Why Sam Armytage performed an exorcism on her house
A MAN'S home is his castle. It's an ancient Roman law that became an old English proverb and was then nicked by a little Aussie battler. And, just like Darryl Kerrigan, I believe it is the law of bloody common sense.
Our houses are our privacy and our security. And they always have been. So it's no surprise that no matter how humble our humpy, we're obsessed with renovating, restoring, refurbishing or flipping them.
We knock them down. Build them up. Fill them with paraphernalia and potpourri. And then we cocoon ourselves and our families in them and feel safe.
And then we put up our exhausted feet and watch shows about people renovating, fighting, refurbishing and filling their houses with potpourri.
After many years in the dating wilderness, I worked out you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. (NB ladies - never trust a man wearing alligator loafers.)
Now, after spending a small nation's GDP on homewares during my lifetime, I can safely say I know a thing or two about decorating, too.
Our houses speak volumes about us. Whether it's neutrals, beachy, minimalism, antiques, clutter, colour, Hamptons-inspired, country or arty, your castle will tell the story of who you are and what you believe should go straight to its pool room.
Outgoing, anxious, confident, busy working woman, procrastinator - it doesn't matter what your affliction (and we all have them), your pantry, couch, what you hang on your walls and your throw-pillow-to-bed-ratio can show people what's going on inside your head. Scary, huh?
Now to prove my afflictions are equally as warped as yours, I also believe houses have personalities. And I think houses find people, rather than the other way around.
Ask anyone the story of how they "found" their home and I'll bet there is... a story. Because there's always a li'l magic something that draws you to your castle.
And there's also usually a reason (water damage, termites) why you miss out on something you think you love.
(And, just like the dating wilderness, there's usually something much more lovely and less water-damaged just around the corner.)
Years ago, I owned a little country miner's cottage. And she was a sweet Aussie sheila. You know the type... all pressed-metal ceilings and warm from the Aga, with a "rustic" outdoor dunny in which I proudly hung a Beacon Lighting chandelier.
But, like many of us old ducks, she could be difficult. Despite my adoration, the bloody house kept hurting me.
Open windows would suddenly slam shut on my fingers. The shower would turn scalding in an instant. All things I'm sure could be explained by even the most over-priced, half-arsed builder.
Instead, I called in the local priest for a little real-estate "exorcism" of sorts. And that lovely man came over, had a cup of tea and then splashed a bit of holy water around. Bless him. And the old girl calmed down. The house was also better behaved.
I hope the love affair between Aussies and their angry little cottages and blissful beachy bungalows continues in this lucky country. As Darryl Kerrigan might say, "How's the serenity?"
Samantha co-hosts Sunrise, 5.30am weekdays, on the Seven Network.