As anyone who owns an old property will tell you, the upkeep can be demanding, costly and soul-destroying.
It is also never-ending, like painting the Forth Bridge – as soon as you finish, you have to start all over again.
Sometimes, though, if you are lucky during these works, you will unearth something that has been hidden away for years.
A 2,000-year-old Ming Dynasty porcelain bowl that your granny’s dog used to eat out of?
A Renaissance masterpiece gathering dust in the attic?
You know what I mean.
Well a similar thing happened at Glasgow’s Garage nightclub, which I own, and which (God, I feel old!) celebrates its 25th birthday next week.
A lucky find that wasn’t anywhere near as lucrative as any of those I’ve just mentioned. It certainly wasn’t going to feature on Antiques Roadshow but, in its own way, was a very special find.
While replacing an old wall panelling in a basement office of the club, the builders unearthed some hidden sketches and an air raid warning dating back to the Second World War.
It read: “In the event of an air raid, stay where you are. Steps have been made to make this place safe from splinters and glass.”
I had no idea The Garage was even a club back then.
But it seems it was a ballroom, called The Gainsborough, a place where young people and brave off-duty service personnel would jitterbug and dance the night away to the big band sounds of Glen Miller, while squadrons of Luftwaffe bombers dropped death and destruction from the skies overhead.
Since its discovery I’ve thought a lot about those dark days, and what life must have been like for those living in such terrifying times. And it makes me proud and humble to think that The Gainsborough, now The Garage, played a small but vital part by helping thousands of young terrified minds escape the carnage of war by allowing them to let off steam on the dance floor.
And here I am with that very same building doing the very same thing all these years later.
What an honour, given its musical heritage and the historical significance The Garage has for the millions of people that have enjoyed themselves, not just in the 25 rockin’ years I’ve had it, but way before and during the war.
Thousands of live bands have played there, from Bowie to Prince, Alex Harvey to Coldplay. As musical cultures changed, so did the name of the place, from the Gainsborough to The New Astoria Ballroom, to Shuffles and The Mayfair.
It also, for many years, used to be the home (in the attic) of Radio Clyde DJ George Bowie and his fantastic family.
And don’t forget the famous yellow truck (now silver for the anniversary) hanging over the front door – it’s part of Glasgow’s architectural culture and a photo opportunity for visitors from around the world.
It is also rumoured that the Stone of Destiny was once hidden in the adjoining Stone Masons. Maybe that’s why the place is so lucky.
I don’t feel so much as an owner but custodian of this fantastic building. Which one day I will pass on, after a fight, to someone else to love and care for. But not yet! There is still a heck of lot to do and a 25th birthday party to organise.
But we should bear in mind that its old legendary and iconic structures like The Garage and The Barrowlands that help put cities on the map.
Sadly, many are now in decline, especially live venues.
Glasgow has recently lost The ABC. Edinburgh the Picture House, Carlton Studios and The Venue.
Across Scotland, live venues and clubs are closing at an alarming rate and that shouldn’t be allowed to happen. They should be looked after, cared for, supported and protected by the authorities. Not allowed to wither and die.
Happy birthday, The Garage.