Joy! - the new - that is to say new to the Hall - lights are finally in situ and well worth the wait. They have actually come from a London church that has been stripped of its fittings, rather wonderfully, a church that was built by the builder of Stokesay Court - John Derby Allcroft. A kind and thoughtful person seeing that they were about to be abandoned, rescued them, and brought them back. It feels a bit as if they have come home and it's already hard to remember what they have replaced. Contrast this with the frustration of my new fridge/freezer. Bought from Currys at New Year to replace one with a freezer door that wouldn't seal any longer, it only works intermittently. After many calls to those numbers which ask you to choose from endless options and state clearly what it is you have bought, I got through to a person, and was then visited by an engineer. Who informed me it works perfectly. The small print in the instruction manual states that the appliance must be installed in a room with an ambient temperature over 10 degrees. Ha Ha! In Stokesay's kitchen the temperature in winter drops below 10 degrees as soon as the heating goes off. Some yorkshire puddings may have frozen and defrosted over and over again and have been thrown out. It could have been worse. As they say, it's a known unknown. Unfortunately Curry's doesn't accept that it isn't fit for purpose. It's all my fault, they say, I should have read the instruction manual before purchasing it and it isn't their responsibility to inform customers of this particular problem. And no, they will not exchange it as it is working properly. When I asked them what I should do with it, they suggested asking the Council to come and take it away!! But it's new, I said..... So it seems I am expected to heat the kitchen to warm up the fridge, or get rid of the appliance and buy another one. Why does Alice at the Mad Hatter's Tea party spring to mind? And yes, I could and should not give up at this point - but complaining is draining, and I've decided I need to conserve my energy for happier things. Like the wonderful lights which put it all in perspective.

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Visit Stokesay Court

See the set of Atonement and experience the fantastic historical tour.