Modern Times

Modern Times

This  week saw three houses opposite on the move. Charles and Sally retired actors are moving to a nearby  ground floor flat as he is finding the stairs difficult. UBS hot shot  Andrew(a Stoke City supporter) and his beautiful  Swiss wife and two kids are moving up to a six bedroomed schools on the grander side of the   Upper Richmond Road. And then there is Nick.

Nock grew up in my old road  so I have  known him thirty years. His Mum a very attractive single  parent who brought up three and led a very active social and professional life.  As the partner in a leading estate agent she had her own column in the Sunday Times. She also dealt in  art.

Nick always a lively rebel got kicked out of a major public school. He tried acting and wasn’t bad I sued him once in a dramatized talk I did on Swinburne.The poet lived in Putney for thirty yeasr.  Nick didn’t stick at that and moved on,  trying his hand at being a tennis pro. So he can act and he is quick on his feet. Where is this going. He needs to earn money.

He tries stock broking one of the traditional home for the sharp but not qualified. And then he ends up in estate agency where probably he was always destined. He is now a partner in a major West End office.

But he is also a player. He buys and develops property. And that’s why  he came to our street. Eddy the Polish refugee who duck and dived and was Lily’s ballroom dance partner died two years ago. His unmodernised house went on the market at £800K, the market was hot, there was an auction,Nick boughtbfor £1.1m. Old heads shook, the young man had paid too much. Modernisation and extension didn’t go well, it very rarely does. But it was finished. In the mean time Nick and I  got to know each other again.

One famous morning as I was setting out on a jog, he came  out. He went to his Porsche Carrera (natch) we started chatting. And then out popped a most wonderful blonde. You cant make it up. AS George best  once quipped “What had gone wrong?”

He paid too much, his building works took too long, but hey, last week he sold at a profit and now he is moving up the ladder to Chelsea. He once again proves  that those who have the personality and the strength to run their own shows often do badly at school. They have charm, drive and ambition but above all people like them because they have emotional intelligence. Which in the end out trumps all the other kinds.

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