Some people have lovely, productive hobbies like knitting, reading or mountain climbing. Friends, I have a shameful secret to share. My hobby is not sporty, or intellectual or creative.
No. My hobby is browsing property websites.
I can’t help it. I might be on a deadline for a newspaper but I can’t help looking at Victorian houses in Harrogate versus new-build properties in the New Forest.
And the news that a neighbour has put their house on the market is a cause for unfettered joy – what did they do with their kitchen? Have they knocked through into the utility room? Does their bedroom look nicer than mine? Ooooh, look at that carpet. Was that sofa really a wise choice?
Sometimes, I also like to look at the houses I might buy if I was incredibly rich. What would it be like if I had £2.5m to spend on a new house?
I take my search quite seriously (as you do) and look for three-bedroom properties. After all, we need a guest room. Nothing with a lake – I’m safety-conscious even while pretend house-hunting. And as for stables – well, who really wants that sort of imaginary responsibility?
Obviously, I’d want Flea to continue at the same school until she finishes primary school – so something within a mile of where we live now.
Click search, and… OH DEAR GOD, MY EYES!
What is it with rich people and interior design? How is this considered a suitable place to kick back and watch a few episodes of Come Dine with Me on a Sunday afternoon? I can’t help wondering if you jettison all taste once you become a millionaire.
Yes, I’m being mean to rich people. But they don’t mind. They’re rich, for starters. And presumably LOVE their houses, and couldn’t give a stuff what I might happen to think.
Anyway, after considering the imaginary cost involved in stripping the disco lights out of the kitchen and the medical treatment involved in unseeing some of these patterns, I’ve decided I either need to be not quite so rich (the houses near me below £2m aren’t nearly so offensive) or rich enough that I can move into one of these monstrosities and immediately pretend spend £100,000 redecorating.