I can wax lyrical on types of white ceiling emulsion

Cheryl was lucky enough to sit next to 1980s pop star Sinitta, pictured here at a previous event   Picture: PA

CHERYL GIBBS: An embarrassing moment at a celebrity shindig with Sinitta

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Do you know when a good time would be to start a project that usually requires plenty of daylight and a fair amount of spare time?

Well, if you’re me, that time is when the nights have started drawing in and you have no holiday left that isn’t already allocated to other stuff.

You see I’ve decided, in my infinite wisdom, to renovate my house.

Perhaps that’s taking it a little too far. After all I’m not, I hope, going to have to tear down walls.

Instead I’m attempting to undo some of the slapdash work done by whoever painted the place the last time (skirting boards undercoated but not glossed, or glossed but not undercoated – I ask you.)

It’s a project that has seen me ditch Fratton Park on a match day and head to Fratton B&Q instead.

But at the last match I did manage to get into the car park to hear a Pompey goal being scored.

It’s also seen me turn down social invitations to go to fun places because, with no spare holiday, every weekend is precious.

I have no idea why I’ve suddenly decided to come over all Changing Rooms, because Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen I ain’t.

I don’t think I’m nesting – not in this weather – but I am a girl with a desire to have a nice place in which to live, to change my house into a home, and to end up feeling proud of my little slice of Portsmouth.

I’m also a girl who can wax lyrical on the merits of various different types of white emulsion for ceilings.

In 2010 Johnston’s Cover Plus managed a streak-free finish even when my painting was interrupted by a breaking Pompey story and an emergency dash to the office (this was in my news reporting days).

So I’m happy to admit that I’m definitely a DIY bore.

But, for me, having a home to be proud of is as important as having a city to be proud of.

And another thing. When I use this column to urge, say, the owners of South Parade Pier to sort it out so our city looks nice, I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if my own house wasn’t in order, wouldn’t I?