Diary of a Scullery Maid – June

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Written by Sienna James

 

I’ve been here for just over a year now. I must say, it seems much longer as I have settled in better than I ever expected I would. Those first couple of months of aching limbs and sore fingers seemed to drag on forever, but now I can proudly say that Ickworth is definitely my home.

I’ve enjoyed the work in the kitchen today – the sun makes me happy although Cook doesn’t like working in a hot and stuffy kitchen.

Today we made lots of lovely summer treats for the family. Of course, Jim was in and out of the kitchen every other minute hoping for a spoonful of cream or an off-cut from the pastry tart. Cook shooed him away each time, clucking in disapproval like a hen might cluck if somebody touched her eggs, but I just giggled.

What a difference this warm weather makes to everything! Nancy says I sound quite middle-aged when I say that, but it is true. Now it’s June the sun is strong and sets so very late in the evening. Last night the sky was filled with blood red streaks of a sunset.

To make best use of the gorgeous weather John, the hall-boy, and I went for a little stroll around the park. We didn’t walk through the Italianate gardens of course – I wonder what Lord Bristol would have said if he’d seen his scullery-maid and hall-boy frolicking in his gardens?! John and I didn’t chat much; we listened to the birdsong and he seemed to recognise most of the tweets. He really does love the outdoors and told me he’d been walking around the meadows and woods before and admired the flowers.

“It’s not as girlish as it sounds,” he informed me quite importantly. “I like the flowers at this time of year. I still prefer watching the birds though. Look, Arianna, there goes a magpie.”

I really cannot remember all the different birds he showed me – their names are far too complicated. We spent a pleasant hour wandering the estate. It’s not like when the housemaids and footmen go out and flirt ‘abominably’ (that’s Miss Edgeley’s word). No, it was more companionable than that, as though he was a brother of mine.

Speaking of brothers, James and I managed to meet up on my half-day off. I caught the bus to the village where he works and we bought ice creams from the dairy there. Dear old James. He’s still head-over-heals for Charlotte. We’ve both settled in remarkably well I think – we’re so very much happier than we were in Bakewell.

John and Nancy are calling me so I’d better sign off for now.

Goodnight.

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