The past few weeks has been tied up in work on the servants’ book final stages, especially images, which are so important. Pictures will include scullery maids and gloriously uniformed footmen, as well as servants’ halls and kitchens of immense grandeur.


It has been a also been a hard few weeks as my dear mother, at only 66, is very ill with a brain tumour and much time has been devoted to visiting her in different wards and hospitals. She is an immensely special person, at 66 still vibrant and outgoing, with a great capacity for friendships of all ages, as witnessed by the avalanche of cards from friends she made in her childhood, to others she has just met moving to her now home last year, many cards from former pupils and parents of former pupils who so appreciated her warmth and confidence-giving ability as a teacher at primary schools, with a talent for art and drama.


The unfairness of such illnesses is very difficult to bear, but we are all determined to do every thing we can for her, with whatever time is left to her and us all. She gave us all the very best start, and has always followed everything with enthusiasm and joy.


And life goes on, with our own vibrant daughters,  the 14 yr old gets her point shoes in ballet, and the 10 year old competes in a ballroom dancing competition, a bit of a change from her former tomboy ways. I have also lectured at Kirtlington Park, a wonderfully restored Georgian house in Oxfordshire, and attended the Grand National with my father (written up in Country Life this week) which was planned a long time ago; exciting to see a 100/1 winner and great to see Liverpudlians having such fun. Good for them! Life is for enjoying.

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