Renting our for the Olympics, yes that’s for me


If anyone asks where we will be during the Olympics, I just smile mysteriously. Because it is a bit of a mystery. We will be either camping in Cornwall, or in Ireland, or at the bottom of my parents’ garden in Wimbledon, for all I know. Maybe all three. One thing I do known  however, is that we will not be in Islington. No, for we have talked the talk and walked the walk and lain down with that nice, sharp man Mr Foxton. Not Biblically speaking, of COURSE. But metaphorically.
Yes,  I have given Millard Towers over to the greater good of the Games, in other words I have rented it  – via Mr Foxton –  to a scion of the great Chinese Media Delegation, which to my great pleasure, wishes to camp out in leafy Barnsbury for the duration.

Happily, one of the Junior Millards is studying Mandarin. “Great!” I tell him. “You can write them a Welcome Note which we’ll leave in the hall.” He pulls a face. “I’m going to leave a Very Rude Note,” he mutters. “And they are not going to STEP into my room.” That is where you are so wrong, Sunshine.

Of course the Junior Millards, for whom mortgage is just a very good Scrabble word (you put it around ‘gag’),  can’t for the life of them understand why their parents are so keen to push off to Cornwall during East London’s only ever time in the sun.

Funnily enough, all our friends can. “You’ve rented out your house!” they chirrup. Mixed emotions pass over their faces.  Then, after a decent pause, they always ask the same two questions. Firstly, “What are you going to do with all your stuff?” And secondly “How much are you getting?”

The answer to these two is always the same. “Put it in the loft” and “Not as much as you think”, which is satisfyingly vague. I hope.

Of course, all you really need to rent your house out for the Olympics,  (apart from a London address),  is the Will to Declutter. For you will have to assure Foxtons that yes, you are very happy to empty cupboards, and make desks tidy enough to close, throw out hair dye-stained towels and attack the crumb-blasted horror that is the cutlery drawer. Effectively, I know I will have to make my house look like a boutique hotel. I think this should be easy, since everything these days is marketed in order  for your house to look like a boutique hotel anyway.

Hence,  after a lot of dusting and with a few judiciously placed Jo Malone soaps and a pile of clean towels done up with ribbon, I think everyone will be happy. We’ll watch the Games from a portable TV somewhere, the Chinese can wander around Barnsbury and investigate the delights of the Cally Road and the children can fondly think that when they are adults, they will never do anything so dreary as put mortgage considerations foremost.

By the way, this photograph is just to put everyone’s mind at rest. Yes, state primary schools DO have sports days. With winners, and losers, but everyone gets a medal. That IS the way it should be done when you are aged 7.

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