While people across the country moan about the so-called ‘cost-of-living crisis’, please spare a thought for people like me who have been tasked with the responsibility of looking after the 500-acre estate that’s been in the family for 950 years. If you also find yourself in this predicament, then do listen to my money-saving expert advice.
First of all, being a member of the wealthy 0.1 per cent doesn’t come cheap. The cost of permanently heating every room of Hedges Hall to keep an aggressive species of orange mould at bay can only be offset by my father’s elaborate tax arrangements. Most of his wealth is resting in various accounts across the Caribbean and Central America, and all his documents state that he is a non-domiciled UK resident, with his official home being in fact the Pirate Kingdom of Tortuga.
Unfortunately, as he goes further into his 80s, my father is getting increasingly concerned about the state of his affairs in the event of his death. His way of dealing with this is simply to extend his life past 100 and outliving me so he doesn’t have to worry about his least favourite son squandering his fortune. Recently he has converted an old barn into a cryochamber for daily freezing treatments, which already have him looking as light-footed and spry as a septuagenarian rock star on tour.
Unknown to him, however, this is simply a placebo effect. Since the energy required to run a converted cryochamber barn needs its very own nuclear power station, the unit has been in low power mode since day one and is no chillier than a home-delivered supermarket cheese. He will just have to manage his non-death strategy with his all-meat diet, which is itself a huge strain on the budget.
By befriending the giants of light entertainment, we will send a message to the bigoted anti-wealth masses
Last year, we were even forced to sell some of our land to the oligarch in the vast estate next door. Thankfully he has turned what was once an ugly patch of ancient woodland, with several rare species of disgusting moths, into a pristine agricultural desert for luxury grouse-shooting experiences. And now that the trees are gone it is much easier to hear his wild parties with the cream of the British panel show establishment.
The more cynical among you may think that ingratiating himself with popular, cool and talented celebrities is simply a way of winning influential friends and deflecting scrutiny, but this can’t be true as I’ve never been invited. I did once knock on the door unannounced, but was mistaken for one of the caterers and spent the entire night serving drinks to comedians who had just finished filming an episode of 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. This is the sort of ‘soft power’ that all simple rich people like me now must engage with, as the prejudiced multitude jealously eye up our money.
By befriending the giants of light entertainment, we will send a message to the bigoted anti-wealth masses. Put down your pitchforks, stop making that guillotine, I have organised a sight-seeing ramble with the cast of Call the Midwife. Everything is okay, the finalists of Only Connect have attended my outdoor cinema screening of The King’s Speech. And yes, that is Ant and Dec riding on our world-famous miniature steam railway. Eventually, the alleged crimes and corruption of the super-rich will fade from the front page, and we will be able to go about our lives without public harassment. I may even turn father’s cryochamber down a few degrees as a little treat.