One would struggle to find a couple more pleased with themselves than Paul and Cindy Sherrington. Even their dog Mr Wiggles, a creature that bears a startling resemblance to Diana Ross’ wig, seems to pant with smugness. Today they are feeling particularly self-satisfied as the photographer from Superior Homes magazine (a freebie that is stuffed under the door of many an unappreciative resident) is wandering agog around their ‘palatial’ home in Hattan while Paul leads him through one eye-watering ‘themed’ room after another. Cindy’s head nearly popped off her fuchsia velour tracksuited body when she got the call that the magazine wanted to run a feature on their dream home, even though she’d been plaguing the editor for weeks. They stop in the Thai-style lounge-cum-bar area (all sourced from Dragon Mart) so that Cindy can gush about their holidays in Phuket while their children Sienna and Shane stand in the background looking rather morose in their matching Ed Hardy skull and roses tracksuits complete with rhinestone trim.
No one is exactly sure what Paul does to afford such ‘luxury’. His friends might hazard something to do with building and contracting but as long as the Sherringtons keep hosting their legendary karaoke nights once a month, no one really cares. Paul (a small man, comfortable in golf clothing on and off the course) is at pains to point out that he bought their villa in 2004 and ‘strictly entre-nous’ and peppered with winks and elbow nudges, he’s made an absolute mint. Cindy is a regular at the Golf Club and wouldn’t miss Tuesday’s quiz night if her ‘grandmother was on fire’. She and the girls in the ‘Chardonnay and Shimmers’ team have never actually won; they find the General Knowledge section a bit tricky.
Passing by the downstairs bathroom, the photographer notices various framed pictures of Paul with his arm around some ‘great mates’ including Rod Stewart, Frankie Dettori and that ghastly girl from those frozen food ads in the UK who all smile obligingly. As they wave him off, the stunned man from Superior Homes fails to notice one of Mr Wiggles’ steaming deposits, carefully left in the centre of the grassy area in the shape of Chelsea FC’s emblem. Paul doesn’t mind though; the grass is acrylic and, like most things in their lives, wipe-clean.