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Pip Parkes and Shannon Thompson – Gisborne

“How long have we been together? I don’t know. I lose track, I think three years. I fell in love with him and he’s nice to me. He’s my partner. I like that he’s got tattoos. We first met on an online dating site. I said to him ‘would he like to come to Gisborne?’ and…he’s here!

I found the Lockdown boring because there was nothing active to do. I was going to yoga and doing horticulture. I felt miserable because I couldn’t play the keyboard. But it was good here with Shannon. We could play games and it kept him busy. He doesn’t like talking too much. We played games like Fortnight and Grand Theft Auto V.

I could not see my family which was quite hard. I wanted to see my sister-in-law. It was hard not seeing Sophie.

Our cat is called Ruby. We had to make sure she had food and she was clean, make sure she was healthy. I looked after Ruby. Look at you Ruby! Are you going to sit and listen? She has been very friendly lately.

We ate good food during Lockdown, we stopped getting takeaways. I learned how to cook. Bacon and egg pie, and pasta bake. Pasta bake is one of Shannon’s favourites.

We saved money and now we have spent it on bikes, on a gym membership. I like doing the treadmill. I got a jacket, a winter coat. Shannon got a BMX. He bought some more tattoos.

During the Lockdown, we had only one support worker and that was Naomi. She helped me with the shopping. It was quite hard doing the cooking and the cleaning. I managed. I had to clean the bathroom, the toilet, and the kitchen.

We were just at home. I wanted the programmes to come back on and go back to the gym. I wanted to catch up with friends. But it was frightening. I get asthma. I was worried that I might catch it.

I got the flu vaccine. I was happy to see everyone back. There is a disco coming up. We need superhero costumes.

Shannon has a job doing firewood. I have a job now too! I went to have a hot chocolate at McDonalds with my friends today.” – 17 September 2020

  • This article appeared in Life in a Pandemic, a book about disabled and autistic people in Covid-19 Lockdown, 2020. © Life Unlimited Charitable Trust (now known as Your Way | Kia Roha).

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