Since the advent of the National Lottery, and even long before, with the Football Pools, people will often discuss what they would do , if they should find themselves suddenly rich, beyond their wildest dreams. Like most of these people, I have often thought of my potential wish list, just in case the day should ever arrive. Some of the things on it are simple enough, others require substantial funds to realise. So, here it is, not as extravagant as you might think perhaps, but all the items mean something special to me.
1) A new razor blade every morning. For those of us still using a conventional wet shave, with foam, and a multi-blade cartridge, there is nothing quite like the clean and fresh feeling achieved, when using a new blade for the first time. However, these blades are ridiculously expensive to purchase, which means that they have to be used for at least a couple of weeks, if not longer. A new blade every day would be one luxury that I would cherish.
2) Clean sheets and bedding every day. There is nothing quite like the feel of getting into a freshly made bed, with cool, clean sheets, fragrant pillowcases, and a fluffy duvet. It is undeniable that you sleep better that first night, so imagine being able to achieve this feeling every night of your life. With enough money, I could afford the bedding, and pay someone to iron and wash it as well.
3) The best ingredients. I like to cook, and I actually enjoy it too. Although we are not badly off, we do have to watch our expenditure on foodstuffs, meat, and other ingredients. With an injection of funds, I could always shop for the freshest, the best quality, and the rarest. That way, I would eat better, and enjoy my meals more into the bargain.
4) A house by the sea. I have always felt more relaxed and at my ease, when close to the seaside. Something in the sea air, the sound of the waves, and the crunch of sand under your feet, a feeling that cannot be purchased. What can be purchased though, is the chance to live in this environment, and I would do so immediately I was in receipt of my new fortune.
5) Art Deco living. I have always loved the style of Art Deco, from the 1920’s and 1930’s. The modernist houses, all white, with flat roofs, porthole windows, curving chrome handrails, and all the design fripperies inspired by Egypt and Bauhaus. So, my seaside house would have to be an Art Deco one, filled with armchairs with exaggeratedly curved arms, walnut furniture in glorious yellow woods, and wonderful Tiffany lampshades, together with dramatic layered mirrors. There would be a roof terrace, surrounded by metal handrails, and original metal framed Crittall windows, impractical perhaps, yet in keeping with the design. The bathroom would be fully tiled, in green and white, and there would be an original kitchen, with pastel-coloured units. This would be my biggest expenditure, so I would have to get it right.
6) Car and driver. I am at an age when I am fairly fed up with driving. I can’t be bothered to find a parking space when I get anywhere, and tire of endless sweeps around large car parks, looking for a gap. Traffic jams bore the pants off me, and driving in bad weather, or poor visibility, makes me unduly fatigued. With this in mind, I would buy a reasonable car, nothing too showy, with a lot of room in the back. I would then employ a driver, who would be smart, but not uniformed. He or she would have excellent references, and a good sense of direction, not reliant on the dreaded Sat-Nav. I would pay them well, provide excellent working conditions, and only ever drive on their days off. They could then run me to anywhere I wanted to go, drop me off, and be there when I was finished whatever I was doing. Now that is luxury.
7) The best stuff. No longer restricted by price considerations, I would only have the best stuff. What is the best TV in the country? Oh that one, OK I will take it. The best computer available anywhere? Wrap one up for me, or deliver it here, if too big. Suits at Savile Row? I will take a dozen, in all different cloths please. Hand-made shoes? Ten pairs, I think. A fabulous watch, that always works; a marvellous fountain pen, with exquisite stationery to write on.
8) Using tradesmen. Imagine never having to do washing or ironing again; sending it all out to a laundry, or dry cleaning shop. Having all your decorating done by the best available contractor, and someone to weed your garden, and cut the grass. Is your Art Deco house looking a bit shabby? Just get an expert in to re-paint the whole place. You don’t even ask how much.
Money does not guarantee happiness, we have all seen enough examples of that. It does supply freedom from price lists however, and the opportunity to attempt to live a happier life; so the chance to try it would be nice. That is my short list. What’s on yours?