Town mouse plans his escape for the Olympics

Oh the joy, when our 11-year-old son, Charlie, looked out of the window and saw the snow. It was 7.30am on Sunday and, to judge from the excitement, you might have thought a space ship had landed. We were in Ramsgate. I had specially checked the weather forecast before going and seen that no snow was predicted. So, of course, it was about six inches deep.

On this occasion, our visit was fleeting, but we’ll be back in July. Who would want to be in London when the Olympics are on? We’ve been urged to avoid Tube stations during peak times and informed of road closures to provide VIP access for athletes and important people visiting the Games, excluding the council-tax-paying plebs who can’t so much as buy a ticket. It feels like Moscow in the Brezhnev era.

Planning to be away, we thought we might at least let the house out. Bearing in mind the shortage of accommodation and the exorbitant rents that can be charged, it seems the only patriotic thing to do. I was, therefore, surprised to learn from an estate agent that Westminster City Council is enforcing a rule whereby private dwellings cannot be let for a period of less than 90 days. Don’t freeholders have any freedom?

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