I'm sure most of us at some stage have indulged in that very Kiwi of Sunday afternoon pastimes, the Open Home Trail.
Mrs P and I are no exception to this. In fact, we consider ourselves trail veterans.
Over the years we have hitched up a wagon and headed off many times in search of new premises for our growing brood.
At the moment we are considering our options in terms of something new to us, a slight downsize with a twist - a lifestyle property with enough land for us to put a small house on while the kids look after the rest of the acreage.
Regular followers of my weekly ramblings will know we are looking to put our dough in with the Boomerang Child and her fella and find a nice little spot somewhere in the country where we can live out our days in peaceful splendour, hopefully with a golf course and a pub just a short amble away.
To that end we have started looking at what's available in our chosen location.
It has to be said that some viewings have reminded us of Open Home Trails of yesteryear, where everything from an eerily spooky dark purple basement complete with metal rings for chains on the wall to a property with a pile of dog poo on the carpet inside the front door were on our list.
Back in the day, Mrs P and I were somewhat surprised at such sights.
Not anymore. We now view properties with a much more experienced – and open – mind.
Just because purple isn't our colour doesn't mean we can't change it, does it? And hey, if chains on the wall are your thing, then good on you. Thanks for taking my mind off the boring pastel shade of colour in the lounge. I think my mind is still boggling over that contradiction in personalities.
As for the dog poo on the carpet inside the front door . . .well. Er, I'm not actually sure what to say about that.
Anyway. As I say, we are back on the trail.
And because we're casting our net quite wide, we are open to most possibilities.
As luck would have it, the other day we heard about one that seemed to have some potential so we deviated from our planned open home trail route, knocked on the door and, after a bit of an explanatory chat, asked if we could have a look.
I have to say the vendor was more than obliging bearing in mind, as he said, he really wasn't ready for the open market yet.
This was made abundantly clear within three paces of the front door when we noticed a large slab of plywood positioned on the carpet.
"Floor's a bit ******** there," said our host, philosophically. "Won't take much to fix it."
We gingerly made our way around the outside of the plywood sheet and I asked Mrs P if she remembered another property we looked at many years before where a similar hole had not been covered up.
On that occasion, number two son, barely five years old and full of beans, had gone running forward into the lounge only to disappear into a gaping void.
Luckily, he was uninjured but the shock (or perhaps embarrassment) of the fall left him in tears for a while and sped up the time spent on our viewing. Needless to say, we did not pursue a purchase.
The house we were in the other day, however, did have some potential.
Yes, it needed work. Don't they all? But I liked the look of it.
Mrs P did her usual thing and went to check out the bedrooms and all those other sensible places like bathroom, kitchen etc while I hovered around the lounge talking with the enthusiastic seller trying to get a handle on how much he wanted for the place.
As you do.
We weren't that long into our conversation when Mrs P returned and suggested it was probably time for us to go.
I could tell from the tone of her voice that she wasn't wanting a discussion and very shortly after we were back in the car and back on the trail.
Naturally, I asked what had happened.
Turns out that she'd opened a bedroom door to find a young man asleep in a chair in, shall we say, an advanced state of undress.
Naturally, I had to laugh.
Things like that were, I said, to be expected when we were effectively asking people for a look when they weren't ready.
She agreed. However, it wasn't the fact she'd walked in on the young chap having a snooze or that he was to all intents and purposes naked as the day he was born.
Apparently, she couldn't get over the décor in the room – a familiarly spooky dark purple.
She didn't bother hanging around to see if there were any chain rings on the wall.
No point, really. We won't be making an offer. We'll just get back on the trail again next week.