While we were up north (Johannesburg) we had an opportunity to visit people we have known for many years - in fact, since we were all young and newly married, just setting out. Some were more ambitious than others and this couple in particular have done really well. Let’s just say we felt like the poor relations when we got there. If I say that their home feels and looks like a five-star guest house, you will know what I mean. At first, my instinct was to envy all that they had achieved. Then - once the initial glamour had worn off - I thought about what it had needed in all sorts of ways, not to mention a couple of bitter divorces - to get there. No, I didn’t envy them any of that heartache and my husband and I have never given much thought to accumulating wealth. When it finally came down to the line - all I really envied them was their oven, which is still gleaming and immaculate. But I won’t be bitchy enough to suggest that this is because it has never been used. Unlike my own, which although pretty new has two faults: although exactly the same OUTER measurements as the under-counter one it has replaced, can you believe it, the INSIDE is narrower and only my smallest roasting tin will fit Even worse - although I checked to make sure that the inner glass was sealed as my old one had to be unscrewed all the time to clean it, this one seemed dirt-proof. Not so! There is a small slit at the top of the glass and grease and grime inexplicably manages to get inside and bake on and there is no way to clean it at all! I was reminded of a good lesson after this visit - you can’t be too careful when you choose a new oven! Or you can just stop cooking so it never gets dirty.