Its a favourite past-time of mine, browsing the web sites of estate agents and looking at all of the really expensive houses for sale, imagining that I’d won the lottery and could stroll into the likes of Fine & Country and with a casual abandon, waft a bank statement onto the desk and muse over whether or not they have anything expensive enough for me, “I positively won’t look at anything below two million, oh dear absolutely not, oh dear no…”
And the really great thing about browsing such sites, apart from the fact that some millionaire who has hit upon hard times now thinks that lots of people are keen to buy his over-priced breeze block mansion just by the number of hits he gets every evening, “Darling look, another thousand people clicked on our property last night, we’ll surely sell the old girl any time soon” is that an awful lot of people who are loaded, have such terrible taste.
You don’t have to look very hard on that linked site to find a house (lets say its in a place called Horsforth, hey you never know, it might be) thats on sale for over a million, and its got its own bar – inside the house.
When I say its got a bar I don’t mean its got one of those small semi-circular padded vinyl front pretend bar’s from Argos where people in council houses store their cheap Polish knock-off vodka, oh no, this is a proper bar, a large room at the end of the house with a proper full sized pub bar, proper beer pumps, a wine chiller, a full sized pool table, dartboard, everything, a proper bar-room inside your millionaires house.
And you look at it and think, oh wow thats so cool, I’d love a bar inside my house, apart from me of course because me and alcohol don’t mix too well and I’m the one who always end up suffering, so a bar in my house would be as welcome as gout, or pubic lice, or Ricky Gervais coming around for his tea, but anyone else apart from me would look and think “Oh wow, a bar in your millionaires house, how cool”.
And then you think a bit harder about it and you see yourself sat in your own bar every night, on your own, because all of your mates are down the proper pub playing pool and darts in a proper pub while you sit on a stool in your own bar and you don’t even have anyone to serve you behind your millionaires bar, you have to get off your stool and go around the bar to serve yourself and remember to chuck yourself out at closing time before you get really wasted, again.
You might also wander amongst the pages of Alwoodley on that web site (for instance, it could be) and if you did then you’d find a myriad of examples of money not necessarily being a comfortable bed companion with taste, or indeed practicality – I mean, who would really buy a six bedroom “family” mansion and fit it out totally in white, white walls, white carpets, white kitchen cabinets, white shiny tiles – anyone with enough kids to fill six bedrooms is going to take one look at all that white and recoil in horror, that or buy the house and put in a standing order with the Vanish! company for a truckload of their mark and stain remover to be delivered, daily.
Swimming pools in the garden are another totally frivolous use of money that you didn’t really want in the first place, swimming pools in England are going to be used by passing ducks and geese for 364 days of the year until that one day in summer when the sun shines sufficient for you to go put your trunks on and spend half the morning cleaning the duck and goose shit off the tiles in the bottom so that you can have a dip in your garden swimming pool.
Hot Tubs – who the hell has bought into the lunacy that putting your bath outside in the garden and inviting all of your friends around to sit in it while pretending that they too think its wonderful to sit in your garden, have a bath in other peoples dirty water and drink beer ?
If you rang your friends up tonight and said to them “Hey, I’ve just had a bath in my internal bathroom bath and the water is still warm, do you want to come around and use it or shall I pull the plug ?” you just know what the answer would be don’t you, but tell them, “Hey guess what, I’ve moved the bathtub outside into the garden where all the neighbours can see it, how about you and the rest of the football team come and have a bath with me tonight and we’ll drink beer too” and apparently, according to the sorts of estate agents that sell rich peoples houses that have bathtubs in the garden, they can’t get around to your house fast enough.
Search hard enough on that web site (above) and you’ll find a house “with stabling for 21 horses” and they are promoting that as some sort of desirable asset, now shout me down and call me misguided but a stable for 21 horses is not your pony-club-loving daughter keeping Dobbin in the back garden, a stable for 21 horses is a commercial enterprise but rather than flog it as a riding school business (who knows, maybe they aren’t registered anywhere as a business, its a thought…) they are smiling in that way that Eric Idle used to do when playing a salesman in Monty Python sketches, waving the back of their hand across the panorama that is the 21 horse stable and gleefully proclaiming, “Its got adequate stabling for your daughters pony -and all of her friends ponies”, not to speak of 21 horses worth of shit to dispose of every day.
You know what I want ?
One of these, filling up my back garden, easel, coffee machine, cake tin and sound system, I’m easily pleased.