I do love going out into the countryside – walking out along the lanes is just so relaxing and therapeautic, most of the time anyway. It can get a bit tense when you have to encounter dog walkers, bike riders, and the like. But when I think back to books and articles on the old country houses, they had a lot more going on along the lanes. Carriages from the big house would take up a vast space, going rather slower than today’s mode of transport. Then there was the twice yearly livestock movements – in the spring there would be the sheep with their lambs turfed out into the grassy fields, as was cattle, pigs and fowl. I like to think of these regular events when I’m sitting in country tea rooms with their lovely old furniture and it feels like I am part of this old unchanging world. At least for a few minutes here and there.