We might spend our days surrounded by dust, but at least builders knock off at four, right? Not so much. Turns out renovating is an 18-hour job, cause even when you’re not building or sawing or fixing things, you’re thinking about building or sawing or fixing things.  And when your muscles are crying out for a break, you’re budgeting. Adding up the same numbers over and over, because surely Excel must have it a bit wrong? A new bathroom can’t cost that much? But it does, so all you can do is shrink the numbers, and that’s where eBay comes in. Every night I trawl the web, feeling like Steptoe as I hunt down secondhand treasures. Whatever we need, I’ll find it… I mean, I might find it 400 miles away, but who doesn’t like a romantic weekend away disassembling kitchen cabinets?

My eBay rules:

1. Go for good brands

2. Only buy appliances that are less than two years old – there are a surprising number of people who change their kitchen plans halfway through installation

3. Stick to furniture from a non-smoking home, unless you want to be best friends with the bleach bottle


Bath, 80 and a bruised toe