I bought a sideboard. An old, musty sideboard which has been lovingly up-cycled and given a new lease of life.
I bought the sideboard to go in what will become my dining room. Before now the room (the second reception room in our 50s Terrace) has been an odd mix of a playroom, a home office and a general dumping ground which I have loathed and despised from the moment we bought this house.
I have never found that room nice to be in. It was not a relaxing place to be. It was the kind of place that was frequently cluttered with piles of paperwork, stacks of books here and there and broken bits of plastic toys which no longer held any purpose and were probably a health hazard.
I'm sure behind an old toy Ikea kitchen there was probably a mouldy Wotsit from the neolithic age. I hated it. HATED it.
And it had the kind of mismatched furniture that set my teeth on edge.
So, when the mid-life-crisis hit and I decided to become a full time writer, one of my plans was to finally make this room lovely - as I will be spending more time at home than ever before.
And I bought a sideboard.
It has already given me so much joy, Not least because it reminds me of the sideboard my grandparents used to have in their house when I was a child.
In that sideboard, on the left hand side, there were all the treats the world had ever seen. Biscuits. Fancy biscuits. Biscuits my granny would dole out to us when we were visiting and looking particularly cute. Biscuits that were the precursor to the 10p that would be slipped into our hands before we left for home.
I had such warm memories of that sideboard - of that house, of the times we spent there - that when I saw what I now deem the sideboard of dreams, I knew I had to have it.
I had to have it and use it to make my home feel more homely. I have become obsessed with the idea of a formal dining room. No more TV at dinner time. No disappearing to our different parts of the house at meal times.
I have plans for family dinners, or sitting around together playing board games, and watching the kids doing their homework and, when they are being very cute, taking the biscuits out of the cupboard and offering them one.
I'll ignore the fact my children are fussy eaters. Or that the boy (12) will want to do his homework in his room. I'll ignore the fact that any biscuits in this house have to go under virtual lock and key due to biscuit eating monsters (I include myself in that group).
I'll ignore everything other than the warm feeling of nostalgia - the hopeful glow of nice family times.
Yes - a midlife crisis. A sideboard.
Things are getting strange here on Walton's Mountain.
Why Skirting the Issue?
For 14 years I wrote my Skirting the Issue column for the Derry Journal each Friday - I may have moved on, but I still have opinions!