I simply can't resist blogging about this topic, as this is a re-occurring theme in conversations with many people we meet... and it tickles my humor every time!
If we are to think back, our home would have had many many live in staff members to run it efficiently, ok so I agree that some roles are easily replaced by the modern family, that of a private chef for example. But other roles, still need filling, such as keeping the fires going, maintaining the grounds, cleaning the house and meeting and greeting visitors. These roles are now all covered by Doug, Viv, Guy and myself... and this makes for a huge amount of work.
To quantify this a little I thought it would be interesting to put this into a few facts and figures. This winter alone we have burned through almost 3 tonnes of coal (this is addition to 1,000 litres of oil a month!), this coal is delivered to ground level, it then has to be hand lifted down a flight of stairs into the basement, and then lifted up a flight of stairs in buckets on an almost daily basis. This is a task that falls mainly on Doug's shoulders and there's no doubt it helps to keep him fit!
In addition we have used a room full of wood, which has been chopped up throughout the year (several days are assigned to 'wood chopping') this wood is then moved up to ground level, again on an almost daily basis.
These jobs would have usually been taken up by many people to help the house run efficiently and smoothly, yet today they are all jobs that we, the family, cover between ourselves. And all this effort keeps the house at a balmy 16oC on an average day in winter when we have no one else in the house.... we manage a few degrees warmer when we are or open for business - event days are bliss as we sometimes reach the dizzy heights of 20oC and you'll find myself and Viv stripping off our thermals in shock at the heat in our house!
I considered the topic for this blog while in the bath the other day, it was freezing cold outside, and not particularly warm in my bathroom, which although beautiful is one of the more chilly rooms we reside in. I can't remember the last exotic holiday we had, and we frequently are exhausted from the level of work that we have put in over the last 5 years to turn the estate round to a now functioning and well known home it is becoming.
However, I really don't want to shatter the illusion, so in answer to the question "it must be so glamorous living in your home" yes of course it is! And yes, of course we dress for dinner, which is, obviously signaled by the ringing of the gong... isn't it the same in everyone's home?
So next time you see the lights on on a Sunday evening think of us dining in around our family table, resplendent in our gowns, if not ever so slightly compromised by the thermal leggings and welly boots underneath!!
Thank you to the photographers whose photos have been featured, we love their work! Emma Moore Photography, Gyan Gurung Photography, Graham Warrellow, Helen Power Photography, Joanna Cleeve Photography, Julia Conway Photography, Kate Gary Photography, LaHu Studios, Lemontree Photography, Lydia Stamps Photography, Mia Photography, Peter Dyer Photography Ltd, Tansley Photography, Teresa C Photography, The Springles, This and That Photography.