After an early start and a three hour drive north with the car full of pictures in bubble wrap I arrived at Newby Hall last Tuesday to hang my exhibition.
The events manager, Lara Strangeway helped me -
- just as well, or the exhibition might never have been up in time for the pre-season drinks party in the evening.
At lunch time, there was a moment to slip into the gardens and sketch.
Gardeners were busy everywhere; cutting back and tidying the borders, unwrapping statues - before the new season started.
Inside, food was being prepared, drink poured and the waiters lined up ready to serve. In the past it would have been the same - a huge amount of activity opening up the house and welcoming back the family after a winter's absence. Today it was not the family being welcomed back but the general public - in particular the season ticket holders.
They all turned up on a dark rainy night to enjoy the party in the Grantham Room.
Here I'm with fellow children's writer, Daphne Peters, whom I ran across before the room filled up and the signing and selling started.