When I first started dating the husband, he was rattling around a rambling Georgian pad in Lancashire, with grandiose designs of installing a bar in the basement and a gym in the attic.
He spent the evenings eating stale cornflakes for his dinner and forgetting to put the bins out. Someone came round and stole all the Yorkshire paving stones from his back garden and he didn’t notice for about a month.
Fortunately, I came along and whisked him away to Leeds, convincing him that all he really needed to be happy was a couple of bedrooms (and a few boxes of cornflakes).
So we downsized into our current apartment – a Swedish style white box, which we dubbed our ‘holiday home’.
The holiday home is basically a giant, clutter-free, sugar cube, devoid of any personality. We’ve been here three years and haven’t even got round to hanging pictures on the walls. We eat out a lot and poke fun at SuDick. It’s great.
Sometimes, at weekends, we talk about the day that we will buy a proper home, and do a spot of kerb crawling – peering into houses that aren’t for sale and scaling fences to inspect derelict renovation projects.
Occasionally, I’ll peruse Rightmove and book an appointment. We’ll drive up, view the house and then spend the drive back disagreeing about everything (him – there’s no gravel driveway – he has this strange obsession with the crunch of gravel; me – it’s too far away from the nearest coffee shop).
So we hot-foot it back to our big white box and forget about finding a proper home for another few months.
The other week, I decided to escalate the search. Spotting a new build on Rightmove, we set off for a viewing. When we arrived, there was no nearby coffee shops and no crunch under the tyres. It appeared to be a field and pile of bricks.
‘You’ve brought me to a building site,’ said the husband.
We parked up and a ruddy-faced Harrogate type in a tweed jacket advanced towards us.
‘Hello,’ he said. ‘Well, this is it…’ gesturing to the field and rubble in front of us.
He rambled on, finding his stride: ‘The plan is for five individual houses…’
I had already zoned out, too busy pondering just how much redder his face might get if he stood any longer in the midday sun.
‘… all with bathrooms, and on the top floor is a 30ft media room.’
‘A media room?’
At the sound of this, the husband’s ears pricked up.
That night, the husband was full of excitement. He dreamt about his media room. He mumbled ‘media room’ in his sleep. He woke up, poured himself a bowl of cornflakes, and sat studying the plan of the house, paying particular attention to the top floor.
‘I thought you were a simple man of simple needs, who didn’t like fuss,’ I said.
‘I am a simple man,’ he replied. ‘I’m just a simple man who wants a media room.’
From what I can surmise, a media room is basically a home cinema, where the husband has visions of inviting hordes of friends over to watch a film or hangout doing ‘media stuff’.
The only problem with this plan is that the husband works 12 hour days and doesn’t have many friends this side of the Pennines. Poor husband. He’ll have to eat his popcorn alone.
The following week, I told the husband we were going to view another house.
His first words were: ‘Does it have a media room?’
‘No,’ I said.
‘Oh,’ he said.
We viewed the house. It was perfect: close to the park, and within walking distance of our favourite Italian and a coffee shop.
‘Do you like the house?’ I said.
‘Two words,’ he said ‘Media. Room.’
It looks like we’ll be extending our vacation in the holiday home for a little longer.