Friday, 18 January 2013
What am I talking about? Old, single people living in huge, underpopulated properties, that's what I'm talking about.
Many of these people are asset rich, cash poor. They live in Regency splendor, shivering as they place the last lump of coal on the dying fire and eat a can of cold baked beans 'cause they haven't a shilling for the gas meter.
So it's great to hear of how some of us oldies are bucking the trend - co-mingling and joining forces to free up real estate and save social services from yet another hefty bill.
Here's to Dido and Aeneas ( not their real names), friends of mine who in their 60's have discovered the joys of co-habiting.
Aeneas, who's 65 has been a serial singleton. For forty years, as long as I've known him, he'll held back the tide of matrimony and all other forms of togetherness. He lives in a 5, 6 or is it 7 bedroom mansion., so big some of the rooms are closed for the summer season. Often I'd suggest selling up, down sizing and cruising the Aegean indefinitely on the income from the capital released. But no, he was happy to rattle around his castle keep.
Now he's met his Dido. She's a professional woman, two grown up kids - successfully gotten rid of - a large house and a heart full of love. Well nearly two years on they're selling up both homes and moving in together.
This is so Miliband, Cameron and Clegg like. Big society, downsizing for the good of the community. One extremely large house in North London will soon be home to 50 immigrants or a wealthy Syrian and his wife.
I'm sure Eric Pickles will write a personal letter congratulating them on their community spirit. Although the local church, wherever they settle, might bemoan the lack of nuptials and the extra income from a less than white wedding.
The real challenge is to fit the two household's into one. Forty years of bachelorhood - he has kept everything. Two or three suites of furniture. Two king size beds, and two sets of dining room tables and chairs, a least 6 sets of cutlery and pots and pans to furnish the kitchen of a four star Michelin . Twenty TV's, I joke not, and enough electronic equipment to set up a rival to the Beeb.
This is a great opportunity to de-clutter. As I pointed out to Aeneas, it'll be preparation for the great, final house clearance. He thought I was being too morbid. But anyway he can at last get rid of those 1973 cheesecloth shirts and find a home for the Ziggy Stardust poster that ,40 years on, is still unrolled in the loft.
It's a new life for Dido and Aeneas. And if there's a spare copy of "The Dark Side of the Moon " LP, I'm here!