I AM lying in bed, showered and fully clothed, writing this.

My bedroom, with the exception of The Teen's, is the only habitable room in my house. I say bedroom, but I mean bed really as several old boxes and wicker hampers are piled high over my exceptionally limited floor space. I could probably play life-size tumbling towers.

When people say moving is one of the most stressful things in life, I never believed it. I have moved in the past and it felt easy. This time, it has cost me tens of thousands of pounds and I have spent at least a million minutes fretting.

The Project Manager blames my recent spate of stress on an eerie oil painting that was hanging in the pretty porch.

When I bought the house I took it down, dusted it off and started Googling the painter, just in case it was an Ivan Kramskoy. It isn't, so I have rehung it.

"Burn that painting," he said. "Look at that miserable face, it is much like your own. You can't have that painting hanging at your entrance."

"But it is original and I feel, since it was here it should stay."

My esteemed colleague rang yesterday. "Have you ever heard about the curse of the Crying Boy?" he asked. "Bate, during the 80s hundreds of houses caught fire up North, and in many of them a print of the Crying Boy by Giovanni Bragolin was found virtually all unscathed yet the house was razed to the ground. Get rid Bate."

Just as I was beginning to think there may be a shred of evidence on what sounds like a tall tale, I received an invitation for a press trip to Wales to watch dolphins and stay in a delicious farmhouse - just what we all need.

So for now, the painting stays.