February 16, 2015

Upstairs Downstairs

In any day I spend a lot of time looking for people or perhaps they spend quite a lot of time looking for me. I go up one staircase and John Gundill our Castle Manger down another. He then asks who has seen me, and is told I have gone to see Pat the decorator on the top floor. He heads on up, (which is a fair climb), and is then told by Pat and her team I have gone downstairs.

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John goes back downstairs during that time I gather he is looking for me and so I go to his office.  He is not here and so I head down the Stone Stairs whilst John returns to his office up the Red Stairs.

I then give up because Jo our lovely groom is looking for me and offering me a cappuccino.  I then go outside to see Paul the Gardener to decide where to plant an oak tree a girlfriend, Smiles, has given me as a present.  It is bare root so I need to decide straightaway.

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John heads outside to be told I am in the gardens and then says “which gardens? there is a 1000 acres of Parkland give me a clue.”  Apparently they all point in different directions. John is not impressed.

I have a very good walk around the Wood of Good will with Paul the Gardener. We find an excellent planting spot as a back drop for all the autumn colours. The gardeners have achieved a lot of work in the last few weeks and the beech hedges to frame the Rose Arbour are also planted. It is going to look wonderful in a few years. We look at the plans for spring and what we next need to do.

Returning from the gardens, and still in Wellington boots I decided to look into the building works in our Castle kitchens.  We have renewed the extractor fans and ovens. I had also wanted to climb up a ladder to see if the cupboards above the current stoves had been used for smoking meats and fish in the past. I have been writing about previous marvellous weekends and menus, and therefore wanted to investigate the cupboards. I really enjoy the details.  In fact Paul the chef and I both went up the ladders to inspect them.

Leaving the kitchen, by lucky chance, I bumped into John so we went off together for the umpteenth Downton recce.