For the last few days our living room has commanded a view of Paul Allen's luxury motor yacht moored at the Kennedy Town wharf. At 127 metres (416 feet) "Octopus" is one of the largest private yachts in the world and comes complete with a helicopter and submarine.
Even living in a city where conspicuous displays of wealth are common place, a boat like that serves as a good illustration of the colossal gulf between the genuinely wealth and the merely mass affluent members of the middle class.
OK, so the only way I will get near a luxury mega-yacht is if I undertake a bit of training and sign on as a crew member, but it has rekindled my one time ambition to own my own, much more modest, sailing yacht and I ended up spending a few hours gazing lustfully at the websites of various yacht builders and brokers. The thought of spending at least part of my retirement years sailing around Greece and Turkey or the Caribbean is a very pleasant one.
Of course, the classic definition of a boat is "a hole in the water into which money is poured" so I am well aware of the cost involved and the implications in terms of retirement if I do succumb to temptation. Sigh....it is easy to understand how people become addicted to consumption based lifestyles.
Back to reality......