Fast forward to 2015, and what do we think is the biggest challenge the nation faces, in which the National Trust we can play a part? It's not saving great houses any more, though we need to make sure that people carry on enjoying them and feel that the past they represent is still relevant to their lives today. No, the threat is to the health and beauty of our countryside.
With one week to go before the due date of our first child, my husband and I have been walking round in a haze of fear and exhilaration. We regularly turn and gaze at each other with slightly frightened, portentous expressions, before one of us breaks the spell by saying: "Thank God we went to Thailand."