Sorry my fellow bloggers and readers - I have been MIA of late, but the time away has been spent in very pleasurable pursuits - writing courses and endless assignments. I thought I might share a recent exercise where we had to go through a newspaper and find something to write about. It had to be 600 words, with only the first 300 submitted and the rest 'summarised' as if we were submitting it to a magazine for publication.
I found an advertisement in the Real Estate Section at the back of my local paper that had a by-line that just captured my imagination.
A Permanent Holiday at Home - Now that sounds just lovely doesn't it? Perpetually living your life on holiday, all from the comfort and convenience of your own home, no need to even pack.
The advert leading line was in bold type and just below this was added – resort feel inside and out adds to appeal. A large colour photograph of a sparkling blue pool, waterfall and palms took up most of the page, balanced by a paragraph of text and six smaller thumbnail pictures. At first glance this seemed a novel idea, a permanent holiday – yes please! But it was the last two words that made me think again… at home. Yes it had an inviting ‘resort-style’ pool, tropical gardens, an outdoor entertaining area, a ‘sweeping open plan living area and games room’. But something just didn't add up.
From certain angles it did remind me of a villa I once stayed in Bali, with palm trees, swimming pool, large, elegant bathroom - very resort-style indeed - but with a Bali twist, namely beautiful Balinese staff to wait on my every need.
“Ah, good morning Mrs Jodie. You want pancake for breakfast today?”
“Yes, Wayan, that would be lovely, thank you.”
“You want fresh pineapple juice Mrs Jodie?”
“For lunch today, Made make Pad Thai, you happy about that Mrs Jodie?”
On goes the day; after breakfast a swim in the (clean) pool, coming back to a freshly made bed and the house maids washing the floor.
“Sorry Mrs Jodie, be finish soon.”
Get my book and go and recline on a daybed in the gardens, all lovingly tended by a team of gardeners raking, watering, weeding. Later in the day, maybe a facial or a massage.
That is what I call a holiday. So, tell me more about this house for sale that will be a permanent holiday home?
I can see a chef’s kitchen with no chef in it. Does this indicate that I will be doing my own cooking? I see a very white and sparkly bathroom – it got that way by some hard work and spit – who comes in to ‘do your room’? The pool looks lovely in the picture now, but how much time will be spent vacuuming, scooping, tinkering to keep it that way? Same goes for the gardens. All that sweat, effort and dirt don’t spell holiday. Also noted is a laundry and clothes line – which would indicate that white towels and clean sheets would not just be miraculously appearing on the bed.
I have perused the photo’s in the adverts very carefully and not seen any spa treatment brochures or room service menus, so I am beginning to doubt the honesty of this advert. No mention of the number of staff this comes with, no mention of what time breakfast tomorrow is.
It’s a long bow being pulled I think. I am starting to get the distinct impression that this is just an ordinary home, that will cost me $750,000 for the privilege of doing it all for myself in a home that just looks like a resort. By my calculations, for the same money, my husband and I could live in Bali for 20 years – as if we really were on a permanent holiday. No brainer really. I can pretend 20 years is pretty permanent. I don’t think we will be making an offer.