THE kids are growing out of their bedroom. They are growing so fast it feels like everything else must be shrinking: their clothes, their shoes, the house. Eventually they will grow right out of here and leave us, two old crones pottering about in a damp cottage. For now I shall ruthlessly exploit their youthful vigour and make them chop wood and help with heavy lifting at every opportunity.

Cold weather this Easter bank holiday weekend meant gardening was out of the question so we set about the long overdue task of renovating their bedroom. It’s only small and was never really big enough for both of them but this is only a two bedroom cottage so it’s all we have. When we bought the property we had ambitious plans to extend into the barns but these have remained just that, ambitious plans, too ambitious to fund at the moment. And that’s without considering all the additional problems like how to get building materials and workmen down the potholed track that is the only vehicle access to the house.

The problem of a small house with small rooms is compounded by the fact the boys love and hate each other in equal measure, as brothers do. My two are only 17 months apart, which makes the fighting more intense, especially in a small room. Too close for comfort.

We had an idea to build a partition across the centre of the room, to give the boys their own space. I’d say Nehru had more luck in the partition of India, with slightly less bloodshed. Lines were drawn and re-drawn across the carpet, the pros and cons of having the side with or without the radiator or the window hotly debated. I will award my husband a certificate in diplomacy for negotiating the deal, which we will trial for a week, before nailing anything down.

Is this a good time to suggest a similar plan for our own bedroom? Sometimes I could do with my own space.

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