home from home

Mrs Subbuteo is a keen fan of Sarah Beeney, presenter of the TV programme “Property Snakes and Ladders.” She watches avidly, I think in the hope that some of the property developers will eventually land flat on their faces in the mud. Of course they never do, even on today’s slack and dwindling market.

A recent edition brought a surprising turn of events. To rescue a family of four from conversional squalor, Ms Beeney produced out of thin air a Rapido A-Class with fixed rear bed and end bathroom. It was plastered prominently with “Brownhills Leisure” so at first we thought “how generous.” Later, she skimmed quickly over the true hire cost of £750 a week as if such an expense could easily be met out of the children’s surplus pocket money.

The impression was given that here’s the answer to the family’s living problems while the roof is replaced on their property development.

This was a very expensive “solution” to the problem. For £3000 they could have bought a static caravan and sold it on again later for £3500. Or at least a properly equipped touring caravan would have given the family much more space and comfort at a significantly lower price. Most motor homers will know that up-sizing to a large and bulky A-Class motor home doesn’t necessarily increase available living space. You’ll just get a bigger bed or a massive shower cubicle or huge wardrobes. Space to move around or lounge never seems to become more commodious unless choosing the gargantuan American RV option with hydro-elastic rooms.

So I was left slightly bemused, even as Sarah sat in the driving seat pretending to have driven it herself. We could be living in our motor home for a few weeks if we can’t co-ordinate the sale of our house with the purchase of a replacement. We’ll be perfectly comfortable, as will the many couples for whom full-timing in relatively small ‘van is a delight. But add just one body over the two and living becomes a little snug. Introduce one flatulent dog as well and living will inevitably be cramped and decidedly unpleasant. We know from experience.

I can only imagine the state of the motor home when it was eventually redelivered after a few weeks (or was it months?) on a damp and messy building site with two adults, two youngsters and a dog. Still, the property developers seemed happy enough. And although the conversion has not yet produced the bounty they’d hoped for, they didn’t actually get muddy faces. The wife is disappointed. She wants to hear of suicides and bankruptcies; repossessions and mental breakdowns. The trouble with reality TV is that it’s just not real.


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