McColleague has gone on holiday this week.
Luckily I have the lovely young volunteer I mentioned here, who is now experienced enough to be able to perform most of McColleague's duties in her absence.
She works until about 1 pm each week day and then departs, so I always close up the house myself every evening. Some of my volunteers who steward in the house in the afternoon like to stay on after we close, to help me put the house to bed. Tonight my volunteer and I went to the Court Cupboard to fetch the bat covers. These are the tyvek sheets we use to protect all the surfaces in the Great Hall from the bats which like to socialise in the rafters after dark. They are taken off in the morning, stored in the cupboard, and put back on when we close.
We opened the cupboard door. Wow. All the sheets were neatly folded.
"Good heavens!" exclaimed my volunteer, in shock. "This is very tidy."
He was right. Normally McColleague or I just grab the covers from the tables and chairs, bundle them up and stuff them into the cupboard in a big, bulky ball.
"Ah," I explained. "That would be our young volunteer who helps in the house in the mornings."
"She's folded them all up," he said, somewhat redundantly, as we both stood looking at their folded neatness. "I thought half of them were missing at first, but it's just that they take up so little room like this."
"Well, she's young and still cares," I said. "She hasn't become jaded like McColleague and I. We just stuff them in any old how. It's not like they're best quality tablecloths - they're only going to get covered in poo."
"True," he agreed.
"Plus it probably took her ages," I ponted out, "whereas McColleague and I can have this room open in under a minute."
"Still, it's nice that she bothered."
I miss McColleague.