For more than a century, life behind the imposing walls that surround the harbour-front mansion, Fairwater, on the border of Double Bay and Point Piper has remained remarkably the same.
Gardeners tend the lawns and it wasn't so many years ago that guests would be greeted by a butler.
And still to this day "cook" remains busy in the kitchen and maids hurriedly make their way around the labyrinth of stairways and rooms to the constant whir of vacuum cleaners.
Fairwater is a real-life, modern-day Sydney version of Downton Abbey, though it is no longer home to its former chatelaine, the formidable Lady Mary Fairfax, who died last September, aged 95.
However, as the contents of Lady Fairfax's will revealed - details of which were so gleefully published this week in the Murdoch press to the horror of the Fairfax family - provisions have been made for Fairwater to continue providing a roof over the heads of a collection of long-term live-in staff who have served, waited-on and cared for the Fairfax family for generations.
Friends of Lady Fairfax told PS this week there were about eight full-time staff working at Fairwater at the time of her death, as well as care nurses and her beloved "private secretary", the equally formidable and steadfastly discreet Lee Thomas, 67.
Thomas was reluctantly thrust into the spotlight this week after being named as one of four executors of the $600 million plus estate. According to the reports, Thomas now gets to call the prime piece of real estate home.
So who exactly is Lee Thomas?
PS can reveal that contrary to reports elsewhere, Thomas has never resided full-time at Fairwater, though she is currently "spending more time" at the property, PS was informed this week.
Thomas has worked exclusively for Lady Fairfax for more than 30 years, organising everything from her social engagements to her charitable pursuits, as well as helping compile the extraordinary, eight-page Christmas card for which Mary was famous.
Lady Fairfax once said the card, resplendent with life-affirming quotes and pictures of her with everyone from Pope John Paul II to Ronald Reagan, took her a year to design and plan.
With two small children in tow, Thomas began working for Lady Fairfax in 1985 as her secretary.
Over the years her job evolved into managing Fairwater, ultimately becoming a director of some of Lady Fairfax's companies, though her key role was ensuring the overall welfare of the ageing Fairfax matriarch.
Lady Fairfax, with the help of Thomas, employed and managed a small army of staff, often with mixed results, such as the time a maid "cleaned" a marble garden statue with bleach, destroying its beautiful patina.
There was her chauffeur "Ted", who had once worked for the Australian diplomatic corps in New York, only to spend many years ferrying Mary around Sydney in one of her shiny Rolls Royces.
In the 1980s Lady Fairfax was once banned for flying for five days by her New York doctor because of an eye ailment.
She famously ordered her chauffeur to buy a Rolls Royce to drive from New York to Los Angeles.
Living in a cottage within Fairwater's grounds for many years was Joe and Doreen Welton, a husband and wife team who were Lady Fairfax's butler and maid from the 1960s to the late 1980s when they retired to Queensland.
But even after retirement the Weltons would return to Fairwater to help their beloved "Lady M" for big occasions.
Doreen died five years ago, and Joe last year.
This week Lady Fairfax's staff were still answering the phone as they had done for decades, with a polite yet slightly clipped: "Hello, Fairwater".
Along with Thomas, the other three executors selected by Lady Fairfax were her long-term adviser and confidant Bruce Solomon, 65, former top tier lawyer and barrister Jim Momsen, 76, and former KPMG partner Peter Done, 70.
Fairwater’s title was transferred to the will’s executors on February 20, following probate being granted in January.
Ultimately Lady Fairfax's estate is to be divided between her four children; Garth Symonds, Warwick Fairfax, Anna Cleary and Charles Fairfax.
But given the provisions of the will to provide a home for her live-in staff for an indefinite period, any plans her children may have to sell the sprawling house and grounds, considered by many the best in the country, could face some serious hurdles.
Watch out New Zealand, Imogen Anthony is coming for you.
Sure, while a couple of years ago PS dared to ponder "Imogen who?", Kyle Sandilands' shy and retiring girlfriend, the diminutive blonde with a penchant for wearing bejewelled gimp masks to fashion shows and taking her clothes off on social media, is heading to Auckland on August 28 to model in a bikini parade.
Apparently she is the biggest star to descend on New Zealand Fashion Week since Pamela Anderson a few years back, and the locals are in a lather with excitement.
Anthony will be flying the Aussie flag for swimwear label Heaven, with a special "couture" bikini being created for her to wear. We can hardly contain ourselves.
But given the eye-popping fashions she has worn to Australian Fashion Week over the last couple of years, the Kiwis better brace themselves for an onslaught of penis bras tops and frocks emblazoned with words not fit for a family newspaper.
No word on whether Sandilands will be joining her on the swimwear catwalk, but the mind certainly boggles at such a prospect.
Skye has no limit for friends
Skye Leckie does not miss the huge laundry bag she dragged around Sydney during her 10 days sleeping rough for SBS's excellent Filthy, Rich & Homeless series, but she has missed some of the new friends she made.
Leckie told PS she has kept up with some of them too, including Alexis, the homeless transgender woman who shared her campsite with Leckie under the flyer-over at Wolloomooloo.
"I've taken her down cigarettes, which I know I shouldn't encourage, but that's what she wanted and I gave her plenty so she could hand them out to some of the others. She is a tough but loving person all at once," Leckie said.
As for Selvi and her three young children trying to make ends meet in temporary housing at Penrith, Leckie says she developed a soft spot, especially for the three children.
"I've had them down to our farm in the Southern Highlands, I really wanted them to feel the grass under their feet and get out in the country ... it was great, but also a bit frustrating because it was only temporary and I can't help thinking about what happens to them in the future ... they are friends now and I will stay in touch."
But the best news for Leckie came on Thursday. While she was staying at an emergency shelter she came across a young man named Kieran who she knew from his days working as a hairdresser at Joh Bailey's salon in Double Bay, but had since fallen on hard times and ended up in jail.
"He sent me a message saying he had found accommodation, was working again and that life was getting back to normal for him. I was so happy to hear that, it really lifted my spirits, he didn't lose hope," she said.
"The response to the show has been overwhelming, I'm happy we could bring a bit of attention to homelessness. Now my focus is on working out how I can help in the long-term ... this is not the end of it, not by a long shot."
Prima donna in the house
Herald journalist Helen Pitt unearthed some extraordinary details about the birth of the Sydney Opera House in her new book The House which she launched this week.
One of them was The Daily Mirror's prediction in 1965 about what Sydney would be like in 15 years time, an article inspired by the late Dame Joan Sutherland who had thrown a hissy fit at the time. She declared she would not return to Sydney until the iconic sails were completed, sarcastically suggesting that wouldn't be until 1980.
This caused the Mirror to counter in an editorial: “We are grateful to Miss Joan Sutherland for bringing a touch of excitement into our drab lives. We now realise that what we have been missing all these years is authentic prima donna flounce. Every day she reminds us the function of the prima donna is not only to sing but put on a jolly good show of temperament. Yesterday’s temper tantrum at the Town Hall was a good one just to cheer up a damp and gloomy day. Miss Sutherland said she would never come back to Sydney – well not until 1980 when the Opera House is finished. We don’t know why Miss Sutherland should expect the Opera House to be finished in 1980. Our personal crystal ball fails to reveal anything of the kind.
"Indeed Miss Sutherland should be warned that Sydney of 1980 will probably be just like Sydney of 1965. Another firm of American engineers will be advising on the eastern suburbs railway; plans will be prepared for another bridge over the harbour; or for a tunnel underneath it. The only noticeable changes that we can see for 1980 are that Eric Baume having outlived the Beauties and will carry on his programme alone and a chap by the name of Bob Rogers will be finally confirmed as the Oldest Disc Jockey in the world.”
While Baume, who was The Beast on the talk show Beauty and the Beast died just two years later in 1967, pretty much the rest of the Mirror's predictions remain true in 2018, including Bob Rogers, who still presents The Bob Rogers Show on 2CH, aged 91!