"Where's the tin?"
"The cash tin for the desk?"
"It's there," I said, indicating the donations tin.
"But what if people want change?"
"We don't give them change, it's a donation. We haven't had a cash tin on the desk for the past three years, remember?"
My volunteer gave me a blank look. It was his first time back in this season. He'd obviously jettisoned all prior knowledge as surplus to requirements over the winter. He's not alone in this.
"Where are the laminated sheets about the guns, they don't seem to be in the drawer?"
"No, we're not having laminated sheets out on display any more, we've put them in the folder, remember?"
"Do you want the centre light on, or the lamp, in the Business Room?"
"Um...it seems really bright and sunny to me today, Mildred....I don't think we need a light on at all. Remember the damage light can do?"
"Mildred's just fallen down the stairs!"
"What? Our stairs?"
"Yes, she was halfway down, missed her tread, and fell down the rest of them."
"Is she ok?"
"Yes, but a bit shaken."
"I'd better do an accident report. What was she doing up the stairs anyway?"
"Think she was putting the lights on."
"Can you read this?"
McColleague was pointing to a tiny inscription on the handle of an old umbrella from the Business Room. I looked up from the accident report form for Mildred.
"A visitor wanted to know. I'll get the magnifying glass."
"No, I still can't see anything. It's too small. Who on earth wants to know stuff like this?"
"Tell him it's a manufacturers stamp."
"Umbrella Man says your drain's blocked."
"The drain outside your bathroom window."
"What's he doing looking at that?"
"Ask Lovely Warden to poke it with a pointy stick, that usually does it. It's probably just leaves."
"I've just bumped into Umbrella Man again. This time he says there's a lamb separated from its mother outside - couldn't we hear it bleating?"
Just then the radio squawked into life.
"Ticket Office to Doris - there is a lamb running up the drive."
"Yup, OK, we're on it!"
Outside the house a small black and white Jacobs lamb was indeed out on the road, racing toward the horizon.
"It's one of yours," I said to my Boss, who happened to be on site at the time.
The ensuing chase was the highlight of my day. Lovely Warden came at it from one end of the road, my Boss from the other. There was running and jumping, leaps, bounds, falls and shouting. McColleague and I watched the whole thing from our vantage point on the front lawn. We doubled over with laughter. The whole event was drawing quite a crowd. At long last the lamb was finally persuaded to run back into the field and was reunited with its mother. The Boss walked back to McColleague and I, holding up a bloodstained hand.
"Need the First Aid kit," he smiled. "I dived for the lamb, missed, and grabbed the barbed wire fence."
"Aw, I'll have to do another accident report now."
"The thing is," confided the Boss as he dabbed at his wound with an antiseptic wipe, "what I usually do when I'm trying to catch one of my lambs is kick its feet out from under it as it tries to run past. But I couldn't do that with everyone looking."
McColleague and I nodded understandingly. Kicking lambs never goes down well with the visitors over the Easter holidays.