We moved into our current house twenty years ago. The previous owner had lived in it for fifty years and not much had been done to it in that time. We lived in chaos for a while as we installed such luxuries as central heating, electrical wiring, a kitchen and a room in the roof. Twenty years later, all that work starts to come up for renewal around the same time. And let me tell you - paying for your second boiler is nothing like as much fun as paying for the first one. It costs more and the novelty isn't there anymore.
Anyway, over the last few months quite a few properties down our leafy suburban road have changed hands. People who are already retired or thinking about it have decided to take their profit and move to somewhere smaller. This means that the skips are dotting the road once more. Perfectly serviceable houses which have been refurbished during the last ten years are being gutted all over again as a younger generation of home makers move in, their imaginations inflamed by TV makeover shows and their way smoothed by twin incomes, and proceed to bring them up to the minimum standards they require. That means multiple bathrooms, fabulous kitchens, plasma screen TVs plumbed into artfully-lit recesses, gravel covering for the off-street parking and lots of decking. Just as we installed many things which the previous generation had managed to get by without, so they are introducing a whole new level of basic comfort and convenience.
I don't begrudge them any of it. It's just the way of the world. When we sell ours it will no doubt be bought by some go-getting young couple who'll wave our removal van off while muttering under their breath "how could they live like this?"