Today I saw (not for the first time) an advert saying: UPGRADE YOUR LIFE! --- a clever slogan that actually means: please buy one of our houses. The advertiser is a buildng company.
Thinking about this, I decided that buying a posher house would not necessarily make for better living; in fact it might be better to replace a larger-than-necessary house with a smaller living space where things would have to be simplified. I'm following a North American trend by writing this, and I'm probably writing hypocritically too, especially since I spent a lot of this week planning a redecoration of our living room and ordering new light fittings.
Friends of ours are about to sell their house, getting rid of most of its contents in the process, in order to move into a rented apartment of much smaller dimensions: the phenomenon familiar to my generation. Downsizing is never referred to as downgrading. Put the word "declutter" into a Google search box and 10,900,000 links come up!
Slowing down, on my walk home with the shopping, I dawdled in order to look at the marvellous sunset reflected both in the melted ice on the surface of the Rideau River and in the puddles I stepped around on the pavement.