There is, in the small suburban pocket we moved into recently, something of a building boom taking place. We feel partially responsible. Although we had nothing to do with the overhaul our own house was subjected to, we bought it from a man who did and, judging by the skip action all around, a fair few of our new neighbours took note of what had occurred and wanted in on the conservatory action.
It was the conservatory which sold the house to us. All that natural light after years of living in a dimly lit terrace seemed to offer a world of possibilities: the romance of breakfasting as the sun rose in the morning or relaxing in the evening as rain pitter-pattered down on to the glass ceiling.
We moved in on the hottest day for seven years and realised immediately we had bought a greenhouse. So we looked into installing an air-conditioning unit to tackle the heat before deciding that would be expensive, ethically dodgy and do nothing to combat the unrelenting glare. So we suffered last summer, saved up and decided to fit blinds.
We told the salesman who visited what we thought it might cost. His initial estimate was four times that figure. So we compromised on colour, style etc and eventually got the price down to about double the figure we were looking to pay.
It's quite pleasant in there now at the right time of day; before the sun lowers and beats through the sliding doors. Meanwhile, the building of glass-topped extensions continues all around. They'll see the light soon enough.