‘Right, this is it,’ I said to the builder boyfriend. ‘I am going to knock on the door of next door.’
‘I don’t know why you are bothering,’ he said. ‘Does it really matter who lives next door? You’re going to be so happy here. This move makes absolute sense for you. Just look around. It’s fantastic.’
And so it was. We were standing in front of my new house. If it all goes through I will be in for Christmas. I looked around me: England’s largest village green. And my new house nestling right on the front of it, overlooking the cricket, and the farmers’ market …an idyllic scene.
But this is me we are talking about. ‘This is me we are talking about,’ I said to the builder b, with a grimace. ‘I’ve got to knock on the door of next door and check that there isn’t a mad leftie living there who is going to hate me.’
‘It doesn’t matter if there is,’ said the builder b. ‘No one cares about you. No one is going to care that you’re here.’ I reminded him: ‘How can you say that? After all we have been through, as the only living rightwingers in Lambeth, afraid to stick a Leave poster in the front window for fear of being bludgeoned to death with a copy of Das Kapital.’
A few weeks ago I wrote in this column that it would be just my luck to move into my new home and find I’m living next door to the only green-haired leftie in Surrey. I reminded the builder that this was my greatest fear. I want to escape to the country, not go there and find that it’s as jam-packed as Balham is with people who think Jeremy Corbyn is a nice old man, a cross between Santa Claus and Jesus, and that I’m a wicked subversive for pointing out that one should never trust a vegetarian who eats cold baked beans from the tin.