One of the things I really like thinking about is the detail of the way this world works.  I mean, if you are designing a castle, you have to think about how the whole thing works, where people live, eat, sleep, where the kitchens are, the bars, the open spaces… and the waste.

I have a vision of George making improvements to a number of things in the castle, including the provision of drinking and washing water, and also water for cooling in the manner of Indian Forts and Palaces.  It is inevitable that waste is produced, both liquid and solid waste, and that it will have to be disposed of in such a way that the castle remains a healthy environment.

Fred emphasises their aim to be self-sufficient at Marsh, and also says something about studying soil and nutrients for growing vegetables.  I imagine he is talking about composting vegetable waste, which fortunately includes guinea pig poo, so for the most part sewage can go straight into composting which in turn will enrich their vegetable terraces.  I think there must be a reed bed system for their fluid waste.  I imagine that most of the castles work on the same principles.

Some have greater problems though, if they have any sort of industrial or manufacturing processes.  I hope they have done a better job in this world of making full use of every resource, so that ‘waste’ from one process is a raw material in another.  There is reference in one of the books to a freight wagon in the tunnel, so maybe this is the case, and Hallam’s waste crushed rock after extracting the metals from it becomes an input into Castle Wilber’s glass making.  Yes, I have finally named the glass manufacturing castle here!

As for the sort of household waste that most of us throw in our bins for collection, these people don’t have it.  There is no packaging. Containers are re-used.  Broken pots and glass become part of the community pile of construction materials.

I think I rather like this world.  I wonder if it is the same across the western seas at Castle Hattan, though?

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