everyone went home...it did happen and we did park on the grass and innocently found ourselves in the midst of an intrigue.
To be continued!