It started with a cup of tea and a Twix, as usual (sold to us by Beverley) and culminated in a bottle of wine with the Sheriff of Nottingham (I kid you not. I have photographic evidence, just as soon as I work out how to retrieve same from my wretched iPhone) at the Via Fosse.
These days spent in our new manor are very intense. There is so much to see and so many folk to meet! This time around we had a fantastic visit to Nottingham University School of Architecture, thanks to Tim Garrett of Innes England, and a great tour around the prototype sustainable houses they have built there.
What an inspiration those people are. What a lot there is to learn! The students have built the Nottingham University "Shipping Shelter" - a beautiful flowing arch made entirely of pallets (some of you may have seen this strange edifice down at EcoBuild a few months ago).
They are engaged in re-erecting the thing in Nottingham city centre today for the Olympic Torch to pass through this evening. The students are, a little mischievously, rather hoping that the pallets will catch fire as the torch goes underneath. I guess that won't happen (Health and Safety and all that, yawn yawn) but I sure hope they have a good party.
Rumbling along in the background I was having a rather charming spat with Mr Richard Aylwin on Twitter during the course of the day. As you do. I'd started it by musing that while I did not think £1.2m was a huge amount of money for the National Trust to pay for a mile stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover, I wasn't really clear why they needed to own them to conserve them, as they'd endured pretty well to now.
Me and my big mouth! Richard's response was "cos some opportunist developer will get a clever planning barrister to win planning consent". Well, he is an old hippy after all, and I had to remind him that most of his clients would fall into the category of the aforementioned "opportunist developer", and did he know which side his bread was buttered etc etc. And, more to the point, let's get real: did he really think that any planning process in the land would allow one of his clients to build to the White Cliffs?
Well this went back and forth a few times with me accusing Mr Aylwin of being as paranoid as Fiona Reynolds about the NPPF, and him saying that of course he wasn't in favour of nationalising land, until we sort of reached a point of violent agreement and went about our business, having agreed to have lunch. As you do.
But seriously, every so often, even surveyors must be made to think about exactly how you can own land and what exactly that means. I was so moved by the philosophical nature of this debate that I (literally) dusted off my copy of Christopher Alexander's Timeless Way of Building last night. I find I have to get back to the fundamentals.
Incidentally, Nottingham University has to be the most beautiful campus in the country. Not because of the architecture. Because of the trees.