AFTER four months, the space intended for a new washing machine is still occupied by a swing-top bin. As these items go, I’ve seen worse. It’s a cheery yellow number which the label had optimistically described as a ‘pastel shade’ thereof. Looking at it now, I’d say it exists more at the custard end of the yellow spectrum.

Apart from that, the kitchen area has all the accoutrements and sundries that most people seem to favour. I’ve even implemented a colour code of sorts that connects the bin to the kettle and the drying board. This, I hope, will convey the impression that there’s been an element of design in my furbishment choices.

In truth though, I belong to the minimalist ecole of home décor: if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it as you’ll only make it worse. And besides, you risk storing up soft furnishing problems beyond the purview of your technical skill-set.

The elderly lady from whom I bought my new flat seemed to be someone of elegance and discrimination. Why would I want to meddle with the choices of someone who knows more about this kind of thing than I?

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Obviously, I’ll make a couple of trips to Ikea for the obligatory stripey cushions and turquoise ceramics, but less is more, I think.

Having recently reached 60 and thus embarked on the sniper’s alley stage of life, I should probably be avoiding house moves. I tend to travel lightly though, with most of my gathered possessions from previous flits reinforcing the west of Scotland charity shop sector.

This will probably be my last and, if I’m spared, there should be plenty of time to stick up and put in the sort of chattels that won’t leave me feeling self-conscious during Zoom meetings with other media types.

You know the sort of stuff I’m talking about here: book-cases with edgy political and historical volumes straining to be noticed; bohemian artwork with straight lines and concentric circles that you hope will convey the impression that you’re pale and interesting and possessed of hidden depths.

And plants. Lots of plants. Everyone seems to have plants.

I hammered the local garden centre recently and came home with enough verdure to create my own eco-system. And did I mention the throws?

I was once gifted a fake tiger-skin rug by a friend which I transferred from the floor to the wall in the deluded belief it would make me look as avant-garde as get out in a Zoom call with cool people.

Afterwards, one of them asked me why I was going for the Czechoslovakian porn studio look.

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There’s one aspect about the onset of codgerdom, though, that no-one ever warns you about. You find yourself inexplicably drawn to those sorts of television programmes you’d previously associated with bowling-club members and book-group enthusiasts.

One week I counted 11 different shows about cooking and felt compelled to experiment with a chicken fricassee.

In Nigella’s pictures it looked white and creamy. My effort emerged looking alarmingly jaundiced, but at least belonging to the same palette as my yellow bin … its final destination.

And then there’s the home improvement programmes. I’ve always avoided these. In my experience they leave you bereft and undermined and wondering why, despite your recently-purchased actual wooden furniture and jolly, patterned curtains, your place still looks like a coal bunker.

This is a genre that ought to come with a trigger warning for the mature, single man.

And so, it was with some trepidation and caution that I approached the finale of Scotland’s Home of the Year. I’m glad I did. The winner was an Edinburgh abode, yet curiously attainable to the aspiring, west of Scotland David Hicks. It was an old, converted train-house that, for once, didn’t leave me with ideas above my station.

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Obviously, there was your wooden floor and your herbage and what looked like a splayed baby buffalo rug at the foot of their bed. Apart from that though, it wasn’t intimidating at all.

I’ve already been told by a knowledgeable friend that the blinds will need to go and that the living-room carpet is liable to stain under my stewardship. And that I need to be rid of my Abigail’s Party fixation with avocado (which I’d been told was back ‘in’).

And my children still harbour health and safety issues on my behalf about an old-fashioned, electric cooker which I had thought conveyed a retro vibe.

They all insist on choosing neutral grey for my soft furnishing requirements, as these will absorb any of my adventures in colour-coordination.

“You need a suite that goes with anything,” was how my fashion designer daughter put it. “And lose the framed Celtic FC artwork. You’re 60; not 16.”

I received some John Lewis tokens for my birthday, which my children felt should be part-exchanged for that washing-machine. Instead, I got one of those fancy Nespresso coffee-makers. It comes in an aesthetically-pleasing black and chrome livery.

The washing machine can wait until I get an ironing board. Plus, there’s quality banter at the local launderette.