Monday, May 10, 2010

Open Houses

I am happy to report that Barbara and I have many interests in common, although she does not share my interest in matters ecclesiastical. Nor, for that matter, do I share her perennial hobby of visiting Open Houses. There are plenty of these in Berkeley, and Barbara loves to stop the car on a weekend when she sees that there is a house for sale. In she goes!

I used to accompany her, and suppress my embarrassment when she would chat to the realtor as if she were genuinely interested in acquiring the property. I don't know if it was my inhibition, but I excused my lack of interest by telling myself that I really didn't feel it was right to waste the realtor's time. Now, I do understand that it is probably helpful for the seller's representative to have someone apparently interested in the place, as this might well encourage interest of those really planning to buy a house for themselves. Besides, in her time Barbara has bought several houses in the area, either as an investment for her own account, or as a place in which some other family member might want to live.

My excuse is that we already have a very nice home in Berkeley, and a lovely second home in Boulder County, Colorado. However, although I fiercely deny any tendency to snobbishness, I must admit that I love to visit Stately Homes, whether somewhere like Hearst "Castle" at San Simeon, on the coast road from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or somewhere like Woburn in the UK.

Nowadays, with reduced mobility, I usually prefer to sit in the car and listen to the radio. When Barbara returns, she is usually happy to tell me about the places she has visited, so I'm not about to discourage her from her inquisitive hobby of visiting Open Houses. I prefer an Open Bar....

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