My own dream house

In which I design a dream place to live.

On a Sunday we decamp to Ma G’s for dinner, on the way back we drive through the outskirts of the suburbs and get to look at all the nice houses that look like they have been designed in The Sims. Full of columns and big windows with a painted down drive way, it gets me wishing that I could have a plot of land a large amount of money to create my own maison for the family.

I am no Courboisier, nor am I Sir Foster. My dalliance with self designed architecture is restricted to Lego (and the usual cube shaped abode) or the sprawling mass of giant and empty rooms you get on The Sims. I can’t imagine I would create anything truly outstanding in the field of design, and the host of Grand Designs would look forlornly on my homage to Christopher Wren. It would almost certainly look like something a footballer had drawn on a napkin.

So let me try and talk you through these plans. I’ve decided to go for the very restrained rectangular shape, this will be governed by the golden ratio for aesthetics and the shape of the screen making it easy to do so (fact: most building shapes are based upon the piece of paper available, this is why most are box shape and very few are round).

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Good customer service

In which good customer service is worth more than price.

Applying for another mortgage, too stressful

I write this from my normal train, well not normal as this definition is slightly flexible with the train operator the free-market has decided can operate my journey home. It’s the train that gets me to, or closest to the station I need to get to. Whenever I take to Twitter to lament the latest delay or cancellation I am assured of an apology and a promise that things will get better.

That’s not customer service though, It’s just reiterating what I already know. Real customer service comes from doing all you can to stop your company from creating a bad situation. Then if you do mess up, owning up and doing something about it. It’s easy to do the former but much harder to do the latter. Just as it’s easy to complain it is much harder to talk about the times you got good service.

I’ve spent my life in industries that generate ill felling amongst their customers. I’ve worked for banks, insurance companies and utilities. The only time I may have worked in a “nice” industry was when I worked for Mars, but that was no Cadburys.

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Room to share

In which I learn to share.

Knowing that Dino #2 is on the way means that we need to reconsider our accommodation arrangements. Living in a three-bedroom house is great for it will meet our minimum requirements, but the addition to the family will cause potential future issues.

I know this because I have lived through them myself, having two sisters, and it is clear that we are going to have to careful consider the room allocation for our offspring.

Throughout my childhood I lived in three bedroom houses, with one for my parents and the remaining two divided between three. Being the only son this was great, I was able to have my own room whilst my sisters shared. Considering one was tidy and one was not it is unsurprising to know that this was a constant source of comment.

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There’s no French word for home

In which home is where the wifi is accessible.

I thought I would begin with a bit of Franco-baiting, but in English there is a clear difference between what a house is compared to a home. Ignoring the particulars of what a house is (as in type of building) it is generally true that while every home is a house, not every house is a home.

At some point the bricks and mortar, or alternate construction materials, take on extra meaning and change from somewhere simply to provide shelter to a object of sentimentality.

Mrs G at the weekend started to feel a little sad that we are thinking of selling our home in the future. Now I don’t want people to get excited…announcing that you are thinking of doing something in the future is not a cause for everyone around you to start celebrating. That said I’m not going to get upset if people aren’t happy because we are thinking, but not doing it yet, of something in the future.

The reason she felt sad was after a few years the place we come back to has ceased to be a house and is now our home.

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