Gill is a person all too easily misconstrued. Her home is a gently run-down flint cottage, reached via a bumpy, cindered track in the Sussex countryside. Following a winding, brick path under trees and around bushes, I found her front door ajar, with Radio 4 chatting in the kitchen beyond.
The kitchen seemed to be a step back in to the 1950s. Cream plastered walls, plain, wood furniture and a butler sink; an old, wooden grandfather clock leaning slightly towards a sage green bookcase, stacked high with books; an ancient, coal-fired Rayburn, stained with soot, squatting, immovable in an alcove.
And there, at the doorway stood Gill. Wearing a sprightly pink jumper that jumped out from the surrounding gently muted colours, it immediately became clear to me that the cottage and it decor were there to serve as a simple backdrop for this leading lady.
Gill spent much of her working life as the secretary and general organiser for the family of the Estate. Still as sharp as a button, she had a kind smile and a gentle, patient manner, no doubt developed over years of sorting out other people's problems. Other than that pink jumper, the other contrasting item in her kitchen was a large, modern laptop computer which she was using to write a book on the history of the Estate.
After a while spent making photographs, there was time for tea and a biscuit before Gill headed out to a shed in the garden, where her two chickens were waiting to be released. Having rushed to meet Gill on time, I left rested and relaxed, once again surprised by the hidden jewels this part of Sussex has to offer those with the time to seek them out.