I was in Norfolk recently. After a couple of unbroken months in London it’s always nice to go somewhere that doesn’t smell of urine. It’s also quite pretty.
A beach hut in front of this view will cost you 40 grand, which feels ambitious for a shed.
I was in a place called Wells-next-the-Sea (town motto: ‘Irritating pedants with the missing ‘to’ since 1435′). Wells was once one of England’s great ports, taking grain from across East Anglia and exporting it to cereal bar manufacturers across the seven seas. These days, and I’m quoting from the town website here, it specialises in ‘interesting shops for browsing’. Browsing is to buying things what seeing a friend’s kids is to actually being the parent. All the enjoyment of examining and noting their best features, while avoiding the disappointment when you arrive home.
I found this:
Tat’s tat and that’s that. But this is pretty special, and a lot of questions run through your mind when you see something like this. Think of the near-impossible set of circumstances that had to occur for this object to be. It’s almost like the miracle of birth.
Someone – and this is a person not just with all their mental faculties, but also drive, production know-how and enthusiasm – must have thought that a wooden block with a false statement on it was a simply terrific idea. Then they must have convinced a solvent business that it would make them big cash-money. And then they must have persuaded a shop to stock it. And finally, someone – possibly even more than one person – exists out there who will cheerfully exchange real money, which is to say, legal tender that could be spent on any other good or service this bountiful earth can offer, for it. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s mind-blowing.
If someone had just said ‘It’s really cool in Norfolk’ to me, I’d have felt short-changed. I daresay I might even have laughed in their face.
So, I’m getting in to the wooden block business. I got on the blower to Blockheads Ltd and, with an unlit cigar champing between my teeth, demanded 200 ‘It’s really melancholy in Sussex’ in pine. I give it two months before I can put that downpayment on a beach hut.