One of the joys of living in or near a very old village is the chance to get to know people who have owned property there as a family for many years. These families, especially if the local farmers for example, will usually have an impressive home that has been lovingly nurtured and car for. There will be the rather odd additions that someone carried out donkeys years ago and rather oddly mismatched windows and doors. I recall being given a tour of the oldest farmhouse in a neighbouring village. The current family had owned it for 3 hundred years and the furniture was all from that period. All except one or two pieces that had not got a hope of ever blending in with the older stuff and no attempt had been made to do so. The newer pieces were a light wooden bureau in the sitting room – it was a lovely pale blond shade that really caught my eye and it opened up to reveal the home computer equipment with cables all hidden nicely down conduits. Another piece was a recliner armchair in almost all the reception rooms. These have a distinct advantage over the chesterfield sofas dotted around every available space – maybe traditional but offers not a scrap of comfort for old bones.