Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

On the basis that I might need a new boiler soon, I thought I had better sell the London flat and move to the Cotswolds.

Fine, so it wasn't just the gurgling noise coming from the Potterton Performa. I had been pondering my place in the world, which is never a good thing for a person of my nervous disposition to do. The break-up with the builder boyfriend; the escalating cost of keeping three horses in Surrey; the liberal leftie south London neighbours regaling me every time I leave my house with the words 'Isn't Jeremy Corbyn wonderful?' -- it was all making me feel perfectly unstable, as if a big move was the only thing for it.

I can't be doing with this madness, I thought. I need to sell up and go somewhere quieter, saner and less expensive. Somewhere I might be master of my destiny, with my horses on my own land and my nearest neighbours not spouting their devotion to a bearded Trot who wants to take Britain back to 1975.

So I went on Rightmove and a few taps later there it was: a lovely little house with five acres and stables in the Cotswolds. I keep typing Cotsworlds, by the way. And that may be Freudian in what it reveals about my motives for retreating to a corner of Oxfordshire where no one might ever find me again.

Also, the place was in David Cameron's constituency, which I profoundly believed would mean that no one could put a high speed railway past me nor dump 2,500 houses down next to me, two things which are happening respectively where my parents live in Warwickshire and where I keep my horses in Surrey. Surely, a few miles from the PM's constituency home I would be about as safe as I could be anywhere because I'm fairly sure all governments are NITPMBYs -- Not In The Prime Minister's Back Yard. Nor in the Chancellor's, actually, which is why HS2 will be made to loop awkwardly around George Osborne's constituency. But that's another story.

Yes, this was genius. I will be safe as, well, farmhouses, living a few miles from Dave's manor near Chipping Norton -- or, as the locals call it, charmingly enough, Chippy.

I went to see the farmhouse, convinced myself that every aspect of it was beyond perfect, and concluded that while it was remote, it would do just fine. I instructed an estate agent in Balham to put my place on the market. …

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