Oh dear, I’ve discovered myself a NIMBY.

It took me rather by surprise when I went for a walk in Kew. One look at the lovely Edwardian houses that line the road to the Gardens convinced me that I wanted to live there. I could just picture myself sipping tea in the back garden of my pretty red-brick house with views over the Pagoda and the Palm House.

I even stopped at a couple of estate agents along the way to check prices and found them miraculously acceptable. So I walked along the Gardens in a state of dreamlike trance that nearly led me straight into the great pond. Then a gentle slap on my left forearm snapped me out of it. I turned, wondering who it was that dared snatch me from my reverie?and screamed in horror. A spindly black creature the size of my fist had landed on me and was, I am sure, eyeing me with a challenging look. Not that I could see its eyes, mind you. I was too busy screaming, jumping and breaking into an adrenaline-induced sweat that eventually scared the creature, my husband and a couple of passing ducks away from me before my knees buckled and I nearly fell on the grass.

And it was then that it hit me. Together with pretty bluebells, cute wallabies, majestic peacocks and harmless guinea fowls, Kew is also a sanctuary for thousands of insects. Which means the critters would be a short flight away from my windows. Now, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the importance of the class Insecta in the ecosystem, and therefore support every conservation effort to preserve them. I just don’t want to preserve them in my own home.

So I guess this is it-I am a NIMBY, albeit of a rather unusual kind, and I won’t go and live in Kew, at least not by the Gardens. And my list of criteria for a dream home has acquired one more entry. I am now officially looking for a pretty Edwardian house with front and back garden in a safe but vibrant neighbourhood beyond flying distance of horrible spindly creatures. If you hear of any, give me a shout.