Three weeks of snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures and thoughts turn to summer holidays.
With a little luck, this summer's holiday will find me lying in the sun, by a pool or on a deserted beach, complete with an ipod and a good book. Ice cold beers will be in the fridge. And in the evening, I shall sit in a little town square in the warm night air eating Mediterranean gourmet food with the Gypsy Kings serenading amusingly from table to table.
I can't imagine being tempted to buy the beach hut on Southwold seafront currently for sale. This little bijou beauty on the seafront in the popular Suffolk resort can be yours for a snip at £40,000. The estate agents say they've had a lot of interest for the beach hut and say that some of the huts can fetch as much as £100,000. The £40,000 asking price gets you the plot only. A new bespoke hut to replace this run down one will set you back £4000 plus £185 lease fees each year to the council. For the princely price tag, you get two benches, a gas stove and of course the sea view. Here's what else you'll get (based on last summer's weather)... RAIN, MORE RAIN, FLOODS, COLD & RAIN. And of course, the chance to sit in close proximity to upwards of 40 or so other weirdo's, sorry.. fellow beach hut owners.
I suppose living on an over-populated, soggy little island, we Brits have a jaundiced view of space. Our houses tend to be in close proximity to our neighbours in overcrowded towns and cities. Check out the Brits on holiday. They are at their happiest when herded together in hotels, on the beach or by the pool. If you ever need further proof of this theory, go to Rhyl in North Wales and check out the miles and miles of caravan parks. The Southwold beach hut sums up a large proportion of the British holidaymaker. If I was to do a CSI-type psychological profile of a beach hut buyer I'd guess at... middle-aged married couple. No children. Probably called Brian (retired school teacher) and Hilary (retired civil servant). Holidayed in the Dordogne in the 70's, but for the past 20 years on walking holidays in Skye. Stopped having sex in 1979 when Brian had a back spasm. Likes steam trains and Doctor Who. You get the idea right?
Anyway, if you have £45k to spare and get off sitting on a bench stewing tea on a gas stove wrapped in a tartan blanket watching sleet and snow in July, then beat Brian and Hilary to the estate agents. It's the one on the High Street, closed for 5 weeks each year whilst the owner relaxes in a five star resort in the Maldives on the fees earned from beach hut sales.
Just for the record, I don't get caravan holidays either but that's a whole different blog...