TREAD softly because you tread on my carpets, said Yeats. Almost. Selling a home is, apparently, one of the most stress-inducing experiences in existence.

Try selling a domicile during lockdown? In the depth of winter.

I’ve been doing exactly that. A reluctant uprooting, since our upstairs neighbour saw fit to furnish his flat with laminate flooring, uncaring of the living torment it has created for us. Now, every sound is amplified, footsteps from above reverberate like thunder claps.

Why does Glasgow City Council allow laminate flooring in upstairs flats? Both Edinburgh and Dundee City Council have banned it. To their credit the Scottish Government issue guidance on its use, advising its avoidance.

I’m Desperately Seeking Susan. Glasgow City Council leaderene Susan Aitken. As a young activist I drank with Susan and her man, “Big Gordon.” Susan, for old time’s sake, and the sanity of thousands, please ban this blight?

A ban would’ve spared us the intrusion of shuffling strangers perusing our décor and furnishings. Judgement etched across disapproving faces.

One viewer looked askance at my framed Frank Sinatra mugshot. Fans of The Sopranos will be familiar with this ersatz gangster chic. Her face suggested I was exhibiting the late Phil Spector’s gun collection.

For the first time in years renovations are underway. Hands as busy as Stubby Kaye on that banjo in Cat Ballou. Walls and ceilings painted a celestial white, suggesting you’ve walked onto the set of Heaven Can Wait.

All to entice prospective buyers who don’t demur from uttering their design prejudices. Even from beneath masks.

Only a few are, in fact, genuine buyers. Mitra, my “handler” from the estate agents tells me lockdown has exacerbated this time-wasting trend.

Because there’s no way of knowing who is a genuine buyer every prospective purchaser must be considered, all their indulgences indulged.

One bloke winked at me lustily, while his wife perused our furnishings, and opined, “I bet that bed has some mileage on it.”

I wasn’t offended by the remark. Merely by the realisation that it was far from the case.

Mitra advised us to stand out from the pack by hosting socially-distant theme nights.

So far, we’ve had a Rat Pack Night and 80s Nights. Costly enterprises involving the mild humiliation of displaying 80s music videos on a hired projector for folk walking through: Adam and his Ants, Renee and Renato and Simply Red medleys. It unexpectedly provided poignant moments too. Madonna reminding us she was more than a singing navel. Her voice recognisably human and not a technique. She transported us to times of joy, laughter, rows and reconciliations. A home holds hope, pain, loss and regrets.

What price piece of mind? Quite a high price, apparently. Fees for a mortgage broker. Lawyer fees for exchanging missives. Fees for banks. The housing business is a mightily profitable racket. I now believe they wear masks to hide their blushes.

The real effect of this process has been to cloud my sunny disposition with a thin veneer of cynicism.

If there were a race other than the human race I would join it.

My mat no longer bids you WELCOME. It has been burned in the back garden. Instead my door is affixed with a proclamation: I VOTE CONSERVATIVE.

Now, no one comes a’ calling.

Brian McGeachan is an author and playwright