Webb recalls trying to sell his family's Washington, D.C. home when he and his family were preparing to return to England from America. "When selling a home in America, you have to pretend that you do not live there," he wrote. "In fact, you have to pretend that no one lives there. Or ever has. Previously owned homes are of course the norm for us Europeans. We understand that other generations have made their mark, lived their lives and passed on to the great home in the sky. This means – as we English know, having grown up with rattling windows and mouldy grouting and those ghosts of the past – that no home will be perfect. You do not make such allowances in America."