One of the guys in the office furtively ushered me over to his desk a few weeks back, like a little kid wanting to shield from the gaze of the masses and direct sunlight some very rare Panini football card. Anyway, I drifted over expecting him to show me a pic of some electric-blue, turbo-charged gas guzzler, or a picture of Miss Venezuela 2005. You know, standard boys’ stuff. No, in his hand was a photo of a castle. A castle he was thinking of buying. Now, I’m sure he’s very good at his job and had aspirations beyond the two-up, two-down in the suburbs. But a castle? Was he about to rob a bank or something? He said he’d been searching online for castles for sale in Scotland for some time with enough land on it for him and his family to eventually set up some sort of subsistence living cum business based around fishing. The price tag? Too many noughts for me to remember. But all he now needed to do was convince some of his very rich friends to invest in him.
And it didn’t seem to come across as a pipe dream of a thirty-something year old just going through a fad. He’d done his research and spoke with such candour and wide-eyed excitement that you could picture it all as if it were the shiny red bike he’d been promised for Christmas. True, it may well turn into that fad and for a second or two it kind of sounded a bit “very crazy”. But before long, I found it refreshingly so. Something kind of cool to shoot for.