Diary of a scullery maid – September


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Written by Sienna James


Dear Arianna,

I write to you from my bed. It has not yet been two full days since dearest little Frederick was born, and for one of the first times he is sleeping.

His papa is quite awed, Freddie is his first child remember, and neither of us could be happier. In the recent weeks he has been turning our cottage’s attic into a nursery of sorts and I have been recalling the toys you and James used to play with when you were new-born babes.

Freddie was pronounced a ‘healthy lad’ by the doctor and is curled up, all red-faced and scrunched, but mercifully quiet. I am afraid this will be the last time I can write to you for a short while as Freddie will take up all our thoughts and attentions. He is such a dear thing.

When will you come to visit us, Arianna, to see your half-brother? Perhaps in a few months when Mr Fairfax and I have become more used to having a baby in our cottage. And James too, I miss my eldest son.

I shall say goodbye for now – I imagine Freddie will wake soon enough



Arianna Diary divide

Gracious, when I picked up this letter this morning I didn’t know it would contain such news. Of course, I have expected it all through September but had heard nothing and so assumed that my mother would write a few weeks after her baby was born.

My half-brother, Frederick. James, Arianna and Freddie. I must say those names fit together nicely, but it is terribly odd thinking mama has a third child now. It was always just James and I. I wonder if he has heard too, perhaps I will visit him this Sunday.

Earlier, when I first read the letter, I spoke to Rose, one of the housemaids. Aparently she has several younger siblings at home and her home is just a walk away. I’m not sure whether I like that idea or not as being so far away from Derbyshire has meant I have been able to distance myself from mama’s new husband and family.

I can hear the trolley’s wheels clattering on the uneven stone flags. Dinner is on its way! I helped prepare some pasties for the servant’s supper and washed the blackberries for the pie Mrs Finkle managed to prepare with some of the leftover pastry.

Blackberries are such a wonderful autumnal taste, don’t you think? The blackberry crop in Suffolk is much better than Derbyshire’s too.

Here comes the trolley around the corner. I’m famished.


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