Saturday, 5 June 2010
It's a glorious day and people are flooding through the gates. A cavalcade of MG motor cars sashays down the driveway, risking their undercarriages on the speed bumps. They line up in beautiful British formation, the sun glinting on the gleaming paintwork and chrome.
The hens babble and old people chuckle at their antics. A middle-aged woman as large as Devon is terrified by the bantams who are not too keen on her either. The Indian Runner ducks quack and the sounds from the cafe are of people enjoying a day out in the English countryside on a beautiful day in early summer.
There is a fluttering of dove wings on the stone roof of the old sawmill. They are momentarily startled by a man in shorts who walks by. He has not just knobbly knees but knobbly legs as well. Two girls in outfits too skimpy for their ample frames ask for two adult tickets.
A few minutes earlier, I had arrived to open up and found a queue of visitors, with his Lordship behind the counter, a bemused expression on his face.
'Ah, there you are,' he says, flustered. 'I'll let you take over.'
I am into my stride today, not at all nervous when yet another car rolls up. I am confident, too, with the till and it no longer fills me with dread.
At the end of the day, 160 visitors and I can go home and put my feet up.
I'll keep you posted.
Love Maddie x