THERE is nothing like a little bit of luxury to make you realise how lucky you are.

Yet to listen to the growing number of people who moan about things that really aren’t worth moaning about, and who, despite having far more to be thankful for than the vast majority of people in the world, give the impression they will never actually be satisfied with anything.

So this week I am going to tell you about our hot tub, and why it is one of the best things we have ever bought.

All our lives we have worked hard and saved, and we still don’t have expensive tastes or waste money, yet we still felt a bit guilty when we fired up the hot tub for the first time, a few weeks ago.

I hesitate to mention it because I don’t want anybody to think we are materialistic or have expensive tastes, or are frivolous with our money, especially when you don’t necessarily have to travel far to find people whose lives are much more of a struggle.

Actually, ours is the much cheaper inflatable type of hot tub, compared with the flashy, rigid kind that costs at least 10 times as much, even before you have hired the crane to lift it in over your roof.

Our excuse for buying it was that, at our age, anything that helps soothe our ageing bodies is an investment.

But there’s much more to it than that.

We had no idea how much we would actually use it, fearing it would be a fad or become a white elephant, and it didn’t seem such a good idea when the water turned green by the end of the first week.

However, after upping the chlorine tablets usage, which now keeps it clear, we have a dip most evenings when it isn’t raining.

The benefits and attractions are multiple, from the obvious, which is helping you unwind from the stresses of the day, to the entertainment provided by Alfie, our cat, who is so excited to find us in the garden in the dark that he never fails to leave the cosiness of indoors behind, in favour of joining us.

Not that he gets in, of course, but he can’t resist scaling the tree next to us, or climbing across the bamboo roof of the wooden structure I built to house the hot tub.

This was originally intended to be just a gazebo, and although our son was fond of saying it looked like a bus shelter or — even worse — calling it ‘the smoking shelter’, he has been eating his words since we re-christened it our ‘spa area’.

For somebody like me, who was brought up in a council house and whose parents lived through a world war and rationing, it is understating it to call the hot tub a luxury, when actually, for the first time in our lives, we are feeling decadent.

In the grand scheme, especially compared with many people’s lifestyles, our small-scale extravagance might not seem that exciting, but nothing has ever made us think quite so much about our good fortune to live where and when we do.

Probably the best thing of all about relaxing in a hot tub is it gives you time to think, and the conclusion we come to, every night, is that, from now on, we will look at people differently.

Henceforth we will judge them according to one thing: how grateful or ungrateful they are to have been born into an age when we can have so many things that our parents could never have dreamed of.