There is a brief moment of stress as I rummage through tracksuit bottoms, yoga gear and pyjamas looking for something to wear. The comfy old t-shirts and pull on plimsolls, my go-to wardrobe of choice over the last few weeks, will now have to be limited to moments in the day rather than the whole day. Old mugs of coffee now need to be swiftly retrieved and washed up, makeup applied and hair brushed.
It is Monday morning and today we have welcomed a few of our team back to what must seem to them a relic from the distant past: an office. John G is still wearing multi-coloured socks and bright trousers (apparently he has sorted out his sock drawer). That much hasn’t changed, although his hair style, like others, is more luxuriant than usual. It is both surreal and rather wonderful hearing familiar voices and inevitable laughter and actually rather comforting as it has been quite lonely at times.
My immediate thought is that there will be more hope of someone else remembering to pick up milk for coffees and teas. Shopping for all of us has been something of a project and, given the ever likely milk shortage, the choice has been macchiatos not cappuccinos from the tea room machine so that the milk supply will last longer. It is probably better for us anyway.
When the normal world dissolved into the stay at home life, it may have initially felt quite positive. Who wants to have to go to an office? They are a relatively new invention in any case. Think of Charles Dickens and industrialisation, and then today’s today huge banks and the tall high rise glass and concrete buildings into which everyone scurries from a morning commute.
There are advantages to a kitchen table, “loungewear” and zooming. Each person is, however, in their own bubble and the discussions, meetings and unified approach are countered by every single person emailing and telephoning each other constantly. As a result there is often insufficient time in the day to formulate answers and strategy.
Some of our new skills have been very useful and I am sure we will all continue to Zoom. There are however moments of panic when we cannot get a link, the laptop is on emergency power, someone cannot be seen or you are texting a new participant who is still on mute. It is so often rather stressful, and then of course I forget we were zooming so failed to dress smartly and my hair is in a pony tail. In contrast, the telephone seems something of a relief.
On the other hand I suspect the work/project based strategy rather than location/office based strategy might prove a good middle ground, reducing commuting but balancing it with the pleasure of seeing colleagues albeit on a less frequent basis.
Employment at Highclere is old fashioned as our team needs to be here on the ground so to speak. Most of them live either a walk or bike ride away or, at very most, not much more than 30 minutes in a car. The commute through the park is slow because everyone stops to watch the lambs play king of the castle on an old tree stump or to admire the sun on the trees. However, I am not sure I ever think of it as an office. That sounds grey and full of square work spaces. Our offices adapt old spaces for our team today, in the old carriage rooms or tack rooms. Some of the tasks have been the same for a 1000 years (in the gardens and on the farm) and some are new and somewhat different. The heart is the same: it is the community.
This Monday, like other businesses, we are setting out to dust ourselves down quite literally. Creaking and shaking ourselves out to rebuild the supply chains, from people to communications, from remembering what we did, to thinking about how we can do things better in a different world with fewer people. The next few weeks are about preparing to open our doors to welcome visitors. Luis is back to plan the delivery of takeaway food, we have worked out where we can put tables, he is planning his cocktail bar and we have lists of tasks pinned to every board.
Luckily I realised a room along the old corridor was just what we needed for more scattered tables for afternoon teas. Originally a buttery 100 years ago, it was then used in the 6th Earl’s time for ironing. Now once again it will be called the Buttery and, decorated with “downstairs” photos from Downton Abbey, it has a new role.
In June 2019 we were looking forward to summer, to roses in the garden, to the “Downton Abbey” film coming out in September and various short interviews about life here and our excitement at the forthcoming film. This June could not be more different but perhaps there might be another film, and picking ourselves up in spirit, it is Monday and something good can happen.
How lovely to hear of things getting back to somewhat normal. I have so enjoyed Fridays at Highclere, Lady Carnarvon!
Delightful Lady C. One of your very best blogs.
I love reading your blog!!!
Lady Carnarvon, it must feel wonderful to see some of the faces of your friendly staff. There is probably quite a bit of prep work to do for your July opening and I wish you and your staff great success in this project. Your office may be called, A Place To Gather. Always Best Wishes, Cheryl
There is quite a bit to do!
Yes….the challenge of suitable attire. I have to admit the prospect of a bra…..ugh. Lol. So happy you are getting ready to go. Hope to come for a visit in the near future!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Welcome back, albeit you’ve been very busy during this strange time. We’ve very much appreciated the cocktail hours, mini-tours, and of course this blog. Fun! Best wishes as beautiful Highclere again welcomes visitors. The Buttery sounds like a wonderful new space: a necessity perhaps, but also a new space to enjoy, so a perk. Wishing everyone good health, much happiness, and continued prosperity as we trundle forth.
Lovely blog Lady Carnarvon, it’s so lovely to hear about the workings of Highclere in these odd times. Good luck with the opening, it’s certainly a challenge for you & other businesses currently. It’s a new way of living for the time being at least.
We have been self contained for last 3months but certainly not bored as find lots to do.
All the best
I’m so glad you all survived the “plague”! I’ve been self-isolation for 87 days as I have Rheumatoid Arthritis & the treatment for it has lowered my Immune System to virtually zero! I saw my daughter the first time in 85 days last Saturday…..we visited Highclere last June & had the best day EVER!! Thank you for your blogs, having been there I know exactly where you are describing! All good wishes for the Summer to everyone, Caroline
I am glad you stayed safe – a great girlfriend of mine has Rheumatoid Arthritis with all drugs as you and got Covid 19 and is now fine
Good morning, Milady!
Here’s hoping your restart goes smoothly – a long stretch, a dust of the proverbial cobwebs, the scent of summer flowers and an easy progress toward the return of the hustle and bustle! Do stay healthy and happy, all
I’ll be dreaming about that bit on, “perhaps there might be another film…”
Something good has happened; another post from Highclere. The gradual move back to how daily life used to be must be exciting for everyone.
Our visit to Highclere last May had to be canceled. We look forward to visiting next May if our visit is able to be rescheduled. My husband and I look forward to celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary while there.
Happy Monday to you and your team!
Look forward to seeing you!
Mary my husband and I celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary there last September and it was magical I sincerely hope you get to do the same it created a special memory for us that I will never forget best wishes to you both.
How wonderful! Aren’t these memories even more special with the hindsight of the last two/three months?
Thank you for the blog. It was a lovely read about the new realities we all have to adjust to. It is a brave new world out there. I guess none of us are sure whether it is a good or a bad thing yet. Maybe a bit a bit of both. I hope the castle is working at full steam soon. And, we are all looking forward to the possibility of a second movie. Something to look forward to 2021, I hope.
Hello from the Berkshires in the US!
Your blog this morning brought a smile to my heart as I read about your careful steps to reopen your home. We too are taking careful steps as we leave our home or greet visitors on our back deck. Readjusting our social practices is a daily decision, and we have become accustomed to quiet days and using our computer to Zoom or Hangout with family and friends. Your words gave me hope that this time will pass, that this period of isolation will prove to be a time of introspection and personal growth and that some day we can come together again.
Hello from the Hudson Valley in the US.
Even though Highclere and you are so very special, it’s somewhat comforting to know you are also just like us, acting like us in quarantine, and now endeavoring to embark on a new normal. I look forward to visiting when I am able to travel to England to visit my daughter and family in Oxfordshire.
As I sit here getting ready for my first meeting of the day (I work in IT and have the luxury of being able to WTH regardless of the current unfortunate events going on around us) I done my fluffy robe and thank God that my boss does not require use of our laptop cameras for our Microsoft Teams meetings throughout the day. Before I realize it, it is 11am and almost time for lunch; and yet here I still sit at my home office/desk (actually kitchen island) in my pj’s and robe. Where did the morning go?? Days full of Teams meetings find me STILL in my robe (and teeth not yet brushed sometimes I am ashamed to say). There are advantages (and as one can see, disadvantages) of staying put at home and getting work done remotely. I do have to admit that I need to get to the office (and gym) eventually! Take care!
I have not quite done the fluffy robe – probably because of the dogs!!!
Good afternoon Lady Carnarvon,
Good luck for a smooth transition back to the new normal.
May I thank you for your excellent and very uplifting blogs every week during these strange times. It certainly has been a welcome read and a time to reflect on what we all have and what is important to us.
Thank you very much for the positivity and humour throughout the last three months.
I cannot begin to tell you how much your blog lifts my spirits! I subscribe to your podcast as well and enjoy them a great deal! Thank you for doing what you do and shrink so much of your sentiments and life with us. You are inspiring and I appreciate that very much!
I am glad – I have enjoyed recording them very much !
We had planned to visit with you this summer and were in process of planning our trip when Covid-19 reared it’s ugly head. With all the travel restrictions, we thought it better to wait until next summer to travel abroad. We were so looking forward to seeing the castle. As it happened, I have had some health issues that would have made the trip difficult. So, things usually work out the way they were meant to and we have this trip to look forward to next year. We always enjoy your blogs and wish you a wonderful summer. See you next year!
All the best to you and your team, how wonderful for many of you to be together again. Enjoy the companionship, planning and doing and the joys of summer and having visitors back to delight in your beautiful home and garden.
Monday’s always make me smile in anticipation of the coming days. I keep busy cooking or baking a recipe I would like to put into my (hopefully) cookbook, cutting and piecing a part of a quilt I am making for a friend, and working on my garden. I always feel better in the warm weather. Ohio, USA gets quite cold in the winter. My husband and I enjoy a round of golf once or twice a week also. I glad things are slowly getting back to where we can enjoy the company of friend, family and new acquaintances. Keep safe and enjoy life.
I prefer the warmer weather too!
Your musings are the perfect way to start my work week – thank you so much Lady Carnarvon!
What a heartwarming piece and I must say that my tracksuit bottoms have been a daily friend although I have also made the effort to wear bright summer dresses/skirts in latter days to go to do the essential food shopping . We are looking forward to visiting Highclere again around my birthday on 24th July..blessings to all your team. So good to start seeing friends and family again too. I have now tried your gin and it is fabulous..such a refreshing taste. Here is to the summer. Thank you.
The gin is refreshing, it is has won so many awards – team effort!
I’m sorry that the ‘m is missing in my last note.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
All good luck in the weeks ahead. If anyone can figure out the “new normal”, it is you and your team. Working collaboratively is wonderful, and while Zoom offers excellent opportunities for sharing ideas & solutions, I also embrace the actual human connection- reading body language, problem-solving, and sharing exciting ideas with unifying energy. Both, as you envision, will most likely become the norm.
Best of luck on this bright Monday.
I look forward to a return to Highclere! May you and your loved ones remain healthy and strong. And thank you for a lovely remote cocktail party last Friday- they are brilliant.
Charlotte Merriam Cole
I am so glad I did not stall the car on camera!!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Lovely to read things are slowly returning to some degree of normality at Highclere. Reading your blog and eagerly watching Highclere Gin fortnightly shows have been thoroughly enjoyable here in Australia and I have been avidly sharing all your cocktail recipes with friends here and in the northern hemisphere. Thank you.
I have discovered evermore about the cocktails and so enjoyed it!
As I have no job anymore to return to, childcare, 2 of us old ones were cut from staffing due to financial reasons, I’d been there 13 years and she 14 years. As I’ll be 65 in October maybe I won’t go back to any job. Your home of course had to still have upkeep from staff. Those who have “been away” I’m sure are glad to be back… To have purpose through work. Your blogs …I look forward to. Thank you
I am so sorry – 65 is young it is just finding the next door to walk through
Oh I just loved reading today’s blog. I look forward to “moving forward” and it sounds like you and the staff at Highclere are prepping for that next step. Thank you for sharing the news from Highclere. The Buttery sounds like a fun spot for a tea or coffee break. Keep well Lady Carnarvon.
I am excited about the Buttery too!
In these uncertain and somewhat stressful times I do welcome and love your blog.
Thank you for all the updates at Highclere.
Stay safe and be well.
Kathleen from Canada
I totally look forward to Monday’s blog and now I can see you on Fridays as well. Of course the dogs provide many a chuckle for us…Thank you again!
They were rather full of beans last Friday!
Dear Lady Carnavon,
I read your blog and just dream of the day when I can walk the grounds and admire Highclere in person. I would willingly volunteer in any capacity if I simply lived in Britain ! So I live vicariously thru your words, thank you so much for letting us peek into your life and the lives of those that have the fortune of working there at your home. Have a blessed day!
Thank you Sherrod!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
It is funny you speak of doing your hair and makeup, for last night as I was preparing for my neighbors to come for a social distanced dinner, I looked in the mirror while I started to put on my makeup and for a brief moment, I thought, do I even remember how? It was a bit shocking because it wasn’t just a silly thought…I truly had to think about the order in which I put on makeup and it took me more than a minute to sort out my brushes. I was really hoping “Anna” would appear and help me! (Makes me wonder what else I need to “brush up on” since retreating into my own world.)
Our local public television station is re-running Downtown and I’m enjoying watching it again and seeing your lovely home. There seems to be no end to Julian Fellowes talents…for those that have not watched “The English Game” on Netflix, it’s a beautiful (short) series on the origin of the game of Football (soccer in the U.S.). I’m giddy at the prospect of another Downton film.
In any event, it is wonderful to see people getting out more and returning to some normalcy…though a social distanced kind of normal, but nice, all the same. I’m hopeful you are able to finally go pick wallpaper and paint for the room you were working on when last I wrote to you. In the meantime, I’ll get to work on figuring out how “paint my face” again!
Have a lovely week and thank you for keeping us connected to each other during this unusual time.
San Francisco, California
I am not sure how successful my face painting is today!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Your writing is so descriptive I can see everything you write about. The Buttery sounds like a lovely room for tea. Your description of Zoom meetings made me laugh, as my two book clubs have had all those same situations! Wishing you and Lord Carnarvon continued health, happiness and prosperity from a grateful read in Houston, Texas.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Your writing is so descriptive I can see everything you write about. The Buttery sounds like a lovely room for tea. Your description of Zoom meetings made me laugh, as my two book clubs have had all those same situations! Wishing you and Lord Carnarvon continued health, happiness and prosperity from a grateful reader in Houston, Texas.
I have just zoomed this morning and resolved to find a hairbrush for the office..
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
These past three months have been an month of Sunday’s “ and we have actually quoted the Dowager Countesses line, “What is a weekend” quite often! I’m so pleased to hear that Highclere is moving forward – it’s such hopeful news.
We here in Arizona opened up too early in mid-May and the results has been very scary with cases increasing as much as 1,400 a day over the past two weeks. I’m astounded by so many who don’t wear masks…. So we continue to stay at home and limit ourselves as much as possible by staying away from public places.
The repurposed space of the Buttery sounds like a great design project – could you share before and after photos? Tea upstairs in the Coach House at the beginning of last summer was the most delightful and delicious experience- especially the individual Victoria Sponge Cakes!
Thank you for the sweet memories!
Che’rie, Stephen & Chloe
I have taken a photo of the Buttery now(at its worse) and have sorted out the paint colours – that is the exciting part!
I Dream of the day when I can walk the grounds and admire Highclere in person.
White peonies, white delphiniums, and is that bridal wreath behind you?
Sandie from Whitefish, MT
Crambe – I don’t know if it has another name!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
During this time of a pandemic and staying home to stay safe, the words “casual dress” have taken on a new meaning. I am a bit hesitant to put on the clothes that I would be wearing to go to lunch or shopping as I worry that they might not fit any longer. We dress to fit the occasion, whether it is taking the dog for a walk or going to work.
On the last day that our public library was open (14 March), my husband saw the dvd for the Downton Abbey movie and brought it home for me. I have watched it twice. I was also able to stream “The English Game” and “Belgravia” two other projects from Baron Fellowes. So I hope that there is another movie being planned.
It’s good to be returning to a form of normal, albeit with changes.
Thank you, Lady Carnarvon
It’s refreshing to LOOK forward and see MORE people!
Enjoy your week.
I greatly enjoy your fun and calming stories. My blood pressure drops. Can you tell us a bit about your bees there? I love mine! As if they are mine, which they are not of course. They live in a huge eucalyptus tree. I provide water and a bit of safety. Bees: so important and fascinating! Perhaps Edith liked them…
The hives seem ok at the moment -they are so precious!
A bright note from Highclere this morning as the rain has started and weather forecasters say we here in North Carolina are in for five days of rain! Quite different for our normal June. Obviously, you may be grinning at that thought! My second task on Mondays, after fixing the coffee, is seeing the notes from so many who are probably “at home” writing similar replies. Their admiration of your weekly posts is shared by so many.
Our Sunday School class of 90+ Zoomed yesterday with around 65 tuning in from homes and patios and porches, and even several couples who are out of state – since early April we come together to worship, learn, pray and praise. I am thankful that we have each other in our SS family, and thankful that I can turn to Highclere on Mondays and Fridays!
That is a zoom !
it is Monday and something good can happen.
It is WORLD GIN WEEK so should expect a surge in the sales of your now well famous Highclere Gin.
Then you can buy a new tracksuit, trainers and green wellies. Essential when you go to feed Lady Mary and Lady Syble.
Carry on Highclere
Gin an flowers – drink gin save Highclere – new t-shirt perhaps?
Can I collect my t-shirt in Oct?
Have a wonderful British Flower Week!
Dear Lady Carnarvon –
My heart sings from the news that you are starting the re-opening process and some of your close-knit team are able to return in-person. Your blogs always transport me to Highclere Castle as well as anchor me for the start of the new week. By the way, my wife acquired her “What is a weekend?” teeshirt at the Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit in Winterthur, Deleware, several years ago, and is known to wear it any day of the week she likes.
We look forward to better times for you and yours and hope that today, this Monday, something good happens absolutely happens for you. You certainly deserve it!
Sincerely, Steve Schroffel
How lovely to hear from you Steve and best regards to your wife
Thank you for your thoughts on this beautiful day in New York. I’m back to teaching summer school, always dressed and coiffed at least from the waist up! The other day my manager called me on the telephone and realized I was straining my eyes as if to get her into focus on Zoom. Have a great week with your returning team.
I enjoyed this peek into the re-opening of your amazing home. Best wishes for a successful remainder of 2020!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
so happy that finally normality is slowly edging back, and that you and your staff are all safe and well. We’ve been working through furlough as we supply hospitals so have been able to keep going, if on a much reduced level. The staff we furloughed are starting to trickle back, and those who have worked through finally able to take some time off. Alas not for me as I run the payroll and HR departments, but have today booked tickets for Highclere in July, and so have a day to look forward to. Although I have been before, I am so looking forward to coming again. I hope you sell Highclere Gin in the gift shop, I will be coming by car so intend to stock up, after we have been round the gardens. It will also be nice not to wear formal work clothes or gardening clothes but something nice. I’m lucky I live close enough to visit on a day trip, albeit a long one.
Wonderful we do sell our gin and garden pots and plants from the garden …
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Another uplifting message from you! I do enjoy the Monday gatherings and also the Viking TV Fridays. We have rescheduled a cruise with Viking for next summer (2021) and I’m trying to add the Great Homes, Gardens and Gin post-extension that you mentioned last Friday, but I’m told it is already sold out….Is that possible? If so, then we will just have to plan another way to visit Highclere Castle! I really can’t be in England and not come to visit.
All for now, and enjoy your week – Summer is nearly here.
You could email Viking – I hope they might fit more people in or I can recommend hotels and help you arrange a few days near here, pottering, exploring
Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Like coming out of the dark and into the sun.
Our collective efforts have brought us here. Am looking forward to more messages from the sunny side.
Well done, all!
Hoping to return to Highclere next year.
My my my there is quite a lot of comments this blog already! Yes some semblence of life moving on to our new normal is really strange but good. We are in Phase 3 of re-opening since our area is on the downside of the curve – but feels really wierd to see people out and about again. We had a pizza party outside yesterday and we were so HAPPY to see one another!!! Your writing is very moving and hoping you are on to your next book…..Take care!!! PS – Reallly thinking about coming to see you next year – fingers crossed!
It has reinforced the pleasure of seeing friends and listening to them, to the real cadence of their voices, seeing real faces
Good Morning Lady Carnarvon and our Monday family!
I so look forward to our time together on Mondays! I enjoy reading every comment as so often they reflect my thoughts as well.
I am in DAR which is a lineage society here. I understand it is not as well known in England! LOL, We had to suspend our meetings and activities as everyone else has done. So, feeling disconnected with our DAR sisters, last Thursday we played Zoom Bingo. It was a lot of fun to see my friends again. Who would have ever dreamed a year ago that playing Bingo online with a group would be so much fun and be so needed? The fact that I was able to make the Zoom connection is nothing short of a miracle! I’m not the best IT person… I’ll take every victory I can get.
Stay safe, Wash your hands, and Nameste!
It is good on a Monday to read your blog, Lady C., and know that “normal” is slowly returning to Highclere Castle, it makes the week ahead look bright and sunny. ‘Love the idea of tea and scones in the Buttery, ‘will have to start making place for a visit one day., in 2021? And you gave us a shiny ray of happy hope with “there may be another film”, yay! My “what are weekends” T-shirt arrived and I proudly wear it during these “months of Sundays”….and wearing it out at the seaside now that Greece is “open” . Many thanks for sharing life-at-Highclere!
Thank you – it is a fun t shirt – it makes people smile!
I have tickets to Visit Highclere With my daughter August 20. Will you be open by then?
Yes ! we open early July
I am a schoolteacher and an event planner in San Jose CA. My school is closed and all my upcoming events were all cancelled. We have been under shelter-in-place order since March 16th. Additionally our public health officer has instituted the strictest measures in the entire San Francisco Bay Area in our county, Santa Clara County. The good news is our county, one of seven in the Bay Area, was the only one to have met reopening standards and goals. Our seven counties have 7.1 million residents. I have adhered to all the guidelines. I put gas in my car for the first time in two months and have consumed exactly seven gallons during that time. My only trips outside have been to the doctor and the grocery store. There have actually been some good things to come out of this pandemic for me.
1. I have totally cleaned and reorganized our master bedroom closet.
2. I am working on reorganizing and cleaning our garage. I have decided teachers and engineers should not get married as we each have way too much stuff.
3. I have started a regular exercise program and have lost 14 pounds.
I have found the secret for me staying occupied (and sane) is to make a list of things to do each day and to try to do one big item a day. While I don’t always succeed, I probably have a 90% success rate.
I bought myself two signs, one hangs outside my front door. They read, “It’s So Good To Be Home,” by the front door, and “Today I Will Do Absolutely Nothing,” positioned behind me in my makeshift home office.
All of us lead busy, almost crazy lives. This stay at home order has forced us all to slow down. The downside is no family and no friends.
Last Friday, June 5th, the county allowed limited outside dining with tables six feet apart, the wearing of masks and strict rules as to who can sit at each table. It was my husband’s and my first time outside in over three months! What a fantastic morning.
I hope everyone is staying safe and still following protocols and guidelines. One only has to rewatch those scenes in Downton Abbey about the Spanish Flu to know it will be worthwhile.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for sharing your story about Highclere Castle slowly coming back to life.
I enjoyed looking at the photographs, and found the comment regarding the “Buttery” being re-purposed interesting.
Are the Castle’s gardens involved in the British Flowers Week? If so, is it opened to the general public? Perhaps consideration for a live stream on Facebook or Instagram may be given and/or arranged for this event. I look forward to your reply.
Until next Monday.
We are just involved on Instagram!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
What a wonderful day to start the reopening of your wonderful home!! I am from Illinois and we are just starting to reopen. I hope to get back to work by August at best. I am in the Hospitality world. Hotels are just not opening up quite yet. That being said we are all healthy in my family.
Have a wonderful week.
Such a lovely post this morning. Thank you so much!
Well Wishes to all from Gig Harbor, WA
Flower Week. What a wonderful thought to start the week. Glad that you will be able to check in with your staff in person. I have had one or two (twelve) zoom missteps myself…..lol. Looks like a great week is in store!
I zoomed today but not sure it was a good hair day!!!
And so we come to life again….a new normal begins for us all.
Wishing you many blessings as you prepare to receive so many visitors who have waited patiently to finally make their way to your wonderful castle. How I wish I could be one of them, but unfortunately my age and health won’t allow it. How thankful I am that the internet can take me there. I revel in your blogs, your website and my Downton Abbey group. Highclere Castle is where I go in my dreams and I do visit quite often.
Our lives have been put on “pause”…thankfully we begin to taste freedom once more. Enjoy!
Sending you my fondest regards from sunny Florida,
Thank you and I would love a sunny summer (Florida weather!)
Perhaps another film??
Oh do say it’s so!!
Love reading your blog from over here in Alberta, Canada
Take care and good luck with getting things up & running!
We have a booking for the 14th of July 2020. Do you think the house will be open by then ?
Wife’s birthday treat (14th July)
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for a heartwarming blog. We have been welcoming colleagues back to work today, it was good to see them. I love John G’s brightly coloured trousers and stripey socks, they look like bee’s, being orange and black, or are they navy?
As always, already looking forward to next weeks blog.
Not sure I look that closely at his socks!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Glad to hear things are returning to normal. When you were talking about using ‘Zoom’ you reminded me of this; https://youtu.be/0idWiHiasKg
(Jane Jetson’s Mask) Hope this brings a smile. Yes there are some benefits to the old telephone.
From Heather in Australia.
Perhaps the fashion designers will be giving us Covid Attire for 2021! What are plimsolls?
flat old fashioned trainers – jolly useful
Dear Lady Carnarvon, It is wonderful to hear from you that your beautiful home is becoming alive again.Last October we visited Highclere and could observe the smiles all around your assistants(we met lovely ladies near the Egyptian exposition and they were excited to receive our Brazilian flip-flop keyrings to share with their friend).We can only imagine how hard was the sound of Highclere silence for you…Sometimes I wondered if you at least were enjoying a stroll in your Gardens,wearing the Havaianas we brought to you,wishing they could instantly transport you to warmer places…We enjoyed so much our visit and were blessed to carry beautiful castle items to Brazil,from your shop.As we have a Highclere calendar in our kitchen,among other memorabilia,like tea towels,we think about you everyday,wishing all the best and a speedy recovery to all of your normal activities,along with lots of smiles and cups of friendly coffees (with abundant milk)or special teas to your team.We are sorry as we do not have Viking tv in Brazil…hope to have it in a near future…as Brazilians,we are born quite optimistic!Thanks for your blog!We wait anxiously for your Monday words!
Thank you – I know you are having a tough time in Brazil so all all best wishes
Once again, a delightful post. Happy to hear you will enjoy welcoming Visitors back soon and how nice to have The staff returning. All the best.
The title alone brought up giggles today; my “quarantine” has been a bit tricky. All the construction crews have had to stay separate from my area of the house. I supplied paper towels, hand sanitizer, soap and water for the crews. Anyone who came into the house had to wear a mask and stay at least six (6′) feet/2 metres away from me. Also, I had Lysol spray for surfaces. I would never recommend a remodeling/construction job during a pandemic unless one is in the middle of the job when the pandemic begins.
Thank goodness I have the box set of Downton Abbey CDs from PBS/USA. I’ve escaped a number of times to that timeline of a family in transition to modern times.
Again, your blog has brought smiles to me and so many other people. I have so enjoyed the cocktail parties and your driving was quite admirable. I laughed when you suddenly remembered to set the brake before leaving the car in the drive. It was such a great party atmosphere and I truly needed it at that particular time.
Congratulations on beginning the process of reassembling your team. My funniest experience with Zoom has been attempting to play bridge; I do not recommend it. However, I highly recommend Zoom study sessions, language practice, and exploring landscapes where friends are.
Best wishes for good health and a successful reopening! May all your favorite clothing still fit, too. My T-shirt for “What’s a Weekend” is still in the basket due to some type of internet connectivity issue. It will get sorted out soon.
Greetings from Louisiana/Texas-USA.
Thank you for your update!
The possibility of a new Downton Abbey movie?! Oh that just made my day! More chances to admire your beautiful home and property!
Good morning Lady Carnarvon
You sounded very upbeat in your blog today, I could tell you are happy about getting back to some sort of normal life. Seeing your staff and getting The Buttery ready will fill your days and it sounds a lovely project.
Here in Oz we are starting to get out and about but with strict controls. No more than 10 at a funeral, 20 at a wedding, 20 in a restaurant, churches limited to numbers of congregation, nobody attending football although they are playing and it is televised, no more than 10 people at your home, school children only attending 3 days a week and as yet no clubs, cinemas, museums or libraries open. At all open venues we have to stay a minimum of 4 feet apart but seeing we have not had any covid virus reported apart from 5 people coming in from overseas who have to do a compulsory 2 weeks isolation in designated hotels which our Government pays for and strictly controls.
All of the above may seem a bit over the top but since we have not had a local corona case in 4 weeks we are all happy to comply after all staying alive is far better than the alternative. I think we all thank our emergency services personnel for the wonderful service they provided during this pandemic, most went above and beyond the call of duty and I cannot praise them enough.
So….happily wear your tracksuit pants and be comfortable…..just add some nice jewellery and a smart hat and nobody will notice the pants 🙂 You could do what I did once on the farm also. I glued a large flower on the front of my wellington boots much to the delight of shearers who were working there. It pays to be different. 🙂
Good socks! Marko Johns ?
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
As always, your writing is most, descriptive and colorful. When I look at your photos of indiscreet spots within the walls of Highclere, I love looking at the beautiful, smaller alcoves that fill it.
Each has its own personality- like a garden, and you take care of each so well. May I ask, since it is truly a time to grow and enjoy our gardens- what are your favorite flowers?
You always seem to be dressed ‘for the occasion’ and look So Nice. I have learned to be comfortable ‘in the moment’ during this time of challenge, therefore, if gardening clothes are best- then that will be the attire for my day.
Happy Regards to you, Jane Hrabak
It is British Flowers Week and I was wondering what that answer would be.. The answer is just the diversity – the delight in finding a bee orchid, the scent of a rose perhaps set against Johnson’s blue geranium or alchemilla mollis or wild thyme with tiny flowers in the wild flower meadow..
DEAR LADY CARNARVON:
I AM SO HAPPY TO HEAR YOUR TEAM IS COMING BACK. YOU ARE PREPARING FOR VISITORS, WHAT A DELIGHT. ONE DAY I WILL JOIN YOU ALL FOR TEA. OF COURSE RIGHT NOW WE CANNOT FLY FROM CANADA. THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY AND THE DAY WILL COME WHEN I SEE YOU AND YOUR TEAM AND HAVE TEA AND A LAUGH WITH YOU ALL.
I PRAY FOR NORMAL AGAIN. WITH A BROKEN LT. FOOT FROM MAY 1ST, I HAVE HAD TIME TO RESEARCH AND REFLECT ON MANY ISSUES. THE BOTTOM LINE IS LIFE WITH CLEAN AIR, WATER AND FOOD IS ESSENTIAL. PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE AND CONNECTION WITH EACH OTHER. LOVE IS OUR GREATEST ENERGY. OUR FREEDOM TO BE, IS OUR UTMOST RIGHT.
SENDING LOVE TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. XOXOXO.
Thank you am may your foot heal well!
Dear Lady Carnarvon, one sorts out one’s sock drawer not ‘draw’ doesn’t one? Forgive my correction! Love your blog, freezing here in Marysville, Victoria,
Bless you all,
completely correct! Thank you
Viory – Rama
Great ideas and good luck in everything You initiate, dear Lady Carnarvon!
I am thrilled to hear of Highclere’s re-opening! May God bless all of you as you maneuver through this uncharted territory!
Lady Carnarvon, it is a great photo of you sitting amongst the flowers. I just finished watching Viking TV Highclere Gin. The greenhouses are beautiful, stunning and the grounds of Highclere Castle, the same. I am most grateful for you sharing your home, life and loves because as said before I just do not think I could make it over to see everything in person. Thank you again. Cheryl