Writing, life, politics

We Are Not Mr & Mrs Typical

Most people in the UK do not read books.

Shocking, I know, but it’s what many people have told me. I might read books, my wife might read books, both of our families might read books, and pretty much all of our friends might read books, but nonetheless, apparently, most people don’t read books. It’s not a nice thought for an author to try and wrap his brain around, but enough people have told it to me that I’m inclined to believe it to be true.

And then, last Monday, we moved. We went to a website, told it that we had a three-bedroomed house, and it told us what type of van a typical three-bedroomed house requires. One button click later and we had a bunch of quotes to select from. Can you spot the flaw in our methodology?

See the picture at the right of this paragraph? That’s what was left after the removals guys had filled their van to its very brim and set off for Brighton. TV, laser printer, unit that laser printer sits on, an even bigger unit on the pavement that the TV sits on, bin, globe, lamp, pictures – but I’ll stop there because this isn’t the Generation Game and you aren’t memorising this list for prizes. But I will mention that the picture doesn’t show the three bikes that were still in the back garden at that point.

Things eventually worked out okay. I googled “man with van hounslow” and found a Polish guy with a Luton truck in Mitcham, which isn’t Hounslow, but was near enough. But it did spark off a particular thought…

Perhaps that website’s typical three-bedroomed household doesn’t include seventeen large boxes of books?


  1. John

    That looks a lot more than would have fitted in my car.

    Anyway your seventeen boxes could not have been more than most peoples extra furniture, and would have been easier to stack.

    I think skimped a bit on the van. It certainly looked smaller than those used by most of the established local firms (eg Bishops or Goddards).


    • Jonny Nexus

      Yeah, it was a hell of a lot more than would fit in your car. And when I returned from a fruitless attempt to hire a van (to do so you require the paper half of your driving license and a couple of utilities bills, both of which were buried somewhere in the removals truck) it was quite a shock to see it all out there in the front garden.

      As to the size of the van, it’s difficult to establish whether they sent one smaller than we ordered or we ordered one too small. Doesn’t really matter now.

  2. Jonny Nexus

    There are some comments on this post on its Live Journal feed.

  3. G

    I can’t seem to see the pics….not sure if it’s you site or my browser. Thought I’d let you know though.

    • Jonny Nexus

      No, it was me – I’d put them in using a temporary location which is now no longer up. I’ve changed the URL to the permanent location, and now you can see them.

      Thanks very much for letting me know.

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