Spare a thought today for all the virtue-signalling going on

SINCE WHEN: Did your garden suddenly become ‘an outdoor living space?’

SPARE a thought today for all the virtue-signalling going on. Have some sympathy for this plague of wokery which decrees that, for example, certain garden features – ‘outdoor living space’ (formerly known as ‘a garden’), ‘outdoor fireplace’ (um, ‘barbecue’) or patio (sorry ‘terrace’) – are as dated and naff as a Sony Walkman. Since when, and more importantly, why, did rooms and gardens become ‘spaces’?

Frankly, though, whether you call it a garden or an outdoor living space, it’s fundamentally the same principle as inside your house – design it based on what you like and how you plan to use it, rather than some glossy magazine ideal of how these spaces should look and function.

I know many people who’ve spent vast sums on renovations that basically make their place look like a mid-priced hotel. Or spent a fortune on a ridiculous range cooker when, in reality, all they do is just reheat pasta and order takeaway.

What’s the point? So, if you have a fire pit and you have people over a lot in the evening, great investment. If it’s something you’ve bought because that gets you entry into the middle class aspirational garden club, then there’s really no point. As for artificial grass, if you have kids and dogs and are time poor, it’s actually an excellent proposition.

So, in summary, homes are not about keeping up with the Joneses, but making a space work for YOU.

But why confine any list of ‘tackiest things’ to overpriced rubbish sold in shops smelling of incense and playing whale calls as background music? Our anger would be better directed at virtue-signalling corporations which produce propaganda claiming that by buying their products consumers are saving the planet from ecological disaster and promoting the physical and psychological well-being of all mankind.

The best example I’ve come across was a company plaque with the subversive message: ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here but we have our diversity quota to fulfil.’

Nuff said. I rest my case, m’lud.

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Sentinel’, ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available online as eBook (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.  

Nora Johnson’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Nora Johnson

Nora is the author of popular psychological suspense and crime thrillers and a freelance journalist.

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