Day 4 and I’m very happy and pleased with myself that I kept a pair of fingerless gloves from their heyday in the 80s.  I’m working in a grand house which is closed for the winter and the temperatures are kept low to preserve the paintings, furniture and carpets. Unfortunately it is also down to freezing point outside.

The office I’m in is several degrees colder than the next room down as it has a open chimney which is sucking up any warm air. The person I’m working with seems oblivious to the cold, although it is fair to say that she’s been there a year and is "well-padded"( euphemism) . So I’m wearing : underwear, thick tights, socks, boots, a vest, a roll-neck, a business suit , a  cashmere scarf and the gloves. I can work at my laptop and keep my hands relatively warm hands.

I had a meeting in a stable block later in the day and had to borrow a torch to avoid falling in the river on the way back to my car! I envy the staff who work and live there the beautiful setting , but it’s not always comfortable, all the buildings, even the accommodation are pretty cold. No wonder the English aristocracy lived in tweed.

Everyone was helpful and friendly ( apart from the chap who has just trained to be a barrister in his spare time – for fun!)

Day 5 My hairdresser tells me that she and her partner are to get married next May , in Gibraltar. They are restoring a house in Southern Spain and one day , in the next 18 months, she’s going to tell me she’s off to Spain permanently. I shall miss her, but I’m  pleased and happy that things are working out well for her.

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