Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Nice Stuff!

Astonishingly even Country Life - what some have called "real estate porn" - has begun to document the allure of downsizing.  An article in a recent number under the Interiors heading entitled "Master in miniature" spoke about how "the tiniest estate buildings can make wonderful homes".  John Tanner - who transformed a 600sq ft gardener's bothy at Gunton Hall - wrote that "Breathing life into unloved estate buildings is an immensely satisfying task". Adding to this vulgarity, he referenced country estates diversifying income streams and the rise in popularity of using short-let services such as Airbnb by which owners are looking more creatively at how to make the most of their properties, turning unremarkable or pokey buildings into successful businesses.  What he failed to mention is what has been an historical predicament attending the British manor house and mansion - namely, decay and deterioration.  It is now a worldwide evolution of accelerating scope.

Almost every grand home I know has capitulated to commercialism far beyond mere residential use.  Having grown up a cave dweller at boarding school I relate to the attraction of multi-use and limited necessity. This economic persuasion was however altered in the course of time. When starting out in my career I suffered the classic fiction of want for home ownership. I have since concluded that residential real estate is predominantly a deceit; or at the very least a boon for those who care less about wanton expenditure. Some now mistakenly hope to have the advantage of size with the reduction of cost - not normally a safe bet and certainly not one which appeals to me at the cost of becoming a part time housemaid or janitor.

The conviction nonetheless persists that "I love my home" which is usually code for a particular bent of materialism. For those of us less intent upon property management - and who coincidentally adopt perhaps a more Nomadic posture - there remain endless sources for the absorption of one's capital.

Still others satisfy themselves with endless travel - a more spiritual preoccupation whose catalogue is less demonstrable.  In the end it comes down to the source of one's personal enjoyment. Whether it's the mobility of a fine automobile or the permanence of a stately home, who is to say what is best!

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