"The last servants left here in 1947.
Please wash and put away any crockery used and take your rubbish with you.
New Warden had landed the choice job of putting up the noticeboard above the sink, so that we could display our finely crafted sign. This has been his first week on the job, and, I imagine, quite a learning curve. He has probably not saved a single dormouse or surveyed a solitary fungus. He has learned when we need the rubbish taking up to the wheelie bins, when we put the kettle on, where to gather greenery and flowers for May Day garland-making activities and how to run a wattle and daub workshop for school children.
"Have you got a tape measure?" he asked McColleague.
"Oh, no need to bother with that," she replied. "Just put it up by sight."
"But what if it's not level?"
"Then I'll make you do it again."
A pause. A smile.
He is learning when we are only joking.