May I first accompany this week’s blog with the caveat that my ire has been stirred and I have to say, that for this I make no apology. I am writing this whilst listening to the coverage of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the jaw-dropping stories of those survivors of the first day of Operation Overlord. By the close of 6 June 1944, the Allied forces had taken the first step of establishing a foothold in Europe, eventually helping to bring the war to an end. Amongst those being interviewed was an American soldier who reminisced that after he had been hit for the fifth time in the space of approximately 100 yards, he was evacuated as, “I wasn’t much use anymore because I had been hit in both legs…” Also recalling the day was a Royal Engineer corporal who was responsible for driving a bulldozer that pushed the bodies of fallen Allied soldiers into a huge crater on the beach caused by the German bombardment. It really made me think; as it should. It contrasted sharply with another conversation to which I was privy earlier this week. Having shown a perfectly well-presented, first time buyer property to a first time buying couple, I was told that they didn’t like it as they wouldn’t be able to fit their television, (with proportions akin to those required to park a tank) on the wall. I was also asked, “If there was sky”. I resisted the urge to reply, “Yes, it is the blue thing above us”. As I left the couple to contemplate what else they didn’t like about the property that was admittedly smaller than Buckingham Place and no, didn’t have an en suite to the master bedroom – all points very clearly articulated in the property details – I wandered a short distance along the street. There I met an elderly lady who was actually washing the pathway in front of all the houses in the street, (yes, you did read that correctly). In reply to my somewhat dumbfounded query of what she was doing, she answered, “well, you have to keep the place clean, in case there are any visitors.” Having asked her when the she last had any visitors and being told, “two years ago”, I had to take a deep breath and have several words with my inner genie to stop myself marching back up the street to the aforementioned first time buyers and telling them exactly where they could place their monster television. I know, wholly unprofessional and the sort of behaviour that will be the equivalent of Banquo’s ghost on the internet and twitter sphere.
Speaking of contrasts, this week’s headlines again shrieked how as house prices ‘rocket’ (incidentally, can they find no other verb; do they not know how to use a thesaurus?), we are all doomed. This is obviously a different kind of doom from that of two years ago, when as house prices ‘plummeted’ (ditto my first comment), we were also drop kicked into the abyss of despair.
Before I implode and go and have the first of many Bacardis, may I leave you with the words of our nation’s leader 70 years ago, “Attitude is a little thing, that makes a big difference“. You said it, Winston.