.... or at least your nerves! I blame my friend Nicky. After we'd been having a chat about everything we were wanting to do to mum's house - two separate extensions, a loft conversion and lots of internal reconfiguring, Nicky introduced me to her guilty pleasure. It was something I'd never tried before, and neither had Al, but we quickly became addicted to the daily BBC1 show 'Homes Under the Hammer'
In case you've never come across it, the premise is fairly simple - and repetitive - the two presenters follow three homes (or properties as I believe it's compulsory to call them these days) as they're bought at auction, valued, renovated and revalued to see if a profit has been made. The show is weirdly addictive, partly because it gives me design ideas for mum's house, but also because I'm addicted to checking out how much everything costs.
While we're not interested in the profit element as we're obviously going to be living in mum's house (which I point blank refuse to call a property,) what does interest us is the designs, and especially the renovation costs. This is where the nerve shredding bad-for-your-health thing comes in - I have violent mood swings from despair to ecstasy depending on how the renovation unfolds. We usually watch the show together, so Al's there to laugh at me when I start shouting at the screen - sometimes at the annoying presenters - but more often at how much it costs to do a similar sized extension to the one we'd like. If it's more than our budget I'll be sitting with my head in my hands, and if it's way under our budget then I have a massive grin on my face. Whenever the developers go over budget - which happens a lot - I worry that the same thing will happen to us as we don't have much of a contingency fund.
I know watching this show isn't doing me any good, and I really should cancel the Tivo series link and give it up, and I will ... just a few more episodes, then I'll go cold turkey, I promise!