It’s amazing how quickly you can adapt to your surroundings.
We moved into our new house four days ago.
When the last van full of belongings had been unloaded I looked round and thought, right, I am going to nail this. I’m going to make this house look immense.
How hard can it be to give a place a lick of paint, pull up the carpets and sand the floorboards?
Surely it’s just a matter of replacing the old-woman-style chandeliers with posh Habitat lampshades?
I was a runner on Carol Vorderman’s Better Homes about ten years ago.
We transformed two next-door-neighbours’ houses in a week. We knocked down walls, wallpapered, landscaped the garden. The works. When the women saw their new homes they ugly-cried for absolutely ages. Marion, the 72-year-old who'd fostered over 40 children, had Carol Vorderman in such a tight bear hug that it took two producers to loosen her grip.
So I have the experience. You could say I'm a house-transforming-veteran.
The two major differences this time are:
1. I am not trying to make a lasting impression on a humourless producer in the hope that I might get a job in telly instead of the actual reality of lugging round wheelbarrows full of rubble for a week for zero pay.
2. I have a baby stuck to me 24/7 who is suffering from a major case of separation anxiety.
Every time I put my son down he cries himself purple.
Or pulls himself up on my trousers and clings on whilst sobbing.
There is very little you can get done in a house full of boxes when you've got a nine-month-old permanently attached to your hip.
No one else can placate him.
On one hand, it's amazing to be that loved by a little person that they'd prefer to be dangled upside down in a sling while I hoover than be cuddled up with anyone else.
At the same time it can be so massively claustrophobic that I would trade anything for an hour alone in a dark room.
In fact it doesn't have to be dark.
Or even a room.
I have, in four days, managed to unpack the grand total of half a box of t-shirts and as a consequence have been wearing the same clothes for several days now.
So I've had to have a rethink on the house front for the foreseeable future.
I realise now that the painting and sanding might have been a tad ambitious.
I'm now going for a kind of industrial inspired theme mainly consisting of half filled cardboard boxes everywhere.
It looks more ‘packing area in Lidl’ than ‘Grand Designs.’