Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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2,4,6,8, who do we appreciate? Schadenfreude, schadenfreude, rah rah rah!

Last night, the bloke and I were half-watching "Grand Designs: Revisited" whilst we attempted to wrangle our inboxes under control. (Sadly, this is not a euphemism.) "Grand Designs", for those who haven't had the pleasure, is a TV programme about city-dwellers who buy a bit of land in the country on which a wreck of a house is usually sited and try to convert it into their dream home. Generally these people have little to no building experience, architectural design ability, or sense. After many trials and tribulations and massive cost overruns, they succeed. This is pretty much middle-class British porn, second only to gardening programmes in the titillation stakes.

This particular episode of "Grand Designs" opened with a mad pair of middle-aged hippies who'd bought some land in the south of France and planned to build a wood and straw-bale house on it. In the middle of an area dominated exclusively by old stone houses. Owned by French people. Who weren't all that keen on the idea.

The narrator, in an attempt to generate a sense of dramatic tension, asked us, "But will they manage to make this work? I'm coming back seven years later to find out." My response to this was immediate and disbelieving. "Dude, of course they make it work. The whole point of this show is that everyone completes their projects. You don't get episodes with storylines like, 'Norma and Frank bought this rotting shell of an old church for half a million pounds five years ago. They budgeted £150k for the restoration. After spending almost £400k, they're bankrupt and divorced. Frank is an alcoholic, Norma has attempted suicide three times in the last six months and their children are in foster care. Isn't that a terrible shame!' This isn't 'Grand Designs: Catastrophic Fuck-ups'."

Although I have to confesss, I would totally give that programme my undivided attention.
Tags: england, expatriate, schadenfreude, watching the english

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