Two different ways to enjoy riches

The only people who say money doesn't make you happy are rich people who want it to be a secret.


Balthazar Getty: money does make you happy

Balthazar Getty is not an early riser. He never wakes before 11. He always has the same breakfast, brought to him in bed by a maid. "Oatmeal and berries, a hard-boiled egg with wheat toast and a cup of tea made with Chinese herbs. Don't ask me what's in it, but they really sorted out my digestive problems."

As he explains to The Sunday Times, Getty, 41, lets his wife "sort the kids out" while he lies in bed. When he eventually rises, he spends an hour on the treadmill (and three mornings a week has a cycle ride) before attending to his face. "It might sound silly, but I've got a six-stage procedure for my face with toners, exfoliators, moisturisers and serums I get from Dr Lancer in Beverly Hills." (Dr Lancer is a skin specialist.)

Getty had a troubled background his father, who was kidnapped when he was 16, overdosed when he was five, which left him almost blind and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Balthazar dabbled with drugs, but in his case "they were never about getting high, they were about adventure". He doesn't believe in the Getty curse: he's rich (reputedly worth £150m) and happy, making music and being a DJ and partying with the likes of Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson. "Does money make you happy? The only people who say it doesn't are rich people they want it to be a secret."

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Unlike Getty, most people who feature in The Sunday Times's "A life in the dayof" feature are up with the lark. A good example is James Patterson, billed as the world's best-selling thriller writer (news to me I'd never heard of him). Having been rejected by 31 publishers before his first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, came out in 1976, he has now sold more than 350 million books.

Unlike Getty, Patterson, 69, is up between 5.30 and 6.15. After going down to his office to organise his day, he walks nine holes of his local golf course,"bang a few balls, curse, bang a few more, curse some more. It's an enjoyable way of keeping fit". Patterson lives in a house looking over the ocean: John Lennon and Yoko Ono used to be neighbours. He works at a round table, using a pencil, and always writes in longhand, and amidst drawers full of papers. "These are the stories I'm currently working on, maybe 140 of them, and a lot are thrillers." His chief luxury seems to be going to a film mid-afternoon, as a break from writing; sometimes he stays for all of it, sometimes just half of it.

He doesn't think success has changed him. He comes from a blue-collar background in New York with 45% unemployment, "and friends I've known all my life will tell you I'm the same a**hole I always was, which I take as a compliment. I've had to learn how to spend my money on the house and sometimes I take private jets but half my money is slated for charity. We give scholarships for teachers and donate to independent bookshops and libraries."

At 6pm he stops work and winds down with a TV box set. That's an hour or two before Getty starts work, making music, which he carries on doing until around 3am. Two rich men who are both happy, but who, in different ways, have found quite simple ways of living with their money.

Inside Westminster why did Michael Gove turn on Boris?

Some of Gove's friends blame his behaviour on his wife, Sarah. "They say her father is a wealthy, self-made man, who does not recognise other people's good qualities unless they too have made money. They believe she wanted to lift her husband in her father's eyes, and making Michael prime minister would not be a bad way of doing that."

In another new book, Speaking Out, Ed Balls recounts a flight on Concorde with Gordon Brown in April 2002. They were working on a speech Brown was planning to give in Washington "when suddenly there was an enormous noise... we felt the plane begin to plummet. The altimeter was tumbling..." The steward came over the intercom; there had been a major incident; the captain was trying to work out what it was. "He didn't sound very calm... Gordon turned to me and said: Well, here we are' and I said: Yep, maybe this is it'.

"We had a nice conversation about our families, about the good things we thought we'd done in our lives... By this point, the plane was down to 24,000 feet. Gordon paused, turned to me, and said: What do you think? Should we finish my speech?' Soon afterwards the plane stabilised (an engine had blown) and eventually landed safely. "But I'd... discovered that Gordon Brown was a fine companion when facing imminent death."

In an interview with her local Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot magazine, Prime Minister Theresa May says she doesn't like her nose, loves detective novels, shares Indiana Jones's fear of snakes and believes in the afterlife. Her favourite word is "serendipity". Her idea of perfect happiness is walking in the Alps. Her greatest extravagance? You've guessed it. "Shoes, of course and always having fresh flowers in the house."