I was telling McColleague and Lovely Warden of my experiences with the visitors who had tried to blag a freebie the other week. We were standing on the lawn in front of the house, at the end of a long day. It was not an open day, but we had all been involved in the Pledger and Benefactor event.
"Then there are those who turn up on closed days and always claim to have come all the way from Australia or something." I was saying. "They have always travelled an unfeasible distance and this is the only time they can see the house, as they have to fly home in the morning, and their visit won't be complete without seeing the place. Which is why they've left it until 5pm on a closed day to turn up, as it's so very important to them."
I paused for breath, momentarily distracted.
A car was approaching along the drive. The gates must have been left open after our Pledgers and Benefactors had departed for the day.
Lovely Warden strode off to intercept them. The car drew to a halt alongside him, and the window rolled down.
I didn't hear the first part of the exchange, but as I drew nearer I had to try hard not to laugh.
"New Zealand?" said Lovely Warden. "No, sorry, that's not quite far enough. Now, if you'd said Australia we'd have let you in, but New Zealand...."
Fortunately he said it with such twinkly-eyed good humour no offence was taken. I will definitely be using that line again though.