I am firmly of the mindset that my house is a fortress. It’s my safe place. Family and close friends are always welcome, especially if they come bearing white wine and gossip. Meter readers and tradesmen are tolerated, as long as they show up when they’re supposed to. Salesmen, market researchers and god-botherers shouldn’t even waste their energy walking up the path. With that in mind, you can imagine how much it has pained me over the last few weeks to allow a constant stream of strangers into my home. They have poked in our wardrobes, commented on our decor, and traipsed mud and grass all over our carpets. One of them even stole something (yes, really. But don’t get me started on that).