Its day 4 in the Obsolete Terrace House and I am worrying about whether my 'role model' effect is working on the working class people that share my neighbourhood. I need to teach them middle class habits such as how to be nasty to people behind their backs in order to 'get on' whilst pretending they are my best friend to their face. I need to teach them to be like my colleagues that denigrated my book behind my back yet whom treat me as though I was their long lost best friend when they see me at the next conference. (Yes, this has happened). The trouble with working class people that live in these obsolete terrace houses is that they say what they mean and they mean what they say to your face. Honesty - how dysfunctional can you get! The other trouble with these working class people is, as Diane Reay has pointed out in her research, they tend to be happy with their lot so they don't have 'rising aspirations' to 'better themselves' like middle class people do. So I must do my best to teach them how to 'better themselves' by learning how to be more manipulative, devious, selfish and so on.
The other worry, of course, is that I might become a victim of 'area effects'. This is when the culture of the area drags you down with it. So I am worried that I might come to live in my obsolete terrace house as a nice middle class academic that, thankfully, has left my working class roots behind. But what will I be like when I have lived here for a year? I might start suffering from 'worklessness' and things like that. Heaven forbid. Watch this space for signs of worklessness creeping in to me. You never know, I might even get some nice middle class researcher coming around to my obsolete terrace house (that is unsuitable for modern living) to ask me lots of questions about what is wrong with me.
On the subject of my obsolete terrace house being unsuitable for modern living, I noticed something else today. My obsolete terrace house has actually got running water, hot water and windows. Its even got CENTRAL HEATING. I can't tell you how modern that makes me feel. I have to admit, though, I am a tad disappointed that I do not have a microwave. A sign of decadence, I know. But there's nothing like being able to come home from a hard day at the office (that is, until the 'area effects' around here drag me into a spiral of decline and reduce me to a state of 'worklessness') and quickly whack something in the microwave. There's nothing more modern and contemporary than instant crap food. But, alas, my obsolete terrace house does not have a microwave. So my recommendation today is: kick me out of this hovel and knock it down as soon as possible. Get a volume builder to throw up a semi-detached status symbol with 3 half size bedrooms and a path that is just too short to fit a mini on and, of course, some nice middle class neighbours. I will be as happy as Larry.