Home renovations are like childbirth writes TOM UTLEY


Greater love hath no man than this: that he should sacrifice his downstairs loo for his wife. For 30 years, since we moved into our Edwardian semi in South London, I’ve mounted heroic resistance to Mrs U’s expansionist plans for the kitchen.

Indeed, I’ve fought a magnificent rearguard action against all her home improvement schemes.

Occasionally, it is true, I’ve been forced into a tactical retreat. After about a decade, for example, I surrendered to her incessant demands that we should call in builders to knock down the wall between the sitting room and what we grandly called the dining room (though it would have been more accurate to describe it as a junk room for broken furniture and the boys’ outgrown bicycles).

For 30 years, since we moved into our Edwardian semi in South London, I’ve mounted heroic resistance to Mrs U’s…



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