Polly Nightingale

I am writing this as I sit in a milking parlour. OK – a former milking parlour.

It’s a long narrow barn with thick brick walls, chunky wooden cross beams and a floor that slopes about a foot from one end to the other, so I can, quite literally, look down on most of my colleagues!


This is a relatively new office – we arrived here one rather cold December day in 2012. We moved lock stock and barrel (desks, chairs, filing cabinets, printer, photocopier, book shelves, computers etc), ourselves, with a hire van, the 8 or so miles from our previous office. I had the bruises for weeks…

But it was worth it! We are now firmly ensconced and wouldn’t swap out rural barn for the finest purpose-designed office.

office-deskWe take it in turns to be blinded by sunlight streaming through the windows or skylights, some of our desks are standing on wooden blocks to keep them flat on the sloping floor, and we often spy pheasants, muntjac deer, the ethereal and very welcome barn owl, and, on one occasion, a runaway horse, in the gardens and fields around us. Animals sometimes join us indoors, too, in the form of the 2 resident cats, friendly and sometimes mischievous Sooty, and the fluffy presence that is Jasper. What with one thing and another there’s rarely a dull moment in our parlour.

Our office is quirky and unconventional and suits us down to the ground.