I found myself admiring what I think was Madonna's mansion this morning, not that she would approve but it just happened to be in between where I was coming from, Compton Abbas and where I was going to, a gathering just south of Bournemouth airport.
What struck me was how much space there is outside the South-east, with the rest of us being squeezed into ever smaller parcels of land. Take the area between Redhill and Leatherhead, just South of the M25 as another example. Running alongside Gatwick and out towards Southampton, it's an unspoiled vista of an England that only now seems to exist in Hugh Grant films. Huge country houses and small villages that have escaped the developers attentions and will continue to do so, I suspect, because they represent a significant seat of influence and power in the country.
But roll past Sevenoaks on the descent into Rochester and you see what looks like a virus spreading across the countryside, the fresh looking colour of new brick estates, marching east, like story-book aliens from HG Wells, 'War of the Worlds" or perhaps it should be 'War of the Wealds'?
I suppose the fact of the matter is that Somerset is too far from London for affordable housing and Ashford is too near and Greater London, for all of us, seems to get a little closer every day