"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Escape to where?

You must have seen them, these irritating, self-congratulatory programmes featuring couples, often as young as twelve (seemingly), who want to move with their millions to somewhere 'in the country' where one needs to be a millionaire simply to contemplate living there. They usually want an enormous property in the middle of nowhere, where the two of them will rattle around and sit on their balcony on summer evenings, sipping their aperitifs and contemplating endless rolling hills and valleys. They also require never-ending sunshine and have never given a thought to how they will manage if they're snowed in for weeks in the middle of winter.
Oh, and they generally want to keep alpacas. What???
These people are notoriously difficult to please and will dismiss fantastic properties in the blink of an eye because the ceilings are too low or the kitchen is fifty-nine feet long instead of sixty or it has a Rayburn instead of an Aga.
I generally try to avoid these programmes but Keith loves them as they give him the perfect opportunity to do his 'grumpy old man' routine and, believe me, he is working hard on perfecting that! So today, I dimly heard the presenter say, as he ushered the couple into the  first property for viewing,
"I am hoping that the first thing you will feel here..."
To which Keith interjected, quick as a flash,
"Is a cricket bat!"
He is on the ball, that man! Definitely the best bit of the programme.


16 comments:

  1. Valhalla would be too peaceful for the precious ones you describe.

    I rarely watch, or, should I say, like you, I don't watch those programmes. They are unreal and drive unreal expectations. Hubby is in to them, not sure why...could it be a man thing?

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  2. Mrs P is a sucker for Escape to the Country so I catch bits of it as I wander through the living room. What I've never understood is why absolutely everyone seems to want an island in their kitchen.

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    1. Because they want to practise their rowing....?

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  3. I no longer have a TV but even when I did I never watched such programmes. Flighty xx

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    1. Very wie, Flighty. They just raise your blood pressure. :)

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  4. A few years back I remember watching a city-escaping gay couple looking for a property in North Wales. They wanted everything - including a big field where they could grow vegetables and raise poultry. The older guy was mincing around like Julian Clary. They picked a quaint cottage in a remote village near Rhyl. It's called Trelawnyd. Do you know it?

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    1. I think I might even know who you are referring to, YP. Have you got yourself a good lawyer? :)

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  5. Where DO they find all these tasteless parvenus???? I never cease to be amazed by the women who dismiss those wonderful kitchens (that I would die for). I imagine there must be a very rigid selection process. Do they all come from Yorkshire, perhaps?

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    1. You probably have to demonstrate a complete lack of ability to even contemplate anything less than the supposed perfection that lives in your head, Cro. :)

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    2. We don't have any "tasteless parvenus" in Yorkshire. My people are the salt of the earth and we eschew any forms of pretentiousness or snobbery. It is quite certain that the "tasteless parvenus" in these relocation shows all hail from the so-called Home Counties. Besides in Yorkshire we have our alternative relocation show called "Escape to the Former Pit Village" hosted by my esteemed hero - the legendary Arthur Scargill who has asked me to forward a special invitation to you Mr Magnon. He is very much looking forward to meeting you and has an old pit cottage in Thurcroft specially earmarked for you and your lovely wife.

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    3. Please thank the esteemed Mr Scargill for his kind invitation, but, for the moment, I am engaged in essential services overseas.

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  6. We like to watch these in the winter, because they are filmed in summer and I miss the sight of leaves, etc. Also, as we live on the edge of a tiny market town in mid-Wales and I grew up on the side of a moor in Lancashire, we know a thing or two about being snowed up and even not leaving the house apart from for necessities for three days because it's been raining non-stop.

    They always want a huge eat-in kitchen and two or three guest bedrooms, all so they can have people over or to stay and show off. God forfend said townie guests turn up during one of those three-day rainfests we can get in the western parts of the UK. They will murder one another over a game of drunken Monopoly...!

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  7. Here in the US we have House Hunters and House Hunters International. I don't watch the domestic version but have been know to watch the Int'l one as it goes all over the world. Occasionally they have couples house hunting in the UK and Europe. They invariably ask for homes with "character" and then complain there's no en suite bathroom, walk-in closets or marble countertops.
    My favourite UK program is Homes under the Hammer! That I can relate to!

    By the way, that couple in Trelawnyd - I heard that the unexpected bonus of buying their farm in that location, was a reliable supply of Scotch eggs.

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  8. Homes under the Hammer, I like - much more realistic expectations. :)

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