On a rainy day, midweek, visitors can be scarce. The staff member in the ticket office, the volunteer in the shop, and the stewards in the house can become very bored after a while. Of course, in the shop and ticket office, in between customers, it is possible to read a book, do a crossword puzzle - one of my ladies brings her knitting with her. It is slightly harder to do entertain yourself in the house in a similar manner, and the volunteers have to find other ways to keep themsleves occupied.
This can take various forms, ranging from moving items about, to a layout they prefer, or putting all the lights on. Many cups of tea are made. Useful suggestions are thought of and searching questions are asked. I receive many more notes scribbled on scraps of paper on a rainy day. My volunteer in the house today though prefers to talk. He knows a great deal, and likes to share his knowledge. When there are lots of visitors he has lots of people to talk to. His attention is divided, diluted. On a day like today he stands in the gloom of the Hall, raindrops dripping from the roses above the door, bored and bursting with information to impart. When he spots a kagouled couple making their way up the drive, his eyes light up with anticipation. They will be the recipients of his undivided attention as he gives them the full 45 minute personal guided tour they never knew they wanted. Some people love it, others I have to rescue. I'll spot them, backed into a corner, eyes darting nervously from side to side, trying to spot an exit, as my volunteer continues, oblivious, lost in his happy place.
The wet weather is set to continue. I have encouraged everyone to bring in a game.