Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess (well, I did say this was a Fairy Tale…) who longed for a great castle in the country. For she and her handsome Prince were trapped in a one bed flat in London and the little they had, they were forced to sacrifice to the cruel god, Monthly Rent.
One day, they met a mysterious woman, brandishing copies of Homes & Gardens and full of stories of spacious living. “Fear not” she said “For I am an Estate Agent. I’ll take you to a house where dreams are born and your heart will fly”. They travelled for what seemed like forever and a day. The land turned green and Capital Radio was lost and the Princess was very afraid. But the woman said to be of good courage for they were but 30mins from London by train.
At first, the Prince and Princess were very happy in their rustic new home. The sun shone and from their window a splendid garden could be seen, full of flowers and herbs. Puss in Boots’ long lost cousin, Chairman Meow, came to stay. Even the Lord of the village, Affordable Living, proved to be kindly master in whose realm you got change from a tenner when buying a round.
But as time went by, a chill crept across the land. The Prince and Princess realized they’d been tricked, bewitched by promises of ensuite bathrooms, generous bedrooms and period features. For Affordable Living had an evil twin, Killer Commute, who demanded an enormous tithe whenever they ventured beyond the village. Even then, he seldom let them pass but ensnared them with signalling problems and late running services.
Summer turned to winter and the Princess grew sad and lonely. Kindly as the villagers were, they spoke a strange and foreign tongue, the language of Children, rich in potty training, Peppa Pig and key stage three. She longed to talk of wine and late night screenings not late night screaming and whines.
One day, the princess sat looking forlornly at her beautiful ball-dresses and wondering whether she’d ever get to wear them again. For she was sure this wasn’t quite how the story was supposed to go. All of a sudden, there was burst of light. A little old lady appeared: “Don’t be afraid, Princess” she said, “For I am Mother Google, your Fairy Godmother, and you shall go to the ball!”
“But the last train leaves at 10.30” cried the Princess. “I wouldn’t even finish dinner, let alone turn into a pumpkin!”
“Fear not, for I will grant you life back in London”
At this, the Princess began to sob. “How can you?! We can’t leave Chairman Meow and he needs a house and a garden and traffic free access. Not even Fairy Tale Princesses can afford that in London (well, other than the ones who’ve ditched princes for bankers). No, we’re doomed to live forever in the Oyster Card wilderness”
But the good Fairy Google just smiled. With a click, she transported the Prince and Princess to the Kingdom of Rotherhithe. All around were tranquil woodlands, cobbled streets and river views. They couldn’t believe their eyes: It was a little bit of the Village in Zone 2!
Their Fairy Godmother pointed to a house that was neither too big, nor too small but just right; And the Prince and Princess vowed to ditch their Country Life for this country lite.
As for whether they lived happily ever after, well, that’s what this blog is all about…