When Mary Mackie’s husband became houseman at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk, she suddenly found herself assistant drain clearer, doorbell answerer, flower arranger and rodent exterminator.
Endlessly running up and down corridors, she made visitors welcome, kept unwelcome visitors at bay, and assisted with concerts, dinners and vast cleaning programmes.
But the rewards made all the hard work worthwhile with exciting discoveries such as hidden staircases, treasures in the attic and an ice house in the woods.
It was not just the household jobs which both busied and amused Mary, but also the people she met and worked with.
The endless trail of feet that passed through the doors of Felbrigg Hall meant that she was constantly surprised by people and their stories.
Life would certainly never be dull, or idle, again!