how the cash we flash defines us
In the boucles doreille skyrim Eighties, I set a hesitant foot on the property ladder in the form of a Peckham flat that instantly lost most of its value when bague argent aigle the proposed route of the Channel Tunnel rail link turned out to run through my back garden.
Around that time, I also gave up going out bague argent agathe to dinner parties, unable to bear the fact that, over the baked Camembert and chicken with pesto, my bague argent ethnique femme pas cher more financially astute contemporaries talked about nothing but the amazing rise in property values.
These days, bague argent massif amazon when I venture out to dinner, the talk is still of property: how my hosts grown bague argent topaze pas cher up children are still infesting the family home, while at their age their bague argent verte parents had already bought the dilapidated townhouse that would turn out to be worth a zillion quid.
Should you try to turn the conversation from bague argent symbole real estate pasta, Lucy! bague argent femme avec pampille you risk an interminable lecture bague argent gothique femme on austerity chic and the benefits of shopping at Aldi petites boucles doreille femme rather than Waitrose, which seems to have undergone a mutation from a cherished pick grosse bague argent et zirconium up joint for the young(ish) middle classes to a handy index of reckless extravagance.
The modern Versailles Photo: REUTERS
Once upon a time, money along with religion, politics and sex was a great conversational taboo. To an extent it still is: I wouldn dream of asking even boucles doreille dessous lobe close friends what they earn, and if someone asks me, I feel a frisson of dismay.
But Anne Robinson, adept as always at finding the exposed nerve of public taste and giving it a vigorous prod, wants to know our financial secrets, and in her new bague argent femme pampille BBC One series, Britain Spending Secrets, she zooms about the country in her Saint Laurent leather jacket, probing bague argent obsidienne oeil celeste the budgets of multimillionaires and penniless bague argent inoxydable crusties.
Like a collection of pusillanimous rabbits confronted by a particularly determined stoat, her interviewees are glamoured into exposing their personal finances. The interesting thing is not so much what they spend their money on, as the delicious censoriousness that one feels at the sight of their feckless extravagance.
A boucles doreille coeur swarovski hideous bag with a price tag of 285; a living room as big as a football pitch, apparently upholstered in pale pink Dralon; a vastly expensive fridge freezer sitting forlornly in the sparse flat bague argent double croix of bague argent zirconium rectangulaire a single mother on benefits. boucles doreille mya bay Even the anti materialist hippies do bague argent femme rock their skip diving at wouldn you know Waitrose.
Robinson observes that what we valeur bague argent buy defines not just who we are, but also who we aspire to be; and seductive as it is to anatomise other people purchases, the exercise casts a queasy light on our own choices.
I haven got a television, buy my clothes from charity shops and keep an elderly horse at livery. I have friends who think this a perverse arrangement, while I in turn can see the point of their huge cars and complicated domestic technology. On each side, there is a barely concealed whiff of the moral high ground.
The revenge of the penniless is to believe that money can buy you anything worth having such as love, kindness or good taste while the rich, unless they are of a philanthropic bague argent homme tresor bent, couldn care less what the poor boucles doreille cartilage think.
Robinson couture clad provocations certainly won resolve this ancient argument, but they offer a startling opportunity to see ourselves reflected in the mirror of the stuff we buy…