Last week a report on Britains housing crisis , highlighting the unfit-for-purposeness of many new build starter homes quoted details of an offering from one well known house builder. We will not name and shame them because the rest are as bad and anyway if were going to get sued we want it to be for insulting some pseudo celebrity or accusing a well know politician of taking backhanders from Colonel Gadaffi. The home in question featured living room of just 3m x 3m. Assuming there is a door that makes fitting in a sofa, spare chair and a tele impossible.
An investigative reporter from one of the national newspapers decided to put to the test the old phrase not enough room to swing a cat. by actually swinging a cat (he said it was a stuffed toy and we believe him dont we?) in the deceptively spacious living room. Taking a firm grip on his cats tail he started to spin, arms outstretched. Long before he reached getting dizzy and falling over speed the cats head was bashing against the walls.
So with such restricted living space the dwelling cannot by any stretch of the cat
I mean imagination, be referred to as a starter home for a young family or a cat lover. Ideal for agoraphobic perhaps
Someone is bound to remind us the phrase not enough room to swing a cat refers not to a furry faced quadruped but a cat o nine tails, the knotted whip favoured by Victorian magistrates and their heavies, also by dominatrices who cater to senior judges, top ncivil servants and Tory MPs. So as well as being inadequate for young families or couples and cat lovers the houses are no god for people with an interest in S & M fun either. No wonder the Conservative Party housing spokesman is calling for radical changes in housing policy.
It is not just the living room that is teeny and cramped. Though the dining – kitchen contains a ceramic hob and a combined oven and grill it does not contain enough space for even a small table and four chairs. in fact there is hardly enough room to stand between the hob and work surface on one side and the “breakfast bar” (shelf) and sink on the other. Dinner parties are out then? No worries, the lucky mortgage owners will be so busy working at three jobs to pay the mortgage they will have no time for a social life.
In the starter home offering from different builder the sleeping area has another feature sure to appeal to those lacking a social life. The toilet is in the bedroom. What massive kudos that must gain the houseowner the first time one invites a new lover to sleep over.
What is really puzzling is people are buying these starter homes for over £100k. In Accrington you can still get a two up two down terrace with upstairs bathroom and toilet and a downstairs deceptively spacious guest toilet (OK, its at the end of the yard) for less that £50k. With sex and drugs available on the streetcorner, now thats what I call gracious living.
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We were all conditioned to “get on the mortgage ladder” of course, instead of choosing accomodation arrangements that suit our individual lifestyle. And so, in response to “triggers” we do as we are programmed to. Pavlov’s Cat
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