I belong to the main heritage schemes in the UK, the usual NT, EH and another, the historic houses association. This one is slightly different in that almost all the properties ar still lived in as family homes, very often by families who have been in situ for undreds of years and their lineage goes back even further. It is interesting being able to go round this particular group of properties because only certain ones open to the public and ‘friends’. To be able to see a lived in home and apreciate the tremendous amount of work required in the upkeep and maintenance of such gorgeous but fragile old places does make me feel humbled. I can engage my locally sourced maintenance contractor and negotiate work to be done – these homes need the opposite – specialists in absolutely every area – glass, carpets, stonework, lead roofing. Experts needed by the cart load!