Now that Hodmandods Major and Minor are both firmly ensconced in other parts of Cheshire, we have decided to renovate and adapt our house for ourselves. And it turns out we need lots of space. I, for instance, have claimed Hodmandod Major's bedroom for my study. So far, the one old-fashioned pendant light - close to the window for modesty's sake - has been replaced by an array of spotlights, the mouldy spot on the wall, where Hodmandod Major's fish tank once stood, has been replastered, the noisy old laminate floor has been ripped up and the floor boards repaired and hammered down, and a long piece of ducting with electrical sockets has been attached to the wall to where my desk is going to be.
At the moment, we are redecorating. The magnolia paintwork is being replaced with white, the paper has been scraped from the walls, and this weekend we are planning on applying a liberal coating (or three) of 'Joa's White' - a warm neutral colour for this north-facing room.
I always think there is something satisfying about transforming a room. The old school
is wiped away and then, eventually, there's a new term with promise. A clean white page waiting for a pen or brush.