I have mentioned before how relaxing it is to work behind the scenes of such a wonderful place, such a relaxing time for me compared to my real job dealing constantly with the public who are generally distressed in some way or another.
Mountstewart is a place of solace. Of course this is not so for everyone as there are employees here who have a job to do and probably feel there is never enough hours in the day and they never get to the end of their ‘to do’ list.
Working mostly in central hall I get to see a lot of folk pass through across the floor about their business. They are such a cheery crowd of people who work here. The house staff constantly flitting through as they deal with outside contractors as well as those working in the house. With a house as old as this there is always an issue needing dealt with if it isn’t window cleaners,boiler maintenance or fire and burglar alarms keeping everyone on their toes day and night.
I am met most mornings by head of the house or one of the house stewards who are already in the midst of their work despite maybe not having had a full nights sleep with alarms going off but always cheery none the less. At this point the guys are already vacuuming and cleaning the visitors entrance.
Paul one of the dailies always comes in with a welcome hello keen to hear what I have been up to with my sewing projects, etc.
Aileen crosses the hall with camera in hand and Fergus not long after in search of his latest piece of furniture to restore. Lady Rose and Mr Lauritzen stop for a few words before they continue with the rest of their day and all the while I am still in my knees on the Central hall floorcleaning up after the previous days visitors ready for the next lot..
As well as the tour groups there are a few special guests of the family who come along so there is never a dull moment. I don’t know what you like most about Mountstewart between the grandeur of the house the peacefulness of the lake or the enjoyment of rambling around the trails but there is one group of staff who manage to get everywhere. No matter how many times you walk through the house you will see something new even I am delighted as I see something in a new position r recently restored but do you notice the flowers?
Lisa and other members of the team tiptoe through central hall removing dying flowers and replacing fresh flowers from the garden in most rooms just as Lady Londonderry would have had it.
Again another friendly group of staff who wish me a good morning as I vacuum and wash the floor.
I was delighted as a young nurse when flowers were banned from the hospital ward as I cringed when someone handed me a small bouquet and expected me to make a master piece of them for their ill relative. I can clearly say that flower arranging was never my forte and never will be but thesefolkdo an excellent job here without even thinking about it.
Flowers in the entrance hall, robe room, Lady Londonderrys sitting room, dining room breakfast room, drawing room and the saloon. If you haven’t noticed then it’s time for another visit.
I do have my favourites. I always enjoy the display in the robe room under the portrait if Circe and her sirens and I particularly like the white displays in the dining room.