Monday, May 09, 2005

If I were a rich girl...

I KNOW that coveting thy neighbour's house is a sin, but I couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy when I heard an 18-year-old had scooped the top prize in the Derry City Dream Draw.

Like many people out there I spend probably way too much time contemplating what life would be like if the God of good fortune choose to look favourably upon me and grant me a win that would change my life.
I'm not the most unlucky person in the world; so far I've scooped a couple of tenners on the lottery, a fruit basket, a Foyle Hospice Hamper and the Bonus Ball prize money in work on two occasions (one a rollover!) ; but none of those has actually changed my life dramatically (with the possible exception of the Foyle Hospice Hamper as I'm sure I put a couple of stubborn pounds on my thighs munching my way through the tin of Cadbury's Roses).
What I crave is a win that lifts me from my relatively dull existence and transforms me into a woman who no longer needs to visit the Credit Union on a regular basis or who takes duck disease when an unexpected bill plops through the letterbox.
They say money can't buy happiness, and I do believe that to be true; but it would certainly make me more comfortable in my misery! I imagine feeling a bit scunnered while downing the finest champagne on a sun-soaked tropical island surrounded by man-slaves feeding you peeled grapes would be marginally more preferable to feeling scunnered while supping the last of your tea in Frankie Ramsey's, giving out that your wee car has carked it and the CU have blacklisted you.
I imagine the topic of a big win is one of the most popular conversation pieces in history. I'm willing to bet we've all sat down on at least one occasion (or indeed every Saturday night just before Casualty while watching BBC 1) and imagined what we would do if our numbers came up. Maybe you would divvy out the proceeds among family and friends or maybe you would keep aside a fair portion for your favourite charities; or maybe you would just go on a one woman spending spree, the like of which has never been seen before.
If you are me, you would probably opt for a combination of the three. Personally I don't hold court with this notion that if you win the lottery you shouldn't allow it to change your life. Trust me if my numbers came out I would be out the door of this very fine journalistic establishment quicker that my esteemed editor could shout: "More Jed's wains!" (in-house joke there- sorry!). My newly acquired Manolo Blahniks would leave the daintiest wee trail as I jumped into a nice Limo and headed for the airport to jet off to the Seychelles.
I would forsake my pretty wee terraced house for a luxury cottage somewhere on the Donegal coastline, with a holiday home in the sun-kissed Tuscan hills; and both would be filled with enough gadgets and gizmos to keep himself amused for a good couple of years and allow me time to concentrate on a combination of writing (as and when I want) and working with my super fit (and totally gorgeous) personal trainer to achieve the body beautiful.

Brooke Perk?
Myself and a colleague have long planned that when the big win comes in, we are going to set up our own bookshop/ coffee shop , complete with a beauty salon up the stairs and an adjoining restaurant for our food mad hubbies to run. We would, between drinking copious cups of tea and getting our nails done, sell the occasional book. If one of us wanted to take a sickie, the other wouldn't mind one bit; after all this would be our hobby not our lifeline.
The wee man could drag as many of his new shoes from Clarks through the muck as he wanted, because I would no longer have to turn into a female version of the Incredible Hulk as I raged about the cost of them and how he only had them two weeks and now needed new ones.
I would be able to succumb to my wholly ridiculous desire to buy the latest Maclaren buggy just because I like the colours ( we already have two- for one baby- himself believes that is adequate) or I may even buy one of those ridiculously expensive Bugaboo prams that all the top celebs have.
And as for my wee man and his love of the "Slish Slash" (translation Splish Splash; baby for bath, swimming pool or any random puddle) I would have our own heated swimming pool for him to swim about in 'til his wee heart was content.
Now, don't get me wrong. I know that chances are Lady Luck isn't going to shine on me. I mean, I would need to buy the odd lottery ticket to start with. And I know that there are blessings in my like that money could never buy; but it's nice to dream.
It's nice to think that with a purchase of a wee ticket you could find yourself financially secure for the rest of your life; that you didn't have to worry about your car carking it (can you tell this has happened to me this week? Our wee car is very sick!) and you could lie on in your bed in the morning without having to worry about the rush and fuss of the rat race.
It would be bliss not to have to worry about paying the mortgage every month. and indeed making sure your family didn't have to worry about theirs either.
Fair play to the lovely Catriona Doherty who has been so lucky with her win of a luxury apartment, I hope it brings her much happiness. But if she finds it doesn't fulfil her life in the way she hopes, then I'll willingly take it off her hands.

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