We moved into our house ten years ago. Can we say ‘money pit’ boys and girls? Roof, windows, floors, appliances, plumbing, electrical. Our consolation is that we’re keeping the economy going strong.

I’ve always contended that the woman of the house had a hate-on for her soon-to-be ex-husband. She’d decamped before he put the house up for sale – the bedroom closets were virtually empty. We found out later that some of the vendor’s girlfriend’s clothes had been hung for effect, but you could tell things had been faked – the vibe was off. The house was devoid of personality, it had been staged and felt empty and spiritless. However, no staging in the world could rescue the place from a series of decorating abominations.

In the foyer, the walls were covered with paint the colour of dried oxblood shoe polish. That was embellished with wide floral wallpaper borders around every door and window. As an accent in the living and dining rooms, they’d hung hideous pinkey-orangey rose patterned wallpaper. With more borders. The master bedroom was painted pink, including inside the closets. There was a blue bathroom, a green bathroom, a grey bathroom and a pink bathroom – must have been a sale on discontinued colours. We loved the house though – lots of space for our ‘stuff’ and offices, a blank canvas in the back yard for trees and gardens. Hiring a fabulous painter-guy took care of the barf-worthy decorating choices – but it was a week of hard slogging for him to get the awful stuff off the walls and a neutral colour installed. He earned every penny.

The piece-de-resistance was the master bedroom ensuite – although the powder room on the main level, sporting circus-striped wallpaper on every surface but the floor, was a close second. Pink. Bubblegum pink. Very 80s cool, if you like that sort of thing. I never did. The bidet was the size of a small watercraft. The toilet, ringed with rust, used about 10 gallons of water to flush, which made me cringe every time. As I pressed the lever, I’d say, ‘I’m sorry Ma Nature’. Cheap outdoor floor tiles with some amateur repair where there was a water leak or something they tried to hide with a bath mat. Leaky windows. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Even Habitat for Humanity wasn’t interested – talk about rejection. But, huzzah! We’ve embarked on a renovation project.

Stay tuned….