We recently went on a short break to what can only be described as an extremely chintzy, old-fashioned country house.
There were doilies on the wooden dressing table and scented liners in the drawers (unfortunately not enough to mask the damp smell that wafted out the moment we opened them).
There was wood panelling all around the living room, and a glass display case holding an array of chipped 1970s ornaments.
The kitchen came complete with a bright green dresser which included a host of old bits and bobs that served no purpose other than taking up room.
The cupboards were musty and the sink had a rather unforgiving smell seeping from the plug hole.
Inside the bathroom, the lino was coming up around the sides and the shower dribbled at such a tiny rate that I half hoped it would rain, just so that I could stand outside and rinse my hair properly.
However, despite all this, I did actually like the house.
It reminded me of when we used to visit my great-grandmother’s home, and for that fact alone I found it quite nostalgic.
My daughter didn’t appreciate it, however, and decided that there was no way she would be sleeping in her room with the dusty wardrobe and wire hangers.
So instead she crawled into our bed every night, which wasn’t even full-size I hasten to add.
When we left, we tidied round the best we could, trying not to disturb the ornaments, doilies and scented liners.
We cleaned the toilet and scrubbed the kitchen, trying to get rid of the sour smell that had greeted us when we’d arrived days before.
Several days later we received a letter from the owner.
“Dear Mrs Morgan,” it said.
“When I arrived this morning, I was rather surprised to smell something very strange in the kitchen.
“Do you mind telling me what it was?”
Er, bleach perhaps? But that’s just a wild guess.