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Stop thinking about money and remember what’s really valuable

PUBLISHED: 14:12 27 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 27 May 2018

Crowds at Cromer for the filming of the Antiques Roadshow. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Crowds at Cromer for the filming of the Antiques Roadshow. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Money is the root of all evil, according to the Bible.

Actually, it’s according to those who misquote the good book, for a more accurate translation of 1 Timothy 6:10 is “the love of money is the root of all evil”.

Which is a relief, because it’d be a shame if the following things were evil:

• Shopping at Aldi

• Getting a takeaway

• Putting £1 in a trolley lock

• Giving to charity

• Getting paid.

So we’re in the clear for having money in our wallet with the intention of buying something essential.

But I bet you’re not totally guiltless, are you? I bet you sometimes love money.

On Thursday I cast my eyes upon a hotbed of evil: like Gomorrah, Hell and Ipswich rolled into one.

A seething mass of sinners infested Cromer Pier and prom for the filming of Antiques Roadshow. As I gazed upon them from the cliff top, I was tempted to slip on my hair shirt, snack on a few locusts from my lunchbox, then deliver a furious condemnation, calling down thunder from the heights.

The demons-in-chief, the “experts”, attracted crowds of admirers as they put a price on people’s treasured tat.

“Your husband’s unwashed 1940s Y-fronts, still worn every day (and being worn today)? £12.23.”

“An unusual contemporary sculpture of Barry Manilow, fashioned from a fat, food and hair plug from your U-bend? Priceless. Sorry, worthless.”

“Tyson the Staffy, preserved in vinegar from thousands of jars of silver skin onions, still wearing his diamanté collar? About £6.5m.”

Some people were in Cromer to see if they could get on the telly by standing in the background looking pensive during a dramatic valuation denouement.

Men of a certain age (older than me) may have been there to catch a glimpse of Fiona Bruce.

But most were there in naked pursuit of money loving: either getting something valued or eavesdropping on others as they received the (mostly) bad news.

I didn’t get very close to the action because I objected to being informed by a man in high-vis that I could only walk along the prom after being swiped with an airport-style detector.

Get stuffed! What right do people have to intrude on my life when I’m walking along a public route?

It’s typical of the hysterical overreaction at so many events these days.

If terrorists want to attack, they will not be stopped by a high-vis swiper. We should just get on with our lives without being made to feel unnecessarily nervous about something that is almost certain not to happen.

Anyway, I’m back from my trip on HMS Tangent.

For those who are not very good at spotting hyperbole or rhetoric, I don’t really think all of those at the Antiques Roadshow in Cromer were the Devil’s footsoldiers.

It just got me thinking about money, which is not something I like to do. I don’t like it, don’t have much of it and have no idea how to make it work - pensions and investments are the stuff of alien colonies.

To be honest, money matters make me anxious.

But so much of life is dominated by the question: “How much is it worth?”

This week, we’ve had seven £1.53m eco-homes going on the market in Norfolk. It’s also the height of speculation season in football: will Neymar move from PSG to Real Madrid for more than £200m?

We are so often in thrall to valuations: the latest house prices, holiday costs, exchange rates, shares, annual profit-and-loss reports, and so on.

I’ve got some decent bits and bobs in my house, including an antique clock and a bureau owned by my grandparents.

Maybe I should find out their value and flog them?

Actually, I’d sooner not know because I don’t care. They look great and bring back lovely memories of Ethel and George.

To me, it’s all about the truth of the adage “you know the cost of everything but the value of nothing”.

The best way that I can illustrate it is like this:

The world’s priciest painting, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, fetched $450m. I wouldn’t have it on my wall, though - I don’t like it.

Meanwhile, my two-year-old granddaughter Isla’s drawings with the crayons that I bought her are worth nothing - but are priceless to me.

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