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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Deceptively Simple

Coincidence is a remarkable phenomenon. Thousands of posts on every conceivable topic (and a few inconceivable ones) have I composed in this blog, a blog permeated by a determinedly even-handed and apolitical ethos; then out of the bleu, as the French say, this morning's report from my editor humbly brings to my attention that last month three posts on the trot had featured David Cameron. What are the chances of that?  (Remind me to buy a lottery ticket). So let's change to a more respected and trustworthy subject...

Estate agents are universally derided as slippery individuals who will do anything to make a commission. My own recent experience suggests that their reputation for shadiness may be unfair.

Just after Christmas I bought another Belgravia apartment, close to my main Mayfair address. After I had completed the transaction, and various priceless effects had been installed- the muscular Bacon tryptique, the exquisite multi-hued Qing dynasty vase, the gold-encased 11th century Scandinavian olyphant, the raven-black Goddard and Townsend secretaire, the delicate egg-like Qianlong moonflask, and so on- the place seemed decidedly cramped. I had to thread myself through the objets d'art, fearing that one elbow or the other was bound to send something tumbling to its expensive ruin. It was all rather mysterious, as the apartment which had seemed truly cavernous at the viewing was now like the cramped cell of some particularly agoraphobic hermit. And then I recalled a statement on the details which the estate agent had presented to me: 'this property is deceptively spacious'. I can't say I wasn't warned.

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