Engaged in the sort of work that I am on a daily basis, I cannot help but quote the first two paragraphs from chapter 24 of Mervyn Peake's "Gormenghast":
"The floor of the quadrangle was of a pale whitish-yellow brick, a pleasant mellow colour, soothing to the eye. The bricks had been laid so that their narrow surfaces faced upwards, a device which must have called for twice as many as would have been necessary. But what gave the floor of the quadrangle its peculiar character was the herring-bone pattern which the artificers had followed many hundred years ago.
Blurred and worn as the yellow bricks had become, yet there was a vitality about the surface of the quadrangle, as though the notion of the man who had once, long ago, given orders that the bricks were to be laid in such and such a way was still alive. The bricks had breath in them. To walk across this quadrangle was to walk across an idea."