March 6, 2014

Mud and Bricks


This morning the courtyard behind the Castle was unusually full of vans and cars as well as intermittent rain. There was a lot of activity with Steve the roofer and his team re-doing tiles and leaky roofs, as well as drippy gutters all while trying to fight the elements. The electricians were busy testing their works using space age style equipment with wires and lights flashing various colours. The plumbers are endlessly trying to solve a problem and following a labyrinth of pipes around the Castle and grounds.


I do my morning rounds to say hello to everyone and see how the works are getting on, Sid and Bob are out in the fields in their trenches, knee deep in mud and busy mending water pipes, I always take the dogs with me to visit them as the dogs enjoy taking it in turns to jump over the trenches. On my way back I spot Pat and her decorating team up ladders and we start a little chat with over 10ft in-between us, every other word interrupted with a loud bang as Josh is hammering away, putting in a new raised floor in a rather large shed so we can combat the damp.


Later on if the rain stays away I will get on my bicycle and visit Nick who is currently tiling in Castle Lodge with Tony fixing windows. It remains very very wet here at Highclere, as I discovered when I returned from inspecting another cottage further out in the Estate and I decided to take a short cut back across a field. I held my breath as my little 4×4 spun through wet grass, we made it down, and then up, before grinding to a halt. Reassuring my passenger it was not too far to walk, we headed back to the Castle, but after going to see how everyone was getting on and getting distracted, I had completely forgotten where I had left the car until my husband asked me and stomped back to retrieve it.


It seems everyone at the Castle is busy taking something down or building something even Duncan our Head of IT was busy putting in a cupboard for fibre optics. We have a great team here who all work hard and there are some great moments, where we all roll around laughing and it makes all the chaos not seem so bad, I still laugh when I think about, David the Archivist who works at the top of the Castle in our archive room and came into his own when he let in one of the electricians through a window on the first floor who had inadvertently been locked out on a roof!!