Yet I nearly didn't take the picture.
It was a crisp February day, bitterly cold outside. Snow lay on the ground and all the lakes were frozen. Sudbury Hall was bustling with people.
It was one of the earliest National Trust homes to open for the season. Most waited until March or April. This was Sudbury's opening day and people patently wanted a day trip after the dreary days of winter. Taking any photograph without people in it was a bit of a trial.
But in this case, there was more going on. During the winter, Sudbury Hall's management had undertaken some essential repair and maintenance work around the property. This isn't unusual and it's the main reason why so many other homes and gardens remain closed until well into spring. As the tourists milled around, they were occasionally by-passing sealed off areas of work, or scaffolding.
The latter was what made me pause before taking the photograph. If you look carefully on the left hand side of the picture above, you will see a corner of the scaffold's A frame. There was no way of avoiding it. This was a tall construction, which reached up into the rafters. A rope ran before the area, creating a make-shift fence. You can see that in the image too.
I loved the lighting. The icy afternoon sunlight was being diffused by mist before it could spill in through the windows of the long gallery. That's what illuminated the writing table so beautifully. I paused. I shifted. I tried to crop out as much of the scaffold as possible. I gave up humming and arrring and just took the picture. After all, this was a digital camera. It wasn't like I was wasting film.
Later on, a friend chose that picture amongst the hundreds that I took that day. She loved it, scaffolding, rope barrier and all. She has a good eye. As I said, the cropped version is one of my most popular postcards amongst the clientele of Zazzle.