I have grown up this winter

Brunswick Square February 22nd 1851

My latest tea party was an absolute triumph. Everybody was happy and the conversation was not, this time, confined to kittens and the like. Mrs Doughty was telling us about the Great Exhibition which sounds like nothing I have ever seen. It is to be held inside an enormous hall and will show us all how advanced and cultured we have become. Mrs Doughty is on some committee or other to raise money for the presentation of it and she has met Prince Albert. She is a woman of the world and I feel privileged to call her a friend. I have told Josiah I should like to visit this Exhibition and he said he would be delighted to accompany me there – I think he may have a business connection in mind but no matter, as long as he takes me.

He was much taken with Boo’s little boy. My heart beat twice as fast to see him soften and bill at such a tiny baby. If I didn’t know him better I would say that he shed a tear as he gave him back to Boo. She was a little quiet, I thought, but I suppose she must be tired a lot these days.

When I told my guests we were leaving for Blindingham soon they were shocked, so much so that I felt quite proud and sad together. I have made good friends here and shall be sad not to have them close by. I have resolved to invite them all to the Hall just as soon as I am back in charge of it. I’m not sure whether Boo will come, but I shall invite her all the same.

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